Mobile apps have been at the center of innovation for quite a few years now. With the ever-growing market, upcoming modern technologies, and evolving customer behavior, mobile applications are helping businesses stay relevant and competitive. Some of the most popular apps are making life simpler for millions around the world.
eMarketer estimates that US adults will spend, on average, more than 4 hours with mobile internet, with 88% of that time within apps.
If businesses want to ensure good engagement from mobile, they need to develop their own apps and offer a unique User Experience. Given the digital world’s present state, several apps are being released every day on the app store. These mobile apps are available to download depending upon purposes such as business, lifestyle, entertainment, education, games, and others to make life easier and comfortable.
Unfortunately, most downloaded apps fail, some of them fare mediocrely, and only a few of them stand out from the crowd by being exclusive and useful to the users. And, these outstanding and most popular apps are the ones that bring about a digital revolution.
What are the Most Popular Apps in 2021
To help you build a mobile app that stands out from the competition, we have collated the most popular and top installed apps that inspire businesses to continuously innovate and grow.
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Uber is the world’s leading on-demand cab service app for riders, which is being accessed by more than 103 million active users in 400 cities across 70 different countries. Uber is a technology-based platform that connects together the riders and drivers.
One of the most used apps in the world, Uber helps users fetch a ride without having to wait for long. By incorporating Google Maps into their apps, they show the user as well as the driver the exact location at the time of booking, and the estimated time to reach the pick-up point and the destination.
The app service has made the payment process simple by including payment gateways (apart from cash payment) linked to the user’s credit or debit card and mobile wallets. Moreover, after every ride, both the driver and the rider are requested to rate each other and share their feedback.
Price: Paid as per ride.
Instagram offers people an easy way to connect through images and videos. The networking site is among the popular mobile apps that has steadily gained prominence with relentless development since it first appeared in 2010. The app presents a spectrum of social media opportunities when it comes to digital marketing through ads and tools.
Instagram has over the years grown to become one of the most popular apps and added features such as stories, highlights, and reels; it is also recommended that you use hashtags to explore better. With more than a billion monthly active users, it is much more powerful when compared to Facebook and Twitter. From news to entertainment and health to beauty, Instagram has tons of images on a vast array of subjects. Marketers are increasingly favoring the platform since it promises better ROI for their business.
TikTok is a popular app, built by the Beijing-based firm ByteDance, for creating and sharing short videos set to music. The most popular genres on the platform are lip-synching and dancing. Most creators use it as a medium for viral “challenges”, to emote famous monologues from movies and TV, and produce clever illusions through editing.
Tik Tok’s rise in popularity can be judged from the fact that the daily time spent on the app is an average of 52 minutes per day and 90% of them access it on a daily basis. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has now become one of the world’s most highly valued startups.
Airbnb is an accommodation booking app that helps users plan their holidays with the locals.
While the aggregating platform also lists apartments and boutique stays, the primary idea is to encourage homestays with the city locals. Airbnb has a global presence, with millions of users opening their homes to tourists.
With the help of technology, Airbnb has built an exceptionally user-friendly app that increases the ease of booking online. Users can look for suitable accommodation using several filters and also explore activities to do in the region. With options ranging from villas to private rooms and shared spaces, Airbnb has proved to be a popular choice for leisure and business travelers.
Price: Paid as per booking.
Netflix is a subscription-based video-on-demand app. It is the world’s foremost subscription Over the Top (OTT) media service for users to watch movies, TV shows, and documentaries on multiple devices, including mobile. This app consistently updates its huge inventory of films with the latest and acclaimed movies and shows across many genres. The availability of interesting content and exclusive phone subscription has made Netflix among the top popular phone apps among millennials.
As of Q1 2020, Netflix had over 182 million paying subscribers, and 47% of Americans prefer Netflix over any other video streaming service. With the pandemic restricting the majority of the population to their homes, Netflix has seen a significant spike in sign-ups and viewership through the lockdown to become one of the most downloaded apps 2020.
Pricing: Free for the first month and paid (starts at $10.99/month) for a premium membership.
Amazon is one of the biggest multinational tech giants that offers digital streaming, cloud computing, eCommerce, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is a perfect example of innovation through technology. In the commerce segment, Amazon has established many unique processes that have created exceptional value for its customers, cashless stores being one of them. The app is light, as well as fast to use. It enables you to search and filter an extensive variety of products on different parameters with only a few taps.
The Amazon eCommerce app offers a seamless shopping experience along with simplified checkout, fastest delivery options and easy navigation. And you even get the latest updates about your order status. There are roughly 25,000 sellers on Amazon with more than $1 million in sales, and 200,000 sellers with more than $100,000 in sales.
Pricing: Paid as per orders.
YouTube is considered the world’s most favorite video platform, for the people, and by the people. One of the most successful apps, it is a treasure trove of news and entertainment, it helps millions of creators, shoot and share unique content with their audience. The YouTube mobile app lets users subscribe to videos and also updates them with the most relevant and trending content on the platform. Signing into YouTube on mobile phones allows users to access channel subscriptions, get regular notifications, and recommendations.
The app has a more straightforward navigation, autoplay of videos feature, full-screen playback, and queuing features. Each visitor spends 11m 24s per day on YouTube, on average, based on data fetched from Alexa.
Pricing: Free, but charges for paid content like movies and web series.
Dropbox is a reliable and well-designed cloud storage app that functions admirably on multiple gadgets. It helps in sharing files within a team or group. You can even comment on documents you have shared with other people, and browse everything that you have stored online.
A major advantage of Dropbox is that it can integrate with every other app and web service available without any compatibility issues. Dropbox also does not have a file-size limit for uploads through the desktop application or mobile apps. In the first quarter of 2020, Dropbox’s paying users ended at 14.6 million, as compared to 13.2 million for the same period last year.
Price: Free to download; has a free version and a paid version as per add-ons.
Spotify is one of the most popular apps in the music space and earns the top spot among popular music streaming apps. It has consistently upgraded its mobile app design, streaming quality, and music sharing capability. The app has an ad-supported free version, whereas the Spotify premium membership removes ads and gives additional features like offline mode for songs download when you are unable to stream.
Spotify app is available in 61 countries, has 159 million active users, and a library of 35 million songs. Additionally, Spotify also offers podcasts and has grown to be the biggest streaming platform in the world.
Price: Free; has a per month optional subscription charge.
Launched in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and sold to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, Whatsapp is on probably everyone’s smartphone today. One of the top apps and widely used chat applications, it also supports communication between international phone networks. Among the most popular messaging apps, it currently has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. Also, it is end-to-end encrypted, thus favored by people in countries where security may be a major concern.
The app has a robust presence in 180 out of the 193 countries in the world, which is the largest share among all messaging and social networks. WhatsApp can be also used for audio and video calls and has introduced a status update feature for its users.
Seamless and Pocket Receives Honorable Mention for Top Popular Apps
When we were planning to list down the top popular apps, the number of nominees went in triple digits. From the pool of these apps, we settled down with a handful of winners. However, the following are the two apps that are equally competitive, thus, deserve everyone’s attention:
Seamless, known as the best food ordering app, enables users to order food online through their smartphones. Seamless is a part of mobile food ordering company GrubHub, where users can order from around 35,000 restaurants in more than 900 cities.
Seamless food ordering app stands unique as it creates value by offering food a wide variety of restaurants to their customers. Their order placement process is simpler and more user-friendly as compared to other apps.
Pocket helps you save and share things such as videos, articles, emails you come across on your smartphone to come back later on with a browser bookmarks. The app enables you to download the stories in a clean, effectively readable interface for offline reading. It even reads content to you in a Siri-like voice.
You can also share articles, including comments with other Pocket users. The app learns what you like to read, and based on your searches, recommends more articles that may interest you. It is considered as the best productivity app because it helps in keeping track of your content on a daily basis.
Why Should A Business Invest In Mobile App Development
Mobile users are steadily increasing, which makes mobile presence imperative for every eCommerce business. Here’s what businesses should learn from the most popular apps and invest in mobile app development.
1. Customer Engagement
Mobile apps offer users a seamless interaction with your business without any distraction. For businesses, it is a direct way to reach their customers with special services and offers. The exclusivity in communication through the app helps build a connection with the brand and a loyal customer base.
2. Personalized Channel
The importance of personalization cannot be stressed upon enough, and an app helps businesses personalize their communication when customers interact with it. With the help of user profile information and browsing history, businesses can show the most relevant products and services to their customers, leading to higher engagement of the user. Push notifications also help reach directly to the customer.
3. Customer Support
It is easier for users to reach out to customer support when using an app. Similarly, businesses can build more effective feedback and support networks within an app to be more responsive. An app that focuses on intuitive design can make reaching out and sharing feedback much more efficient than a website.
Digital transformation is shaping the future of every business that’s operating online and no enterprise can afford to ignore it. Alongside technological advancements and innovations, customer experience also demands equal attention. A mobile application helps accelerate business growth and offers personalized user experiences. The most popular apps mentioned above have been efficient in leveraging technology to become globally successful. Building a feature-rich application with the help of a skilled team of developers and designers can take your business to newer heights.