10 Most Popular Apps on the Apple and Google Play App Stores
App User Lifecycle

10 Most Popular Apps on the Apple and Google Play App Stores

The world of apps is booming like never before. User-friendly, cost-effective smartphones and easy availability of 4G and 5G networks have led to a rise in the number of smartphone users around the globe downloading the world’s most popular apps.

The global smartphone audience has surpassed the 2 billion mark in 2016 and will total 2.5 billion in 2019**.

And eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017**.

How Many Apps Are There?

Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, have 2.1 million apps and 2 million available apps respectively**, and if you add these to the apps available in other app marketplaces, the number of apps we’re talking about is massive.

The app market is so big that you are sure to find an app out there for every need. The past years have brought together some great mobile apps that have been instant hits with users. Some came from known developers and others from promising newbies, the quality of these apps has pleasantly surprised its audiences.

We’ve listed out some apps that have continued to be popular with mobile users.

Most Popular Apps


As of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook has 2.27 billion monthly active users. Defeinitely a favorite on the popularity charts. Used by one and all, Facebook has made a distinct mark in the world of social networking apps.

Available on Android, iOS, Web OS, PC, Mac, Google Chrome, and the Web.

Price: Free


This micro blogging app has everyone hooked to it. Twitter has helped people connect, express their thoughts and follow their interests, and stay updated with latest trends.

Available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Web OS, PC, Mac, Google Chrome, and the Web

Price: Free


Whatsapp the mobile messaging app has 1.5 billion monthly active users as of early 2018. This messaging service is one of the most popular mobile apps worldwide.

Available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Price: Free


Shazam is an app that helps you recognize the music around you, so if there is a tune stuck in your head, Shazam can help you identify it. Shazam uses a smartphone’s built-in microphone to gather a sample of the audio being played. It creates a unique identification based on the sample and compares it against a central database to find a match. If it does find an appropriate match, it communicates details such as song title, artist, and album to the user. You can do a lot more with Shazam, you can watch videos, read the lyrics on the song as you sing along and share your favorite songs on your preferred social media networks. Shazam has 100 million monthly active users and is adding 10 million new users every month.

Available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Windows systems

Price: Free


Evernote is a digital notebook that holds all the information that you need to remember or store in one place. It stores documents, PDFs, photographs, audio clips, web pages, and your to-do list all in one place. The indexing feature in Evernote makes searching for items super easy. Evernote can be easily accessed from the web, your desktop or any mobile device too.

Available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Web OS, PC, Mac, Google Chrome, and the Web

Price: Free


Facebook Messenger is a beast in its own right, with 1.3 billion monthly active users, as of October 2018. And yet, it’s function is sheer simplicity: chat with your Facebook friends for free. That’s it.

Available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Price: Free


Instagram remains popular among teens as one of the world’s favorite photo and video sharing apps. The editing filters provided in the app made it an instant hit with early users. But these days, it’s the 24-hour stories that makes everyone keep coming back.

Available on Android and iOS

Price: Free


Snapchat is used to share photos within a private group of friends or to the general public. Snapchat has gained popularity and boasts of having a whopping number of 400 million daily active users as of 2018. And that number is growing. Snapchat users are majorly in the age bracket of 13 to 34 years old.

Available on Android and iOS

Price: Free


Spotify seems to be everywhere these days, and is steadily changing our listening habits. They boast of 170 million monthly active users and 75 million paid subscribers as of Q1 2018. Their $10 a month subscription removes all ads, and gives you higher resolution listening.

Available on Android and iOS, web

Price: Free


Youtube pulls in 1.8 billion monthly active users as of May 2018. It’s pretty much the de facto short video streaming app in any phone nowadays. Plus, with recent innovations like Youtube Premium, their paid streaming subscription service, and Youtube Kids, a kid-friendly area of the Youtube universe, they look like they’re not going anywhere soon.

Available on iOS, Android, web

Price: Free

What Do These Popular Apps Have in Common?

What do these 10 apps have in common? What brought them to such heights of popularity?

Despite being worlds apart in terms of functionality, if you take a close look at each of them, you’ll soon realize they each have staked a claim on a specific area of our life by cultivating a habit. So much so that if you have ten minutes before your ride arrives, the apps you habitually reach for are probably all listed above.

You want to be entertained? Youtube. You want to capture a moment? Instagram. Or Facebook. You want to talk with a friend? Whatsapp or Messenger. And so on.

Every one of them has been able to engage users and get them to keep coming back so often that it’s now second nature to them.

Nir Eyal, author of Hooked, says:

“Once a habit is formed, the user is no longer considering whether they should open an app — they check the app every day, automatically, without thinking much about it.

And that’s the secret to their success, which hopefully you get to build into your own apps: these are the apps that users return to every day, whether they’re conscious about it or not.


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