most popular app categories

As another year rolls by, so the changes in the technology around us and the ways in which it influences our lives continue. Broadly speaking, however, all those tech innovations are increasingly leading back to one place. Chances are, you are looking at it right now, in fact. The smartphone has become the focal point of our personal and professional lives.

But of course, the handset is just a platform. It’s not so much the phone itself as the software that resides on it that is the real influencing factor. There were, at the last count, a little more than 2.7 billion smartphone users in the world, and they spend an average of just under three hours per day looking at the screen. 90 percent of that time is spent using apps, which starts to give you an inkling of just how significant those little parcels of data are in our lives.

In 2018, there were 194 billion app downloads, a number that is certain to have risen in 2019. That raises one big question – what were they? We won’t go through all 194 billion downloads here, but we can run through the most popular categories of apps. How many of these are on your phone?

1) Games – 24.9 percent

That statistic might raise some eyebrows. Does it mean we have all regressed into childhood? Not at all, adults have always enjoyed games, just think of all those sophisticated images of people playing bridge, backgammon, billiards or casino games across the years and you can see that. It’s just the platform that has changed, from live casino games like blackjack to virtual sports games apps to social games like Words with Friends.

2) Business – 9.8 percent

The mobile age has freed up our days and made it easier to balance work and life in a way that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago. Business apps include accounting software, customer relationship management tools, cloud storage devices and personal organisers.

3) Education – 8.5 percent

A whole university in your pocket – so say the guys from DIY Genius, and they definitely have a point. Want to learn a foreign language, get to the bottom of big data or even become an expert in crypto or Forex trading? There’s a whole choice of apps for all these things and any other subject you can think of. You can even enrol yourself for a post graduate course and access all the study notes direct from your cellphone.

4) Lifestyle – 8.3 percent

Our leisure time is precious to us, and we can’t spend all of it playing those mobile games. Lifestyle apps like OpenTable, Google Home and Tinder have changed the way we eat out, manage our homes and even fall in love.

5) Entertainment – 6.0 percent

As phones have got smarter, they have been able to supersede other types of tech. Today, music systems and radios are obsolete as we can stream anything we want through our phones using iTunes, YouTube and the like. As mobile streaming grows in popularity we can only wonder if TVs will soon go the same way, to be replaced by a “dumb terminal” style big screen connected directly to our phone.

Chris McdonaldTechnology
As another year rolls by, so the changes in the technology around us and the ways in which it influences our lives continue. Broadly speaking, however, all those tech innovations are increasingly leading back to one place. Chances are, you are looking at it right now, in fact. The...