This Week in Apps #99 - Widgets In The Lead Again

Ariel Ariel
5 minute read Feb. 4

This Week in Apps is a short, no-fluff, round-up of interesting things that happened in the mobile industry. Here are our top highlights.

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1. Another Widget Took over the App Store

Last month a widget took over the App Store seemingly overnight thanks to TikTok. Fast forward barely a month, and another widget is now at the top of the charts, again, seemingly overnight.

NoteIt download estimates

NoteIt is a simple app that lets you draw on your iPhone and for the drawings to appear in someone else's iPhone in a widget. It's a pretty novel idea that most on TikTok labeled "cute". It's also pretty similar to last month's success, LocketWidget.

Although the app has been around since the summer of 2021, it wasn't at all popular, getting very few downloads. That changed on January 22nd when the app started climbing the charts after having an explosive day of more than 27K downloads.

This week those downloads grew 10x, adding more than 200,000 downloads every day. In the last 12 days, NoteIt was downloaded 1.2 million times from the App Store globally, according to our App Intelligence.

And I don't want to sound like a broken record, but... TikTok is full of videos showing NoteIt. I'll let you draw the conclusion here.

One little thing I noticed is that the app's website is currently offline because it got too much traffic, and its host suspended it. This is a missed opportunity, but also means there's no way to read the privacy policy...

Our SDK Intelligence isn't showing any trackers are used other than Firebase, which is pretty standard at this point. So it's okay.


2. The Other Wordle Gets a Makeover and (Some) Cash

Wordle!, the mobile game and not the web sensation, is sticking to the top of the chart for the second week in a row!

I've talked about it twice already, but both times I expected it to drop off fairly quickly. Why? Because it isn't the game most people are looking for + because it looked pretty outdated.

I was only half right, so instead of looking at downloads, which have already crossed 2.3 million, let's look at revenue.

Wordle! revenue estimates

Before we jump into numbers, I need to point out that the game has gotten a makeover in the last few weeks and no longer looks like 2016. So that shouldn't be an issue anymore. I should also point out that while I know what to expect when looking for the web Wordle, many don't. So word of mouth could help here and actually get people playing a game they only knew by name. Weird but interesting!

On to numbers!

Since jumping into the top, and likely the visual makeover, Wordle! has seen revenue go vertical. It went from just a few hundred dollars per day to more than $6K this Wednesday, the highest day ever, according to our estimates.

In total, Wordle! earned about $31K since it made its way into the top charts, according to our estimates.

And yes, that's very low. Lower than low. What I said a few weeks ago is still true. Those who know what to expect download this one and immediately delete it. For those who do continue playing--and it is a decent game, albeit not fine-tuned for humans)--there aren't many obvious reasons to pay. The ads are pretty unpleasant, but that didn't make me want to pay but rather stop playing.

So, more opportunities there for sure!


3. The Most Downloaded Apps in January

I crunched the numbers early this month to give you the most downloaded apps globally, in January. And there are a few interesting areas to look at here.

By the way, I also looked at games. That's below.

The most downloaded apps in January

TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world in January. According to our App Intelligence, it took the lead back from Instagram, which was enjoying it for the last few months with 52M downloads globally vs. Instagram's 45M.

Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram rounded out the top 5 most downloaded apps in the world. An opening set that matches previous months fairly well.

Zoom is back! After disappearing last month, Zoom's downloads grew for the first time since the explosion of 2020 to place it 8th overall. More on that below.

Spotify and Capcut close the top 10 most downloaded apps list, again, just like they did in December.

Together, the top 10 earned 310M new downloads in January. A bit lower than December, but that's not surprising for a January.


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4. Zoom Makes a Surprise Comeback

Zoom clawed its way back into the most downloaded apps list in January, with downloads growing the most since the madness of 2020.

Most is a bit misleading. I should say, with downloads growing...

Zoom download estimates

Last December was Zoom's slowest month in nearly two years. It saw 16M new downloads globally, which isn't a small number but is for an app with a high of 93M back in April of 2020. The trend was also sloping down, which makes sense. Between Zoom fatigue and dwindling need for remote communication among non-business users, a slowdown in downloads is inevitable.

But then January rolled around, and downloads jumped to 25M, according to our estimates.

Is Zoom fatigue declining? Are there businesses who sat Zoom out and can't anymore? Are more non-business users using it again? Probably.


5. The Most Downloaded Games in January

I crunched the numbers to give you the most downloaded games in January, and this list is nothing like what I'd expected.

The most downloaded games in January

Subway Surfers was the most downloaded game in January, adding 25M new downloads to its user base. India and Brazil continue to be at the top of the list in January, but downloads came from a lot of countries. I wonder how it'll do when I analyze game revenue next week.

Roblox was right behind it, netting 16M new downloads, according to our App Intelligence.

January wasn't a great month for the hyper casuals. Likely due to a slowdown in ad-spend after a busy December. But a few did manage to sneak in, although at the bottom.

Two of my personal favorites also made an appearance on this list. 8 Ball Pool snatched the #10 position overall, and Among Us! came in 10th in the App Store.

Together, we estimate that the top 10 most downloaded games in the world were downloaded a total of 148M times.


App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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