Android and iPhone users have similar taste in apps

Apple iPhone users are slightly more into gaming, but users of both Android and iPhone phones like to play games, shop, and find out about music and the weather, according to an analysis of application downloads issued this week.

At least nine Android apps are already faring very well with consumers, even though Android Market only offers 10 percent as many software applications as Apple's App Store did on its own launch this summer, a new study indicates.

More specifically, nine Android applications made it into the 10,000 to 50,000 downloads territory within the first 24 hours of Google's Android Market, according to analysts at Medialets late this week, in a report analyzing downloads on both smartphone platforms.

Completely direct "Apples to Android" comparisons aren't really possible, the researchers suggested, in that Apple stopped publishing download data 15 hours after opening its App Store.

During those 15 hours, though, "only two [App Store] apps broke the 10,000 mark." A program known as Remote, the early App Store leader, got 16,000 downloads. AOL's AIM instant messaging software landed in second place on the App Store.

Meanwhile, of the nine Android apps surpassing the 10,000 download barrier, only three -- Pac-Man by Namco, Brain Genius Deluxe, and Bonsai Blast -- were games.

"ShopSavvy is at the top of the list factoring in ratings and number of reviews, followed by The Weather Channel, and Shazam, an app that helps people identify a song they are listening to," according to the report.

Produced by a company called "Big in Japan," ShopSavvy is designed to work with Google's search functionality to read bar codes on products such as boxes of software, and then conduct price comparisons among online sites and brick-and-mortar retail stores.

As previously reported in BetaNews, ShopSavvy provides street locations, in addition to pinpointing the stores on Google Maps.

In an interview with BetaNews conducted in September at the New York press launch for T-Mobile's G1 phone, Alexander Muse, the company's "Social Ninja," said the developers of ShopSavvy got drawn to the Android platform by the "flexibility" of the focal point on the G1's 3 megapixel camera.

Rounding out Android's top nine early downloads were T-Mobile Hotspot Connect, WikiMobile Encyclopedia, and MySpace Mobile, according to Medialets.

The firm also noted, "24 hours into the [Android Market] launch, it appears that either Android users are generally interested in the same types of application functionality as iPhone users, or possibly, that Android developers are generally interested in creating the same types of apps as iPhone developers."

However, in terms of percentages of overall early downloads, games seem to have garnered somewhat more interest among App Store users (about 27%) than among Android software downloaders (around 24%).

Downloads of multimedia, travel, toys, entertainment, finance, and reference software were also a bit more popular from the App Store. Android users, on the other hand, gave slightly more downloads to lifestyle, productivity, news and weather, and social networking apps.

Android Market is still in beta, with downloads of all available apps still being offered free of charge to users of the G1, the only Android-based phone to be announced or released thus far.

Also this week, Google announced that Android Market will open up to more developers next Monday, and that developers will be able to start charging for their apps in January.

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