The company that has chosen to not install the app, but still uses it, is not saying no to the idea of using it, according to a study by Google and Oxford University researchers.
In their paper, the researchers write that, as a result of their study, companies that have been unwilling to sign off on apps are no longer using them in a consistent way.
“If you were to say to a company that you would not support an app if it was not available in the App Store, and the app didn’t have a Google Play Store or the Google Play app store, they would probably still be willing to continue using it,” said Dr James Hill, a researcher at Oxford University’s Computational Linguistics Group.
“They are not necessarily saying ‘I won’t do that anymore’, they are saying ‘That app isn’t compatible with Google Play’.”
The Google Play store has become so dominant that it has actually created a problem that Apple and Google are trying to solve.
“While the study is not a formal review of apps, it is one of the first to assess the impact of app fragmentation on the user experience.”
The study is also the first step towards a more complete understanding of the apps that people actually download,” Dr Hill said.”
It may not mean anything in the short term, but it will be a really useful piece of data going forward.
“Google’s app marketplace for Android is still dominated by four big players, which together account for more than 90 per cent of the total app market.”
That’s not a problem, but what it means is that if you are building a product and you want to get a lot of people on board with it, you can’t just say, ‘OK, let’s all go in together and build a store’,” Dr Hill explained.”
You need to have some form of a consensus to do that, and you need to do it in a way that’s not disruptive.
“So this study shows that fragmentation is a problem.”
But the report also shows that, by itself, the app market has a lot to offer.
While the research did not take into account the fragmentation of other Android apps, Dr Hill did note that there were some significant differences in how app developers interacted with users.
“What you can see here is that the users who use Google Play are not the people who are using the other Android platforms,” he said.”[Google Play] has a very robust marketplace.”
Even though we’re seeing a lot more fragmentation now, we’re still seeing people use GooglePlay and not the other apps.
“Dr Hill said that the fragmentation in the app store is largely due to the dominance of Android apps in the US.”
What we can see is that fragmentation, in a lot part, comes from Android apps being dominant in the market.”
But it’s also not surprising that the US also has the largest share of people using Android.”
“What we can see is that fragmentation, in a lot part, comes from Android apps being dominant in the market.
But this study suggests that, in the future, fragmentation will be less of a problem.”
We’ve got apps that are very good and very popular in the markets where they are, but that doesn’t mean that the market for apps is going to expand.
“And in the longer term, fragmentation might actually be a good thing.”
For more information on the study and the research project, see our blog: Google App Marketplace: fragmentation and app sharing.