It’s safe to say that mobile apps are a pretty big deal. In fact, between the Apple App Store and Google’s Play Store, more than 200 billion apps had been downloaded worldwide as of last year.
But what kind of apps are people downloading? Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most popular app categories and check out what they have to offer.
Brain Training and Productivity
The next time a member of the older generation bemoans the youth of today constantly wasting time on social media and playing pointless games on their phones, just let them know that the brain training, productivity and education categories of mobile app stores are some of the most consistently popular in the world. That might shut them up…
Far from being a waste of time and a drain on brain cells, these apps are designed to increase brainpower with logic puzzles and mini-games that are proven to boost your thinking and problem-solving skills.
Casino and Card Games
While online gambling in the US is only happening on a (very slow) state-by-state basis, most other countries in the world have free access to online casinos. This trend has expanded into mobile gaming, too; many people around the world have literally won multi-million dollar jackpots playing roulette and slots on their iPhones and Androids.
Of course, this app category isn’t all online Slots and blackjack. Card games (of which, admittedly, poker and blackjack remain very popular choices) also dominate this category in all their weird and wonderful forms. People associate card games with gambling, but the popular esport Hearthstone got its start as a virtual card game and is now a massively popular mobile app. On the more surreal and unorthodox side of things, you can play the card game Exploding Kittens on your phone against players around the world.
Lifestyle and Tools
One of the biggest draws of the smartphone was the sheer, unbridled functionality of the device. Far more than just a mobile phone, these futuristic devices that we now take for granted have negated the need for so many other devices in our lives. That’s because of a myriad of apps, both pre-installed and third party, that serve so many functions.
Your phone is not just a phone anymore. It is a radio, a personal and portable music player, a calculator, a calendar, a flashlight, a personal organiser, an instant messaging tool, a web browser, a security system, an online shopping device, a payment method, a random number generator, a word processor… the list goes on and on and on. You didn’t even notice that we didn’t mention “camera” there, right? That’s because it goes without saying now.
Games and Competition
Of course, when most people think of mobile apps they think of mobile gaming and there’s a good reason for that – it’s by far the most popular category of mobile apps, with nearly a full quarter of all app downloads coming from this category. The world of mobile gaming has absolutely exploded and revenue from mobile gaming was $37 billion in 2016 – over a third of total worldwide gaming revenue!
The choice is well and truly yours when it comes to mobile games: you can play pre-existing games such as chess, checkers, and all other manner of board games across literally thousands of different apps, both single-player and multi-player. Of course, the most popular games are those created specifically for mobile: take Angry Birds, for example, which smashed all manner of mobile gaming records on its way to becoming a juggernaut franchise that even boasts a feature film!