A Look Back at the Huge Strides Mobile Apps Made in 2013
Mobile apps were hot in 2013. People were downloading apps to their smartphones at an astronomical rate with over a billion apps downloaded in 2013. People aren’t just downloading apps; they’re using them, too. According to the mobile analytics firm, Flurry, 80% of the time Americans spend on their phone is using apps. If that’s not compelling enough of a stat, on December 31, 2013 the company tracked “a record 4.7 billion app sessions in a single day.” There’s no sign of the mobile app industry slowing down. So what were the big winners this year?
It’s no surprise that free apps are still downloaded more than paid apps. A lot more. In fact, a Gartner report states that free apps accounted for 92% of apps downloaded. Whether the app was free or cost a couple of dollars, what were the most popular apps?
Apple recently released it’s list of top apps of 2013 and it’s no surprise that at the top of their free and paid lists are games: Candy Crush Saga (free) and Minecraft – Pocket Edition (paid). Also, on the free list were multimedia and music centric apps such as YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Pandora Radio, and Instagram. The paid list of top apps were more focused on games including Angry Birds Star Wars (yes, those birds are still going strong), Plague Inc., Temple Run: Oz, and Heads Up to name a few.
There isn’t an official list of the top Google Play Store Apps for 2013, but it’s easy to see that games are also highly popular on that platform. The company does have its top list of apps and there are sites like AppData that serves as a traffic leaderboard hub for mobile apps. The company’s latest listing places Android apps Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga among the top 10 free apps in the Play Store. The rest of the Android list, consists of messaging apps with titles like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Skype, and Kik Messenger topping the list. The top 10 paid apps are more utilitarian: Root Explorer, SwiftKey Keyboard, ROM Manager, and ROM Toolbox are just some on the list.
Mobile App Usage On The Rise
It’s one thing to download apps, but what’s really compelling about the mobile app market now is that people are using them. According to a report presented at Mobile World Congress by InMobi, the average consumer actively uses 6.5 applications throughout a 30-day period. Clearly, when users find an app they like they use it.
Messaging and gaming apps aren’t the only thing affecting mobile app usage, as more and more companies embrace BYOD in the enterprise people will start using their smartphones for even more activities. According to Gartner, by 2017 half of employers will require employees to use their own devices for work. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Samsung states that 24% of consumers surveyed currently use a smartphone or tablet as their primary, work-related computing device. It’s no wonder that the mobile business landscape is growing.
What’s Next for Mobile Apps?
It’s an exciting time for mobile apps as we have seen from some of the amazing apps developers have created during our Hackathons. More importantly, people are using apps and as long as an app solves a need or provides a little entertainment (What level have you reached on Candy Crush?) the app can thrive.
The next hot market for apps will likely be in the wearable domain. According to a Gartner study just released, the company predicts that by 2017 wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions. It was a big theme at CES 2014 and the devices are finally getting to a place where people will want to wear and use them. Thanks developers! It’s no surprise that one of the themes for our biggest Hackathon of the year at the Palms in Las Vegas was wearables. You guys have already created some amazing apps in this area and we’re excited to see what you come up with next. If you want learn more about how to make your app more discoverable check out the Industry Track session presentation that Quixey gave at the 2014 Developer Summit. It’s loaded with great tips.
What kind of mobile apps are you planning to build this year? What new technology are you excited to check out in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.