Hand holding a phone downloading the Pokemon Go app

Popular Phone App Categories from 2018

If you need or are considering a phone app for your brand, it is critical to know the most popular phone app categories. Being aware of these categories will help you determine your marketing strategy. Also, you need know the competition if you plan to compete. If your application creates a new category and you have no competitors it could be wildly successful or fail miserably.

Companies create phone applications to engage their target audience, market their brand, and increase sales. The top categories have the greatest share of active apps that are being in use. According to Statista.com, these are the most popular phone application categories for Google Play and Apple’s App Store from 2018.


Google Play Most Popular Phone App Categories in 2018

  1. Education, 8.29 %
  2. Entertainment, 7.43%
  3. Business, 6.96%
  4. Lifestyle, 6.73%
  5. Tools, 5.45%
  6. Personalization, 5.41%
  7. Music and Audio, 5.05%
  8. Books and Reference, 4.79%
  9. Travel and Local, 3.2%
  10. Shopping, 2.94%


App Store Most Popular Phone App Categories in 2018

  1. Games, 24.86%
  2. Business, 9.77%
  3. Education, 8.5%
  4. Lifestyle, 8.32%
  5. Entertainment, 6.03%
  6. Utilities, 5.06%
  7. Travel, 3.9%
  8. Health and Fitness, 3.01%
  9. Book, 2.92%
  10. Food and Drink, 2.89%

Games are almost a whopping 25 percent of all active apps in the App Store! Clearly Google Play isn’t in demand as the app platform for games since it isn’t even found on the top ten list. This is a little surprising since Apple has stricter rules, guidelines, and regulations than Google for applications.

Category Comparisons

Education has almost the same percentage for Google Play and the App Store. Not surprisingly, Business is in the top three for each app provider. Lifestyle is number four on each list. The App Store is in the lead by just over one percentage point in the Lifestyle category. Lifestyle apps are varied, but the purpose of them is to make the user’s life easier by providing convenience. Some examples of these popular apps are Venmo, OpenTable, and Mint.

Personalization ranks sixth on Google Play but isn’t on the App Store’s most popular list. Personalization apps like Netflix, and Amazon recommend movies or products based on user history. Entertainment ranks on the App Store’s list at number five. Because Netflix and Amazon are also forms of entertainment it appears that Google and Apple seem to have their own category definition for each list. Since some applications may fall into multiple categories, Games could be considered a form of entertainment by Google. Is this the reason why Google doesn’t have a Games category?

It is important to learn what each definition means for each app marketplace. Dignitas Digital in Philadelphia can help you with all of your company’s phone application needs.

If this list has been useful and you would like to speak with us about developing your phone application, the best sales platform for it, and/or marketing your app, contact us at hello@dignitas.digital.

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Felicia Topsale