Many of the Android apps we recommend aren’t well-known among the general public. Of course, they’re all fantastic—we wouldn’t recommend a bad app—but they frequently fall into the “niche” category.
Let’s take a look at some of the all-time most popular Android apps in the Google Play Store for a change of pace. These are the ones that the 2.8 billion active Android users have downloaded the most.
A Word on Android Stock Apps
Apps that come pre-installed on stock Android devices will not be included. This means Google Play Services (10 billion “downloads”), Gmail (9 billion), Google Maps (6.9 billion), YouTube (10 billion), and a few other services aren’t included.
These figures were calculated using AndroidRank‘s data. The numbers in parentheses denote the change in placement since we last updated this list in March 2020.
With 2.9 billion downloads in July 2018, WhatsApp was ranked third. It had risen to number one a year ago but has since fallen to second place.
Since a $19 billion buyout in early 2014, Facebook has owned WhatsApp, the world’s most popular instant messaging service. If you don’t want to use a Facebook-owned messaging app, there are other options.
It’s unsurprising that Facebook is the most downloaded app on the planet. It still reigns supreme despite seemingly endless scandals, questionable privacy practices, and the #DeleteFacebook movement.
However, not everyone is pleased, as this app has 76 million one-star reviews. It’s possible that it’s justified; the app is bloated with useless features that few people use.
3. Facebook Messenger
Messenger’s third-place finish underlines Facebook’s dominance of the smartphone app marketplace.
Messenger has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the increased availability of bots, which has made the service more useful than ever. It has dropped one spot since we first published this list in July 2018.
Instagram is yet another Facebook-owned application, having been acquired by the company in 2012.
Compared to its big brother, it has significantly fewer negative reviews, with only 28 million (out of 121 million) users giving it a single star on the rating scale.
The continued growth of TikTok shows no signs of slowing down. When the COVID crisis forced people to stay at home during the first half of 2020, a video-making app that allows users to create and share short video clips gained enormous popularity.
It reached one billion downloads in July of this year and has more than doubled in the following two years, according to the company.
6. Subway Surfers
We find our first game at position six, and it is not Candy Crush Saga! Subway Surfers is an endless runner game in which you must flee down a railroad track in order to avoid being apprehended by a police officer and his canine companion.
7. Facebook Lite
After that, it’s back to Facebook for us. Designed for users with low-end devices (with 1GB or 2GB of RAM) and those who only have access to 2G data networks, the Lite version of the app is free to download and use. There are a few minor usability tweaks here and there, but all of the major features are present and functioning as expected.
8. Microsoft Word
Given the widespread use of Word on desktop computers, it should come as no surprise that the Word Android app has achieved similar levels of popularity.
Keep an eye on the Microsoft Office apps, as they will almost certainly rise even further in the rankings when we publish the next update.
9. Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint is the second consecutive Microsoft Office app to appear on this list, following Microsoft Word. You’ve almost certainly used it to create a presentation or a slideshow at some point.
Snapchat comes in at number ten on the list of the top ten apps.
Despite the fact that Instagram has stolen all of Snapchat’s best features, the latter has managed to accrue more than 280 million daily users, an increase from 240 million just a year ago.
As a percentage of total downloads on Android and iOS combined, however, this figure continues to be insignificant. Is it time to start worrying about the app’s long-term viability, or does the slight increase in ranking signal a potential resurgence?