2020’s coronavirus pandemic has upended almost every aspect of the global economy. It has shut down countries and changed the way we carry out our daily business. As we remain in lockdown in our homes, waiting for it all to go away, we turn to our mobile devices for updates. Like never before, we are using our devices to keep a close eye on the latest news, to connect with our family, friends, and colleagues, and, of course, we look to them to be entertained. Our behaviours have changed, simply because we needed to adapt immediately to our new circumstances. Not only in the physical realm, but in a virtual aspect, our consumer behaviour has (very quickly) evolved.
The World Just Had An Eye-Opening Experience
Almost every industry on the planet this year has had a swift kick in the pants. Because of this, an incredibly large amount of necessary adjustments have taken place. In Australia, workplaces have had the biggest shakeup in a century. Before the pandemic, around 15% of Australians worked from home full time, with about 30% working part-time remotely. In what some are calling the ‘working-from-home revolution,’ it is expected that once we return to the ‘new normal’, up to half of the workforce will continue to work remotely.
What this has created, is a necessity for new app development, improvements to existing apps, and an incredible amount of app installs. If you ask anyone in the tech game, whether there has been an increase in App activity, the answer will be an overwhelming YES! There has been more than a 130% increase in new installs compared with the same period last year.
Apps that have surged during COVID
Gaming apps saw a 75% increase in installs in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year.
As the majority of Australian employees now work remotely, business-related apps have seen an enormous 70% surge in installs, with a 75% increase in revenue events, or premium version installs. Apps like ZOOM, Microsft Teams, WhatsApp, Google Meet, and Project Management apps all play a big part in connecting businesses to remote-working employees and have seen significant usage rates.
With almost 131 million installs, ZOOM was the most installed non-game App in April 2020. That’s a whopping 60x growth from the same quarter last year. Other top-ranking connection apps include WhatsApp and Google Meet.
Takeaway Food Apps
As many restaurants are forced to offer takeaway options only, food and drink apps experienced a significant 73% increase in usage, with a 21% increase in installs. However, to beat the price gouging from the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo, many restaurants have simply opted to have internal apps created.
The second most installed App of April was TikTok, with over 107 million installs. WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram landed top five most spots also. Apps like Spotify, Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, and other similar streaming apps have all seen momentous increases in usage and installs. There has also been a notable increase in the download of reading and audiobook apps.
Virtual Cash Apps
One of the most thought-provoking trends is the increase in the use of virtual cash apps, like PayPal’s Mobile Cash app and Square’s Cash App, as we toss-up whether to move away from physical cash in the real world because of growing health concerns.
Of course, educational apps have seen a massive increase in usage statistics, as homeschooling became a part of everyday life in Australia, and around the world. From Google Classroom to other classroom-to-student connection apps, it became a necessity for schools to adapt to the circumstances with as little impact on the learning outcomes of the nation’s children as possible.
The Apps That Haven’t Done So Well Amidst COVID-19
Of course, with the good comes the bad for App developers across the world. Although the world is still pushing through an incredibly difficult time, and we have changed the way we perform even the simplest of duties, not everything will succeed in a time like this.
Apple and Google Reject Unofficial COVID Apps
Everyone has at least one great idea a year, and in times of crisis, and when we are left to our own devices, locked away from our friends and families, our brains can quickly go into overdrive. Many virus-informative apps have been developed rapidly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, in a bid to make a quick buck. However great these app ideas may be, big players like Apple and Google are rejecting COVID apps left, right and center, as they aren’t from officially recognised institutions like hospitals, health authorities or governments. The decision was made very quickly by Apple that any app relating to the Coronavirus must be released by an official health organisation or official government. Government-developed apps have knocked these developers out of the water before they even get their feet wet.
An unusual downturn has occurred in online shopping and e-commerce apps, and installs have been on a steady 12% decrease every week since the beginning of 2020. Due to travel and shipping restrictions in place around the world, online shopping hasn’t been able to deliver the service they once customarily provided.
In recent news, a simulation game called Plague Inc. was conveniently pulled from App Stores in China at a time when Coronavirus was at its peak. The game’s content was suddenly classed as ‘illegal material’ in China, and its users were left high and dry. The content creators, Ndemic, were also left wondering how they could change the game to reach its 130 million users again.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, its that the world can exist online; and that makes the use of apps more critical than ever. Businesses around the world were forced into technology in ways they never imagined before, and a technological future is set to continue.
Whether you are an app user for recreational or business purposes, there is no doubt you can see the benefits of apps for your business. Apps are big business, and every business like yours has an opportunity to use apps that make running your day-to-day operations easier. Apps can help your brand offer a unique user experience for your customers, build customer loyalty, and communicate directly with your customers. If you need help to get your App off the ground or to improve the App’s current features, get in touch with our experienced team today.