Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy.
Global app spending reached $65 billion in the first half of 2022, up only slightly from the $64.4 billion during the same period in 2021, as hypergrowth fueled by the pandemic has slowed down. But overall, the app economy is continuing to grow, having produced a record number of downloads and consumer spending across both the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021, according to multiple year-end reports. Global spending across iOS and Google Play last year was $133 billion, and consumers downloaded 143.6 billion apps.
This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and much more.
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Image Credits: Apptopia
Apptopia is first out of the gate with its full-year retrospective of the top apps globally. The app intelligence firm this week launched 33 top charts based on data from iOS and Google Play combined, except for data from China which is iOS only. The data was collected from Jan. 1 2022 through Dec. 20, 2022.
The company even created its own categories to highlight apps that don’t yet have their own app store category — like quick-serve restaurants. (McDonald’s topped Starbucks here.)
Overall, the firm found that the top app worldwide was TikTok with 672 million installs. It was followed by Instagram, WhatsApp, CapCut (riding on TikTok’s success), Snapchat, Subway Surfers, Facebook, Stumble Guys and Spotify.
Apptopia also chose to this year categorize TikTok as Entertainment, not Social Networking, which allowed it to top Netflix as the most-installed Entertainment app.
Besides Subway Surfers, an endless runner that first launched in 2012 (!!), other older games proved to have staying power, like Candy Crush Saga, 8 Ball Pool and Among Us!
Image Credits: Apptopia
Other highlights include the first-time appearance of SHEIN as the No. 1 Shopping app of the year, after previously ranking No. 2 last year and No. 4 the year prior. Wish, meanwhile, didn’t make the cut. Crypto apps were also absent from the top charts as was China’s Didi, as it was impacted by the country’s zero-Covid policy. However, the token-based plan for Sweatcoin made the workout app the No. 1 Health & Fitness app globally.
It will be interesting to compare Apptopia’s data with those from other firms as the 2022 reports begin to arrive.
Image Credits: FluentPet