Google shifts focus from Web to mobile apps

Google is seeking mobile app development talent to capture a stake in the lucrative mobile apps market.

Google is aggressively expanding its mobile app development efforts. According to a Wall Street Journal report, one of the first orders of business following the shakeup in executive leadership is to seek out app development talent. Google recognizes the value of mobile platforms and is working to stay one step ahead to claim its piece of the mobile market pie.

The mobile apps market is expected to top $15 billion in 2011, and grow to surpass $58 billion over the next few years. That is a pretty lucrative pie -- well worth focusing some attention on. The question, though, comes down to finding the right strategy to capitalize on it.

The Android Market lags far behind the Apple App Store in total apps. Android's 100,000-ish is no match for Apple's 350,000. Since Apple's iOS platform still leads Android in developer appeal, the odds of Android overtaking iOS in app volume is are slim to none.

But, so what? A recent study found that the average iPhone has 108 apps installed -- 20 of which are the default apps that came pre-installed on the smartphone. With only 88 apps per device, it shouldn't really matter whether you have 100,000 or 350,000 to choose from. In fact, both figures seem like overkill.

When it comes to apps, and the rivalry between the Android and iOS platforms, quality is more important than quantity. While there apparently is some market for apps that make fart noises, or apps that "meow" when you tap on a picture of a cat, the real challenge for either platform is to provide apps that have some practical use and contribute to the value of the smartphone as a platform for mobile productivity.

In fact, what may be even more important than quality is exclusivity. With 100,000 plus apps available for Android and 350,000 for iOS, it seems reasonable to assume that both platforms have a fair number of quality apps available -- certainly enough for a user to find the 80 or 90 apps they need to meet the average. But, if there are compelling apps that are only available on one platform or the other, it could provide an edge that can tip the smartphone or tablet purchasing decision.

A quick look at the Google products page illustrates the diversity of the Web apps created by Google. With the trend toward mobile platforms like smartphones and tablets, Google is staying ahead of the game by shifting gears and focusing development efforts on mobile apps.

Google can't expect to pass -- or even catch up to -- the volume of apps available for iOS simply by hiring a team of mobile app developers. But, by creating solid, quality apps that add value to the mobile experience Google can carve out a dominant piece of that mobile app market pie and be the sort of catalyst for mobile apps that it has been for Web apps.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAppleAndroidappsPhonesconsumer electronicsapp storeCell Phones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?