Last year, contact tracing apps were a hot topic when talking about technology’s role in curbing COVID-19. Now that vaccines are being rolled out across the world, vaccine passport apps have been popping up in some regions. Recent data shows that vaccine passport apps have reached more than 10 million downloads in the last year. Meanwhile, mobile gaming spend and downloads have slowed down but remain strong in the first half of 2021. Get all the details on these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!
Mobile Games Slow Down After 2020’s Surge But Remain Strong
According to Sensor Tower, global consumer spending in mobile games hit $44.7 billion during the first half of 2021 which is an 18% increase year-over-year. Growth has slowed down a bit as this time last year there had been a 26% increase from 2019. The App Store gained $26 billion of in-game spending, up approximately 14% year-over-year. Google Play maintained the same year-over-year growth as seen in the first half of 2020, making $18.7 billion and climbing 25%. Spending in mobile games is not growing as fast as the previous year but Sensor Tower says this is not the indication of a downturn for the industry. Instead, it is a normalization after the boom that occurred during lockdowns.
Downloads had a very slight decline in H1 2021 with only a 1.4% growth but still reaching over 28 billion installs. Just like consumer spend, this is a result of the surge in 2020 now slowing down. App Store game downloads were down 23% coming down to 4.4 billion in H121 from 5.7 billion in H120. Google Play installs are still on the rise but growth is smaller this time around. Downloads from this store increased by 4% ( a significant drop from 2020’s 46% growth) to reach 24 billion. Similar to non-game apps, this may be attributed to the widespread usage of Android devices in markets that are still heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Downloads of Top Vaccine Passport Apps Hit 10 million
New data from Apptopia indicates that downloads of the top vaccine passport apps have reached 10 million globally since December 2020. Despite only being available in the United Kingdom, the NHS app is the top app in terms of downloads. It was announced in late April that U.K. residents would need the app to travel internationally. With 6.5 million downloads since January, that means 10% of the population and 19% of those fully vaccinated have installed the app. The second-largest app for downloads was NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet which is used in the United States, specifically by New York residents. It was launched in March 2021 and since then has attracted over 1.7 million downloads. Other apps such as VeriFLY and CommonPass have also seen download numbers increase rapidly.
People are downloading vaccine passport apps but that does not mean they are particularly satisfied with them. Apptopia analyzed app reviews and tagged each review as positive, neutral, mixed, or negative to calculate overall sentiment. NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet garnered the most positive reviews but still had a long way to go in order to meet public expectations. Looking at negative reviews, Apptopia saw that people found that the apps were simply not working as they should.
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