Apple’s preinstalled apps prove most popular on iPhone, report claims


Top apps on iOS and Android
Turns out preinstalled apps are the most widely used. Whodda thunkit?
Photo: Comscore/Facebook

Apple’s own preinstalled apps are the ones most commonly used on iPhones, says a Facebook-commissioned study. Weather, Photos and Camera are reportedly the three most popular non-phone call apps used on iOS. The Phone app is, no shock here, the most popular.

The study says something similar holds true for Android. On that platform, Google apps (Google Play, Google Search, YouTube and Gmail) rank as most widely used.

It might seem like common sense that the default apps that come installed on every handset are the most widely used. However, this feeds into a wider criticism of companies like Apple and Google, which face accusations of privileging their own apps and services over those of third-party developers.

This criticism proves most acute when it comes to Apple, because the company does not allow sideloading of apps not distributed through the App Store.

Apple disagrees with the study’s findings, though.

Default apps dominate on iOS and Android

A report from The Verge writer (and former Cult of Mac scribe done good) Alex Heath lays out the top-line results of the Facebook-commissioned study:

“Research firms regularly track the popularity of apps that are available for download in app stores, but Comscore’s study is the first real attempt at charting how default mobile apps compete against other developers.

Comscore used data it regularly gathers from apps and websites alongside a survey of roughly 4,000 people asking about the default apps they used during the month of November. The results show that 75 percent of the top 20 apps on iOS in the US were made by Apple, while Google made 60 percent of the top apps on Android. The top four apps on both platforms were made by their respective parent company.”

Facebook was the only developer with more than one entry on the list of top iOS apps. The report notes that, amazingly, 78 million people use Apple’s Calculator app. That’s more than the number of users who use Gmail on Android.

Apple’s App Store dominance?

Apple doesn’t always lord it over the competition, however. Neither Apple Maps nor the Music app make the iOS list. Meanwhile, the Gmail app appears on the iOS list just a few spots below Apple’s Mail app. In other words, people won’t always go with Apple’s default suggestion.

The question of Apple’s control over the App Store has been increasingly widespread as of late, both in the United States and abroad. Congress is currently weighing legislation that could stop Apple from preinstalling default apps on iPhones. The proposed U.S. legislation comes as Apple faces similar antitrust scrutiny elsewhere.

In the European Union, regulators are looking at how Apple allegedly privileges its own services. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and Japan also are looking into Apple’s smartphone supremacy.

Apple disagrees with the results of this latest study.

“This Facebook-financed survey from December 2020 was narrowly tailored to give the false impression that there’s little competition on the App Store,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge. “In truth, third-party apps compete with Apple’s apps across every category and enjoy large scale success.”

Source: The Verge


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