Comparison between top iOS and Android apps reveals information about each platform's users

Apps are a big deal these days. Every platform needs a good app store, especially on mobile devices, if it wants to be remotely successful. As a result, Google and Apple have always been at each other's throats regarding who has the best applications for mobile phones. However, now that most popular apps are available on both platforms, an interesting variance in the top titles is apparent. In fact, both platforms' top ten paid application lists only share one application: Fruit Ninja.

Before I begin theorizing about this, let's take a look at the data.

First, here are the top ten pay apps in the Apple App Store:

  1. Angry Birds
  2. Angry Birds Rio
  3. Tiny Wings
  4. Fruit Ninja
  5. Where's Waldo?
  6. Tetris
  7. Words with Friends
  8. The Sims 3
  9. Cut the Rope
  10. Plants vs Zombies

Next, here are the top ten pay apps in the Android Market:

  1. Beautiful Widgets
  2. ROM Manager Premium
  3. Root Explorer
  4. Fruit Ninja
  5. Better Keyboard
  6. Robo Defense
  7. SetCPU
  8. WeatherBug Elite
  9. Titanium Backup Pro
  10. Power AMP Full

Now that we have looked at the data, allow me to share some of my observations.

The first thing I notice is that every single application on the iPhone's list is a game, while only two of Android's apps are. This may not be quite fair to Apple, as Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio are free apps in the Market, but this too is another difference between the app stores. Many for-pay iOS apps are available for free on Android because they're ad-supported.

Another significant observation is that four of Android's top apps are root-only, which implies that many users have rooted devices. Not only that, when you include applications that would be blocked from the Apple App Store (Better Keyboard and Power AMP) and that simply would not work on iOS (Beautiful Widgets), seven of the Android apps will likely never be available on iOS.

These observations are not meant as a dig at either platform; each has its own advantages. However, this list does imply that iOS users are more casual users, whereas Android users are into rooting, or at least replacing stock software. It will be interesting to see if the applications change as Android makes its way into the hands of more "casual" consumers, but for now it looks like most Android users are still geeks and iOS still has the best games.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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