Android is its Own Worst Enemy in Promoting App Installation & Use

Android currently rules the smartphone device world in marketshare and projected growth. And, while Android’s app count has grown to be nearly as large as the iOS (iPhone & iPad) market, app sales revenue is tiny compared to what is seen in the iOS market.

Amazon’s recenlty launched Appstore for Android may be changing the revenue picture for Android developers though. And, Amazon is heavily promoting its Appstore by making available a different Android paid app for free every 24 hours. Amazon started the Appstore with a bang by giving away the Angry Birds Rio (now 99 cents) for the first few days after the Appstore opened for business. It has followed that with a daily series of first class games and apps. Consumers are the big winners here for however long Amazon decides to fund this paid app giveaway.

But, this sudden influx of high quality free Android apps highlights a problem that has been mentioned here several times in the past few years: Android’s design is its own worst enemy. Android OS 1.0 required that all apps be installed in system memory. None could be installed and run from a flash storage card. Although apps can now be installed on a flash card, many apps including gigantic ones from Google itself do provide this option. The result is Android phones tend to give out of space warnings with just three dozen or so apps installed in system memory. Apple’s iOS 4, by comparison, can store 12 apps per folder and have up to 180 folders (2,160 apps).

Android phone users are forced to hunt for apps that can be moved to flash storage or, all too often, finding and uninstalling gigantic little used apps. Either activity is essentially a waste of time and may be beyond the capabilities of non-technical Android phone owner.

Here’s a couple of gigantic Android apps that I recently removed to make way for new apps. None of these gigantic apps provided the option to be installed on a flash storage card:

Autodesk Sketchbook Express: 11.14MB
doubleTwist: 9.66MB
Navigon: 22.94MB
Qik: 9.68MB
Seesmic: 12.05MB

Publish date: April 11, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT