Getting Personal with the Android Market
Over the past six months, we’ve seen over sixty thousand Personalization apps posted to the Android Market. Compare that to the next largest category in our quiz, Tools, and you’ll see why the correct answer is Personalization. In the Tools category, we’ve seen about twenty thousand apps – still a staggering number, but only a third of the growth.
As you can imagine by the volume of apps we’ve recorded here, there is a lot of variety in what is offered by Personalization apps. There are apps that offer interactive wallpapers, customizable lock screens, SMS notification by bubble; you name it! The apps range from clever and informative to beautifully mesmerizing. Personalization is a noteworthy feature of the Android operating system, as there are several options for users to customize their device experience. Mobile devices are feeling more and more like an extension of our individual personas, after all. No doubt this functionality is well regarded by users. The developer community understands this and developers are taking advantage of the opportunity, offering a huge variety of personalization apps to choose from.
By the way, it’s the app developer that selects the category in which their app will appear, not Google. In their Android Market Developer guide, Google provides a few examples of what apps fit into which categories. In the case of Personalization apps, the examples include wallpapers, live wallpapers, home screen, lock screen and ringtones. Based on these examples, and their own judgment, developers then select which category they want their app to appear in.
Here’s another quiz. What category of apps do you think has the highest average price? That is an interesting story in itself, but I don’t have to give you the answer here – you can discover it for yourself. We’ve been collecting data about the Android Market, and it’s been fascinating for us to watch the Android Market evolve over time. It occurred to us that you might also enjoy watching this story as it unfolds, so we’ve just launched our “Price and Number of Apps” widget, to let you do just that.
Go ahead, have a play with the data, and find the story that appeals to you…personally.