Apple's App Store has been providing iPad users with a diverse selection of content ever since the tablet launched in 2010, and the Google Play store has many quality offerings for Android users. However, Google Play seems to have some catching up to do, as new research reveals that only half of the iPad's most popular apps are available on Android tablets.
According to Canalys, 30 percent of the top 50 paid and free iPad applications are unavailable on Google Play. Plus, 18 percent of these apps can be downloaded on the Google Play store, but only as smartphone apps that aren't optimized for tablets. This leaves Android tablets with only 52 percent of fully optimized apps from Apple's top 50.
Canalys also reports that six of Apple's top paid iPad apps are only available on Android as free versions, which prevents users from upgrading to a paid, ad-free experience.
"App developers need to see clear potential to build robust and sustainable business models around apps built for the platform, so increasing monetization potential must be a priority," said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd.
Notably missing from the Google Play store completely are Notability, NBC, Bejeweled HD, GoodReader, FIFA Soccer 13, Bubble Gummpies and Clash of Clans. Not as surprising, none of the Apple specific apps such as Numbers and Pages are available in Google Play. Despite the current disparity between Google and Apple's tablet app selection, Canalys ultimately expects Google to catch up to Apple's offerings thanks to the growing popularity of Android tablets as well as Google's own improvements to the Play store.