updated 07:54 pm EST, Sun November 17, 2013
Apple outperforms Google, Amazon in app store ranking
Apple's App Store was rated the most mature overall, according to a new analysis from Pfeiffer Report. The App Store, which changed the mobile landscape upon its introduction, got higher overall scores than both Google's Play Store and Amazon's Appstore. The Play Store placed second behind Apple's offering, and Amazon's app repository came in last.
Pfeiffer's analysis gauged app store quality along four metrics: search, discovery assistance and content curation, an App Store Maturity Evaluation Grid, and user experience friction. The Play Store placed first in terms of search, scoring 33 out of a possible 100, followed by the App Store with 25 and Amazon's Appstore at 14. All three stores received low marks due to their lack of natural language search capabilities.
For discovery assistance, the App Store placed first with a score of 44, followed by the Appstore at 8.4 and the Play Store at 2.25. The report noted that "Apple offers by far the largest number of specially selected groups of apps," while the Play Store "offers almost no informed guidance to help users find apps that are specifically tailored to their needs."
The evaluation grid rated app stores along a number of other metrics, including content curation, presentation of individual apps, and other factors. The Play store, scoring 42.5, was upbraided for "a lack of independent editorial content and recommendations other than user comments," while Amazon's Appstore scored just 40 due to a lack of an "clear indication which apps have been optimized for tablets." The App Store scored 67.5, with Pfeiffer noting that it was well ahead of the competition in multiple areas.
For user experience friction, Pfeiffer looked at "whenever a device or service does not do what you expect it to do." Amazon's app repository came out last, with a score of 26. Google Play rated just a 14, and the App store scored 24. For this metric, lower scores were better.
Overall, Pfeiffer rates Apple's App Store at 53.1 out of a possible 100, the Play Store at 40.9, and Amazon's Appstore at 34.1. The study notes that "none of the app stores come even close to the ideal score at this time."
The quality of app stores has become a crucial element for mobile device and platform makers as the mobile market has matured. Companies will often tout app count milestones, as they try to convince consumers that their devices will not go unused. Others have been rumored to have considered relying on others' app stores in order to boost the capabilities of their own devices.