Google Play is just 25,000 apps away from Apple's app count, putting it within striking distance of overtaking the App Store in sheer number of apps offered.
Google announced yesterday that its Google Play store now offers 675,000 applications. Apple announced earlier this month that its store has 700,000 applications available.
Both Google and Apple's app stores launched in 2008. However, as Inside Mobile Apps pointed out yesterday, Apple's option has historically been the leader by a wide margin. In 2010, for example, Apple announced that it had reached 250,000 apps. Google's store — then known as the Android Market — didn't hit that tally until July 2011.
Meanwhile, Google also announced yesterday that 25 billion apps have been downloaded — a figure that Apple reached six months ago.
The potential for Google to catch up with Apple may surprise some who remember a study released earlier this year by IDC and Appcelerator, a company that makes cross-platform programming tools for developers. In that study, the companies found that the number of developers who were "very interested" in programming for Android smartphones dropped from 83.3 per cent to 78.6 per cent. A similar step down occurred for Android tablets. Apple's iPhone and iPad stayed atop the list, with 89 per cent and 88 per cent interest, respectively.