The start of lockdowns and restrictive measures in April 2020 marked the beginning of the drastic increase in downloads for remote education apps such as Google Classroom (which increased from 27,689 in January to almost one million downloads in March 2020 on the Uptodown platform) and Edmondo, as did other mobile device learning tools, such as Duolingo, Photomath, and the popular U-Dictionary. These same apps saw a new surge in downloads in November; when 67 countries kept their schools closed, affecting 693 million children, roughly 40% of the world’s students.
In essence, apps aimed at improving productivity and other office work tools, have also seen an increase in downloads, also peaking during the months of April and November during the first and second waves of the pandemic. Curiously, apps purely for children’s entertainment; games such as Toca Life World, Princess Salon, My Town: Home Dollhouse, Club Penguin, or the Peppa Pig video app, have had a continuous and unstoppable rise in the number of downloads: In February 2021 the download traffic of this category is 4.5 times higher than in February of 2020.
One of the steepest growth trends in downloads has been for the ZOOM video calling app. From an average of 11,000 downloads per month in 2019, it increased to around one million monthly downloads between April and September 2020, multiplying tenfold (the highest peak occurring in April, with 1,323,652 downloads from the Uptodown platform alone).
Fitness and sports performance apps saw an exponential rise at the beginning of the pandemic, whilst everyone seemed to be taking advantage of lockdowns by staying fit while being at home. These apps had a sharp rise in April (almost 120,000 downloads more than the previous month, climbing from 425,899 in April compared to 308,601 in March), along with brief rallies in June; the expected rise just before summer and in January where the idea of exercising more falls in line with people’s New Year resolutions. The demand for food ordering apps such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo experienced a decline in March, with the onset of the pandemic, and its greatest growth in May, when the restrictions and confinements of the first wave began to relax.
When it comes to using mobile devices as a form of entertainment, 2020 has undoubtedly been a good year for mobile game developers. This sector has experienced spectacular growth in the number of downloads. With evident peaks in April and March, downloads have remained higher than the previous year in all subsequent months. The most popular games of the early pandemic months were PUBG Mobile, PUBG Lite, Free Fire, Fortnite, Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars, Gacha life and Among Us.
What about dating apps? Although we might think that with the beginning of the restrictions, the fear of contagion and the advice to avoid interaction with people outside of those whom we are forced to live with at home, apps of this type would have experienced a spectacular drop in the number of downloads, the reality is that they have experienced moderate decreases, even having a slight increase in downloads during the first wave, in March and April, and at the beginning of the summer (June and July). In the statistics, Tinder is crowned as a great favourite followed closely by Grindr.
Uptodown is an international platform for the digital distribution of applications specialized for Android, founded in 2002. Alternative and totally independent, this app store is based on the principle of respecting the privacy of the user, not being required to register and allowing software to be downloaded both from its own official app and through the web. It has a catalogue of more than 3.8 million apps, divided into thematic categories and hosted on its own servers, offering for each one an information sheet prepared by its team of editors and supplemented with the opinions of its users. Available in fifteen languages, it currently has 130 million active users worldwide, and facilitates more than 450 million downloads every month.