So, if someone wants to install the Stack Exchange apps on Android, they search the Google Play store, and they find two different Stack Overflow/Exchange apps. This is quite confusing, since both seem official and are made by the same developer.

Play store search

To see what all this is about, I have installed both of them. It seems like the Stack Overflow app only allows users to browse Stack Overflow questions, while the Stack Exchange app allows browsing of all SE sites. But, other than that, they are the same app. Both seem to look the same, are updated at the same time, and have the exact same updates.

So, why have two apps?

  • 6
    Answer is in the most downvoted question on MSO Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 8:15
  • Oh. wow. I searched but I couldn't find that question...
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 8:18
  • 4
    Yeah... in short, it's a bizarre/desperate failed attempt of SE to draw more people to the app. Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 8:21
  • Yeah, I have no idea why they didn't just add keywords to the existing app...
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 8:22
  • 1
    It's not about key words, it's about the name itself. People who know only Stack Overflow won't understand that Stack Exchange is actually Stack Overflow. That's the motive, and while not false, the hope this will bring millions to download the app, is a false hope, I'm afraid. Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


Stack Overflow is the largest site in the SE network in many things like number of users, number of daily hits, number of questions, and so on.

There are 2 types of uses in Stack Exchange.

  1. Use multiple SE sites.
  2. Use any one of the particular site.

There are lots of Stack Overflow users come under category 2, that is using Stack Overflow only. When they download the SE app, they may see many many contents that are irrelevant to them(questions from other network sites).

When comparing with other SE sites, the category 2 users are very higher for Stack Overflow.

So to provide the ability to use the android app to that kind of people, the Stack Overflow app is released.


If you're using multiple SE sites, download the SE app.

If you're using only Stack Overflow, download SO app.

Still you get the inbox and achievements from other SE sites as well in Stack Overflow app but you will see posts only from Stack Overflow.

  • 1
    It is a pretty well known fact that SO is the largest SE site. The odd thing about having 2 apps, however, is that why can't there just be an option in the existing app. The SO app does the exact same thing, just restricts the interface to SO questions.
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:00
  • SO only app won't disturb SO only users by showing contents from other sites Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:02
  • 1
    Of course. I get the point of not distracting users, but the point still stands about why not just have an option in the existing SE app.
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:03
  • It's just unnecessary development for SE, and confuses users when downloading the app.
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:05
  • existing SE app is released a long ago and require many things. Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:05
  • It could just be updated...
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:08
  • In my opinion, they should start making one from scratch Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:09
  • 1
    Even if they make it from scratch, and not salvage some existing code, they could still publish it under the SE name and avoid user confusion.
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 9:11
  • 1
    The mistake was developing it from scratch while neglecting the existing app. That's just infuriating for those using the "old app". Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 11:12

The Stack Exchange app enables browsing multiple Stack Exchange communities, and is the longest running app out of the two. It can access the Stack Overflow site as well.

The Stack Overflow app was recently introduced to cater to the Stack Overflow user base in particular, since it is the largest in the network, and many of its users don't even know that other communities exist, or don't care.

So, those searching for Stack Overflow app should find it helpful to have a dedicated app. That's the expectation. Does it work as intended? I'm not so sure.

  • 2
    I have been informed of this meta SO question, and it seems like the community doesn't agree with having 2 apps...
    – ginkoid
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 11:23
  • @Ginkoid Yeah. I was about to link to that. Thanks for saving me time.
    – NVZ
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 11:25

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