Choose Platform First, For Apps You Need
It is very important to first choose the right platform. If there is a specific app that you need, and it is only one one platform, then that is the platform you need! This is more true of business, for example, than gaming.
In general, the most popular apps are available on several platforms.
But Ubuntu, and to some degree Windows, will lack apps. So its very important you do some research based on the apps you will need.
Android is the largest platform, by number of apps. This is true for business, games, and most categories. It means you have tremendous choice – which is also a problem, of how to choose. The lack of ‘curation’ in Google Play means you sometimes have to wade through some apps that work poorly, or are no longer maintained to find a good one. You can find this appstore at Play.Google.com. As of December 2016, Google Play had 2.6 million apps, and is now the largest app store; but Apple has had more total downloads.
iPad (iOs) Platform:
Apple has over 2 million apps in their app store. It is not web directly; to access it you use an apple device like an iPad. On the web, you learn more at Apple.com/itunes. There are over 700,000 native apps just for the iPad, which is an impressive number of native apps. Apple’s app store is more curated than Google Play, so the average quality seems to be higher. Apple is stricter on what they will accept in new app’s submitted. Apple has had almost twice the number of downloads compared to Android, and the Apple/iOs platform is more profitable than any other.
Amazon Fire Platform:
Amazon devices are a heavily-modified version of Android. So Amazon decided to have its own app store. Amazon has far fewer apps than Android; but there are over 700,000 apps so you still have a good selection. New apps will come out on Android first, and later – perhaps – on Amazon. Before choosing a Fire device, you might want to explore the Amazon App Store to see if it has the apps you need and want.
Ubuntu is a Linux-based platform. There are not a lot of apps, compared to the Android and iOs Platforms. But Ubuntu apps tend to be robust and dependable. It is a great platform for programmers, business, and anyone who wants an alternative to those ‘big’ platforms. Find out more at the Ubuntu Apps Directory.
Microsoft no longer releases info on the number of apps. This is not surprising since it is far less than Android or iOS. But Microsoft apps are the best ones for business, in many cases. There are over 500,000 apps in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. For business use, you probably will find what need; but check first. Surface tablets run Windows so most windows software should work on a Surface.
Other App Stores
Many companies have a private app store, and you can find them via search. Some other app stores of interest would include Aptoide, GetJar, AppBrain, Samsung Apps, Baidu, Tencent Apps, Firefox Marketplace, and BlackBerry World. Blackberry had a nice tablet when it first came out but they have not brought out newer versions and do not seem serious about the market.
If a specific platform is not required, and you have the budget, then your best bet for apps is the is the Apple iPad. It will probably have the smoothest user experience, a gorgeous display, and has tons of apps. Android is a solid choice and saves money compared to Apple. Windows is good for business. Amazon Fire is a great choice for the most budget-minded, but their app store does have significantly fewer apps then Google/Apple.
Especially when it comes to games, most people get what their friends have – its more fun!