App Annie top iOS app downloads of all time

App Annie, which bills itself as “the standard in app analytics and app market data,” has recently shared what it states are “The Most Popular iPhone and iPad Apps of All Time.” Sadly, there isn’t an ereader app among them. However, there are other interesting trends – including what looks like a big preference for writing on iPads.

App Annie’s presentation explains that “we calculated iOS’s top-downloaded and top-grossing apps (split by games and apps excluding games) since we activated our trackers in 2010. We also examined recent usage data to gauge which of these apps are still widely used today.”

The only interesting Games trend to note for the typical TeleRead reader is that “Words With Friends” comes in at #10 in the list of most downloaded games of all time, and is in the Top Ten of most-used games in mid-2015, in both the UK and the US. iPhone and iPad users are word fans, it seems.

In the most-downloaded Apps of all time, though, it’s the social media giants that score big, with Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Instagram and Skype as the Top Five, in that order. (And note, by the way, how well Apple’s competitors are doing out of this.) However, #10 on the list is iTunes U, which suggests that iOS devices are scoring big as teaching and learning aids.

Also, #4 app in the Top Ten rankings for apps by all-time global revenue is Pages, Apple’s own word processor for iPhones and iPads. So clearly the whole world – or at least the Apple-using part of it – wants to write on their iOS devices – even at $9.99 a time.

There’s much more information in the App Annie presentation, for those inclined to download it. Meanwhile, those are the key takeaways for a TeleRead audience in my view. And no, it’s not enough to cure my Android fanboydom. But it certainly points up some interesting mobile device trends.

Previous articleFirst look: Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet
Next articleThe writer’s desk: 2015 edition, gadgets included
Paul St John Mackintosh is a British poet, writer of dark fiction, and media pro with a love of e-reading. His gadgets range from a $50 Kindle Fire to his trusty Vodafone Smart Grand 6. Paul was educated at public school and Trinity College, Cambridge, but modern technology saved him from the Hugh Grant trap. His acclaimed first poetry collection, The Golden Age, was published in 1997, and reissued on Kindle in 2013, and his second poetry collection, The Musical Box of Wonders, was published in 2011.


  1. Concerning ereaders, iBooks is automatically installed on every device as part of iOS 8 & 9. Since it’s already included, App Annie wouldn’t be able to measure that for popularity as a download.

    Apple claims that over 50% of all iOS devices have installed iOS 9 ( Just prior to the iOS 9 launch, iOS 8 was supposedly on 87% of all compatible mobile devices (

    Potentially that puts iBooks into a lot of hands. How often it’s used is another question.

  2. I’m confused by the comment about Apple charging $9.99 for Pages for iOS ; it’s been bundled since iOS 8. To quote this page on Apple’s website,

    “When you upgrade to iOS 8 on a qualifying device or buy a new device with iOS 8, you’ll have access to these apps for free: iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iTunes U.”

    Hmm, elsewhere on the page it says, “To qualify for these free apps, you need a device that was activated or purchased on or after September 1, 2013.” So maybe it’s just for people who’ve purchased (any) iOS device in the last two years? And once it’s associated with your iTunes ID you can freely install it on any iOS device that uses the same ID.

  3. *sigh* Wish I could edit my previous comment. “Activated” could mean that you’ve upgraded to iOS 8, which was a free upgrade in 2013. It’s ambiguous but I suspect it’s easier to get Pages for free than to pay for it.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail