Android Market application downloads surpass 1 billion

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Less than two years after Google opened its Android Market application storefront, consumers have now downloaded more than one billion Android apps to their smartphones according to estimates from analytics provider AndroLib.com. Although Android Market still lags far behind Apple's rival App Store, which now tops 5 billion iPhone and iPod touch app downloads, developer and consumer interest in Android is clearly on the upswing--AndroLib reports that Android Market now boasts about 92,000 applications, and is on pace to surpass the 100,000 benchmark by the end of this month. Android developers have already submitted over 10,720 new Market applications through the first 15 days of July, compared to 15,288 new Android apps in all of June. A recent survey issued by market analysis and strategic advisory firm VisionMobile states that close to 60 percent of all mobile developers created software on Android during the first half of 2010--more than any other rival platform, including iPhone.

Android now accounts for 13.0 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, according to data issued last week by market research firm comScore. Smartphone ownership in the U.S. surpassed 49.1 million at the end of May 2010, an 8.1 percent increase over the previous three-month period--although Research In Motion's BlackBerry operating system remains the dominant smartphone platform in the U.S., representing 41.7 percent of the market, its market share dropped 0.4 percent during the period as Android increased 4.0 percent. Android was the sole platform to grow its market share during that time: Apple's iPhone slipped 1.0 percent to 24.4 percent, Palm's webOS fell 0.6 percent to 4.8 percent and Microsoft's Windows Mobile dropped 1.9 percent to 13.2 percent. comScore notes that despite losing share to Android, most smartphone platforms continued to gain subscribers.

Earlier this week, Google introduced App Inventor for Android, a free software tool enabling users to create their own Android applications regardless of previous programming experience. Under development for a year and tested in environments including grade schools, high schools and nursing schools, App Inventor for Android does not rely on conventional coding language--instead, consumers visually design the application's appearance, using blocks to specify its behavior. "The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world," said App Inventor project leader Harold Abelson, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientist on sabbatical at Google, in an interview with The New York Times.

For more on the Android Market download benchmark:
- check out the AndroLib.com website

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