Apps have changed the way we live our lives – making it easier to manage our time, socialise, shop and access entertainment on the go.
To show just how much we’re using them, analytics firm App Annie has revealed the app trends of 2015, based on Google Play and App Store downloads.
So what were our top apps in 2015? We take a look and pick out the most popular.
The most-downloaded apps of 2015
We’re still using our phones to connect with friends, but the way we do it has moved on from texting and calling – as more of the messages we send are through social media apps.
It’s no surprise, then, that WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Facebook and Instagram were the top four most-downloaded apps of 2015.
Video and music streaming
Thanks to advances in hardware and more affordable mobile data plans, we’re streaming more TV shows and films direct to our phones.
At the same time, the way we watch TV at home has changed. We’re watching more on catch up services using app-based streamers that sync with our Smartphones – like Apple TV and Chromecast – and less content as it’s broadcast live.
US service HBO Now and Netflix are the top-streaming players, but 2015 also saw the rise of YouTube’s own streaming service, Red – which launched at the end of last year. With YouTube Red you can:
- watch as many videos as you want, completely ad-free
- save videos for offline viewing for 30 days
- listen to music with the screen off on your mobile or tablet – so you can text or check your Facebook messages at the same time
- get members-only original content from YouTubers like College Humour and PewDiePie
As for music, streaming has replaced digital downloads as more of us are opting for subscription services rather than paying for individual tracks or albums.
While Spotify holds onto its crown as the most-downloaded streaming app, we’re also listening to our music on other services like Deezer and Pandora. And with big-name announcements like Apple Music, TIDAL and YouTube Music in 2015, you now have even more choice when it comes to getting your music fix.
Ridesharing and taxi apps
Hailing a cab has become much easier with taxi and ridesharing apps like Uber, which saw a huge rise in popularity in 2015.
Uber has totally dominated the taxi app market in cities in the UK and US, letting you easily access a network of thousands of drivers. With it you can:
- use your phone to search for nearby drivers, and be notified when they’re pulling up outside
- pay from your account – so you’ll never have to detour to a cashpoint en route again
- use fare splitter to share the cost of a journey with your mates, so you can avoid doing calculations in your head or fiddling around with change
- some drivers also let you pre-load your Spotify playlist before you get in, so you can get the party started on your way out.
Mobile shopping and dating
More people are using their phones to shop, and app developers have encouraged this by adding on loads of cool new features to help you as you browse – like price comparisons and product info.
Included in the report were Wish and Geek – two shopping apps that launched on mobile before making a website.
Even if you haven’t used it, you’ve probably heard of it: in the report, 2016 is dubbed ‘the year of Tinder’. Part of the success is down to Tinder Plus, a monthly subscription which offers extra features – like the option to update your location when you’re on holiday and rewind on previous swipes.
These days you can barely get on a bus or train without spotting someone playing a game on their phone. Seriously addictive games like Clash of Clans, Monster Strike and Candy Crush Saga were among the most downloaded in 2015.
But they’re by no means the only ones we’re playing – 40 of the top 50 Google Play apps were all games.
The rise of wearables and TV apps
So what trends can we expect to see in 2016? With the rise of wearables, Smart TV and Smart home systems, apps are moving from smartphones and tablets to new formats.
There are loads of apps available for these platforms – the most popular on smartwatches are weather, shopping, social media, news, health and fitness, and navigation.
Looking for a new device for all your apps? See our range of tablets
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