Google Play Store closes in on App Store with 25 billion downloads

Google announced Wednesday that it now hosts more than 675,000 apps in the Google Play Store, with more than 25 billion app downloads to date. Google’s feat comes around six month after Apple celebrated the same landmark with the App Store, reaching 25 billions downloads back in March.

To celebrate the milestone, Google will offer popular apps from developers such as Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, runtastic and Full Fat for 25 cents, for a limited time. Google is also launching special 25 collections of movies, books, albums and magazines at special prices.

Apple’s App Store remains the largest on the market, with more than 700,000 apps, 250,000 of which are tailored for the iPad. Google did not provide a breakdown of how many of the apps in the Play Store are designed for tablets, or how often users download them. In comparison, the Apple said at the iPhone 5 unveiling that almost 90 percent of apps in the App store are downloaded every month.

Other app stores are not as well populated as Google and Apple’s. Microsoft said it has 100,000 published apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, while BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said Tuesday that the BlackBerry App World has some 105,000 apps.

At last count, Google said that it has activated around 500 million Android devices, while Apple sold a total of 400 million iOS devices.

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