List of App Stores
by Seni Sangrujee on December 15, 2010The Android Market has been undergoing a lot of changes for the better recently. It looks like the Market is finally a priority for the Android team with changes like the 15 minutes refund window, Content Ratings, Related tab, Recent Changes field, and new UI.
It's still way behind the iPhone App Store, but one thing I've noticed with Android is that things move quickly once something has been deemed a priority.
I've written some popular Android apps as personal projects that are highly ranked, so I get deluged with emails from app stores I've never heard of before. So I decided to write up a list of all the app stores on my radar as of December 2010 (mobile as well as others, in no particular order). I expect even more to emerge 2011, so this should provide an interesting snapshot to look back on.
I've only submitted apps to a subset of these, but I've included my thoughts on the ones I've had experience with.
1. iPhone App Store
There's not much to say here that hasn't already been said. It's still the best by far. My only complaint is the developer/publisher site of iTunes could be easier to use and provide better sales/download stats, but there are other providers that are picking up the slack. The user side is 1000x more important anyway, so as long as users are happy, I'm happy.
2. Android Market
The recent changes mentioned above are great, but it's still a distant second. The biggest problems right now are the lack of a website interface for the Market and the fact that users are still having problems getting stuck in the middle of downloading/purchasing apps. Other features I'd like to see are In-app purchase and the ability to gift/comp apps to people.
We're not supposed to talk about this. Aargh!
4. Windows Phone 7 AppHub
I ported one of my most popular Android/iPhone apps to WP7 and submitted it a while ago. It's still awaiting approval, but it was a pretty bad experience so far just dealing with the submission/rejection/resubmission process.
I submitted a couple of my most popular free apps to GetJar when they first opened up to Android apps. At the time one of these apps was getting ~500 downloads/day in the Android Market but was only getting 1-2 downloads/day on GetJar. That was quite some time ago, though, I should revisit them again soon. They seem to have kicked it up a notch since then. I expect good things from them in 2011.
6. Verizon VCast
The VCast store was tempting because of carrier billing, and I could just submit an existing Android app. Unfortunately, my app was rejected. Most of my apps have a community feature where people can share things like wine or movie reviews they've written. I have a way for users to report abuse, but the rejection message said something about terms of abuse/content policy. There was way too much legalese involved, and after hearing stories of minimal downloads through VCast from other developers, I gave up and abandoned my submission.
7. BlackBerry App World
Haven't used it, but there's a strong chance I'll submit a PlayBook AIR app soon to evaluate the platform.
8. Motorola SHOP4APPS
Only for China and Latin America. Pass.
9. Nokia Ovi Store
I signed up for the Ovi Store when the reduced the registration fee to 1 Euro a while ago, but still haven't submitted an app. Nokia is a weird case because I usually say if there are a lot of users, I'll at least publish one app to evaluate the market for myself. Even though I know someone making money in the Ovi Store, I can't put the effort into submitting an app. I think it comes down to having no confidence in Nokia going forward. I used to be a Series 60 developer pre-iPhone and Android, and have been burned before betting on Nokia. Fool me once…
10. Palm Pre App Catalog
I was very tempted to submit a Pre app when they launched because I think WebOS is great from a developer perspective, but never got around to it and it looks like it might have been a good move. I have a friend making respectable money writing Palm apps, but he just bought an Android phone, so I guess that's all I need to know.
11. Chrome Web Store
I ported two of my most popular apps to bada, but never ended up submitting them, the process was too messed up. It's not available in the US, so I decided it wasn't worth any more effort.
xx. Cisco Cius Tablet (doesn't count as one, but I'm following closely)
It looks like Cius is just going to use the Android Market.
13. Barnes & Noble Nook
How will Barnes & Noble sell my application once I submit them?
Barnes & Noble will make applications available through our eBookstore channels taking advantage of our significant multi-channel merchandising and promotional opportunities.
14. Sony Ericsson Playnow Arena App Store
15. Intel AppUp Netbook Apps
16. Steam Store
17. AppsLib (Archos Tablets)
19. LG Application Store
20. Bodega Mac apps
23. Opera Widgets
25. Ondeego AppCentral
26. Orange Application Shop
29. TELUS Application Store
31. Windows Phone (6.5)
32. esdn - mobile fair play
34. Pdassi Android App Shop