Google said it had passed 48 billion downloads from Google Play, at roughly the same time that Apple said it had reached the 50 billion milestone.
With Google Play having launched well after the App Store, the Android app tally is closing fast on Apple’s cumulative download total. Google said that there have been more than 2.5 billion downloads in the last month alone.
The announcement was made as it unveiled a number of new tools at its I/O developer event, including its anticipated game services platform.
This enables developers to integrate achievements, leaderboards and multiplayer features into games, which is in-turn integrated with Google+.
Google introduced Android Studio, a new developer toolset that includes “features that are designed specifically for Android development”.
Created in partnership with JetBrains, it includes a “powerful code editor”, which offers features such as “smart editing, advanced code refactoring, and deep static code analysis”, and a “smoother and richer GUI”.
It is also said to make it easier to integrate Google services into apps, for example to add support for Google Cloud Messaging.
With regard to Android Studio, the company said it will be “doing all of our development in the open”. It is inviting developers to send feedback on the tools.
The company announced updated location APIs, enabling developers to add location and context awareness to apps.
The Google Play Developer Console has also been revamped, to add a number of new features related to app distribution.
New additions include an app translation service, which was described as a “pilot programme that lets you purchase professional translations for your app directly from the developer console”; revenue graphs, to monitor global sales performance time; and support for alpha and beta testing and staged rollouts.
Also announced were optimisation tips, to help target tablet users and expand into new language markets; Google Analytics integration; and referral tracking.
And finally, Google showcased Google Play for Education, designed to provide schools with access to relevant content and apps. It said that “bulk purchase and instant distribution let educators bring your apps directly to classrooms and schools”.
The company has provided a number of guidelines for developers looking to target this market.