App Usage Statistics: Downloads, Demographics, and More

About 3.5 billion people own a smartphone, while the total number of mobile devices worldwide is forecast to grow as high as 16.8 billion. Around 90% of the time consumers spend on their mobile devices, they are using an app—it should be no surprise that the app developing industry is flourishing.

If you want to know more about the niche, read on for all the key facts and figures to prepare you for the journey.

Top App Usage Stats: Editor’s Choice

  • An average consumer spends 4.2 hours on mobile apps every day.
  • In the first semester of 2021, global app spending amounted to $64.9 billion.
  • Tinder counts about 6.5 million monthly downloads.
  • Over 2 billion people use WhatsApp on a monthly basis.
  • A good 21.53% of gaming apps are on the App Store.
  • As of the first part of 2021, Apple shipped 55.2 million iPhones.
  • Last year, about 129.1 million people used an Android mobile device.
  • 64.52% of users install applications from Google Play Store.

Mobile App Usage Statistics

Apps wouldn’t exist without mobile devices, and smartphones and tablets wouldn’t be as entertaining without applications.

The following list of mobile app usage statistics will show you the most relevant numbers for 2021.

1. 46% of US smartphone owners spend 5–6 hours daily on their devices.

When using mobile internet, Americans spend most of their time on their favorite apps.

The average time spent on a phone for 22% of the US population amounted from three to four. An additional 16% only spend from one to a maximum of two hours.

2. On average, consumers spend 4.2 hours a day on mobile apps alone. 

Knowing how much time does the average person spend on their phone, data shows that the average screen time has seen a 30% increase in the last couple of years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

3. 71% of users churn their apps within the first 90 days of using them.

Customer retention statistics show that over three-quarters of all app users churn within the first three months of using an app. 

According to these app usage stats, 66% churn within two months, while 57% churn within the first month. To ensure customers keep coming back for more, app developers must keep an eye out for application usage metrics.

4. 58% of people use apps to search for flights.

Out of 955 travelers, more than half favor looking for flights on travel apps. App usage data state that, on a similar note, 53% of travelers prefer to browse apps to find their accommodation. 

When asked why they chose to use apps instead of web browsers, the most popular reply was speed, as provided by 39% of study subjects.

5. Facebook users spend, on average, 33 minutes a day on the app.

Understandably, the average amount of time spent on social media varies from app to app. 

While Facebook is still the app where users like to spend their time the most, the newest app TikTok has reached an average of 32 minutes per day, followed by Twitter with a total of 31 minutes.

6. Facebook app alone has 2.8 million monthly active users. 

Despite its numerous privacy and security scandals, app statistics show that Facebook still tops the most popular social media apps lists.

This figure only implies the Facebook app, but all of its products—WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger are among the most used applications.

7. The worldwide app spending reached $64.9 billion in the first half of 2021.

Although Google Play’s apps have the most downloads, the mobile app revenue is superior on the Apple platform. 

In 2021, Apple generated $41.5 billion in consumer spending against the $23.4 billion of Google Play reported for the same period. These figures all include in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps. 

8. In 2021, the mobile applications market size is expected to grow to a monstrous $6.3 trillion.

Compared to the $1.3 trillion registered in 2017, this Statista projection for 2021 shows incredible yet not so surprising numbers. 

According to the figure, the app economy is estimated to experience a CAGR of 37% for the measured period.

Apps Downloads Statistics: Popularity and Usage

How many people download applications on their smartphones? Which apps are the most downloaded by users? See what these numbers say.

As demonstrated by these intriguing app download stats, Tinder heads the list of the most downloaded dating applications. 

Badoo comes in second place with almost 4 million, and Bumble ranks third with 1.6 million monthly downloads. It’s not a surprise that dating apps are among the most used ones out there.

10. App Store and Google Play downloads made up a combined 36.6 billion downloads.

These app download statistics demonstrated that the number has slightly decreased from the all-time record established in the second quarter of 2020. 

At that time, Apple Store and Google Play attained 37.8 million downloads.

11. There are over 86 million health and fitness apps users.

According to health app usage statistics, the highest point was reached in 2019, with 87.4 million users downloading apps dedicated to health. 

It’s interesting to see how the percentage of usage has slightly declined after the coronavirus outbreak. However, the figure is forecast to recover over the next few years.

12. In the US, the average number of downloads for an app is about 1.24 million.

As of May 2020, Statista reported that US publishers experienced more success than all over the world. In contrast, the number of downloads per app worldwide accounts only for about 149,000. 

This data suggests that Americans tend to download more applications than the rest of the world. 

13. Facebook is among the most downloaded apps of all time, with 4.6 billion downloads over the last decade.

In recent years, Facebook has faced many controversies concerning data sharing and misinformation. However, these numbers suggest that people are still actively using this social media network. 

So, it’s not surprising that Facebook-owned apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, and Instagram are currently dominating the whole app scene. 

Mobile app download statistics prove that these apps were installed 16 billion times over the past decade.

14. TikTok was the most installed app, with 2 billion downloads registered in April 2020.

The video-sharing app’s meteoric rise placed it at the top of the most popular apps list at the start of the previous year. These app usage trends confirm TikTok as the top ten most popular apps on both the App Store and Google Play.

Being stuck in lockdown led people to find new ways to entertain themselves, and TikTok is an excellent time-wasting app. 

15. WhatsApp is used by 2 billion people every month.

Regarding smartphone app usage statistics, WhatsApp is the most popular texting application globally, available in more than 180 countries. 

Unsurprisingly, WhatsApp usage outside the US is quite impressive. In the US, Facebook Messenger is a much preferred messaging system to WhatsApp.

16. Global phone app downloads are expected to reach 258.2 billion in 2022.

In 2018, 194 billion mobile apps were downloaded. 

App usage statistics prove that this figure is expected to surpass 258 billion by 2022, driven by the app market’s impressive competition and the broader availability of smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Gaming Statistics

Smartphone users look for new ways of entertaining themselves during their free time, and gaming is the preferred category by many consumers. 

The following numbers will show how gaming has established incredible records. 

17. In the first quarter of 2021, Google Play reported 477,877 available gaming apps. 

When it comes to both Google Play Store and App Store, statistics show that gaming remains the most popular category of mobile apps. In the last quarter of 2020, the number amounted to 427,056.

Compared to the previous quarter, the figure for 2021 now represents an 11.90% increase.

18. Gaming apps account for 21.53% of the App Store.

The gaming category is the most successful when it comes to user engagement. In 2020, Roblox statistics indicated the game was the top-grossing app on the platform, bringing in more than $2.5 million in revenue per day. Business apps are placed second, with a share of 10.11% 

19. In 2020, Candy Crush Saga revenue amounted to $1,190 million.

Candy Crush topped the list in January 2020—eight years after its initial release in 2012. 

According to app revenue statistics, Candy Crash is the sixth highest-grossing gaming app for mobile of all time, with 2.7 billion downloads on a global scale.

20. Gaming apps count 13.72% of available apps worldwide.

These stats come as no surprise, as gaming apps are dominant for some time now. With 9.31%, the second-placed category is educational apps. 

The most popular Android game of all time is Subway Surfers by Kilo, which surpassed over a billion downloads on Google Play, ahead of Candy Crush Saga.

21. In the US, Roblox is among the leading games on the Apple Store.

While it is not the top game on iPhone, Roblox places sixth in the Apple Store rank. However, the most popular game on iPhone is Count Masters: Crowd Runner 3D, which has reached the third position in the Store rank, followed by Queen Bee and Run of Life.

App Usage Statistics for iPhone

While we have covered some general information about app usage on Android and iPhone devices, the following statistics will give you a clearer picture of the considerable differences between these two fierce competitors.

22. In the first quarter of 2021, Apple delivered 55.2 million smartphones.

Compared to the previous year, shipments went up by 7.9%. But how many people have iPhones? In 2020, the number of active iPhone users accounted for a billion, a 22.85% growth since the 814 million reported in 2017.

23. In the first half of 2021, App Store earned $41.5 billion in global consumer spending.

Apple’s store generates most of its earnings from in-app purchases, premium apps, and subscriptions. 

These iPhone app usage statistics revealed that this is 1.8 times more than the revenue generated by Google Play, which saw an estimated $23.4 billion in the same period.

24. YouTube had 28.5 million installs from the App Store in Q2 2019.

According to app store download statistics, 28.5 million iPhone users installed YouTube, making it the most downloaded app in the second quarter of 2019, followed by TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.

25. The average overall price of apps in the App Store is $0.82.

Statista’s report divided the apps for iPhone into gaming and non-gaming. App Store statistics state that the gaming apps’ average price stood at $0.49 in March 2021. 

During the same period, the non-gaming apps operated with a slightly higher average price of $0.91.

26. There were over 2.2 million apps on the App Store in the first quarter of 2021.

While the number of apps in the App Store might appear unbelievably high, it’s still far from its competitor Google Play. 

However, this figure has a positive side: Apple devices only have certified and secured apps that prevent users from encountering a virus on their phone.

27. Fidget Trading 3D: Fidget Toys is the most installed app in the App Store.

The Apple Store’s current ranking list sees two gaming apps as the most popular iPhone applications. 

TikTok comes right after, owning the title of the most installed entertainment app. As for the photo and video category, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are still a part of the top 10.

App Usage Statistics for Android

Now that you know more about Apple, iOS, its users, and applications, it’s time to dig into some of the most relevant facts and statistics about its biggest competitor—Android with its app store, Google Play.

28. In 2020, 129.1 million people used an Android device.

While last year Android users represented a massive figure, how many people use Android in 2021? 

Although there is no exact data for this year, Statista estimated that Android users would surpass 130 million. Moreover, the prevision for next year will see these users climbing up to 133.4 million. 

29. In the first quarter of 2021, Google Play had 3.48 million available apps.

This number of apps in Google Play proves how this store is the largest out there. Apple Store comes right after with 2.2 million and Window Store with 669,000 million available apps. 

On the other hand, Amazon had only 460,619 applications in its app store.

30. In 2020, users downloaded 108.5 billion apps from Google Play.

In comparison, apps download statistics demonstrate that Google Play’s most fierce competitor Apple is way too far from achieving that number—and for a good reason.

It’s safe to say that Google Play is undoubtedly the app store with the highest number of downloads.

31. 64.52% of people use Google Play Store to download apps.

As previously mentioned, Google Play Store is the most popular application store. Mobile app statistics nearly two-thirds of people using it for downloads. 

It is followed by the App Store, which is popular amongst 62.90% of people, and the Windows Store, with a meager 2.82%. 

32. There are nearly 5 million apps available for download on Google Play.

According to Android app usage statistics, the highest number of Android apps was achieved in March 2018 (3.6 million). 

As Google Play removed many low-quality apps or the least popular ones, the number has since gone down. However, the figure has doubled from the 2.96 million apps registered last year. 

As demonstrated by app revenue statistics, most apps in Google Play are offered free of charge. This means Android needs a more robust business model to generate enough revenue.

33. The Tools category has a 99.81% reach among Android users.

The most popular app for Android with the highest penetration of users belongs to the Tools category. Placed second and third are apps from categories Communication (99.39%) and Business (99.33%).

34. WhatsApp was downloaded 96 million times in February 2020.

It comes as no surprise that one in five adult Americans uses WhatsApp, with 53% opening the app at least once a day. However, app usage stats state that, surprisingly, the US is not the most significant marketplace. On the other hand, India takes over this title, with 340 million users.

App Download Statistics by Country and More Demographics

Now that you have a better understanding of the apps used, the most downloaded categories, the devices adopted to install them, and user behavior, you’re ready to clear your mind with the most exciting demographics about app usage.

35. More than half of all smartphone users open apps 1–10 times a day.

If you consider the overall users, smartphone usage stats show that 51% of them open up apps ten times each day. 

One-quarter of consumers open apps 11–20 times a day, while 16% open them 21–50 times a day. Somewhat unbelievably, 2% of users open their apps more than 100 times a day.

36. 21% of millennials say they open an app more than 50 times a day.

According to app usage trends, over one-fifth of millennials admit to opening an app more than 50 times per day—compared to only 10% of Generation X and 2% of baby boomers. 

These statistics make it crystal clear that younger generations are more addicted to their smartphones. 

37. People aged 16–24 make up the largest demographic using iPhones. 

According to the latest iPhone user demographics by Statista, Generation Z accounts for 44% of all iPhone users. Millennials aged 25–34 are a close second, with 34% preferring iOS. 

While the youngest generation favor iOS over Android (30%), millennials are quite separated over this topic. Android is indeed the preferred operating system by 36% of Gen Y.

38. People aged between 18–24 spend 3.2 hours using mobile apps every day.

If you compare smartphone usage statistics by age, it’s clear that younger people spend more time using apps. Those between the age of 45 and 54 spend, on average, 120 minutes using mobile apps, while people who spent the most time using apps fell in the 18–24 year category.

39. 33% of the top apps in India are from Indian app publishers.

According to mobile app usage statistics for India, many Indians put their trust in fellow compatriots’ app development skills. 

When it comes to the highest-grossing apps, 13% of the highest-earning products on Google Play are developed by Indians.

App Usage Statistics: The Takeaway

For mobile app developers, the app market’s exponential growth is a huge opportunity to globally access billions of customers. 

App usage trends from 2021 indicate that the industry is bound to grow further, as users’ interests and needs keep expanding, and more and more users are introduced to the apps every year.

Frequently Asked Questions

As of 2020, TikTok has become the most popular app globally, with a total of 850 million downloads—and here’s why. During the pandemic period, more and more people felt the need to find an app that could entertain them. 

These short and addicting videos met many people’s requirements. Another reason that made TikTok so famous is its availability in China, which represents a quarter of its downloads alone.

While TikTok is currently in the top position, Facebook products are not so far behind. WhatsApp is a close second with 600 million downloads, and Facebook comes right after with 540 million.

What app uses the most data on Android?

Media streaming apps will pull most of your data plan. So with apps like YouTube, TikTok, Netflix, etc., you might need to be careful if your plan is limited. 

Here’s how the streams use your data on average:

  • Low-quality video means 240p or 320p, and this type of setting will use about 0.3GB (300MB) per hour.
  • SD quality video is a standard 480p video. SD-quality video uses about 0.7GB (700MB) per hour.
  • HD quality video (720p–2K) uses about 0.9GB (720p), 1.5GB (1080p) and 3GB (2K) per hour.
  • UHD quality video uses a lot of data. A 4K stream uses about 7.2GB per hour.

Which music app uses the least data?

While using music apps such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer might result in a lot of data usage. As smartphones come with specific paid plans, users want to avoid paying extra money because they exceeded the monthly data limit. 

The best solution to avoid wasting so much data is either using the app when WiFi is available or paying a monthly membership that allows users to download their favorite tracks. This way, listeners will enjoy their music offline without having to worry about data usage and additional fees.

How much does the average app make?

When it comes to defining the average revenue for an app, it doesn’t come as easy as it seems. It’s almost impossible to estimate a number on how much an app can make—and here’s why. App stores like Google Play, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store contain a massive number of apps whose revenue can be variable.

But one thing is for sure. Just a few popular apps can rake billions of dollars in earnings. Especially over the past years, the competition between apps of all sorts became exceedingly fierce.

A report by Statista in 2019 revealed that Facebook Messenger was the most popular messaging app in the US, with more than 100 million active users. Snapchat came in the second position with 45.98 million users. In comparison, app usage statistics proved that Facebook Messenger counted a mobile audience reach of about 57%, suggesting that many Americans trust Facebook tools even after the numerous scandals the company went through.


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