Welcome back to this Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that summarizes the latest operating system news, the applications they support, and the money flowing through it all.
With 204 billion downloads and $ 120 billion in spending in 2019, the app industry is hotter than ever. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes a day on apps, which is competing with television. Apps aren't just a way to spend idle time – they're big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had an overall valuation of $ 544 billion, 6.5 times higher than companies without a mobile focus.
In this extra crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps that are delivered weekly.
This week we're taking a look at how the George Floyd riots and protests affected the app stores. The events led to some apps – including private messaging apps, police scanners and alerting apps, as well as other apps for social communication – setting and even breaking records. Google has decided to postpone the launch of Android 11 Beta 1 in light of recent events.
We also keep up to date with COVID-19 apps and how the pandemic is changing app usage and consumer behavior. In addition, the FTC imposed a fine on an app developer for data breaches in a warning shot for the app industry. Zoom has been criticized for its encryption plans. Apple has launched an open source password manager resource. and more.
How George Floyd's protests affected app stores
Protests lead to the downloading of police scanners
The download of police scanner apps, tools for private communication and apps for mobile security reached record numbers in the USA last weekend. This happened amid the nationwide protests against the murder of George Floyd by the police and the systemic problems of racial prejudice that plagued the American judicial system. According to the App Store intelligence agency Apptopia, a total of 213,000 scanner apps from the US police were downloaded last weekend, including Friday – an increase of 125% compared to the previous weekend and a record number for this group of apps.
The group of top apps included those with similar, if somewhat generic, titles such as Scanner Radio – fire and police scanners, police scanners, 5-0 radio police scanners, radio & fire police scanners and police scanners +.
Citizens, signal and others peak during the protests
In addition to tracking police movements with scanners, demonstrators organized and communicated through the secure messaging app Signal. The Citizen community security app, which sends police alerts, also saw an increase in usage. According to Apptopia, Citizen and Signal both set daily download records, as Vox noted earlier this week.
With the Citizen App, users can see "incidents" that are based on radio communication with 911 dispatchers, the police, the fire service and other emergency services. The app uses powerful scanners to tune public radio channels, digitizes and transcribes the audio and converts them into incidents on the map. However, the app is popular because it is more than just a police scanner. It includes a social network level where users can respond and comment.
Based on recent data provided by Sensor Tower theinformationsuperhighway Citizen was installed approximately 620,000 times by first-time users in the United States last weekan increase of about 916% over the previous week. Initial installations reached a record 150,000 on June 2, almost 12 times the average of 13,000 daily initial installations per app in May. On average, the app was downloaded almost 86,000 times a day, or 6.6 times higher than the daily average for May. The app was number 4 on Tuesday, June 2, in the US App Store and is now number 32 overall in the top free charts.
The company appreciated that too The signal was installed by approximately 135,000 first-time users in the United States. in the app stores last week. This corresponds to a growth of 165% compared to the previous seven days or about 2.6 times the total number of approximately 51,000 new installations. The signal has performed an average of 19,000 installations per day in the past seven days.
For comparison: Signal was downloaded around 269,000 times throughout May and the average daily number of installations was 9,000. That makes the average of the last week about 2x higher.
Signal is currently ranked 137 among the best free iPhone apps in the US App Store. Previously, it was ranked 107th on Tuesday, June 2nd.
This week, Signal also added built-in facial blur for photos to better share sensitive information across the network.
Next door and neighbors of Ring
The riots also affected the installation of neighborhood network apps because the communities wanted to share information about the protests. Neighbors' social networking app Nextdoor was installed last week by 185,000 first-time users in the United States. This corresponds to an increase of 26% compared to 147,000 installations the previous week. The app rose by almost 50 places in the US App Store ranking and rose from place 2,014 to place 156 in the top table of free iPhone apps.
Neighbors by Ring, owned by Amazon, where neighbors exchange alerts, including surveillance camera footage, was installed by 36,000 first-time users last week. This corresponds to an increase of 89% compared to the approximately 19,000 installations in the previous week.
Twitter has a record week when users searched for news about protests and COVID-19
Civil unrest due to George Floyd's nationwide protests led Twitter to record new installations this week. This comes from data from two App Store intelligence agencies, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While the exact results of the companies differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or records, the companies agreed that the Twitter app had the world's greatest week ever.
The app saw at least 677,000 installations at its highest point, Apptopia said. The sensor tower said it had exceeded 1 million. Twitter also broke a record for daily active users on Twitter in the U.S. when around 40 million people in the U.S. signed up for the app on June 3, Apptopia said. For comparison, Twitter reported that its app had 31 million "monetizable" daily active users (mDAUs) in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2019, which rose to 33 million in the first quarter of 2020.
The surge in installations has been attributed to protests being followed by a global audience and COVID-19, which continued to spread to global markets.
Apps color their icons black to support George Floyd's protests
A small handful of apps matched Instagram's black square by turning their icons black this week to support protests and civil rights. The participating apps included, for example, Reddit, Joss & Main and Shop Avani. Movements like this can only be criticized as performative, but one of the companies involved – Reddit – later took real action. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion announced on Friday that he would step down as a member of the Reddit board, and is now asking her to fill his place with a black candidate. He also said he would use his future Reddit share earnings to serve the black community, starting with a $ 1 million pledge to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp.