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App Store stars: the most popular apps of all time

Almost ten years on from its inception, the App Store is now home to more than 2 million apps and games. But what are the most popular iOS apps ever made?

Market data company App Annie has crunched the numbers to uncover all kinds of amazing facts about the last decade of iOS apps. The full report comprises a whopping 35 pages of data, and we’ve waded through it all to pluck out the best bits. Let’s take a look.

App usage

The average user has around 100 apps installed on their device and uses around 40 distinct apps each month. How do you think your usage compares to that?

Top apps by downloads

Here, we see the obvious social and messaging choices fill the top ten in terms of all-time downloads. No surprises to see Facebook leading the pack here, though it’s interesting to note that two Chinese apps just sneak into the worldwide top apps list.

1. Facebook

2. Facebook Messenger

3. YouTube

4. Instagram

5. WhatsApp

6. Google Maps

7. Snapchat

8. Skype

9. WeChat

10. QQ

Top apps by revenue

This is where things get interesting. Ranked by worldwide consumer spend, the charts start to look a little different. This time the top ten is made up of four Chinese apps, with subscription services hitting the top positions.

1. Netflix

2. Spotify

3. Pandora Radio

4. Tencent Video

5. Tinder

6. Line

7. iQIYI

8. HBO Now

9. Kwai

10. QQ

Top games by downloads

Lots of household names in this list, with casual games absolutely ruling the roost. Kudos to Temple Run for hitting the top ten twice, and Asphalt 8 for being the only game on this list with realistic 3D graphics.

1. Candy Crush Saga

2. Subway Surfers

3. Fruit Ninja

4. Clash of Clans

5. Honour of Kings

6. Minion Rush

7. Angry Birds

8. Temple Run 2

9. Temple Run

10. Asphalt 8: Airborne

Top games by revenue

These are the games that have sucked the most wallets dry over the past ten years. Congratulations Clash of Clans, you’re the App Store’s number one cash drain! There are some less familiar names in this list too, as several games from Japan and China managed to earn even more than the global phenomenon Pokémon GO.

1. Clash of Clans

2. Candy Crush Saga

3. Monster Strike

4. Puzzle & Dragons

5. Honour of Kings

6. Fantasy Westward Journey

7. Game of War – Fire Age

8. Fate/Grand Order

9. Clash Royale

10. Pokémon GO

So there you have it – Facebook, Netflix, Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans are the very biggest names of the last ten years of iOS apps. Here’s to the next ten years!