Android Apps: Which Store Should I Publish To?
iOS developers have a simple decision to make when it comes to where to release a product. There are a limited amount of devices that are restricted to iOS software.
When developing for Android, developers have a vast assortment of options when it comes to deploying software and most would think this is a benefit but unfortunately, it is more of a predicament.
If you own multiple devices that all run a version of the Android operating system in some capacity and you have explored each device’s store or marketplace to purchase apps, you may have noticed something very puzzling: some apps that appear in one store may not appear in another.
This type of fragmentation is a developer’s nightmare. If a developer does not have the tools in place to produce software across multiple devices, operating systems and/or environments, they miss the opportunity to reach out to a specific demographic that is not necessarily mainstream. This is why Android developers have a hard time deciding where to release their apps.
According to One Platform Foundation, an initiative to help aid those who are looking to submit their apps across multiple app stores, there are currently 36 app stores and counting in the world. All of these app stores are the more prominent ones that can be considered official and can also be found preloaded on a lot of devices.
If you are an Android developer and you are looking for a formidable advantage when it comes to where to release your product, the following is a short list of the top app stores to develop and release for:
1) Google Play Store
This is an obvious choice. Google Play Store is Google’s digital distribution platform for applications across Android operating systems. With Android currently being on version 4.4.2 (KitKat) and the impending rumors of 4.5 to be released in the near future, this app store is the place to go for any developer especially with its developer base and app count. Unfortunately for a developer, products can get lost in the fray with so many “junk” games being approved and released through this platform.
Cost to Develop: $25 one-time payment
Current Development Tools: Android SDK, Android Studio (IDE)
2) Amazon Appstore
Amazon.com’s Kindle device has really caught fire over the years and its mobile application store for the Google Android operating system, it has no reason to slow down. The Fire OS, Amazon.com’s Kindle operating system that is a fork of the Android mobile operating system, works with the most recent Android release and looks to continue this relationship with each up and coming release.
Cost to Develop: $99/year
Current Development Tools: Amazon Mobile App SDK
3) Samsung Apps
Each Samsung device comes preloaded with the Samsung Apps store but also has the ability to use the Google Play store along with others. With the device platform being strictly Android and the vast amount of devices available on the market, Samsung Apps continues to grow especially with there being no cost to developers to publish to it.
Cost to Developers: Free
Current Development Tools: Android SDK, Samsung Mobile SDK
4) Nokia Store (Ovi)
Nokia has really been pushing hard to become a significant player in the app store market, which has involved partnering with Google and Microsoft on different occasions. The Nokia X software platform, which connects itself with the Android 4.1.2 Open Source Project, removes itself from Google Services and houses their own SDK to deal with those options.
Cost to Developers: 1€ (Euro)
Current Development Tools: Qt4 SDK, Nokia Web Tools, Nokia SDK for Java, Java ME, Nokia X Services SDK
5) BlackBerry World
BlackBerry’s application distribution service and application for a majority of BlackBerry devices is a tough app store for users and developers to mentally attach with Android. BlackBerry World is, in fact, compatible with apps made using the most recent Android (4.2.2) and below as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android. This is a great opportunity to cross platform for any Android developer and BlackBerry has made it simple.
Cost To Developers: Free
Current Development Tools: BlackBerry 10 Native SDK, HTML5 qT4 SDK, Android (via BlackBerry Android Tools SDK), Adobe AIR SDK, BlackBerry OS SDK
6) Nabi AppZone
The Nabi tablets are full-featured learning tablets built for children. Even though there is not a ton of information out there for developing with these tablets, it is a great opportunity for developers that are looking for a way to develop with the sole purpose of education or entertainment for children.
Cost to Developers: Free (to first 100 developers)
Current Development Tools: Android SDK, Nabi SDK
7) NOOK Apps
Not as popular as Amazon.com’s Kindle devices, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK devices still exist. Having no cost to the developer and it being as simple as using the Android SDK, developers have a lot of opportunities to get some exposure. The cost to Developer: FreeCurrent Development Tools: Android SDKAs we all can see, Android developers have choices when it comes to where to release their products. Unfortunately, this can result in apps being unavailable for some devices and a lot of missed opportunities for businesses. Ensuring as a developer that your product can be released across multiple platforms with no hassle can be a tremendous hurdle to overcome but once that obstacle has been completed, success can be simple and satisfying.
**This article uses information found on a complete list: Mobile Software Distribution Platforms**