According to James Knight, a former Google employee, Apple's App Store “has historically been a little more straightforward, and Android has been a bit more like the Wild West”. Considering his current company is all about porting iOS apps to Google Play, we're inclined to believe that he knows what he's talking about.
However, it appears that Google is looking into streamlining the app publishing process as much as possible. The not-so-easy task has been assigned to Sameer Samat, who rejoined Google after a brief period as a president for Jawbone – a company known for its mobile accessories. This information comes a few months after Apple did an overhaul of its own App Store, increasing revenue share for developers and decreasing review times for apps and updates.
Google has also improved its app recommendations for the end-user, relying extensively on machine learning. This should allow the recommendation AI to analyze its user-base better and provide more relevant apps and games. We sure hope this would mean no more parking simulators every time we load up Google Play. However, the improved AI benefits developers as well, since it should make interested audiences easier to access.
Recent statistics, made public by the mobile analytics company App Annie, show that despite being accounted for 70% of the app downloads worldwide, Google Play is not the biggest money-maker. In fact, Apple's App Store gets 65% of the app-related revenue. This is probably the reason for Google to expand its support of direct carrier billing in emerging markets, as well. It is widely believed that a lot of people in such areas don't own a credit or debit card, so wider direct billing support should provide a new income channel for Google Play.
“The harsh reality is that there are a few apps that get the vast majority of people's time and attention”, says James Knight. We're looking at you, Candy Crush Saga!