At issue is the number of apps available for iOS devices and Android devices. Apple claims that there are now 350,000 apps available on its App Store, while Google’s Android platform has somewhere north of 100,000 apps scattered across a variety of competing online stores (most are on Google’s own Android Market).
Even though Android is quickly becoming the world’s largest smartphone platform, Google hasn’t been able to narrow the app gap, in part because Android users are not as prone to actually paying for their apps as are Apple’s iOS customers.
While downloads for both platforms are dominated by free apps, Apple’s App Store commands a much larger percentage of paid downloads than Android, and that has kept many developers in Apple’s camp, despite the company’s infamous controls over the approval process.
According to The Journal, Google wants to jump start this process by directly funding development efforts. The company wants to foster the creation of more marquee apps like games and location-aware apps that will make Android more attractive to end users.
To that end, the company is offering candidate developers a “high degree of autonomy,” according to the report, coupled with the security of getting a paycheck from a tech giant with great benefits. In addition, Google is able to offer guidance and help from the company’s enormous staff of obscenely smart engineers.