mobile App marketing

Most Popular App Categories in the Mainstream Market

As of August 2020, shopping apps had a retention rate of 33.7 percent in 30 days among all most popular app categories

Most Popular App Categories

Today, with the increased adoption of smartphones, many market segments have started using mobile apps. The reason behind such increasing popularity is the expanding opportunities mobile apps come with. Now, if we specifically focus on the most popular mobile apps, gaming apps had the majority of downloads from the Apple App Store in the previous year.

According to Statista, in August 2020, the gaming apps category had dominated the app store with a share of 21.86 percent. Currently, 1.96 million mobile apps are existing on the Apple App Store. Whereas, the average iOS app price was $1.02 per app.

In this blog, we are discussing the top app categories that had dominated the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for quite some time. To support these facts, we will also have a look at a few important statistics. If you are planning to participate in the race of popular apps, you should check out the rest of the blog!

Statistics to give you an insight into the most popular types of apps

To support the information mentioned further for top app categories, let’s have a look at a few statistics for categories of apps. These facts are mentioned to give you an idea of the current app market trends.

most popular app categories

Without further ado, let’s begin!

  • According to Statista, in August 2020, the gaming app category had a lead on the App Store with 21.86 percent among all most popular types of apps
  • The second most popular category on the Apple App Store was Business apps with 10.11 percent
  • As of September 2019, the Tools app category had penetrated 99.81 percent of the Google Play Store’s global market. It was the highest market share any one of the best app categories had
  • The average price of an app on the Apple App Store was $0.94 by August 2020
  • Statista report states that 17 percent of the US citizens can not live without Facebook
  • However, messenger apps only had 5 percent of such users

Mobile application categories that are conquering the market

Now, you must have had the idea that gaming apps are leading the market for quite some time now. However, these trends might change with time and technology evolution. Moving further, we will discuss categories that are currently dominating the app market and can be useful for developers to grow.

Mobile application categories

1. Gaming apps 

PUBG Mobile was released on February 09, 2018, for Android and iOS devices. Since then, as the report by Sensor Tower states, the game was downloaded 734 million times.

Another fun fact reported by Udonis says casual games had a market share of 58.86 percent in 2020. Moreover, Puzzle and Arcade games followed closely with 56.5 and 55.08 percent respectively. If we take demographic criteria as the basis, Mediakix says 37 percent of mobile gamers are men and 63 percent are women. This report is based on the data given for 2019.

2. Business apps

When the global lockdown jailed everyone into their homes, businesses evolved. Therefore, the need for business apps is boosting since then. If we pick Zoom as an example, a stats by Sensor Tower says, Zoom surpassed 300 million downloads within the second quarter of 2020 and became one of the most popular mobile apps.

The basic purpose of the business apps was to make remote working easier. Therefore, some other apps such as Skype, Google Meet, Google Docs among others saw good growth as well. And now, when the world is familiar with the remote working concept, business apps have a golden opportunity to grow and adopt this new trend.

3. Education apps

Mobile application categories

Education has multiple types of mobile apps serving various purposes such as music learning, exam preparation, study, puzzle gaming, and others. The education segment was one of the most downloaded app categories. Now, to give an example, we can talk about a few statistics here.

Think With Google says that educational apps search keywords such as “guitar learning app” and “K-12 learning app” saw a boost of 80 percent in search results. Moreover, the first quarter of 2020 saw a surge in the number of educational app downloads. According to Statista, 466 million and 470 million educational apps were downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, respectively.

4. Lifestyle apps

Research done by Global Digital Traveler Research in 2018 says that 61 percent of users from the US used smartphones to book and pay for the trip. Now, the lifestyle segment is huge. Apart from traveling, it includes shopping apps, fitness apps, and many more. If we breakdown specific statistics, we can get the latest idea of market trends for types of apps falling under the Lifestyle category.

  • According to Think With Google, 51 percent of smartphone users use brand’s mobile apps to shop as it is more rewarding and convenient;
  • By August 2020, as per Statista, Shopping apps had the highest retention rate with 33.7 percent on the 30th day;
  • Moreover, Travel apps had a retention rate of 20 percent within the same period.

5. Entertainment apps

Among all types of applications, Entertainment apps have the majority of the popularity if we leave gaming apps. Types of mobile apps such as music apps, video streaming apps, reading apps, and radio apps among others had seen a boost in usage during Covid.

  • Statista says, in September 2020, Spotify was on the top with 9.31 million downloads worldwide
  • It left YouTube Music app behind that had 4.62 million app downloads globally
  • As of January 2021, Netflix had 20 million worldwide downloads that included 8 million for iOS and 12 million for Android apps

Types of mobile applications

Before we wind up the blog, it will be beneficial to understand a few types of applications as well. The app development process is segregated into a few categories such as Hybrid app development, Native apps, and Web apps.

1. Hybrid applications

Among all popular app categories, advantages of hybrid apps stand on the top. In other words, apps that can be used on iOS, Android, and Windows with a single set of codes are called hybrid apps. Modern developers are using hybrid apps as the development process is less costly, and it requires fewer maintenance efforts as well.

Hybrid Apps

2. Native applications

React native applications are mainly platform-specific. However, these apps are capable of offering more features as they are designed to be used on one type of operating system. If we talk from the performance perspective, native applications are faster and more scalable.

Native applications

3. Web applications

Mobile web applications require internet and cloud storage to function. These applications are mainly used to make them useful for cross-device usage. Users love web apps as they do not have to lose the data, if they want to use it on multiple devices. Moreover, web applications are used as they are more scalable compared to their alternatives.

Web applications


Moving further, we hope that the blog was useful for you. But before ending the blog, let’s have a revision of the information for the different app categories we discussed above:

  • PUBG Mobile has been downloaded 734 million times since its initial release among other best app categories
  • Among different app categories, Zoom had the highest number of downloads with 300 million downloads in the second quarter of 2020
  • Netflix had increased its revenue from 1.36 billion to 15.8 billion in ten years
  • From all mobile app categories, gaming apps had the maximum share of the market with 21.86 percent
  • Spotify leads the most downloaded app categories for the music segment

These statistics and facts for mobile application categories can be helpful for you from the perspective of a business owner or a web developer. As the app market is booming, opportunities in various categories of applications are evolving as well.

Also, if you like to stay updated with the latest news and information about mobile app categories, you can explore MobileAppDaily. Here, you will find a variety of blogs and information you can use to improve your knowledge about the categories of apps and the latest trends.

Arpit <span> Business Development Head </span>
Written By
Arpit Business Development Head

He is responsible for marketing programs, brand management, and corporate sponsorships. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach. Next to work, Shadow, his dog, immensely contributes to his happiness.

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