What We Can Learn From the Top Mobile Apps

The top mobile apps become so for a reason – they accomplish the tasks that are wanted and needed by users in a way that is both efficient and effective. This should make businesses sit up and take notice – these favored apps provide a definitive guide to what works and which features are attractive to consumers. Examining the top apps is something of a revelation when it comes to future potential.

Here are a few ideas to inspire and stimulate the imagination, for both Android aficionados and iOS addicts.

Free apps

Top of the Android charts are the free functional apps including Gmail and Google Chrome, followed by fun stuff including Angry Birds, social media site Facebook and messaging app WhatsApp.

Top of the iOS free apps are Facebook and Facebook Messenger, plus YouTube, Instagram and the temporary messaging app Snapchat. However, to get a feel for the more rounded picture of those using both Android and iOS, it’s also important to look at paid apps.

Paid apps

Android users focus on games that include Asphalt 7: Heat (racing), Minecraft: Pocket Edition (building and adventures/survival), and Where’s My Water? (a puzzle by Disney). Apps that are slightly more focused are Beautiful Widgets Pro, offering home screen personalization options and Poweramp Full Version Unlocker, which is an amazing music player.

The top 5 apps for iOS that users pay for include (as with Android) Minecraft: Pocket Edition, and also the global weather prediction service, Dark Sky Weather. These are closely followed by the popular party game Heads Up!, favored by Ellen DeGeneres, and the astronaut guidance game Lifeline, which is text based. Perhaps as an antidote to Lifeline, the fifth app in this section is the charming Plague Inc., allowing players to create the nastiest possible pathogen to destroy the world.

Analyzing the hit list

Considering this list leads to interesting theories about owners of mobile devices according to the operating systems and the apps they choose. For example, Android users tend to want the freedom to be in control of their apps and enjoy personalizing their devices, indicating they are good decision-makers. They favor the functional apps and prefer to use familiar Google offerings. Games are also popular with this sector while social media is less so. Android fans are eminently capable of teamwork as well as problem solving. They additionally enjoy their downtime with less challenging games, which are nonetheless demanding of skill.

On the other hand, iOS users positively enjoy social media and sharing, as demonstrated by the free apps, and they prefer to use a range of apps to connect to different people. Even the games they choose to pay for are of the social variety, with the exception of Plague Inc., which is distinctly anti-social, although it does take place in a virtual world. Minecraft and Lifeline both build on teamwork and encourage information sharing.

Consumer profiles

Although the analyses represent broad generalizations, they do indicate that the platforms used by businesses are likely to expose their products and services to groups that have slightly different priorities. Android users, being focused, are likely to consider any purchase carefully and weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision. They are also more comfortable with familiar offerings, and less likely to be impressed by complex systems or products.

Meanwhile the iOS users, being social creatures and open-minded when it comes to ways of communicating, are likely to be interested in new ideas and willing to try, and potentially to purchase, several different options. They are then likely to share their experiences widely.

Marketing strategies

This is food for thought for businesses that use a number of different platforms for marketing. A sales analysis based on how purchases are made (and on what device and operating system) could throw up some very useful data that indicates how customers are accessing business information and making purchases.

Generally, new apps are available for iOS users first, which means this is the group that is testing them out and telling other people about them. When apps become available for Android users, they will have been preceded by a considerable amount of publicity and feedback (from iOS users) and Android users, if interested, are thus in a position to make a very informed choice.

In one sense, there is an argument for doing deals with iOS users – free or cheap access to goods or services, for example – in order to garner their support before opening up the business offer to Android users. Loss leaders are not uncommon in business, it’s just that now there is an opportunity to utilize a different kind of demographic. Perhaps iOS-using business leaders will be open to a radical rethink, while Android-using ones will wait to see what happens next?

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