What apps do you have on your phone? Take a look. You will most likely find apps for social networking and productivity, communication tools and games – and bloatware, a category of apps that manufacturers include with their version of your operating system (valid mostly in case of Android). Most apps that are present on the majority of today’s smartphones fall into these categories. But which category is the most popular? Well, let’s take a look at the number of downloads each of them has registered to have a better picture.
The list of the most downloaded games is a bit off due to a restriction that Google has and Apple doesn’t: on real money gambling games.
The Apple App Store lists the Royal Vegas Casino‘s native iOS app, while Google’s Play Store doesn’t even allow real money gambling games to be listed. While this might change in the future, I don’t expect the Royal Vegas app to show up in the Play Store anytime soon. Why? Because Royal Vegas has built itself an excellent browser-based platform that makes releasing a native Android app unnecessary. Royal Vegas players can use their browsers to access their favorite games on their Android phones, even place a shortcut to the website on their start page for easier access. Of course, having a native casino app allows better use of resources, but it’s not vital to have one until HTML5 games can run in a browser window as well.
As off as it might be, the top list of the most downloaded apps is similar on iOS and Android. The most downloaded free game on Android is Angry Birds, while on iOS it is it’s sequel, Angry Birds 2. When it comes to paid games, Minecraft: Pocket Edition tops the list on Android and iOS. Actually, the iOS list contains Clash of Clans, which is considered a paid game (while on Android it’s listed as free).
As the world’s largest social network, Facebook is the app with the most downloads on all platforms (even on Windows Phone). On Android it is among the few apps not made by Google to exceed 1 billion downloads. On iOS the situation is similar: in December 2014 Facebook was listed as the fourth most downloaded app.
Messaging and communication
Microsoft’s Skype has over 100 million downloads on Android, but so does Viber, ChatOn and Tango Messenger. WhatsApp, Facebook’s SMS alternative, has over 1 billion downloads through the Play Store, making it the top messaging app of the world. On iOS SnapChat is the most popular messaging app (December 2014), while Facebook’s Messenger (with more than 1 billion downloads on Android) is most likely to fall behind iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app (there is no conclusive data available yet).