Global increase of smartphone use results in record download numbers, hours spent on phones: App Annie

People around the world used their phones more often in 2021 than in previous years, according to a recent report from a mobile data and analytics company. annie app.

Globally, there were a total of 230 billion downloads. People also spent a total of 3.8 trillion hours on their smartphones. This is a 30 percent increase from 2019.

China led with the most hours spent on mobile with over 1.1 trillion hours in 2021. India followed with 0.7 trillion and the US reported 0.2 trillion.

Seven out of 10 minutes were spent on photo, video or social apps, greatly accelerated by the pandemic.

This was especially evident in Gen Z. The report lists Instagram, Spotify, Netflix, and Snapchat as the apps most used by this age group.

The launch of 2 million new apps and games also contributed to the increasing time spent on phones in the fight to keep customers engaged. “Every industry is a mobile-centric industry,” the report notes.

The new releases bring the total number of apps and games released on iOS and Google to more than 21 million. Google Play accounted for 77 percent of app launches in 2021.

In Canada, the most searched terms in the iOS app store are all related to work life: work, Zoom, LinkedIn, Indeed, and (Microsoft) Teams.


Mobile gaming also saw a significant increase in 2021 with spending of $ 16 billion. This brings total consumer spending on games to $ 116 billion.

There was a global shift in the types of games downloaded, with the “astronomical rise” of hyper-casual games focused on actions and puzzles.

Video streamed live

Time spent on streaming apps grew 16% globally, compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Netflix leads other apps in this category, and the report indicates that the app will surpass more than 1 million downloads in 60 countries this year.

This was not the case in China or India, where significant declines in transmission were reported. Specifically for China, the report notes the growing popularity of short-form video apps like Kwai and TikTok on streaming services.

Other highlights

Finance apps also reached a total downloads worldwide of 5.9 billion in 2021. This is a 28% increase over 2020 and was largely driven by downloads in India. Finance apps in the country have now been downloaded more than a billion times.

There was an 18 percent increase in time spent on shopping apps, leading to a total of 100 billion hours spent on shopping apps worldwide.

The full report can be viewed here.

Fountain: annie app

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