Since the introduction of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market in late 2008 the app market has been experiencing rapid growth. In 2012 Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store had 650,000 apps available for download as well as over 30 billion downloads, Google Play Store surpassed 50 billion downloads in 2013 with over 1 million apps available. There’s also a number of smaller app stores from various other smartphone retailers. But while the number of apps is rapidly growing only a select few are really popular.
The most used apps will vary from person to person depending on habits and interests but while users download a lot of different apps they usually rely on a handful of most necessary ones and only those see heavy usage. It’s easy to see that looking at how users distribute their time. Mobile users spend 86% of their time in apps, with the remaining 14% being spent on web browsing.
Games used to be the most popular type of app with over 25%, however since 2014 time spent on gaming has been steadily dropping as users devote more and more time to social media, business, shopping, entertainment and sports. Latest data suggest nearly two thirds of time spent on apps is entertainment or communication focused, the leaders are social media at 20% and music at 18% of all time spent on mobile devices.
The download trends clearly reflect that with applications from Facebook and Google occupying over half the spots on the top 10 most popular apps list. Facebook is the world’s most used app with around 150 million average unique users per month and the company also owns a number of other extremely popular apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram that also usually come in the top 5.
Google’s apps YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play and Gmail are also some of the most downloaded and were among the 10 most used apps in 2016. Other mainstays of most downloaded app lists are the image messaging app Snapchat, Lenovo’s data sharing app SHAREit and the Uber app. Some of the top apps in terms of revenue are Netflix, HBO NOW, Spotify and the dating app Tinder. Gaming apps while initially highly popular rarely have staying power and interest often fades as time goes by, the best examples being last year’s hit game Pokémon Go and the one time immensely popular Angry Birds.
All of this shows how the way we use smartphones and apps has changed over the years. At the beginning they were most often used for gaming and texting while today they’re basically a personal assistant helping us with everyday life. We use them to communicate with each other, shop, listen to music or watch our favorite shows and movies. Some of that can be attributed to a more widespread use of smartphones worldwide and reaching older generations that have more use for services than games, but a lot of it is also caused by the rapid technological advancements.
With the use of apps smartphones became the only device we really need making watches, cellphones, TVs and music players almost obsolete, who knows what they will be able to do in a few years.
The article was based on Adblockforiphone.com site, a home of ad block for iPhone.