Google Play statistics and the Top App Categories on the Store
Android is currently the most popular OS in the world of smartphones. Because it’s an open-source operating system, third-party smartphone manufacturers use it globally to power their phones. Now smartphones can do anything with the help of mobile apps. Fortunately, Google, which owns the Android OS, launched an official store to provide a distribution platform for publishing these apps.
Users can feel safe and more secure when downloading apps because the Google Play Store offers them extra protection. This blog post provides fascinating Google Play Store statistics, along with the top apps in the store by category.
How It Started
Before 2012, the store for downloading Android apps wasn’t as we know it now. People downloaded their apps from the Android Market. It had a different UI and UX. Here’s an old screenshot to refresh your memory:
The Android Market was launched in 2008 for users to download Android apps. That was back when Android was a newcomer. Apps were free before Android started supporting paid apps in 2009, and in the same year, they released Google eBookstores. In 2011, one year before merging, they released Google Music.
Then, in 2012, Google decided to merge all apps into one to avoid confusion. They also announced that users would find their downloaded and purchased apps on all devices because the new Google Play store is cloud-based. The Google Play Store launched in August 2012 with around 450 thousand apps and will see that number multiply in the next five years.
The current Google Play Store interface:
General Statistics 2022
This section briefly overviews the general statistics as of December 2022. The store currently has 3.759 million apps published by 1.12 million different vendors. On average, around sixteen thousand apps are released weekly, so that figure isn’t decreasing soon. Most published apps (96%) are free, while some may include optional in-app purchases. Apps on the Google Play Store fall into 49 categories. The top categories with the most apps are education, business, tools, entertainment, music and audio, and shopping.
Regarding ratings, only 52% of the apps, or 1.9 million, got rated by users. 29% of the apps are rated between 4-4.5 stars, 23% are 4.5–5 stars, and only 15% got a 5-star rating. It’s worth mentioning that the relationship between the star rating and the number of apps is directly proportional.
Most Popular Apps in Each Top Category in the US
Education has escaped the confines of the classroom. Below are the top educational apps on the Google Play Store. An extended list would include Google Classroom, ABCmouse.com, and Kahoot!
Known for its haunting owl mascot, Duolingo is the most popular language-learning application. The free version of the app is fully functional, but it offers a premium subscription plan for additional features and ad removal. The app’s learning style focuses on exercises and quizzes to make the experience fun for the learner. The app has 41 languages, only 38 of which are available for English speakers. While the app gives language learners a fun way to start learning a new language, some may argue that it’s unlikely to make a beginner fluent. In 2022 alone, the app was downloaded 5 million times from the Google Play Store and currently has a 4.5-star rating.
A revolutionary approach to learning mathematics, Photomath scans a mathematical equation and solves it on the spot. Free and premium users get an explanation of how the problem is solved, although the paid subscription offers a more detailed one. Students and parents love the app, as evidenced by its 4.6-star rating. However, some teachers worry that some students may use it to cheat on their homework. The app ranks second among the top apps in the Education category in the US and has over 100 million downloads.
The business apps category caters to different types of apps. It includes Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Authenticator, Google Chat, and Indeed for job searching.
In 2020, with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything went online, and Zoom became the go-to platform for video conferencing. Today, it is still a popular choice for many businesses to use for online meetings, online classes, and more. The platform has great capabilities, offering users high-quality audio and video meetings. The free version of the app is limited, with a maximum of 40 minutes per meeting and three whiteboards, though. But users can choose one of three paid tiers to be able to host extended sessions. Zoom has more than 500 million downloads globally and a 4.2-star rating.
Another popular app of the same type is Microsoft Teams. It has similar features and capabilities to Zoom, but some of its pricing plans are less costly. Teams give users a 30-day free trial before subscribing. But nothing is perfect; one of Microsoft Teams’ drawbacks is that the premium service requires an annual subscription. The app currently has a rating of 4.7, which is higher than Zoom but not by much, technically, since it only has over 100 million downloads.
The tools category contains Google-published apps that do basic functions, like the Clock or Phone tools. So, we decided to skip to the next one.
The entertainment category is the 4th top category on the Google Play Store, which is not surprising. People are now abandoning cable TV for on-demand online streaming services.
Believe it or not, Netflix has been around since the 1990s. Then, users would rent a limited number of movies or TV shows in DVD format for a flat monthly fee. In 2007, the company started its online streaming services, and in 2013, it released the widely acclaimed television show House of Cards as its first piece of self-produced content. Now, the company has more than 2400 original titles and $29.7 billion in revenue. The Android app currently has more than 1 billion downloads and a 4.4-star rating.
NBC Universal launched Hulu in 2007; it became public in 2008. Their online subscription service started in 2010, giving users full access to full seasons of TV shows. Now, the company is owned by The Walt Disney Company and Comcast, with a share of 67% and 33%, respectively. However, Disney intends to buy the rest of the company’s interest after 2024 and become the only owner of Hulu. The Hulu app has more than 50 million downloads, which is little compared to Netflix but still remarkable given that it’s only available in the US, Puerto Rico, and Japan. With over 700k reviews, the app is rated 4.5 stars.
Music and Audio
Spotify started as a Swedish project in 2006 and is now one of the top audio streaming services in the world, with [more than 433 million users](https://www.demandsage.com/spotify-stats/#:~:text=Spotify is the world’s leading,subscribers spread across 183 regions.). The freemium service allows users to listen for free but with limited controls over what they’re listening to; they can’t skip ads and get six skips only per hour. Moreover, only desktop and web player users can playback songs on demand. Paid subscribers get full access to all the app features, including downloading songs to listen to offline. Spotify has over 1 billion downloads and a rating of 4.3 stars.
YouTube Music is another now-popular streaming service released by Google. While the service has the same prices as Spotify, it offers more functionalities for free users. Some users choose it over Spotify because they believe it has more intelligent AI. YouTube Music’s one disadvantage is that the quality of the music is lower than Spotify’s. YouTube Music also has more than one billion downloads. Its star rating is currently at 4.6 stars.
Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men alive, founded Amazon.com and still owns it. He initially created the venture to sell books, but the company was met with justified skepticism and didn’t make much profit until 2001. Now, Amazon sells products of all types and operates in more than 15 countries, delivering products globally. The company has a 4.4-star rating based on 3.26 million reviews and over half a billion downloads.
While Jeff Bezos created Amazon, believing in the power of the internet, the founders of Walmart created the stores in the 1960s, before the internet was invented. This year, it celebrated its 60th anniversary with more than 10,000 stores in 24 countries, besides e-commerce websites. Their annual revenue is around $500 billion. The Walmart mobile app has a rating of 4.7 stars and over 50 million downloads.
Speaking of shopping apps, you can create a fully-operational e-commerce app with the nandbox native no-code app builder. All you have to do is sign up for the free trial, choose a template, and then add all the features you want with a few mouse clicks.