The adage “there’s an app for that” is certainly getting more true every day. Sensor Tower, an app intelligence firm, is predicting that by 2020, the Apple App Store will boast over 5 million apps, more than doubling its size in just four years.
The App Store, which launched in 2008 with five thousand apps, now has more than two million different apps. There’s something for everyone: dating apps, weather apps, and even an app to help prevent shark attacks. But games are the bread and butter of the App Store. Because most games have a short shelf life, developers have to constantly create new games to maintain interest. Of the apps added to the store in 2016, 43 percent were games.
The challenge that users run into with so many choices is how to find the right app for their needs. Apple is allowing developers to purchase ads in the search results. This is a great way for new apps and developers to get exposure. It’s even more important because more than half of the apps downloaded are found from the search results.
Apple is also redesigning the way the App Store homepage looks. Instead of presenting users with a bunch of apps that they have already downloaded, they will only see new apps. The Categories section will be coming back to better help people find what they need.
Despite the addition of all these new apps, users still only use a few applications regularly. Based on Sensor Tower’s analysis, users download 1.5 applications on average per month. The most popular applications that are accessed on a daily basis include many of the apps that come preloaded on your device. This means that smaller developers are competing heavily with big-time apps that have the advantage of not requiring downloading.