In a year when most people around the world spent their time cooped at home, it was high-speed data networks that kept them going. That is clearly evident in the App Annie's 'State of Mobile 2021 Report'. In 2020, there were 218 billion new app downloads across platforms globally, a 7 per cent increase over 2019. China led the world with 96.2 billion while India was at 24.27 billion. That's an average of 28 apps for each of the 7.6 billion mobile subscribers.
As a result, people spent more time in front of mobile devices than ever before. In India the time spent in front on devices rose 39.4 per cent from 3.3 hours per day in 2019 to 4.6 hours in 2020. Indonesia led the world at 5.2 hours followed by Brazil at 4.8 hour per day. In the second half of 2020, for the first time ever, Americans spent more time in front of their device (4 hours) as opposed to 3.7 hours per day in front of the television.
The usage of the mobile was for everything - be it business, entertainment or pure connectivity.
Soon after the lockdowns were announced, people shifted to using business apps like Zoom, Webex and Google Meet to connect. However, the usage has remained high through the year. In India, time spent on business apps approached 3 billion hours on Android phones in Q3 2020 alone.
Across the world, the time spent in finance apps during 2020 was up 45 per cent excluding China. Be it to wallet apps, financial services like loans, shopping for major purchases like a car or a house, or investing in the market, finance apps were in high demand. In India, there was a 25 per cent increase in download of finance apps, while hours spent rose a phenomenal 75 per cent, the highest in the Asia Pacific region.
The lockdown also meant a sharp increase in usage of video streaming apps. India saw a 33 per cent increase in hours streamed in the last quarter of 2020 as opposed to 2019. Across the markets surveyed, YouTube was by far the leading streaming video service except in China. In India, YouTube was followed by MX Player and Netflix.
As far as social messaging is concerned, the Indian user spent 21.3 hours every month on WhatApp Messenger followed by 17.1 hours on Facebook and 9.8 hours on Instagram.