Figuring out the most downloaded free iOS app of 2020 is not terribly hard to figure out. Still, here’s a hint. According to Mashable, the most downloaded free iOS app for this year might not have earned that title had it not been for the global pandemic that shutdown businesses, schools, stage based entertainment and more. Instead of face-to-face meetings, crowded classrooms, and seats placed just inches apart, much of the world communicated with each other by watching streamed video conferences on a screen. And that helped Zoom take the title as the most downloaded free iOS app of 2020.
Even when COVID-19 just started decimating the U.S., Zoom showed terrific signs of growth by adding more subscribers during the first two months of this year than it did throughout all of 2019. The app’s peak usage occurred in April with 300 million participants involved in a Zoom meeting each day. And by the way, Zoom was also the top free app among Apple iPad users
Zoom was the most downloaded free iOS app of 2020
Apple iPhone users and others using Zoom for free can conference with up to 100 people at a time. Meetings with more than two participants are limited to 40 minutes of use. To show you how important the pandemic is to Zoom’s popularity, in 2019 the app didn’t even break the top 20 list of free iOS apps. Short-form video app TikTok was second and again, this placement was due to COVID-19. Bored teens stuck inside all summer downloaded the app on their iPhones allowing them to create videos running 15 seconds up to 60 seconds showing them dancing, lip-syncing, playing pranks and more. President Donald Trump has been trying to rid the U.S. of TikTok because it is owned by a Chinese firm, but with the arrival of the new Biden-Harris administration, it appears that the app will stay alive in the states where 80 million users a month are using the app.
Zoom was the most downloaded free iOS app of the year
The third most downloaded iOS app this year also benefited from the coronavirus. Disney+ has streaming entertainment for everyone and features the classic cartoons, Pixar favorites, Marvel movies, Star Wars films and even National Geographic documentaries. The Star Wars based series The Mandalorian features the app’s first breakout character, Grogu (that’s Baby Yoda’s real name). YouTube was fourth with Instagram rounding out the top five.
While Facebook was number six, it might surprise you that Snapchat was the seventh most installed free iOS app this year placing it ahead of Messenger, Gmail and Cash App. The latter app replaced Netflix which had the 10th spot last year. That sure makes Disney+’s third place position look good. And as we told you the other day, Disney+ was named by Google Play users the best app of 2020. So Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Uncle Scrooge, Huwey, Dewey, and Louie appear to have plenty of fans on both iOS and Android platforms.
The top paid iOS app this year was photo editing app TouchRetouch followed by drawing app Procreate Pocket. Dark Sky, the weather app acquired by Apple was third. The top two free games loaded by iOS users this year were Among Us and Call of Duty: Mobile. The top paid mobile game on the platform was Minecraft and of course a game that simulates a pandemic would have to be included; that was Plague, Inc. which finished number two.
We can’t make assumptions about what will happen next year with the pandemic but if things improve thanks to the vaccines, we will probably see a marked change in the names of the apps on the list. Will there be as much need for apps like Zoom? Will teens still need to resort to TikTok to pass the time away on a weekday? We should have those answers by next December.