US consumers spend the most on apps worldwide

Over the last year, we have increased time spent on our smartphones, but how much money has been spent in the US to download favorite apps? Over half the planet uses at least one social media platform, mostly through apps.

The coronavirus pandemic has increased mobile app installs so we can keep in touch with family and friends as we try to stay connected. But which genre of apps are the most popular in the US?

According to an analysis by UK-based mobile device provider Carphone Warehouse, the US leads the pack in terms of app creation and consumer spending, although not in time spent on devices.

The US has 6% ownership of the apps market, with 174,630 apps created in the last year, and consumers spend $32.63 billion on apps — the highest in the world. 

In the US, 14% of apps installed are games, not as high as Japan or South Korea, which install 27% and 25% of gaming apps, respectively. Americans spend an average of 3 hours per day on their mobile devices.

The most popular genre of apps are Food & Drink such as Uber Eats and Music.

US creates - and spends the most on apps worldwide zdnet

Carphone Warehouse

YouTube is the most popular app in the world, with a global popularity of 144. It has been downloaded five billion times and has a rating of 4.4 out of 5. It has global popularity, making the top 10 downloads charts in 144 countries around the world.

WhatsApp Messenger ranks in the second position, with a global popularity of 125. It asks for 13 permissions from you including access to your location, SMS, and phone log, and has a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

In the third position is Facebook with the lowest rating in the top 10 list: 3.3 out of 5, and it has 13 permissions required to run on your device.

Common user complaints include the layout and functionality of the app, as well as issues with Facebook’s business practices. However, despite complaints, it has had five billion downloads to date.

Others in the top 10 list are Gmail (five billion downloads, 4.3 out of 5 rating), Google Chrome (five billion downloads, 3.0 out of 5 rating), Google (five billion downloads 4.4 out of 5 rating), Instagram (one billion downloads, 4.6 out of 5 score), TikTok (one billion downloads, 4.6 out of 5 score), Facebook Messenger (one billion downloads, 4.3 out of 5 score), and Snapchat (one billion downloads 3.9 out of 5 score).

When it comes to permissions, the Google app asks for the most permissions from you, asking for 15 mobile device permissions including contacts, storage, and access to your SMS messages.

Conversely, the Disney+ app only asks for permission to change TV channel information, internet access, and gain access to your microphone.

If you are unhappy with your doomscrolling and want to reduce time spent on apps you use on your mobile device, you can use either Screen Time (iOS) or Digital Wellbeing (Android) to find out which app dominates your screen time.

You can set focus controls that limit your time on a specific app or configure your device to switch itself off at a certain time at night, and on again to wake you up in the morning.

Or you can uninstall the apps completely, and use the desktop or browser version of the app to limit the notifications you receive on your mobile device as you wean yourself off the endless scrolling. 

It might free up your time to do something far more interesting instead.

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