The COVID-19 pandemic has revamped how people are using their smartphones as screen time has surged along with finance, gaming and collaboration app usage, according to App Annie, mobile data and analytics provider.
At a high level, consumers spent 1.6 trillion hours on mobile in the first half of 2020 with a 220% increase in time spent in business apps. Meanwhile, consumers spent more than $50 billion globally in the first half of 2020, up 10% from the second half of 2019.
While laptops fared well during the pandemic and move to remote work, mobile devices also became core tools for work and play. According to App Annie, four of the top five business apps revolved around collaboration and video conferencing. The rankings for business apps break down like this:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Cisco WebEx
While business app usage in the second quarter was up 220% from the fourth quarter of 2019, India saw a pop of 450%. The upshot for enterprise software is that mobile-first interfaces will have to become the norm.
Also on the business front, personal finance apps surged. Cash App, Venmo, Zelle and PayPal all saw significant usage gains. Contactless payments became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to App Annie.
Education app usage also boomed with downloads of Udemy downloading. Telehealth also saw a surge with Fitness Coach by Luni seeing downloads grow the most in the first half of 2020 compared to the second half of 2019.
Needless to say, mobile advertisers were hitting these core topics hard with interstitial ads, which were up 205% in the first half accounted for 54% of all ad formats, said App Annie.
Other key facts:
- 4.3 hours per day were spent on mobile by the average user in April.
- Mobile ad placements in the first half were up 70%.
- Consumers used a suite of apps to pass time. For instance, Netflix users had a high cross usage of Tik Tok and Snapchat.