You may have heard that Apple developers make more money than Google developers. Ironically, perhaps, Google's own figures prove it. Figures released by Google at its I/O conference, which were then crunched by Benedict Evans, provide some hard data on just how big that gap is. And it's not just about percentages of profits from apps sold. It's also about buying habits.
It looks like Google Android users spend about half as much on apps despite Android having more than twice the user base of iOS. In other words the spend is about a quarter.
That may be just because iOS users already have more money, since Apple devices aren't cheap in the first place. By contrast, Android covers everything from budget barely-smart devices all the way through to the high-end Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). The app and media spend of owners of premium Android handsets like these is unknown, and could well be similar to that of iOS users - but high-end Android users are quite a minority of total Android users.
That all noted, I've seen plenty of people who aren't exactly rich-listers using iPhones and iPads - as my previous article noted, even in Indonesia.
Google developers US$5 billion over the last 12 months, and $2 billion in the preceding 12 months.
Apple paid out US$7 billion in calendar year 2013, and probably paid $10 billion in the preceding 12 months. There were 470 million iOS users in March 2014.
That also shows that Google is growing a lot faster than Apple, of course, so it's getting to the point that Apple really needs a new device or two to kick things along again.
Along financial lines, Android's market share is strongest in relatively lower-income countries. In countries that lack heavy credit card use, Google has been slow to offer carrier billing.
But Google's Android app growth may hit limits. Evans believes that if developers perceive that Android users do not pay, their behaviour might be affected: they may offer a free ad-supported app instead of a paid app, or start apps out at a lower price. If "developers decide not to support Android, or to support it second, their users will gravitate to iPhone first, which becomes self-fulfilling. You can see this clearly on Android tablets - magazine apps have low use on Android so are slow to support Android, so users who want magazine apps don't buy Android tablets."
Meanwhile, over on the Mac, Apple is celebrating the sixth anniversary of the App Store. Apple recently announced some App Store statistics (at WWDC). CEO Tim Cook shared that the App Store (by early June) featured more than 1.2 million apps. App Store customers have downloaded apps more than 75 billion times since the digital store debuted on July 10, 2008, and Apple also noted its platform is home to more than nine million developers with registered accounts through the Developer Program. This number was up 47 per cent from the previous year.
On January 7th, Apple had announced that those developers had earned US$15 billion since the debut of the App Store in 2008. Over US$10 billion (NZ$11.35 billion) had been spent in the App Store in 2013 alone with $1 billion coming from December 2013.
In April, Apple shared that there were more than 800 million registered iTunes accounts around the world. The majority had credit cards attached with access to the App Store.
Apple brought the benefits of the App Store model, which had worked so well on iDevices, to the Mac on January 6, 2011 with OS X 10.6.6. For Mac users, it's a the go-to place to find apps that are certified and approved by Apple as fitting it's usability and security guidelines - plus there are loads of free and bargain apps in there to hunt for.
Since its debut on July 10, 2008, the iOS App Store has seen many iterations and improvements. Features like in-app purchases were added, purchases were backed up in the cloud (as a list of purchases rather than the actual apps, to save iCloud space), and additional curated sections have been added, plus a dedicated Kids category and more.
With the release of iOS 8 in the New Zealand spring, Apple will add Shared Family accounts, a new Explore tab for discovering new apps, and several new developer tools like TestFlight and analytics tracking.
Meanwhile, Apple's kinda sideline device the Apple TV now has Movie Extras. The iTunes Extras feature has been available for HD movies on Macs, and is now also available for Apple TV if you install the Apple TV update 6.2.
We'll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8, but the Apple TV OS 6.2 update came out in late June alongside iOS 7.1.2.
[Boot up the Apple TV, go to Movies, and it's only the HD movies that have Extras. Apple also has a banner for it that scrolls across the top banner section.]
'Extras' include high definition photographs, director's commentaries, short films, commentaries and so forth.
Meanwhile, Apple has released its latest Environmental Responsibility Report. The Inc has updated its progress report for 2014, adding more details to the information it released around Earth Day in April.
One hundred and forty-five of Apple's US retail stores are now powered exclusively by renewable energy, alongside all 21 of the Apple Stores in Australia. That's still less than half of the company's more than 400 retail locations, but Apple's goal is to eventually convert all of them to green energy, even though it acknowledges the difficulty in doing so - for one thing, the company doesn't generally own the buildings where its stores are located.
Not so impressive perhaps is Apple's diversity report. It's coming. Soon. Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Iowa for Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley conference and while there, reporters pressed Cook for insight on a number of issues.
Asked if Apple plans to provide the public with an update on the degree of diversity achieved inside of Apple, Cook said "We'll release the information at some point." Apple has been making positive moves to diversify, though.