Coronavirus has improved the Play Store’s top app charts – here are the winners and losers

Mar 28, 2020 3:00 AM ET

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways, including the way we work, study, or even communicate. This is even visible when you look at the apps that people download to their phones, as some have become indispensable these days. We analyzed last month’s top app charts and compared them to today’s to see how they have developed. Some of the results are interesting.

To prepare this post, we reviewed the top charts for downloading Play Store apps in the U.S. from February 27, and compared them to today’s numbers based on data collected by App Annie. We excluded games and separated free and paid apps for our analysis. For all charts, we checked the top 10 apps, but we also looked at more numbers to interpret some global trends for specific app categories.

END OF FEBRUARY
END OF MARCH

1
Your telephone companion
Zoom

2nd
Android Auto
Tick ​​tack

3rd
Tick ​​tack
News break

4th
Instagram
SmartNews

5
delivery boy
Google Classroom

6
IRS2Go
Whatsapp

7
Android system WebView
Meeting places

8th
Snapchat
delivery boy

9
Whatsapp
Microsoft teams

10th
Cash app
Instagram

Not surprisingly, Zoom made it to the top of the list because it is used by a large number of companies and institutions for meetings, but also for hosting webinars and virtual courses. Similarly, Google Classroom, Hangouts Meet and Microsoft Teams have found their way into the top 10 most commonly installed apps on Android. This shows that many people gather to download them for work or to attend courses from home.

News apps weren’t part of the most downloaded list last month, but News Break and SmartNews have just made it into the top 5, suggesting that people are more curious about the outbreak and want to be kept informed about its development.

After all, social media and chat software like Instagram, Messenger, TikTok and WhatsApp are still popular, although apparently more people are installing TikTok and WhatsApp compared to last month. This is understandable as you usually watch more videos while staying at home and use WhatsApp to keep in touch with your friends and family.

END OF FEBRUARY
END OF MARCH

1
Braintoss
XtraMath

2nd
HotSchedules
DroidCamX Wireless Webcam Pro

3rd
Navigation Pro: Google Maps Navi on the Samsung Watch
Scanner Radio Pro – fire and police scanner

4th
Torque Pro (OBD 2 & Auto)
The wonder weeks around 9

5
TouchRetouch
Tiny Scanner Pro: PDF document scan

6
Nova Launcher Prime
Navigation Pro: Google Maps Navi on the Samsung Watch

7
The wonder weeks around 9
Plague Inc: scenario creator

8th
Tasker
FL Studio Mobile

9
FL Studio Mobile
Video & TV Cast | Ultimate Edition

10th
Magnificat Lent 2020
Torque Pro (OBD 2 & Auto)

Paid apps can be a bit mixed because they download far less than free apps and their ratings may be less affected. Aside from that, XtraMath is the most popular app in the Play Store, an app that kids can use to learn the basics of math. This makes perfect sense, as parents typically look for software solutions to help their children continue learning while being quarantined at home.

Other apps have also been added to the list, including DroidCamX Wireless Webcam Pro, Scanner Radio Pro – fire and police scanner, Tiny Scanner Pro: PDF Doc Scan, Plague Inc: Scenario Creator and Video & TV Cast | Ultimate Edition. People seem to want to use their phone as a webcam during the pandemic, but they also talk by listening to radio transmissions by emergency services. Seriously, it makes sense that people have to scan documents using their phone, especially for work or even schoolwork, as well as broadcast live TV. The runaway here is Plague Inc: Scenario Creator, a game that has been classified as a productivity app. You can use it to create your own plague and simulate its spread – ironic, isn’t it?

Some of the apps from last month are still in the top 10, including The Wonder Weeks vs 9, a baby calendar app, and it makes sense for people to keep using them despite the pandemic. FL Studio Mobile, a music mixing studio, is one of the top 10 observers, as is Torque Pro (OBD 2 & Car), an app that monitors your car’s vital signs using a Bluetooth adapter, and Navigation Pro: Google Maps Navi on Samsung. It’s surprising that the latter is still just as popular considering that people should stay at home now, but they might still be able to use their Samsung Watch to go to the store or run.

END OF FEBRUARY
END OF MARCH

1
Disney +
Disney +

2nd
Google One
Google One

3rd
Pandora
Pandora

4th
ESPN
Tinder

5
Tinder
Pull out

6
HBO NOW
HBO NOW

7
Pull out
BIGO LIVE

8th
TurboTax tax return app
Facebook

9
Facebook
tango

10th
BIGO LIVE
bumblebee

The list of top 10 revenue apps has not changed significantly. The first three remain the same, and while Disney + and Pandora make sense in this section, it’s interesting that Google One is second on the list. What’s even more surprising is that people in quarantine want to go out even more, as Tinder climbed from fifth to fourth and Bumble found his way into the top 10. It’s worth noting that Tango has also grown in popularity, while the rest of the apps were on the list last month, including Facebook, as well as streaming services like Twitch, HBO NOW, and BIGO LIVE.

In addition to the variations in the top 10 charts where the downloads for streaming services, news apps and social media are already increasing, there are also some trends that we have seen in the big picture. For example, some apps like Messenger Kids and Houseparty made it into the top 20, while they weren’t even in the 100 most downloaded apps last month. However, this makes sense because parents and children want to keep in touch with friends and family at home.

Interestingly, while music streaming services are still popular – Netflix and Disney + are the eleventh and twelfth most installed apps – music streaming apps are far less popular. Both Spotify and YouTube Music fell from 14th and 15th to 27th and 51st place. It seems that people mostly listen to music while commuting and exercising, activities that are not that common at the moment.

Eventually, food delivery apps like Instacart and DoorDash are becoming more popular as people prefer to have groceries delivered to their door instead of taking the risk of running out. We hope you all do the same and stay safe at home!

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Content Marketing, Wire, English