Mobile App Usage Surged By 40% During Lockdown

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Reports from App Annie has revealed that mobile app usage surged by 40% during the second quarter of 2020. This coincides neatly with the period most of the world spent in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that as people were stuck inside they heavily turned to the use of their mobiles to pass the time.

The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt far and wide in the technology industry. Huawei has shot ahead of Samsung as the largest smartphone distributor. This is due to the latter’s sales being hit in the US due to the lockdown.

Tech companies are also working to develop solutions to the pandemic. Fitbit and Oura Rings, for example, may be able to be used in predicting Covid-19 symptoms before the manifest.


Lockdown causes rise in mobile app usage

During the month of April, an all-time high in mobile app usage was hit at 200 billion hours. This coincides with the height of the lockdown across the world. Mobile app usage has been increasing steadily year on year so an increase was not unexpected.

However, such a surge was notable and demonstrates how heavily people are leaning on mobiles during this period. Delving down into specific countries we can see how the timeline of the pandemic has affected various regions differently.

For example, India saw a 30% increase from Q4 in 2019. Whilst the UK and the US saw comparatively smaller increases at around 15%. Other European countries such as Italy and Spain saw 30% increases. This demonstrates just how severe the lockdown was in certain places comparatively.


App downloads also increase substantially

The App and Google Play Store also saw substantial increases in app downloads during this period. Google Play had a 10% increase whilst iOS downloads were up 20% year over year.

Gaming app downloads appeared to be a big area of increase as people look for ways to pass the time. Almost 45% of Google Play downloads were for gaming apps whilst it was slightly lower at 30% for iOS.

India and Brazil saw the largest increases in gaming apps reflecting the harshness of their lockdown. The statistics also reveal a spike in health, fitness and education apps as people turned to their mobiles during the lockdown.


Spending on app apps also saw a $27 billion increase during Q2. This is largely down to in-app subscriptions as the people invested in these apps during the pandemic. The increase spend was most obviously seen in the US and Japan as games and entertainment apps soaked up most of this revenue.

Meeting and calling apps saw the largest rise up the app charts. Apps such as Google Meet and Zoom climbed substantially up the charts whilst social media apps also held their place near the top.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has seismically shifted the way we operate personally and in business. The average user now spends 4 hours and 20 minutes on their smartphone which reflects this reliance.


The return to normal still seems like a distance away at this stage. This will mean that app developers will look to leverage this new time spent smartphones in an attempt to take advantage of our new mobile reliance.