By Jonathan Charles | Sep 03, 2012 01:55 PM EDT
When Android began offering the ability to effectively test apps on Android by downloading the app before buying them, it coined a stereotype that Android users are 'cheap' and do not buy apps as frequently as iOS users. However, new data suggests that Android users are buying more apps and catching up to iOS users.
Android users' app purchases doubled compared to 2011's data, according to Android keyboard developer Swiftkey. The data looked at how many users bought over 20 paid apps. In 2011 the number was just under 10 percent of users for Android, while iOS was just under 40 percent of users. In 2012, almost 20 percent of Android users are buying more than 20 apps, while approximately 25 percent of iOS users are buying more than 20 apps.
As for users not buying apps on the operating systems, Android's figure decreased from just over 10 percent to approximately five percent from 2011 to 2012. Comparatively, iOS increased from almost no app-free users in 2011 to around five percent in 2012.
Along with recent data revealing that Apple is slightly ahead of Google in daily app submissions, it seems that Google and Android are reaching parity with Apple's quality and quantity of apps.
The news suggests that apps on Google Play, the Android app store, are becoming higher in quality and therefore more worthy of purchase. At the turn of 2012, Google and Matias Duarte -- design chief at Google -- released design guidelines for developers. Google's move to bring a consistent design to Android is evidenced with the releases of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Increasing the quality of apps in Android, and therefore encouraging users to buy rather than try, is a positive move, especially for tablets running Android. Apple still leads in quality and quantity for apps built for a tablet, despite Google's Nexus 7 tablets releasing to a positive reception.