I was reading an interesting non-scientific comparison PC Magazine did comparing the app stores on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, & Windows phone and it had me wondering. Why do people still use the word “App” to describe games? Is There a Difference Between Apps & Games in Mobile App Stores?
Sascha Segan did an informal comparison “taking the top 20 free and top 20 paid apps from the Apple, Google, and Amazon app stores, supplementing the Apple list with the company’s top 10 overall free and paid apps of 2012.” He skipped over apps that are platform specific like ROM Managers and widgets leaving 102 apps of which 68 were available on Android and 52 on iOS. Keep in mind that means iOS and Android have a pretty wide spread on what is considered a popular app.
Segan then found that BlackBerry 10 had 15 of the 102 apps plus 20 functional equivalents equaling 35 and Windows phone had 35 of the 102 apps plus 29 equivalents equaling 64. He then goes on to state that “most of the missing apps with no equivalents were games.” Specifically he seems to be catching big name titles like Temple Run, Real Racing 3, Candy Crush, and other top billing games not existing on all platforms.
This has me wondering if Segan really does not make a distinction between games and apps. I realize that BlackBerry has a way to go before games come to BlackBerry 10 as a tier 1 platform but that is not even the case for Android and iOS. Many games are released on one platform to only make it on to subsequent platforms much later. Apps on the other hand try to cover as many platforms as they can afford to within reason.
This is why I think BlackBerry has to focus more on actual apps and not games. Skype will be a big win for them since it is a globally popular app. The big US players like Hulu and Netflix are largely irrelevant to 95% of the global 7 billion population that cannot access them on any platform. What we want to see are the relevant apps from our banks, services, along with popular games.
What do you think? How important is having the same apps as other platforms compared to having the same games as other platforms?