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These Are the 10 Most Popular Mobile Apps in America (recode.net) 144

Today comScore released its 2017 US Mobile App Report, which among other things, lists the top mobile apps in the nation. From a report: Between smartphones and tablets, Americans spend more than half of their digital media consumption time -- 57 percent -- in apps, according to the report. That's about the same as a year ago -- evidence that the dramatic shift to mobile has now leveled out in the U.S. These are the winners, according to comScore, as measured by their penetration of the U.S. mobile app audience: Facebook (81 percent), YouTube (71 percent), Facebook Messenger (68 percent), Google Search (61 percent), Google Maps (57 percent), Instagram (50 percent), Snapchat (50 percent), Google Play (47 percent), Gmail (44 percent), and Pandora (41 percent). 8 out of 10 apps here are owned by Facebook and Google.
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These Are the 10 Most Popular Mobile Apps in America

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  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:22PM (#55077429) Homepage Journal

    I didn't even know it was optional. At least on Android devices it appears built-in and difficult to remove or disable, if not impossible.

    • by sanf780 ( 4055211 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:35PM (#55077531)
      None of the Google applications listed there are optional, as far as I can tell: Search, Maps, Play and Mail. Phone is not listed, though.

      I do not understand what "penetration of the US mobile app audience" means in this case, and I am not going to give my data in order to download the whitepaper. I need to ask for your help, Slashdot reader.

      • Penetration is a fancy word to say "out of the totality of smartphone and tablet users (N) in America 81% has installed Facebook" It does not necessarily means they use it, in some cases.

      • That means that the US mobile app audience is fucked hard by these apps.

    • by jeti ( 105266 )
      Facebook is also preinstalled on many devices and can't be uninstalled.
      • Facebook is also preinstalled on many devices and can't be uninstalled.

        I don't know what device that is, and I'm glad I don't own one!

    • by Gonoff ( 88518 )

      Why would you want to remove a major part of your operating system? It reminds me of the user who deleted the c:\windows\system32 folder because he didn't use any 32bit apps...

      Google Play is a lot more than just the App Store for grown up phones!

  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:31PM (#55077501) Homepage Journal
    I've hardly used any of them:
    • Facebook (81 percent),

    Never used it. I am not on there at all, never have been. I don't want to sell my personal information to that company.

    • YouTube (71 percent),

    I've used it maybe 10 times in the past year, mostly to watch videos of car repair techniques while I'm working on my car.

    • Facebook Messenger (68 percent),

    Never used it. Why is it a separate app from facebook?

    • Google Search (61 percent),

    Mostly I use this to entertain my son when we're waiting. My voice recognition calls it up automatically and then I'll usually ask it "how much wood can a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood"?

    • Google Maps (57 percent),

    This I do use a lot, generally at least once a week.

    • Instagram (50 percent),

    Never used it. I can't even fathom a good reason to.

    • Snapchat (50 percent),

    Not even sure what this is. Is it better than a regular chat?

    • Google Play (47 percent),

    Does that include the Play store where I download other apps? Otherwise I've never used it.

    • Gmail (44 percent),

    I prefer the regular android mail app, though I've used the gmail app once or twice this year for times when I needed a more extensive search and didn't have my laptop handy

    • and Pandora (41 percent).

    Never used it. My battery drains quickly enough without streaming music.

    • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:38PM (#55077553) Homepage

      Do I not exist at all then?

      None of those said 100% penetration, so I don't really know what you're getting at. Do you own a TV? I'm just asking but if you didn't I'm sure you would have told us by now.

      • Ugh where are my mod points? +5 funny
    • Easier idea is to sub to podcasts of music, like KEXP song of the day or NPR alt.Latino and play that. Free. No charge. Ever.

      I also use RA podcast and KEXP Live Performances podcasts. You can get those on video too, but it will drain your battery fast.

      And, yes, I donate to my NPR station and KEXP. And buy albums and t-shirts from the bands at performances (they get half the take instead of 2 cents).

    • "how much wood can a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?"

      BTW, for the lazy asses among you, it's apparently 700 pounds.

    • GET OFF MY LAWN! God damn liberal hippy!

    • Facebook (81 percent), YouTube (71 percent), Facebook Messenger (68 percent), Google Search (61 percent), Google Maps (57 percent), Instagram (50 percent), Snapchat (50 percent), Google Play (47 percent), Gmail (44 percent), and Pandora (41 percent)

      I have 5 devices (2 iOS, 2 Androids, 1 Windows 10 Mobile), and here are the breakdowns of what I have on each:

      Facebook: NONE

      YouTube: Both the Androids - they come pre-installed. But didn't bother installing them on the iPhone/iPad

      Facebook Messenger: NONE

      Google Search: there on my Androids, but not on iOS/Windows - I just use the defaults. On iOS, I made it DuckDuckGo, which is not an option on Androids. On Windows, I just use Bing

      Google Maps: Here again, I use the defaults - Google Maps on the Android

    • The whole thing is marketing bullshit. And we all know that marketing is in general as far away from reality as it can be.
  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:36PM (#55077537) Journal
    What will your app do that can't be done in a browser? Arguably, most of these apps do something with the device's hardware that the browser doesn't have access to (except Facebook).
    • The app can report your GPS location, phone number, and other informatics back to the app developer and their advertising partners.
      • The app can report your GPS location, phone number, and other informatics back to the app developer and their advertising partners.

        Why would a consumer want that?

        • Why would they care what the consumer wants?

        • The app can report your GPS location, phone number, and other informatics back to the app developer and their advertising partners.

          Why would a consumer want that?

          In order not to have to set up yet another recurring $4/mo subscription, which is what WIRED and The Atlantic require of visitors who attempt to read their articles with Firefox tracking protection or the Disconnect extension enabled.

        • The app can report your GPS location, phone number, and other informatics back to the app developer and their advertising partners.

          Why would a consumer want that?

          There are times that they are nice to have. Like when I take pictures and send them to family, it's nice to include the location of where I took it, so that if interested, they can check out on a map. Some apps, like Costco, tell me where the nearest store is if I happen to be out of town and allow them to access my location

          But there are a lot of apps that have no business knowing my location, such as all the games I found it bizarre when Monopoly requested access to my location & pictures: why? T

          • Correction: some games wanted to use my cellular data, not the location. Which there's no compelling reason for them to have. They can update my scores when I'm near a trusted WiFi
    • What will your app do that can't be done in a browser?

      Run with JavaScript turned off, for one. A lot of native apps do things that would be very clunky if link navigation and form submission are the only possible means of interaction.

      Also run offline. Apple WebKit, the engine of all web browsers for iOS, lacks support for Service Workers.

  • I use Pokemon Go, Twitter, and OneBusAway way more often than any of that p3rvvv stuff you say are the top 10.

    Have them all set with no permission to run when not active window.

    Google Maps is only when an event is launched and I don't know where it is. Only reason I use it is Apple Maps kept telling me things were in the middle of the Salish Sea, so I stopped using it.

  • They come with most (all?) Android-based smartphones. I have the google apps on my phone, but I don't use them. Did they count in this survey?
    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      They come with most (all?) Android-based smartphones...Did they count in this survey?

      Of course. That's a proven strategy. IE came pre-installed on my computer. That doesn't make me an IE user, but it makes me an IE customer.

    • I think Youtube and Maps are fair game, but search and play are a stretch.

      • Facebook also is.
        Many phone OS updates ago i was prompted with a "security update" which automatically installed Facebook despite me not wanting it. And it can't be uninstalled. And it updates on its own independent of the app store. And every time it updates itself separately it reactivates itself despite me having disabled it.

        Now, don't get me wrong, I do have a Facebook account and I do use it sometimes, but not from my phone. And I do NOT want it on my phone.

        • I've never had a device that came w/ FaceBook: if I wanted it, it had to be downloaded separately. Which is different for Google apps on an Android, where you get most of them whether you want them or not. Most ridiculous: having messenger included on my Android tablet even though I can't use the phone number on that tablet to send messages: I'd have to associate it w/ one of the phones.
      • How do they know whether someone uses YouTube and Maps, or simply has it on the phone b'cos it can't be removed?
  • Only the USA.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      "America" is not "North America", "South America", or "The Americas". For this reason, in practice, it means the USA.

      • That's right. Hence, when we say that Colombus discovered America, did he actually land in New York?

        Just because you can divide Europe into Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe doesn't mean you have to call the continent "The Europes". There are various theories on the number of continents, and many people consider America to be a single continent. And event if it isn't, the word can still refer to a group of continents without having to be plural.

  • How is Pandora #10 on the list, when I keep reading about how Pandora is struggling against competition from Apple and Spotify?

    • How is Pandora #10 on the list, when I keep reading about how Pandora is struggling against competition from Apple and Spotify?

      I don't trust any "list". People (companies) pay people (companies) to create "lists" that skew peoples' thoughts and curiosities toward a desired target. Of course, there are a lot of misses or not-interested people, but most will try our things out of curiosity that are the same or different to prove or disprove (to themself) the veracity of "list" truthfulness. Basically, when I see "The ten most", "The Top 100", etc, I just tune [it] out. I haven't gotten anything but slanted junk from such "lists".

  • by Kergan ( 780543 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:46PM (#55077613)

    Or for that matter, Phone? Music? Photo?

    The built-in apps seem pretty popular. I can't fathom key built-in apps being less popular than installed apps.

    • Great. An app where you can only send messages to other members of your cult.

      Not being part of it (never will be, I get irritated everytime I have to manipulate one), I have no idea if the cult members actually use it.

      • iMessage can be used to send text messages to anyone. It's only if one wants to include photos or videos that it gets restrictive. Reason I use WhatsApp - it works across phone platforms and different family members have different phones.
        • iMessage can be used to send text messages to anyone. It's only if one wants to include photos or videos that it gets restrictive.

          ah, ok, so you don't know for sure if the message got downgraded to a billable SMS, and if your non-iMessage friend replies to a many-to-many downgraded to SMS, the reply doesn't get forwarded to the others?

          • In iMessage, each Window is unique to a conversation. If I'm conversing w/ 2 people, only the 3 of us will be in the conversation. If they add someone else, it will be a different message thread, and I'll know that more people have been brought in
    • iMessage? Based on the first character alone it drops off the top 10 list even if 100% of users with it pre-installed actually use it.

      • iMessage will never exceed penetration beyond iPhone itself. More phones are Android, and can't install iMessage.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          iMessage will never exceed penetration beyond iPhone itself.

          It's also on iPod touch, iPad, and Mac.

          More phones are Android

          If the average iOS user spends nine times as much money using his phone as the average Android user [businessinsider.com], a 7 to 1 lead for Android installed base still means the iOS market is bigger in total dollars per year.

          • It's on iPod Touch? How does that work - doesn't it need a phone number? I can understand FaceTime, which works from email IDs as well, but this?

            Which is why I don't get why they include messaging apps on tablets, when those apps can't use the cellular phone# of the tablets, as opposed to phones within the plan

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Skype works based on Skype usernames or Microsoft account email addresses. IRC works based on nicknames, possibly associated with email through NickServ or with identd and hostmask. Discord works based on guild (or "server") invitation URLs sent through email or social channels. I have all 3 installed on my Galaxy Tab A.

              • Those are fine - was referring to Google's Message+. I have a Verizon Ellipsis that comes w/ that, yet I can't use it w/ the cellular number that comes w/ that tablet.
                • by tepples ( 727027 )

                  Message+ is a Verizon Wireless app, not a Google app. Google's messaging apps are Hangouts and Allo, and Hangouts is like Skype in that it works with Google Account email addresses. What error message does Message+ give? Does the error message appear on the help page for Message+ [verizonwireless.com]?

                  • It doesn't allow any messages to be sent from the tablet number: it prompts one to associate the app w/ an existing Verizon phone number. Which is bizarre, since they've provided a non voice phone number to the tablet for it to use cellular data.
                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      From the linked help page:

                      Anyone with a valid US mobile number can use Verizon Messages (Message+), including non-Verizon customers.

                      What error message do you get when you try your non-Verizon mobile phone number? Or do you have only a landline or landline-equivalent VoIP number?

                    • You're not getting it. It's not non-Verizon: it's non-phone. In other words, it's a phone number associated w/ the tablet. So if I'm roaming, I can access the internet on the tablet, but not make calls, since it's data only, not voice.

                      Which is fine, since I'm not trying to make calls over the tablet. But if I'm getting texts via the cellular service, I should be able to get it on my tablet using the phone number associated w/ the tablet. I don't. Incidentally, same issue w/ iPads: iMessage on that

          • Which is all wonderfully irrelevant to our discussion.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              I don't see how it's irrelevant to buy an Android phone as your daily driver and an iPod touch, tethered to your Android phone, for running those few applications that are iOS-exclusive.

              • That's because you're so lost in the thread that you forgot that the discussion was about market share of real people. The article never covered how much each app was used, so that was irrelevant, and seriously someone buying an iDevice for one app that they can't use on their android phone? That level of autism should just stick to playing with fidget spinners.

                • It's not a case of an app that can't run on an Android phone. I got an iPod Nano for use in my car. The car navigation system includes an iPod player, which only works w/ iOS devices. I could play songs on the phone via bluetooth, but I can't control them much from the steering or on the dashboard screen aside from volume control or skipping songs. I'd have to start a playlist before a trip, and also, if I switch from phone to radio, the Android phone doesn't pause, it just assumes that it has a differe

              • by Gonoff ( 88518 )

                ...for running those few applications that are iOS-exclusive.

                That is a vanishingly small use case.

                For many of the cases where a particular app is only available on an iThing, there are other apps available for those unwilling to pay the Gullibility Tax.

                • For iMessage, which is the original subject of this thread, you are right. There is no reason why an Android phone user should have to use that, when they can use Hangouts, or WhatsApp if both phones needed to use the same app.

                  However, there are a lot of cars that have iPod players but don't work w/ Android. While the newer ones do support both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, the older ones don't. As I mentioned in another post above, it makes sense to use an iPod player to control the music in the car

        • Exactly my point.

  • WhatsApp (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zappy ( 7013 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:49PM (#55077633) Homepage

    A top 10 installed app list and WhatsApp is not on there, I call it BS

    • I was thinking the same thing, until I re-read America's top app list.
      WhatsApp is generally used by people who know at least someone else in another country, which ain't gonna be your average American.
      All those foreigners are dirty TERRORISTS!!!!!!

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I only a couple people who use WhatsApp in USA.

      • I've seen a few. Best reason to have WhatsApp is if you know people who use phones different from yours - be it iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones. Especially if one has the third, it's great to have WhatsApp: it's a common platform for messages, photos, videos and video calling. Until recently, one couldn't do a video call b/w an iPhone and an Android, or a Windows Phone and any of the others. WhatsApp changed it all.
        • by antdude ( 79039 )

          Ah. I don't use video calls and rare use calls. I mostly use for Internet and textings on my very old used iPhone 4S.

          • Sounds like a laptop would have done the job for you just great. And if you don't like Microsoft, a Macbook or Chromebook would have done exactly what you're describing.

            Honestly, the biggest reasons to have smartphones is for things like video calling, texting and other apps. If one is not into them, one could use those legacy phones like those flip phones. Texting was something I only started doing after I got my first smart phone - a Nokia Lumia 520. Prior to that, I'd rarely text, since hitting a n

  • I've had an iPhone and a couple of Android phones. I feel like just carrying the thing is a risk. I understand that no matter what phone I carry the carrier is going to triangulate my position. However, I don't need apps sniffing my passwords, doing speech-to-text or recording my every word to send to Chinese spammers & marketdroids, or pushing ads in my face. I went back to using a crap Symbian phone (Phillips Xenium) with a 3 week battery life, no ability to even run an "app", and very basic features
    • I agree w/ you w/ some of the privacy issues, but some apps do have some big positives about them. Although I have a navigation unit in my car, the maps on a smartphone are generally up to date. If you receive a check, it's a great convenience to scan it both sides and use the banking app to deposit it. If you are out of town, it's handy to have Yelp! tell you the nearby restaurants of your choice. One of the biggest things about smartphones is the way they put the camera to use, and how handy it is -

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Holy fucking shit. Apple's web browser was THE killer app for the first iPhone. It was what made smartphones acceptable to the masses. It was the first thing anyone would show me, where I'd say "ok, I gotta admit that's pretty slick."

    And now it's not even in the top 10. (Though on my mobile, I use it more than any of the top ten.) Are we at the point where they say "in Korea, only old people use the web"?

  • That's funny, I don't see any of those installed on anything I own. /hipsterapphater
    • It would be hipster if only YOU use it. You are not a hipsterhater, YOU ARE A HIPSTER, because bragging about not doing what the masses do is what defines a hipster. #Failing

  • So how exactly do they measure this? I'm not giving some marketing agency my contact information to find out.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So how exactly do they measure this? I'm not giving some marketing agency my contact information to find out.

      comScore gives rewards for being a panelist in return for letting them snoop your data/app usage.

  • by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @05:50PM (#55078533) Homepage

    Glad to see Pandora on the list. I've always liked Pandora and hope it never dies. Although, I let my Pandora One membership lapse a few years ago when they stopped allowing a full year's payment at one time (which they've since resumed). Since then, I've upped with Spotify. I'm still trying to decide which I like better.

  • What about that app that puts the time of day on my lockscreen? That's the one I really use. It bears a little scrutiny when the functionality is ubiquitous, but there aren't a dozen different ways to do the same thing.

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