The future of several Google properties rest on one concept: web-based apps. Without web-based apps, the possibility for a truly usable Chrome OS wouldn’t exist. Without web-based apps, Android would fizzle and die. And without web-based apps, the growth of the Chrome browser may come to a shuddering halt. So, when looking at the overall health and potential of Google, one of the most important areas to look at is their Chrome App Store. So, how is this new but crucial service doing?
According to a report over at Tech Crunch, it’s not healthy. Perhaps, though, a better term than “sick” would be “invisible.” While newly released, the Chrome App Store was certainly expected to see at least some revenue and visible growth. Painfully, however, the free applications are being download at only a trickling pace, and the paid applications are essentially ignored.
Some paid applications are being downloaded, but their “top paid” application list nonetheless features apps with as few as six downloads per week. The most commonly downloaded paid application sat at 65 sales per week which, while not negligible, is nothing when compared to mobile apps or software sales. For most, the app store is a place to get free extras, and is largely redundant to Chrome’s extension gallery.
Google pushed the app store pretty hard when it was first released, and even purchased banner space on a number of prominent tech sites. Their launch, however, seems to have been ignored. Of course, Google has yet to feature the app store in a prominent place on their stable browser release, and they have plenty of other advertisement channels that they haven’t even tapped into yet. While it’s too early to put any real prognosis on the platform, one thing is clear: Google’s web app platform won’t stay around for long if things don’t start to pick up soon.