A few days ago, Google told Bloomberg that the Play Store now has about 700,000 applications available for Android users to download and enjoy. In comparison, Apple stated a few weeks ago that its App Store also had just over 700,000 apps for iOS users, meaning that the gap between Google and Apple has now effectively closed – at least as far as apps are concerned.

But is this really a good thing for the average end user?

Browsing through the Play Store on my HTC EVO 4G LTE, I can’t tell you how many search results I get that are totally irrelevant to what I’m actually looking for. Because there are so many options, it’s hard to tell what will be worth keeping, and what will turn out to be junk – and I don’t really have the time to try out 20 different calculators just to find the one that will suit my needs best.

This plethora of apps also makes it difficult to find new apps, and even harder for newly-emerging developers to get discovered and “make it big.” No matter how many lists Google releases of “featured app” in certain categories, there are still hundreds, or even thousands, of undiscovered apps that are just as worthy. But it’s impossible to find them, when I’m so scared to download anything unfamiliar due to the chance of being bombarded with annoying ads.

So yes, we now have options. Lots of them. And I’m totally in favor of choice! But is this really a good thing for the average end user? How do we filter out all the noise and find those new gems? How do we navigate through the ever-increasing Android universe?

I don’t really know how to answer those questions – so I guess that’s up to you to decide.

[Bloomberg]