Which apps have been downloaded the most, which have been sold the most? t-online also spoke to some of the developers about the apps that Apple itself thinks are the best in 2020.
Apple’s App Store has long been one of the most important control centers for reaching the whole world: around 1.5 billion devices get their programs there, including Mac, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch and of course the iPhone. Anyone with a hit in the App Store has a considerable reach, which can often be translated into considerable sales. Because even if Android is much more widespread and has more users, according to the market research company Sensortower, Apple customers still spent around twice as much money on apps in the third quarter of 2020 as the significantly larger total number of Android users.
No wonder that, according to Apple, over 28 million developers are now trying to make their app a hit in the App Store. The App Store is also of growing economic importance for Europe. In 2019 alone, this should have indirectly enabled sales of 50 billion euros, a study by the consulting firm Analysis Group showed in the summer.
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A top position in this ecosystem is worth gold and that is probably one of the reasons why many developers look at the download and purchase charts published every year by Apple, as well as the awards given by Apple for particularly successful apps.
Most downloaded iPhone apps of 2020
The fact that the lists and prices are special this year is already evident from the iPhone app that is most frequently downloaded in Germany: It is actually the Corona warning app, which is logically a new addition this year. Zoom would also hardly have been in the top ten under other circumstances, and TikTok was also not in the top ten last year. The other apps are more of an evergreen.
- Corona warning app (Robert Koch Institute)
- WhatsApp Messenger (WhatsApp Inc.)
- TikTok (TikTok Pte. Ltd.)
- Instagram (Instagram, Inc.)
- YouTube (Google LLC)
- Google Maps (Google LLC)
- ZOOM Cloud Meetings (Zoom)
- Spotify (Spotify Ltd.)
- eBay classifieds (Marktplaats BV)
- Snapchat (Snap, Inc.)
The best-selling iPhone apps of 2020
As in the previous year, the Blitzer.de app leads the ranking. New additions to the top ten are the Thermomix recipe app “food with love”, the photo touch-up app “TouchRetouch” and the voice chat program TeamSpeak 3, which is especially popular among gamers.
- Blitzer.de PRO (Eifrig Media) – 0.49 euros
- Threema (Threema GmbH) – 3.99 euros
- food with love (Food with love) – 3.99 euros
- AutoSleep sleep tracker (Tantsissa) – 4.49 euros
- WatchChat 2: for WhatsApp (Alexander Nowak) – 3.49 euros
- Oh dear, I’m growing! (Domus Technica) – 4.49 euros
- TouchRetouch (ADVA Soft GmbH) – 2.29 euros
- Forest – Stay focused (SEEKRTECH) – 2.29 euros
- WeatherPro (MeteoGroup Deutschland GmbH) – 0.99 euros
- TeamSpeak 3 (TeamSpeak Systems Inc.) – 1.09 euros
Best apps 2020 awarded by Apple
Beyond stupid statistics, Apple also chooses a few winners of the year itself. Similar to the individual features in the App Store, this can be understood as a kind of app recommendation without obligation. The apps that are awarded here every year are often based on a good idea and their design and user guidance correspond to what Apple envisions as good examples. It is generally worthwhile for users to take a look at the award-winning apps. However, it should also be said here that these are mostly paid programs. We spoke to the four makers of the most interesting award winners.
Zoom: The free, and by name best, iPad app comes from a company that hardly anyone has passed this year: Zoom. In fact, it is impressive how the company has made itself a symbol of home work and defying the pandemic this year with its video conference application. Within a few weeks, Zoom spokeswoman Jennifer Hill tells t-online, the number of sessions at the beginning of the pandemic has multiplied from 10 million to 200 million. And almost by the way, a pure corporate application became a synonym for video conferencing with parents and grandparents, friends and club colleagues. In the coming year, the company wants to make it better known among its users that the application can do much, much more than enable stable video conferences with low bandwidth.
Wakeout: The application that was named iPhone app of the year by Apple is also directly related to the pandemic: the Wakeout! is a kind of fitness app – and still not. Because each of the more than 1,100 included video exercises can be done at home on the sofa, in the kitchen or while working at the desk. And many of them look a little funny, some even look crazy. This is intentional, explain the two makers Andres Canella and Pedro Wunderlich in an interview: “Humor is our secret ingredient.” Instead of having a hardened body, it is about becoming active with a small amount of effort – and preferably still getting in a good mood. The app was able to develop a large fan base, especially during the lockdown. The sometimes somewhat silly desk sport was actually fun during testing – a small downer, however, is that the app can only be used as a subscription model at a monthly price of 5.50 euros.
Endel: A very exciting approach is behind the Endel app, which this year bears the title “Best Apple Watch App” – but is also available for iPhone, Mac and even Android. Roughly simplified, the app aims to help each user with individually adapted music to cope better with the grueling, stressful everyday life of modernity. For this purpose, an artist collective has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI), taking into account current neuroscientific research results, which composes music, sounds and sounds individually for each user to suit their respective constitution. Depending on the setting, you should be able to concentrate better, relax, fall asleep better or sleep better – the app should even find the right sounds for certain situations such as reading, meditating, power nap, yoga or commuting. The AI can transform the time of day, pulse, weather and other factors into the individually appropriate sound. The concept even convinced the popular musician Grimes, who is now lending her voice for a special sleep program. The app definitely fascinated us in the test – after a free trial period, however, 3.49 euros will be charged per month.
The most successful iPhone games in the App Store
The numbers for the most popular games are significantly more dynamic than the app leaderboards. Here, too, due to the pandemic, a game that was already several years old made it to the top of the charts of the best-selling titles: Plague Inc. (0.99 euros). In the app you take on the role of a deadly virus and try to exterminate humanity. Quite cynical, but obviously the kind of humor that got the players through the lockdown. The app version of the board game Monopoly (4.49 euros) certainly owes its third place to the lockdown and virtual game evenings.
- Plague Inc. (Ndemic Creations) – 0.99 euros
- Minecraft (Mojang) – 7.99 euros
- Monopoly (Marmalade Game Studio) – 4.49 euros
- Bloons TD 6 (Ninja Kiwi) – 5.49 euros
- Football Manager 2020 Mobile (SEGA) – 9.99 euros
- Farming Simulator 20 (GIANTS Software GmbH) – 6.99 euros
- Rebel Inc. (Ndemic Creations) – 2.29 euros
- Pou Paul (Salameh) – 2.29 euros
- Geometry Dash (RobTop Games AB) – 2.29 euros
- Doodle Jump (Lima Sky) – 0.49 euros
The award for the best iPhone game this year goes to the title Genshin Impact (miHoYo). The free role-playing game with an anime look shows how good mobile games can look in the meantime, but it has also been criticized for its lootbox mechanism (a gambling element that encourages people to spend money).
A new category is the best game in Apple’s comparatively new game subscription service Arcade. There is a changing range of games for five euros a month, all of which are pleasantly free of monetization mechanisms. Apple thinks the best this year is Sneaky Sasquatch (RAC7 Games) – a cute title about a hungry big-foot creature who sneaks up to campers and loots their cool boxes. In fact, Sneaky Sasquatch is much more than that – the simple comic-style game is full of reminiscences, crazy ideas and mini-games, making it fun for children and adults alike. Jesse Ringstone, one of the two Canadian developers of the game, says he co-developed the game with an old friend. They would have included their entire childhood in Canada in the title. The game idea arose during a game jam, which in three years of work eventually turned into this game.
What is special about Sneaky Sasquatch and his way of publishing at Apple Arcade is that the developers could just keep adding new things, “simply because we believe they are fun and not because we have to somehow monetize the game,” Ringstone said in an interview. This literally playful fun of the developers can be seen in the app when playing in the most positive sense of the word – it’s worth trying!