What do you use your smartphone for?

Like most people, you probably spend your time on apps.

The thing is:

Apps have become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it’s to check the weather, order food, or book a hotel, people have been relying heavily on apps for their home, work, or vacation.

Perhaps you’re even using a mobile app to read this!

Here, we’ll delve into the most popular apps in the world. We’ll take a closer look at the latest stats and facts about the growing mobile app industry.  

  • Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users.
  • WhatsApp received 191 million first-time downloads in Q2 2019.
  • Candy Crush is the top-grossing app on Google Play, generating $41.16 million in global revenue.
  • Yolo, an anonymous Q&A app, has been downloaded approximately six million times since its launch.
  • Messenger is the most popular Google Play app by US downloads, with over six million first-time downloads in Q2 2019.

Despite the ubiquity of mobile apps, not every initiative is successful. Many apps on the market are mediocre or sketchy. However, there’s also a wealth of trustworthy apps out there. In fact, some have managed to win the trust of hundreds of millions of people around the world and retain it over the years. As the latest figures show, the apps are going to reach millions more in the years to come.

Instagram is a mobile photo sharing app and social network. And it’s not only consumers who are drawn to the platform. Some of the world’s leading brands maintain an active presence on it as well.

Since the photo sharing platform debuted in 2010, it’s grown increasingly popular, especially among mobile users. As of June 2018, Instagram had about 1 billion active users monthly, up from 800 million in September 2017.

No doubt, it’s one of the most downloaded apps in 2018. 

2. Uber has 95 million users, making it the top ride-hailing app in the US.

San Francisco-based ride-hailing platform Uber has transformed the way we commute. Although the concept seems quite novel, it’s been around since 2009. Two years after it debuted, it introduced its mobile app, which made it even easier for commuters to hail a ride. From then onwards, the company has seen massive growth, which is nothing short of amazing.

Uber is one of the most popular apps in the USA. According to a study, it had 95 million active users in 2018. It’s estimated to reach 110 million users this year.

3. Netflix has 158 million subscribers in 2019.

From its humble beginning as a DVD mailing service, Netflix has become a go-to video-on-demand app, where subscribers can watch their favorite shows from their TV and computer to their smartphone.

A recent study indicates that it has more than 158 million paying customers, making Netflix one of the best entertainment apps the world has ever seen. Of that number, 60.62 million subscribers come from the US alone. In addition, Netflix has 5.5 million free trial subscribers.

4. Airbnb is expected to reach 45.6 million Americans by 2022.

Booking home rentals, restaurants, and other exciting travel experiences has never been easier. By downloading Airbnb, you can easily find and book affordable accommodation wherever you travel to.

Airbnb was one of the most downloaded apps in 2017, reaching 33.9 million Americans. By 2022, the platform is expected to reach 45.6 million users.  

5. 150.79 million mobile users accessed Amazon in June 2019.

The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, has a mobile app that makes shopping more convenient for consumers. It allows shoppers to filter a wealth of products using different parameters. What’s more, it supports multiple payment systems for quick and easy checkouts.

Amazon is one of the best apps of all time for shopping. Around 150.79 million Americans accessed the mobile retail app in June 2019.

6. YouTube accounts for 37% of all mobile traffic. 

YouTube is the leading online video platform in the world. In the US, its biggest market consists of 15 to 25-year-olds. About 81% of Americans that belong to this age group stream videos on the platform.

Even in terms of mobile usage, YouTube is one of the most used apps in the world. Recent reports show the platform drives 37% of all mobile internet traffic.

7. Spotify gained 248 million active users in Q3 2019.

Swedish music streaming platform Spotify has reshaped users’ music consumption habits through its brand- and user-created playlists. Its mobile presence has grown dramatically in the past few years. Within a decade, the mobile app has reached hundreds of millions of downloads.

Spotify is easily one of the most popular apps in Google Play and the App Store. In Q3 2019, its total monthly active users grew by over 30%, reaching 248 million.  

8. Dropbox reaches 12.7 million paying customers. 

People generate huge amounts of data every day, whether it comes in the form of selfies, videos, or text messages. That makes cloud storage platforms like Dropbox crucial to data protection and security.

There’s no doubt that Dropbox makes it to the list of the most useful Android apps, as well as iOS apps. In 2018, it reached 12.7 million paying customers.

9. DoorDash leads mobile food delivery services, capturing 35% of consumer spending.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, as indicated in smartphone usage statistics. With widespread adoption, food delivery app usage will skyrocket as well. About 38 million Americans are expected to use food delivery apps in 2019. This figure is estimated to hit 60 million by 2023. 

So, what are the most popular apps for food delivery?

DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates are the leading apps in this category. In 2019, DoorDash is the most popular, capturing 35% of consumer spending. Yum!

10. Pocket saw an increase in traffic by 75% in 2018.

Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is an app that allows its users to save articles and videos from the Web for future viewing. Mozilla acquired it a few years back, and it’s seen steady growth ever since.

Pocket is aimed at publishers burned by Facebook. According to a Bloomberg article, traffic was up by 75% in 2018.

Most Downloaded Apps in 2019

Research shows that consumers downloaded about 194 billion apps on their mobile devices in 2018, which is up from 143.7 billion in 2016. Despite the growing number of apps on the market, five mobile apps have been on the top five since the first quarter of 2018, four of which are owned by Facebook. 

11. WhatsApp saw 191 million new downloads in Q2 2019. 

Since the Q1 2018, WhatsApp has maintained a spot on Sensor Tower’s most downloaded apps list. It is the highest performing app of the quarter, receiving over 191 million first-time downloads worldwide. 

12. Messenger had 181 million first-time downloads in Q2 2019.

Another Facebook-owned app that made it to the list of high-performing apps is Messenger. As indicated in Sensor Tower’s second-quarter report, it had been among the top five leading apps since the first quarter of 2018.

Aside from being one of the most popular messaging apps, it’s the second-highest performing app of the quarter. It saw a whopping 181 million new downloads.

13. Facebook acquired over 160 million new downloads. 

Social media usage isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As mobile internet usage increases worldwide, the number of social media users will grow along with it.

According to the latest statistics, Facebook was the third-highest performing app in the second quarter of 2019. It saw over 160 million first-time downloads.

14. TikTok saw a 48% decrease in US downloads.

Social video app TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, has been one of the most downloaded apps in recent years. However, it saw a slight decrease in US downloads in the second quarter of 2019. After two successful quarters, TikTok’s US downloads plummeted. 

15. Instagram acquired more than 100 million first-time downloads in Q2 2019. 

Coming fifth on our list of most popular apps in terms of worldwide downloads is Instagram. The social media platform generated more than 100 million first-time downloads in the second quarter of the year. 

16. Snapchat saw nearly 10 million first-time downloads.

Based on US downloads, Snapchat is one of the best Android apps of 2019. It’s also among the leading apps on iOS. It received nearly 10 million downloads in the second quarter of the year. Due to the increase in downloads on both platforms, Snapchat was able to outrank Instagram on our list of top US apps.

Snapchat ranked sixth worldwide, which is its best ranking since Q2 2017. It hasn’t been in the top five since the first quarter of that same year.

Google’s official app store, Google Play, made its debut under the name Android Market back in 2008. Apart from its name, it’s seen several other changes over the years. Crucially, this includes the number of available apps on the platform. As of September 2019, Google Play has hosted around 2.8 million apps and digital media.

17. Candy Crush is the leading app in the Google Play Store, making $41.16 million in global revenue. 

A recent study on the best selling apps on Google Play shows that Candy Crush generated about $41.16 million in revenue worldwide. 

Gaming apps account for an incredible 87% of app revenue in Google Play. So, it’s not surprising to see a gaming app as the highest-grossing app on the platform. 

18. Clash of Clans generated $37.83 million in global revenue.

Mobile apps use different monetization models. Most apps on Google Play are free to download, but they offer in-app purchases. Clash of Clans is a good example of this. It’s one of the most popular game apps on the platform, receiving $37.83 million in global revenue in 2019. 

19. Tinder produced $21.37 million in global revenue. 

Nearly all of the highest-grossing apps on Google Play are gaming apps, save for Tinder and Pandora.

Based on Wikipedia statistics, Tinder has 5.2 million paying customers in August 2019. This is up from 1.5 million from the same quarter in the previous year. Needless to say, Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps in recent years. 

Each month, it sees millions of first-time downloads from Google Play. Not only that, the latest figures show that it generated a massive $21.37 million in global revenue on the platform. 

Published by Playrix in 2017, Homescapes is a free-to-play spinoff of Gardenscapes. It has the same gameplay concept as the original app, a well-written storyline, and match-3 mechanics. According to a recent study, Homescapes generated nearly $20 million in global revenue.

21. Pandora generated $18.93 million in global revenue. 

Another non-gaming app that made it to the top 10 Android apps is Pandora. Like the rest of the apps on the list, the music streaming and internet radio service is free to download, but it offers in-app purchases. In a 2019 study, Pandora made approximately $18.93 million in revenue from the Google Play store.

22. Grindr sees approximately 1.26 million first-time downloads every month.

Grindr might not have made the list of top-grossing Android apps. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most popular gay dating apps in the world. Recent data shows that it sees approximately 1.26 million first-time downloads each month on the Google Play store. 

Four of Facebook’s mobile applications were among the five best apps on the platform in terms of downloads. Of the four apps, Messenger came out as the most popular in the US, receiving more than six million downloads across the country.

App Store downloads increased to 29.6 billion in Q3 2019, reflecting a 9.7% growth from the same quarter of the previous year. Of all app categories, gaming appears to be the most popular in the App Store. Statistics show that games make up 24.63% of iOS apps. Business apps come second, making up 9.76% of the apps on the platform.

24. YouTube sees 28.5 million in first-time global downloads.

Video hosting platform YouTube is easily one of the best iPhone apps on the App Store.

For the second quarter of 2019, YouTube ranked as the leading app for iOS users. It generated 28.5 million downloads worldwide. Of that number, over seven million were downloaded in the US from iPhones and iPads. 

25. Yolo has been downloaded nearly six million times from the App store.

As indicated in our Apple statistics, 500 million users are on the App Store every week. People are constantly looking for fresh new applications to play with. 

So, what are the most popular iPhone apps in 2019?

Yolo, an anonymous question-and-answer app, only launched in May, but it has been downloaded nearly six million times in the US since then.

26. Amaze received over eight million downloads in Q2 2019.

So far, nine different iOS games have surpassed the five million mark on the App Store in terms of US downloads. That includes Crazy Labs’ puzzle game called Amaze. It’s one of the best free game apps on the platform, generating over eight million downloads in the second quarter of 2019.

27. iOS users downloaded Spotify nearly five million times. 

SoundCloud might still have 175 million users, as our SoundCloud statistics show, but it’s no longer one of the leading audio distribution apps for iOS. Spotify is one of the most popular apps in appstore, serving as a popular SoundCloud alternative. In Q2 2019, it received over four million downloads.


There are an incredible 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world. As a result of the widespread adoption of mobile technologies, app usage will increase, and the app industry will flourish. 

Key takeaway: 

Due to the ever-changing nature of technology, the most popular apps today won’t necessarily be popular tomorrow. 

So, always do your research, and stay up to date with the latest trends.