App analytics firm Localytics reported today that app retention is increasing across the mobile app market, while developers are looking at more than just downloads, like the number of times an app is actually used.
The firm also notes that the iPhone crushes Android in app retention, a measure of just that – how many times an app is used.
Last year, Localytics found that a whopping 26% of downloaded apps were only launched one time. They also found that another 26% were at the other end of the range, launching apps 10 times or more. As a result, the company reports on this app retention measure to highly interested app developers on both iOS and Android.
Localytics’ new numbers suggest that among users who first downloaded an app in the third quarter of 2011, the app retention improved long term. The one time app usage numbers dropped down to 22%, while those using the app more than 10 times increased to 31% of surveyed users.
“But not all apps are created equally,” says the Localytics report. “Delving deeper into the retention and user metrics, iPhone and iPad users are 52% more loyal to their apps than Android users. A healthy 35% of Apple iOS users launched an app more than 10 times after downloading, compared to 23% of Android users. The average Android app also suffers from 24% one-time usage rate compared to just 21% one-time usage rate for iPhone and iPad.”
The firm attributes the improvements across both platforms as the fact that apps are getting better, or targeting more defined audiences. They also note that app downloaders may in fact be choosing their apps more carefully to match their wants or needs than in the past. They even point out a Piper Jaffray report that the iPhone itself has a 94% retention rate, while Android has a 47% rate. Way to rub salt in the wounds, right?
Whatever the reason, the numbers don’t lie. iPhone users keep their devices a lot more often than Android users do, and they tend to use the apps they buy much more than Android users do. That’s a win for Apple, for sure.