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Why no one downloads apps anymore

by AirTalk®

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An icon for the Google Maps app is seen on an Apple iPhone 4S on December 13, 2012 in Fairfax, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


That’s the number of apps the average smartphone user in the U.S. downloads per month. It’s a sign that the app boom, which started in 2008 when Apple introduced its App Store, has come to a screeching halt. 

Eight years after the App Store launched, data show that users know what apps they like and aren’t generally looking to download new ones. The exceptions are Uber and Snapchat, which saw increases in global app downloads between May 2015 and 2016.

For app developers, this isn’t news. Smaller, independent app developers have long struggled to get noticed over major developers with more funding and resources. But now, even larger developers are seeing significant year-over-year decreases in monthly downloads.

If you’re a smartphone user, how often do you download a new app? What was the last app you downloaded, and why? Have you more or less figured out what apps you like and don’t feel the need to look for new ones? Is there anything developers can do to break out of the slump?


Ed Lee, managing editor at Recode; he tweets @edmundlee

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