Android’s Popular Apps Lean Toward Utilities, While iOS is More About Games

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Have an Android phone? You’re probably not much of a gamer, at least according to a new report from Xyologic

The analytics company found that the majority of downloads in the US Android market last month were apps like utilities and tools, rather than games. Out of the top 150 downloads, 85 were apps and 65 were games. By comparison, only 50 of the top 150 downloads in the App store were apps in November.

Xyologic also found that while the total number of Android Market downloads handily beat iPhone downloads last month — with 124.9 million to iOS’ 97.2 million — Apple’s app store saw more than double the amount of game downloads. There were 71.6 million game downloads on iOS versus 33.4 million on Android. (This time last year, Android users downloaded 8.6 million games in November and iPhone users downloaded 25.9 million games in the same time period.)

While games are the most popular category overall for both free and paid apps on Android, overall downloads on Google’s platform were weighted towards a few massively popular utilities. Google’s free Gmail app saw more than 10.7 million downloads in November. The most popular free game was Droidhen’s Defender, which had 1.4 million downloads in November, good enough to take it to 17th place. The most popular paid Android app in November was Mojang’s Minecraft, which saw 104,000 thousand downloads after being briefly discounted to 10 cents with Google’s celebration of passing 10 billion installs.

On the iPhone, games dominated the charts. The most popular free iPhone app was Zynga’s Words with Friends, which racked up just over 3 million downloads according to Xyologic. Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja was the most popular paid iPhone app, with 1.7 million downloads. Games were all of the 10 most popular paid downloads, and eight out of the 10 most popular free downloads.

As always, it’s interesting to note the disparity between iOS and Android on paid downloads. The top 10 paid apps on Android had 419,900 downloads between them — less than the 10th most downloaded iPhone game. These statistics help explain why iPhone revenues are consistently beating Android revenues by 4-to-1 for top grossing apps, an earnings gap we’ve reported on numerous times before.

Overall, games are increasing in popularity for Android at a faster rate than they are on iOS, which is in line with Android’s accelerating pace of adoption with 700,000 activations every day.

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