Downloads of the top five health and fitness apps grew 2.3 times year-over-year since August, according to App Annie's Spotlight on the Connected Devices report. The company identified six major subcategories of mobile apps within the connected devices landscape: Health & Fitness, Media, Productivity, Car, Home and Watch. For this study, the firm created a custom dataset consisting of five of the top apps in each subcategory.
- From August 2013 to August 2014, the 27 apps available last year grew roughly 50 percent in aggregate downloads for iOS and Google Play combined in the United States.
- By comparison, all apps outside of games grew 2 percent in the United States over the same time frame.
- Media accounted for roughly 40 percent of downloads in the dataset.
- Productivity was the second largest subcategory with about 30 percent of downloads and four apps in the overall top 10.
"These download figures reflect the relative maturity of the connected device sectors," the report said. "Productivity and Health & Fitness are rapidly maturing and have considerable app store penetration. On the other hand, Car, Home and Watch are still nascent with significant room for growth."
There may be a lot of indie app developers who haven't given a lot of thought to the connected home and related devices because they are still focused on traditional form factors like smartphones and tablets. App Annie's report offers several positive indications, though, that those developers will be able to transition some of their existing apps to these new kinds of consumer environments.
If competing against the scores of other developers in the mobile gaming space is getting tiring, this may be the best time ever to explore opportunities in areas like fitness and productivity. App Annie notes, however, that even though connected homes and wearable devices are showing significant growth and adoption, creating sustainable user engagement may be a bigger challenge than developers may realize. Getting into this race early is probably a good idea, but having a long-term game plan is perhaps even more important.
- download the report here
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