2014 is the year of health and fitness apps, says Google

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Google has been crunching some numbers collected from the Play Store, and released an end-of-year rundown of which apps have been most popular. Most interestingly, the results show Health and Fitness has been the year’s fastest growing app category, reflecting just how much the mobile industry is focused on our well-being — and how much we’re buying into it.

According to Google’s stats, diet tracking app MyFitnessPal topped the charts under health and fitness. The popular app started life as a website way back in 2005, and is obviously still going strong.

Over the past year, Google has launched Google Fit, Apple gave us Health, and Microsoft followed them both up with Microsoft Health. That’s before we even look at how many new fitness wearables hit the shelves this year, plus the many crowd-funded campaigns trying to identify even more niche health markets. Manufacturers and developers alike are keen to keep us healthy.

Figures published in a paper on the mHealth app development industry estimate there are now 100,000 apps dedicated to mobile health available for Android and iOS, a figure which has doubled over the last two years. The report shows the global health and fitness mobile app market is worth about $4 billion at the moment, but this could increase to $26 billion by 2017. Google’s data indicates the rise has already begun.

Outside of the Health and Fitness category, Google says Facebook was the most downloaded social networking app, Netflix topped the charts in Entertainment, and TripAdvisor rose to the top under Travel. For Music, it was Pandora, and in Photography, the short video creation app Flipagram attracted the most downloads. Finally, under gaming, Candy Crush Saga was the year’s most downloaded title.

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