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Stay-at-home measures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have seen mobile app usage increase by 40% year on year at the end of the second quarter of 2020 – the highest rise ever recorded, says research from App Annie, which also reveals a huge spike in uptake of mobile video-conferencing.
The company’s Index findings for the second quarter said businesses and consumers are both leaning on mobile more than ever during this difficult time, with April 2020 seeing a monthly all-time high of over 200 billion hours spent in using mobile apps worldwide.
With the average user spending four hours, 20 minutes a day on smartphones, App Annie noted that it was more important than ever for brands to have a strategy in place to help them win on mobile.
Consumers were found to have downloaded more than 35 billion new apps in the quarter, with Google Play downloads up 10% year on year to 25 billion, while iOS downloads grew by 20% year on year to nearly 10 billion new downloads for the quarter. On Google Play, non-gaming apps accounted for 55% of all downloads, while on iOS, that figure was slightly higher at 70%.
The business category was the largest driver of overall app download growth, led by video-conferencing apps. Looking at the top breakout apps of the quarter, the research showed that Zoom Cloud Meetings has become a household name during the current period of social distancing, being the second most downloaded app globally in the quarter.
App Annie believes the product has now expanded past its primary use cases for business and education collaboration to virtual live performances, with an increasing number of artists streaming their concerts and intimate performances online during the coronavirus outbreak. The study also made reference to the performance of Google Meet, originally released as Hangouts Meet, and the product of Google rebranding its video-calling app and incorporating it into its premium video-conferencing service for free in its April 2020 version update.
On a category level, games, tools and entertainment accounted for most downloads for Google Play, while on the Apple iOS platform, video and entertainment remained the largest category by downloads for the fourth straight quarter.
The second quarter of 2020 was found to be the largest quarter yet for mobile apps usage, downloads and consumer spend. Consumer spend on iOS was found to have grown by 20% year on year to $17bn, and was up by 25% on an annual basis on Google Play to hit $10bn.
On Google Play, games, social and entertainment were the largest categories by consumer spend, driven largely by Disney+ and Twitch. On iOS, games, entertainment and photo and video were the three largest categories by consumer spend.
The photo and video categories saw strong quarter-on-quarter growth, with consumer spend up by 25% from Q1 2020. TikTok’s continuing rise in 2020 was a key driver of this, securing the spot for top grossing app on the iOS App Store globally in the second quarter.
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