Angry Birds, Facebook - iPhone apps
10 January 2012, 10:56
Toronto - Angry Birds and Facebook were the most downloaded iPhone
apps of 2011, according to Apple, but some less predictable apps also
made their lists.
Craig Palli, a vice president at Fiksu, a
marketing company for app developers, explained that this year's top
apps incorporate three main trends: the ability to connect with friends,
discovery and games that let users past the time and pick up where they
The top app in the social networking category was
Facebook. But Palli said the trend of connecting with friends extends
"It also encompasses Skype, all the free texting apps
and even Bump. These are all apps that lend themselves to enriching our
lives through an easier and greater amount of communication and
connections with friends," Palli explained.
In the music
category, Pandora, which generates personalized radio stations for its
users based on their music preferences, was the top app.
is such a good app that they don't really need to spend money in
marketing. They just get user after user because it's such a compelling
experience," Palli said.
TuneIn Radio Pro, which provides access to over 50 000 local and global stations, was another popular music app.
In the games category, Words with Friends, a multi-player game, and
Angry Birds were the most downloaded apps. Games captured nine of the
top ten spots on the paid apps list.
"They fill those five minutes of time that we were otherwise waiting for a train or appointment," explained Palli.
Pimp Your Screen
He added that phones are beginning to replace cameras, which explains the success of apps in the photo and video category.
"First it was the Polaroid camera, then it was the in-the-pocket digital camera. It's now just your phone."
Instagram, also named Apple's iPhone app of the year, topped the camera
category. It allows users to take photos, add filters and share them
with friends. Camera+, which extends the iPhone's camera with features
like zoom, also made the list.
In the health and fitness
category, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker and Nike+ GPS, an app for
tracking runs and workouts, were winners. But Palli said the category
has fewer downloads than others.
"The volume of downloads that
occur in this category is less than one tenth of the other categories,"
he said, but he predicts that this category will grow in 2012 as people
become more health-conscious and apps "augment the actual device itself
with something physical".
Groupon, the daily deal service, and
Pimp Your Screen, which lets users customise their device with
backgrounds and other visual features, were the top apps in the
Netflix, the video streaming service, was the
top app in the entertainment category, along with FatBooth, which lets
users visualise how they might look with a few extra pounds.
Palli said free apps generally receive more downloads, and many more developers are starting to offer free versions.
"During 2011, we saw a big shift in strategy from a lot of paid app
developers, which was to migrate from a straight paid app experience
where you pay for the app up front to an in-app purchase or upgrade
experience," he explained.
"This way it's really compelling for
the consumer because you can get started with the app and when they
experience how good the app is, they can take the wallet out of their
pocket and make the extra two taps to get the full features."