Архив рубрики: this week in apps

Auto Added by WPeMatico

This Week in Apps: The year’s best apps, 2020’s biggest downloads, the App Store’s newest hire

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People now spend three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
This week, Apple and Google announced their editorially curated lists detailing the best apps of the year, and Apple also revealed those that were downloaded the most. Apple also made a notable new hire for an App Store role and opened up its anticipated App Store Small Business Program to developers.

Top Stories
Best Apps of the Year

Image Credits: Apple

Both Apple and Google released their “best apps of 2020” year-end lists and there were some similarities between the two, as well as some differences. Both companies’ lists reflected the tough and stressful year 2020 has been, with everyone being stuck at home during a pandemic that changed how we worked, attended school, connected with friends and family, and entertained ourselves.
Apple and Google, as a result, both selected at least one “de-stressing” app among their year-end winners. In Apple’s case, it was Endel, an iOS app that won for Apple Watch App of the Year. Google, however, awarded sleep app Loóna the title of best app of the year.
Disney+ also made both Apple and Google’s lists, the former as Apple TV App of the Year and the latter as the User’s Choice for app of the year. The new streaming service was a godsend for families with younger children, who often struggled in 2020 to keep kids entertained. New releases like Onward and Mulan in 2020 helped give families something to look forward to, while Marvel and Star Wars content, including new series “The Mandalorian,” were hits with streamers, as well.
Another pandemic-prompted choice was Zoom, which won as iPad App of the Year. Though Zoom was around before the coronavirus outbreak, it’s now become a part of our everyday lexicon as an interchangeable term for “online video meeting” — as in, “let’s do a zoom call about that.” The iPad app at least made these endless virtual meetings a little less painless.
And home workout companion Wakeout! become Apple’s iPhone app of the year, as most people gave up the gym due to coronavirus risks. The app’s quick one-minute breaks helped users stay moving, even when stuck at home for days on the couch or working on their laptop in bed.

Image Credits: Genshin Impact (screenshot via Sensor Tower)

Meanwhile, gacha-based action role-playing game Genshin Impact won as “best game” of the year on both Apple and Google’s lists. While a cynical take is that the app stores wanted to point users to a huge moneymaker — the game reportedly earned $245 million its first month and nearly $400 million in two months on mobile — it also highlights consumers’ desire for console-like experiences on mobile.
The game, however, has been heavily criticized for its gacha game monetization techniques, which though common to games in China, Japan and South Korea, are basically gambling mechanics. And addictive ones at that. But as a Wired report noted, some of this comes down to cultural differences. U.S. users grew up on cartridge games, not arcade games, where you were constantly inserting more money to keep playing. Western users just aren’t as comfortable with this “spend to keep playing” business model, which they feel is predatory.
Apple’s other top apps of the year included perennial favorite Fantastical as Apple’s Mac App of the Year; Legends of Runeterra as iPad Game of the Year; Disco Elysium as Mac Game of the Year; Dandara Trials of Fear as Apple TV Game of the Year; and Sneaky Sasquatch as the Apple Arcade Game of the Year.
Google’s list also included SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off as users’ choice for best game, and it highlighted a variety of top titles in various gaming subgenres in a dedicated section of its Play Store.
2020’s most downloaded apps
Apple also gave a peek into the “best” apps of the year, as determined by app downloads. The pandemic played a role here as well, making Zoom the most-downloaded iPhone app of 2020.
Also of note, TikTok was the biggest social media app by downloads, ahead of all the Facebook-owned apps making the list, including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Square’s Cash App hit No. 10, as the pandemic saw increased demand for contactless payments and direct giving to people in need.
The most-downloaded apps and games of 2020 were, as follows:
Top Free iPhone Apps

ZOOM Cloud Meetings
TikTok
Disney+
YouTube
Instagram
Facebook
Snapchat
Messenger
Gmail
Cash App

Top Paid iPhone Apps

TouchRetouch
Procreate Pocket
Dark Sky Weather
Facetune
HotSchedules
AutoSleep Track Sleep
The Wonder Weeks
SkyView
Shadowrocket
Sky Guide

Top Free iPhone Games

Among Us!
Call of Duty: Mobile
Roblox
Subway Surfers
Ink Inc. – Tattoo Drawing
Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles
Brain Out
Coin Master
Cube Surfer!

Top Paid iPhone Games

Minecraft
Plague Inc.
Heads Up!
Monopoly
Bloons TD6
Geometry Dash
NBA 2K20
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Game of Life
True Skate

Top Free iPad Apps

ZOOM Cloud Meetings
Disney+
YouTube
Netflix
Google Chrome
TikTok
Amazon Prime Video
Gmail
Hulu
Google Classroom

Top Paid iPad Apps

Procreate
GoodNotes 5
Notability
Duet Display
Teach Your Monster
LumaFusion
Affinity Designer
Toca Hair Salon 3
9: Toca Life: Hospital
Toca Kitchen 2

Top Free iPad Games

Among Us!
Roblox
Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
Ink Inc. – Tattoo Drawing
Call of Duty: Mobile
Subway Surfers
Dancing Road: Color Ball Run!
Tiles Hop – EDM Rush
Mario Kart Tour
Save The Girl!

Top Paid iPad Games

Minecraft
Monopoly
Bloons TD 6
Plague Inc.
Geometry Dash
The Game of Life
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Human: Fall Flat
Stardew Valley
Terraria

Top Arcade Games

Sneaky Sasquatch
Hot Lava
Skate City
Sonic Racing
PAC-MAN Party Royale
SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit
Oceanhorn 2
Crossy Road Castle
WHAT THE GOLF?
LEGO Brawls

Josh Elman joins Apple to focus on App Store discovery 
VC Josh Elman announced this week he was joining Apple in a role that will see him helping customers “discover the best apps for them.” In other words, app discovery.
Elman’s background includes RealNetworks, LinkedIn, Zazzle, Facebook and Twitter, and later moved into VC. Elman worked at venture firm Greylock in 2011 as a principal, and by 2013 he had become a general partner. While there, he invested in SmartThings, as well as social networks like Musical.ly (now the massive No. 2 app of the year, TikTok), Nextdoor, Houseparty and Discord. He later moved to fast-rising fintech startup Robinhood and now, he’s heading to Apple.

With an eye for what’s next, longtime operator and VC Josh Elman gets pulled into Apple

Weekly News
Platforms

Apple opens up enrollment into the App Store Small Business Program. The program will reduce App Store commissions to 15% for qualified developers with revenues under $1 million.

Google announced Android’s winter update will include an expanded Emoji Kitchen in Gboard, auto-narration for Google Play Book without narration, a “Go Tab” in Google Maps for frequent destinations, Android Auto soon arriving in more countries, support for app sharing in Nearby Share and Voice Access improvements.

Google launches the first version of Android Studio Arctic Fox (2020.3.1) on the Canary channel, along with Android Gradle plugin (AGP) version 7.0.0-alpha01. The release is also notable for moving to a year-based system more aligned with IntelliJ IDEA, the IDE upon which Android Studio is built. Going forward, the number scheme will work like this: <Year of IntelliJ Version>.<IntelliJ major version>.<Studio major version>. The new version of Android Studio includes over 200 improvements and bugs, including those in the code editor, app inspection tools, layout editor and the embedded emulator.

Android’s winter update adds new features to Gboard, Maps, Books, Nearby Share and more

Services

Amazon will now let iOS users text Alexa to ask for things instead of using their voice.

Security & Privacy

Twitter now supports hardware security keys for iPhones and Android.

Google Authenticator app for iOS adds a dark theme and support for bulk 2FA account transfers, helpful for switching between devices.

Google launches Android Enterprise Essentials, an MDM for SMBs that will require their employees to use a lock screen and encryption to protect company data and can remotely wipe devices. It also prevents users from installing apps outside the Google Play Store via the Google Play Protect service.

Twitter now supports hardware security keys for iPhones and Android

Accessibility

iPhones can now automatically recognize and label buttons and UI features for blind users using Screen Recognition in iOS 14.

Android’s winter update, similarly, will introduce a new version of Voice Access that will use ML to understand interface labels and buttons on devices.

iPhones can now automatically recognize and label buttons and UI features for blind users

Apps in the News

Google now lets anyone contribute to Google Maps’ Street View using the Street View app and Android phone that supports ARCore.

Telegram is the first third-party app to use Apple’s Announce Messages with Siri feature for AirPods.

Google adds the messaging feature every iMessage user dreams of: the ability to schedule sending of messages in Google’s Messages app.

Reddit reveals DAUs for first time: 52 million.

Google Assistant can now reply to messages from WhatsApp, Google Voice and more.

Google Maps gets a Facebook-like news feed with business updates, local reviews and more.

TikTok tests three-minute long videos. (But we don’t need longer versions of its viral hits like M to the B).

Triller claims 321 million downloads and 65 million MAUs. (Former employees have accused the TikTok rival of inflating its numbers, which Triller denies.)

Evernote rolls out a redesign on Android. The updates include a new note editor, faster search and improved navigation.

Google’s learn-to-code app Grasshopper is now available in Spanish.

WhatsApp will now allow users to set custom wallpapers, adds doodle wallpaper in more colors and adds new stickers.
E-commerce app Wish accused of selling counterfeit products. 

7-Eleven adds its own mobile wallet to its app to allow customers, including cash customers, a contactless way to pay at its stores using their phone.

Match-owned dating app Hinge refreshes design and adds a “Standouts” feature to show users outstanding prompts and photo prompts from their best potential matches, and can answer with a new paid feature, Roses.

Quibi is really gone now.

French administration suspects Wish of selling counterfeit products

Trends

Image Credits: App Annie

App download rates have declined by 4% since 2015, but active engagement has grown.

Messaging app usage is up 13% (four-year CAGR), and users spend 67% more time in messaging apps than in social media apps.

Messaging apps that offer privacy features see, on avgerage, 30% more active users than alternatives.

Q3 smartphone sales down 5.7% in Q3 to 366 million.
Mobile shopping climbed 25% on Black Friday to $3.6 billion. 

U.S. shopping app downloads on Black Friday reached a record 2.8 million per Sensor Tower, or 2.7 million per App Annie. App Annie also said shopping shopping app downloads topped 2.3 million on Thanksgiving and 2.1 million on Cyber Monday.

On Black Friday, Walmart was the No. 1 U.S. shopping app download, followed by Amazon. On Cyber Monday, that was reversed, also per App Annie.

In-app revenue was 150% higher on Black Friday than the average of the previous 30 days, says AppsFlyer.
App Store and Google Play consumer spending topped $100 billion from January 1-November 29, Sensor Tower says.

US shopping app downloads on Black Friday reached a record 2.8M installs

Funding and M&A

Salesforce buys Slack for $27.7 billion.

VSCO acquires the tech and team from the AI-powered video editing app Trash to move further into the video market. Deal terms weren’t available, but Trash was backed by $3.3 million.

Teen banking app Step raises $50 million. The app is TikTok star Charli D’Amelio’s first startup investment. Other investors included lead Coatue; returning investors from Stripe, Crosslink Capital, Collaborative Fund and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC; and celeb investors D’Amelio, Justin Timberlake and The Chainsmokers, Eli Manning, Kelvin Beachum, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Iguodala.

Ivanti acquired security firms, including enterprise mobile security firm MobileIron and corporate VPN provider Pulse Secure. Ivanti bought MobileIron for $872 million in stock.
U.K. challenger banking app Monzo adds £60 million in funding.

AR gaming startup Krikey raises undisclosed funding, including from Jio Platforms. The company has raised $22 million to date.

Wellory raises $4.5 million for its anti-diet nutrition app.

Airbnb to IPO with shares priced between $44 and $50.

ESL app for kids Novakid raises $4.25 million.

Virtual fitness app Salut raises $1.25 million.
Video app Supergreat, a TikTok for beauty products, raises $6.5 million.

Mental health app Intellect raises undisclosed round led by Insignia VP.

Review
We tried the Apple Watch Family Setup with a tween. They weren’t impressed with the apps or the controls, but did like the Memoji. No Roblox group chat on the small screen? Boo.

A tween tries Apple’s new ‘Family Setup’ system for Apple Watch

Downloads
Iconboard

Image Credits: Iconboard

If you find it too frustrating to use Apple’s Shortcuts to build your own custom icons, you can turn to Iconboard instead. This newly launched app lets you design a style for your icons and apply it to all of your icons at once. It can even create invisible icons to give you a way to space out items on your screen.
Cardlet

Image Credits: Cardlet

While I’ve been enjoying Punkpost’s custom designs for when I’m too lazy…err I mean busy…to send my own handwritten notes and cards, Cardlet is ready to give my go-to app a run for the money. Like Punkpost, Cardlet will send a real paper card on your behalf, but it adds a modern-day touch: The app includes a hidden AR experience that brings the card to life when viewed with the camera.
Heynote

Image Credits: Heynote

Some people don’t trust to-do lists, reminders or calendar notifications to always get the job done. When there’s something we really need to remember, we stick it directly on our home screen. (Okay, this one may only appeal to a small niche of scatterbrained users like me.) But if you have, in the past, also designed your own temporary wallpaper just so you won’t forget a super critical appointment, the Android app Heynote, (hat tip to Android Police!) might help. Instead of a widget or reminder, this app lets you put custom text directly on your home screen as a custom wallpaper. Doctor appt. at 11 AM? You can’t forget it when it’s there every single time you look at your phone.

This Week in Apps: The year’s best apps, 2020’s biggest downloads, the App Store’s newest hire

This Week in Apps: Snapchat clones TikTok, India bans 43 Chinese apps, more data on App Store commission changes

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications, and the overall app economy.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People now spend three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
This week, we’re digging into more data about how the App Store commission changes will impact developers, as well as other top stories, like Snapchat’s new Spotlight feed and India’s move to ban more Chinese apps from the country, among other things.

We also have our weekly round-up of news about platforms, services, privacy, trends, and other headlines.
Top Stories
More on App Store Commissions
Last week, App Annie confirmed to TechCrunch around 98% of all iOS developers in 2019 (meaning, unique publisher accounts) fell under the $1 million annual consumer spend threshold that will now move App Store commissions from a reduced 15% to the standard 30%. The firm also found that only 0.5% of developers were making between $800K and $1M; only 1% were in $500K-$800K range; and 87.7% made less than $100K.
This week, Appfigures has compiled its own data on how Apple’s changes to App Store commissions will impact the app developer community.
According to its findings, of the 2M published apps on the App Store, 376K apps are a paid download, have in-app purchases, or monetize with subscriptions. Those 376K apps are operated by a smaller group of 124.5K developers. Of those developers, only a little under 2% earned more than $1M in 2019. This confirms App Annie’s estimate that 98% of all developers earned under the $1M threshold.

Image Credits: Appfigures

The firm also took a look at companies above the $1M mark, and found that around 53% were games, led by King (of the Candy Crush titles). After a large gap, the next largest categories in 2019 were Health & Fitness, Social Networking, Entertainment, then Photo & Video.
 
Of the developers making over $1M, the largest percentage — 39% — made between $1M and $2.5M in 2019.

Image Credits: Appfigures

The smallest group (1.5%) of developers making more than $1M is the group making more than $150M. These accounted for 29% of the “over $1M” crowd’s total revenue. And those making between $50M and $150M accounted for 24% of the revenue.

Image Credits: Appfigures

AppFigures also found that of those making less than $1M, most (>97%) fell into the sub $250K category. Some developes were worried about the way Apple’s commission change system was implemented — that is, it immediately upon hitting $1M and only annual reassessments. But there are so few developers operating in the “danger zone” (being near the threshold), this doesn’t seem like a significant problem. Read More.
Snapchat takes on TikTok
After taking on TikTok  with music-powered features last month, Snapchat this week launched a dedicated place within its app where users can watch short, entertaining videos in a vertically scrollable, TikTok-like feed. This new feature, called Spotlight, will showcase the community’s creative efforts, including the videos now backed by music, as well as other Snaps users may find interesting. Snapchat says its algorithms will work to surface the most engaging Snaps to display to each user on a personalized basis. Read More. 
India bans more Chinese apps
India, which has already banned at least 220 apps with links to China in recent months, said on Tuesday it was banning an additional 43 Chinese apps, again citing cybersecurity concerns. Newly banned apps include short video service Snack Video, e-commerce app AliExpress, delivery app Lalamove, shopping app Taobao Live, business card reader CamCard, and others. There are now no Chinese apps in the top 500 most-used apps in India, as a result. Read More.
Weekly News
Platforms

Apple’s App Store Connect will now require an Apple ID with 2-step verification enabled.

Apple announces holiday schedule for App Store Connect. New apps and app updates won’t be accepted Dec. 23-27 (Pacific Time).

SKAdNetwork 2.0 adds Source App ID and Conversion Value. The former lets networks identify which app initiated a download from the App Store and the latter lets them know whether users who installed an app through a campaign performed an action in the app, like signing up for a trial or completing a purchase.

Apple rounded up developer praise for its App Store commission change. Lending their names to Apple’s list: Little 10 Robot (Tots Letters and Numbers), Broadstreet (Brief), Foundermark (Friended), Shine, Lifesum, Med ART Studios (Sprout Fertility Tracker), RevenueCat, OK Play, SignEasy, Jump Rope, Wine Spectator, Apollo for Reddit, SwingVision Tennis, Cinémoi.

Services

Fortnite adds a $12/mo subscription offering a full season battle pass, 1,000 monthly bucks and a Crew Pack featuring an exclusive outfit bundle. More money for Apple to miss out on, I guess.

14 U.S. states plus Washington D.C. have now adopted COVID-19 contact tracing apps. CA and other states may release apps soon. Few in the U.S. have downloaded the apps, however, which limits their usefulness. 

Samsung’s TV Plus streaming TV service comes to more Galaxy phones

Security & Privacy

Apple’s senior director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, in a letter to the Ranking Digital Rights organization, confirms App Tracking Transparency feature will arrive in 2021. The feature will allow users to disable tracking between apps. The letter also slams Facebook for collecting “as much data as possible” on users.

Baidu’s apps banned from Google Play, Baidu Maps and the Baidu App, were leaking sensitive user data, researchers said. The apps had 6M U.S. users and millions more worldwide.

Apps in the News

Robinhood’s co-founder Baiju Bhatt steps down as co-CEO ahead of IPO.

TikTok’s deadline for a sale gets another extension, this time to Dec. 4th.

Google launches an AR app for “The Mandalorian“

Google launches Task Mate in India which pays users for taking pictures of storefronts or recording short voice clips, the latter which is likely being used to train speech recognition systems.

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp adds AR features.

Microsoft’s Translator app for Android can now automatically translate speech in one-on-one conversations.

TikTok adds a feature that allows users to avoid videos that could trigger epileptic seizures.

Parler users haven’t actually left Twitter, it seems.

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides can now edit Microsoft Office files on iOS. The feature already worked on Android and the web.

Roblox hosts a Ready Player Two treasure hunt in its app.

Spotify is still testing Stories.

Trends

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

U.S. Brick-and-mortar retail apps saw 27% growth in first three quarters of 2020, or nearly double the growth of online retailer apps (14%), as measured by new installs. Top apps included Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Nike, Walgreens, and The Home Depot.

App Annie forecast estimates shoppers will spend over 110M hours in (Android) mobile shopping apps this holiday season.

PayPal and Square’s Cash app have scored 100% of the newly-issued supply of bitcoins, report says.

All social media companies now look alike, Axois argues, citing Twitter’s Fleets and Snap’s TikTok-like feature as recent examples.

Funding and M&A

CoStar Group, a provider of commercial real estate info and analytics, acquires Homesnap’s platform and app for $250M to move into the residential real estate market.

Remote work app Friday raises $2.1M seed led by Bessemer Venture Partners
Stories-style Q&A app F3 raises $3.9M. The team previously founded Ask.fm.
Edtech company Kahoot acquires Drops, a startup whose apps help people learn languages using games, for $50M.

Mobile banking app Current raises $131M Series C, led by Tiger Global Management.

Square buys Credit Karma’s tax unit, Credit Karma Tax, for $50M in cash.

This Week in Apps: Snapchat clones TikTok, India bans 43 Chinese apps, more data on App Store commission changes

This Week in Apps: US ponders TikTok ban, apps see a record Q2, iOS 14 public beta arrives

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.
This week, we’re digging into the news of a possible TikTok ban in the U.S. and how that’s already impacting rival apps. Also, both Android and iOS saw beta launches this week — a near-ready Android 11 beta 2 and the  public beta of iOS 14. We also look at the coronavirus’ impact on the app economy in Q2, which saw record downloads, usage and consumer spending. In other app news, Instagram launched Reels in India, Tinder debuted video chat and Quibi flounders while Pokémon GO continues to reel it in.
Headlines
Apple release iOS 14 public beta
Image Credits: Apple
The much-anticipated new version of the iOS mobile operating system, iOS 14, became available for public testing on Thursday. Users who join the public beta will be able to try out the latest features, like the App Library, Widgets and smart stacks, an updated Messages app, a brand-new Translate app, biking directions in Apple Maps, upgraded Siri and various improvements to core apps like Notes, Reminders, Weather, Home, Safari and others.
When iOS 14 launches to the general public, it may also include support for QR code payments in Apple Pay, according to a report of new assets discovered in the code base.
Alongside the public beta, developers received their second round of betas for iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and other Apple software.
Google’s efforts in speeding up Android updates has been good news for Android 10

This Week in Apps: US ponders TikTok ban, apps see a record Q2, iOS 14 public beta arrives

This Week in Apps: Protests impact app stores, FTC fines app developer, kids’ app trends

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.
This week, we’re taking a look at how the civil unrest and George Floyd protests played out across the app stores. The events led some apps — including private messaging apps, police scanners and alerting apps, and other social communication apps — to surge, and even break records. Google decided to delay the launch of Android 11 beta 1 in light of the recent events.
We’re also keeping up with COVID-19 apps and how the pandemic is changing app usage and consumer behavior. Plus, the FTC fined an app developer over privacy violations in a warning shot for the app industry; Zoom faced criticism for its encryption plans; Apple launched an open-source resource for password managers; and more.
How the George Floyd protests impacted the app stores
Protests drive downloads of police scanners 
Downloads of police scanner apps, tools for private communication and mobile safety apps hit record numbers last weekend in the U.S., amid the nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the systemic problems of racial prejudice that plague the American justice system. According to data from app store intelligence firm Apptopia, top U.S. police scanner apps were downloaded a combined 213,000 times last weekend, including Friday — a 125% increase from the weekend prior and a record number for this group of apps.
The group of top apps included those with similar, if somewhat generic, titles, such as Scanner Radio – Fire and Police Scanner, Police Scanner, 5-0 Radio Police Scanner, Police Scanner Radio & Fire and Police Scanner +.
Citizen, Signal and others spike during protests
In addition to tracking police movements with scanners, protestors organized and communicated on secure messaging app Signal. Meanwhile, community safety app Citizen, which sends out police alerts, also saw a jump in usage. According to Apptopia, Citizen and Signal both set daily download records, Vox noted earlier this week.

Citizen
Citizen’s app lets users see “incidents,” based on radio communications with 911 dispatchers, police, fire departments and other emergency responders. The app uses high-powered scanners to tune into public radio channels, then digitizes and transcribes the audio, and turns those into incidents placed on the map. But the app is popular because it’s more than a police scanner; it includes a social networking layer where users can react and comment. 
Based on more recent data provided to TechCrunch by Sensor Tower, Citizen was installed around 620,000 times by first-time users in the U.S. during the past week, an increase of about 916% compared to the week prior. First-time installs reached a record 150,000 on June 2, nearly 12x the app’s average of 13,000 daily first-time installs during May. On average, the app was downloaded close to 86,000 times per day, or 6.6x larger than May’s daily average. The app grew to be as high as No. 4 on Tuesday, June 2 on the U.S. App Store, and is now No. 32 Overall on the top free charts.
Signal
Image Credits: Signal
The firm also estimated that Signal had been installed by approximately 135,000 first-time users in the U.S. during the past week across the app stores. This figure represented growth of 165% from the preceding seven days, or about 2.6x that total of approximately 51,000 new installs. Signal averaged about 19,000 installs per day over the past seven days.
For comparison’s sake, Signal was downloaded around 269,000 times in all of May and its average daily number of installs was 9,000. That makes the average for the past week about 2x higher.
Signal is currently ranked at No. 137 among the top free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store. Earlier, it was ranked at No. 107 on Tuesday, June 2.
This week, Signal also added built-in face blurring for photos, to help better secure the sharing of sensitive information across its network.
Nextdoor and Neighbors by Ring
The civil unrest also impacted neighborhood networking app installs, as communities looked to share information about the protests with one another. Social networking app for neighbors Nextdoor was installed by 185,000 first-time users in the U.S. over the past week, an increase of 26% from 147,000 installs in the week prior. The app also jumped up nearly 50 places in the U.S. App Store rankings, moving from No. 2,014 to No. 156 in the top free iPhone apps chart.
Amazon-owned Neighbors by Ring, where neighbors share alerts, including security camera footage, was installed by 36,000 first-time users in the past week, an increase of 89% from its approximately 19,000 installs the week prior.
Twitter has a record-breaking week as users looked for news of protests and COVID-19

Civil unrest due to the nationwide George Floyd protests drove Twitter to see a record number of new installs this week, according to data from two app store intelligence firms, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While the firms’ exact findings differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or when records were broken, the firms agreed that Twitter’s app had its largest-ever week, globally.
The app saw at least 677,000 installs at its highest point, Apptopia said. Sensor Tower said it topped 1 million. Twitter also broke a record for daily active users on Twitter in the U.S., when some 40 million people in the U.S. logged into the app on June 3, Apptopia noted. For comparison’s sake, Twitter reported its app had 31 million “monetizable” daily active users (mDAUs) in the U.S. in Q4 2019, which grew to 33 million in Q1 2020.
The spike in installs was attributed to the protests, which were being watched by a global audience, and COVID-19, which continued to spread in worldwide markets.
Apps turn their icons black in support of George Floyd protests 
A small handful of apps did the equivalent of the Instagram black square by turning their icons black this week as a gesture of support toward the protests and civil rights. Participating apps included Reddit, Joss & Main and Shop Avani, for instance. Moves like this can be criticized as being merely performative, but one of the companies involved — Reddit — later followed up with real action. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion on Friday announced he was resigning as a member of the Reddit board, and is now urging them to fill his seat with a black candidate. He also said he would use his future gains from Reddit stock to serve the black community, starting with a $1 million pledge to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.
COVID-19 app updates and news

This Week in Apps: Protests impact app stores, FTC fines app developer, kids’ app trends

This Week in Apps: WWDC goes online, coronavirus leads to more cancellations, sneaky spy apps exposed

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.
The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s recently released “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.
This week we’re taking a look at several stories related to the coronavirus outbreak, including the cancellation of WWDC in San Jose, as well as other app industry events that are going online. We’re also discussing the iOS 14 leak, the exposure of Sensor Tower’s app network, a potential ban on TikTok for government workers and more.
Coronavirus Special Coverage
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are continuing to play out on app stores and across the industry. This week, we’re leading with these stories followed by the other — and yes, still important — news.
Apple finally cancels its WWDC event in San Jose

This Week in Apps: WWDC goes online, coronavirus leads to more cancellations, sneaky spy apps exposed