42matters is an analysis firm that monitors broad trends on mobile data, specifically on the Play Store and the App Store. The company is mostly B2B, that is, most of their products are only helpful if you're working on some other aspect of the mobile market. But they've made a sliver of the data they've collected through their API free to the public, and it's fascinating. While the 42matters data isn't official, it does give us an interesting look into the Play Store as a whole.

For example, they estimate that there are just under 2.7 million apps on the Play Store as of the end of October 2016, compared to a little over 2 million on the iOS App Store. Before a couple of years ago, the App Store had been more popular, almost exclusively because the payment habits of iPhone and iPad users made it more lucrative. But I'm betting that Android's explosion across worldwide markets, plus cheap access to the Play Store for developers, has played a big part in Google's current lead. Apple charges $99 for the privilege of submitting an app for approval, and the Xcode SDK works only on Mac computers. Google's fee is $25, and the Android SDK and Android Studio are available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Other statistics are surprising as well. While games dominate the Play Store as a whole with 18.2% of listings, the "Education" and "Lifestyle" categories are huge, making up about 400,000 apps between them. The most frequently posted game category is Puzzle games, with just 81,000 listings - number ten on the list. Apple doesn't distinguish between different types of games on the App Store, which is why the Games category is easily number one on the other side of the aisle. The Play Store is now averaging about 29,000 new apps every week.

Check out the data over on the 42matters stats page for some interesting insights.