Snap, Inc., the parent company of the Snapchat app, had a rough first year on Wall Street. Consumers couldn't have cared less.
The Bitmoji app, owned by Snap, came in at No. 1 on Apple's annual list of the most downloaded free iTunes apps of the year, followed by Snapchat in second place. Last year, Snapchat was the top app of the year, and Bitmoji, which can be used to create avatars that slip into Snaps and e-mails, wasn't in the top 10.
As with years past, consumers mostly gravitated towards familiar favorites.
The rest of the top 10 include:
—3. YouTube (up from No. 6 in 2016). Video viewing.
—4.Facebook Messenger (No. 2 last year). Chat.
—5. Instagram (5th place, like in 2016). Photo sharing.
—6. Facebook (No. 6 again). Social network.
—7. Google Maps (No. 7 again). Navigation.
—8. Netflix, (up from No. 9). Video viewing.
—9. Spotify (up from No. 10). Music streaming.
—10. Uber, which wasn't in the 10 last year.
The only new entry to the top 15 was Wish, a shopping app offering low-price goods from China, at No. 15.
Last year's new entry to the top 10, Pokemon Go, was a short-lived smash. This year, it didn't make the top charts, in either the free apps — or the free games — which were led by Super Mario Run. Music streaming service Pandora left the top 10 to clock in at No. 12.
Apple apps, like Apple Music and Pages, come pre-loaded on devices, and thus don't get ranked in Apple's year-end charts.
In making its selections, Apple editors also identified several trends of 2017 worth noting.
Augmented reality apps came to recent iPhones in the fall, with the introduction of IOS 11. Apple touted the IKEA Place app, from the retailer, which lets you visualize IKEA furniture in your home, via an animated image and the video editing app Filmr.
The year saw more mental health, mindfulness and stress reduction apps than ever before, Apple said. Editors named Calm the app of the year.
On the charts, for the second year in a row, NPR's Fresh Air was the most downloaded podcast, followed by the Joe Rogan Experience, Stuff You Should Know, The Dave Ramsey Show and The New York Times' The Daily in the top 5. This American Life, The TED Radio Hour, Planet Money, Pod Saves America and TED Talks Daily rounded out the top 10.
Throughout the year, Apple regularly refreshes its chart of the top apps on the iTunes Store and then ranks them on a year-end chart. It doesn't include sales statistics.
While most downloads are for free apps, developers make money with either advertising, selling subscriptions (Netflix and Spotify) or selling add-ons, which is popular with gaming. According to market research firm AppAnnie, some $100 million will be spent on apps at both the iTunes and Google Play stores in 2017.
The choices for the top paid iPhone apps were less familiar. These were headed by Facetune, the $3.99 app that brings Photoshop-like retouching to the iPhone, followed by Tabs and Chords, which offers guitarists cheat sheets on how to play popular songs. Also on the list; HotSchedules, for listing work shifts; the Enlight photo app; and the 7-minute Workout Challenge, the premium version of the free app.
The top free iPad apps are topped by YouTube, followed by Netflix, Facebook, Messenger, Google Chrome, Amazon Prime Video, Gmail, YouTube Kids, Amazon and Spotify.
Google unveiled its end-of-the-year charts earlier in the week but didn't offer rankings beyond saying that Super Mario Run was the most downloaded game of the year for Android devices. It also selected five choices for the "most popular" new apps of 2017. They include:
—Photo Editor, for jazzing up images.
—What the Forecast, a weather that promises to forecast "how nasty it is outside."
—Boomerang: A subscription service for watching old Bugs Bunny and Co. cartoons.
—Top Buzz Videos: A viral video app.
—Yarn. Chat fiction in the form of text messages.
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