Play Store vs. App Store

In the digital world, there are two prominent stores for apps and digital content: Android’s Google Play Store, and the iOS/Apple App Store. Both of them may look the same, but in fact, each of them works a bit differently. Let’s look at the major differences between Play Store vs. App Store.



Size and market share

In 2015, estimated downloads in Google Play were about 200 million, while those in the App Store reached about 100 million. This is mostly due to the huge growth of the Android market in developing countries. Google has more market share in terms of the number of apps and users; Play Store seems to have as much as 75% market share. However, the numbers are a little misleading, because actually, the App Store gets almost 4 times as much revenue!

So in short, Play Store has more users for the apps, but the App Store makes more money. As anyone can see, many of the paid apps in the App Store are free in the Google Play Store!

That being said, let’s talk about other differences between the Play Store vs. App Store. For app developers, this may be interesting.

App names in Play Store vs. App Store

The number of characters each store allows for the app name is different. The Apple App Store allows the app’s title to have up to 255 characters, while Google Play Store allows only 30. Each store handles the words in these titles very differently. The title or name of the app is very important for the Google Play Store, so it is essential to put the relevant keywords in it.

Description text

The description text of the apps in the App Store doesn’t have any role in rankings in terms of ASO. In fact, it takes these factors from the field of keywords and not from using the description text. On the other hand, Google Play Store focuses on the keywords in the description text. Nevertheless, you still need to pay close attention to the descriptive text details in the iOS store, because this text does have an importance in regards to SEO, and the search engines always display this page in their search results!

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Social factor in Play Store vs. App Store


Unlike the App Store, the Google Play Store takes big advantage of using its Google+ social network to make a quick demonstration of users’ feelings towards an app. When you see a “+1” for Google+ on the app page, you’ll know that a user likes this app, similar to a Facebook “like”. These “likes” are quite important for Google, so it’s essential to encourage the users to +1 the apps they like on Google+.


The “discoverability” factor grants the apps in the App Store a distinct advantage because an app can be published under several categories. Especially games, which can be published under up to 3 different categories.

Play Store also has the discovery factor, but it has an entirely different format. There are sections for “similar apps” and for “also installed” on the page of each one of the apps. Only the Play Store algorithm controls these sections, and no one has any influence over the results in these boxes.

Reviews and ratings in Play Store vs. App Store

Both of these stores manage ratings and reviews similarly. As these reviews play a massive role in ranking, giving a fake one -as an app developer- will get you banned from both stores. So you should consider getting more reviews in a clean way, such as push notifications asking for a review. It’s as simple as “If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!”

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This was just a quick look at the differences between the Play Store and the App Store. They may seem subtle and small, but for an app developer, they can make a huge difference. 😉