Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Apple Reveals All Time Most Popular Downloads

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As Apple says it’s closing in on a whopping ten billion downloads at its iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad, the company has released a list of the top app downloads of all time.

Entertainment titles dominated the paid apps for iPhone, but the top ten free apps were more varied. The most popular free apps include such familiar titles as Facebook, the Weather Channel, Pandora Radio, Skype, Google Earth and Google Mobile. On the paid side, the list includes the mega-popular Angry Birds and Tap, Tap Revenge (and its two sequels) along with Bejeweled 2 + Blitz, Doodle Jump and Flight Control. The only non-game on the paid list was the .99 cent ‘AppBox Pro-Alarm Clock, Wallet, Mirror, Flashlight and more’ utility app.

With the iPad being available less than a year, the “all-time” list of downloads is far more recent than the iPhone list and games don’t dominate nearly as much.

The top paid iPad list includes two $4.99 titles: the SoundHound music app and the Flight Track flight tracking application. The three other non-games on the list are Calorie Tracker, GoodReader for iPad and Ambience (an “environment enhancer”). Backbreaker Football, StickWars and Cro-Mag Rally are among the game titles rounding out the paid list.

“It’s interesting that the top three on the iPad list of free apps is almost the same as for the iPhone. It surprises me that Yelp is so popular on the iPad but not on the iPhone since the use case is that it would be so much more useful. But we don’t know where Yelp ranks, it could be number 11,” Raven Zachary, president of Small Society, a company that does consulting for mobile app developers, told

Zachary said that Apple’s online storefront provides tremendous opportunity and risk for developers and publishers. “Not every app is a success,” he added. “And the bar is really set at ‘great’ if you want to make it to the top fifty lists and make money; good and poor won’t cut it.”

Even great apps may have a problem standing out. Zachary said Apple’s addition of Genius playlists was a good first step to improving the “findability” of apps, but he thinks Apple can do more. “It’s an area they can improve on, and I know they’re working on it,” he said.

Separately, Apple launched the App Store for Macintosh last month and it looks like that online storefront is also off to the races.

“The Mac App Store is just getting going and we’re thrilled to report over a million downloads in a very short amount of time,” said Apple’s COO Tim Cook discussing the company’s quarterly earnings during a conference call with financial analysts on Wednesday.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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