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Most Popular Apps & Games of 2020

by in App Market Insights

Most Popular Apps & Games of 2020

Looking back at 2020, what apps and games dominated the top charts? Which apps were new to the App Store and Play Store last year, and what were the hottest new games people were playing? The most popular apps and games reflect the defining moments of 2020, a tumultuous year filled with change and shifting trends.


For the purpose of this analysis, we have selected the top 10 apps which ranked in the top 200 of the ‘All’ category for the most days last year. All of these apps ranked in the top charts every day, and are commonly considered as some of the most popular apps ever.

Most of the highest-ranking apps in 2020 are the same as in 2019. However, there were some changes to the top 10 most popular apps in both stores.

It is no surprise that Cash App and Amazon Shopping were two newcomers to the 2020 list of top App Store apps; the year saw an increased amount of people staying at home, but these people still needed to buy necessities and pay their peers. Compared to the previous year, Google Maps and Disney+ lost popularity and saw their average rankings decrease. On the Play Store, DoorDash, Tubi, Wish, PayPal, and Walmart rose in the rankings, and each of these apps had an even higher average ranking than Facebook, Messenger, or Disney+.

App Store Play Store
Icon App Name Icon App Name
Call of Duty®: Mobile icon Call of Duty®: Mobile Dancing Road: Color Ball Run! icon Dancing Road: Color Ball Run!
Roblox icon Roblox aquapark.io icon aquapark.io
Subway Surfers icon Subway Surfers Pokémon GO icon Pokémon GO
Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game icon Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game Coin Master icon Coin Master
Coin Master icon Coin Master Gardenscapes icon Gardenscapes
Homescapes icon Homescapes Magic Tiles 3 icon Magic Tiles 3
Gardenscapes icon Gardenscapes Homescapes icon Homescapes
Wordscapes icon Wordscapes Kick the Buddy icon Kick the Buddy
Mario Kart Tour icon Mario Kart Tour Happy Color™ - Color by Number. Coloring games. icon Happy Color™ - Color by Number. Coloring games.
BitLife icon BitLife Word Collect - Free Word Games icon Word Collect - Free Word Games

Analyzing the top games separately, we can see many similarities between high-performing games on both the App Store and Play Store, but there are slight differences between each store.

On the App Store, the only game that had also been one of 2019’s top 10 highest-ranking games was Call of Duty®: Mobile. All other games had not averaged as highly the previous year. All games that ranked highly in 2019 saw decreased overall average rankings in 2020. Some of those games included Color Bump 3D, Polysphere, Traffic Run!, and Wordscapes. Similarly, most of the highest-ranking games on the Play Store in 2020 were all different from those in 2019, except for aquapark.io.

One of the key points to mention is that, on any given day, many of the top 200 games on either the App Store or the Play Store are typically hyper-casual games, which have somewhat lower production values and are monetized by ads. As a result, these games do not typically remain in the top 10 of ‘All’ games for very long.

Overall, larger brand-name games, such as Roblox and Call of Duty®: Mobile, remained in the highest ranks of the top charts for the longest times. Hyper-casual game rankings were much more volatile. One possible reason for this could be increased competition with similar games. As more hyper-casual games flood the market, no one specific game has ranked particularly consistently.

App Store Play Store
Icon App Name Icon App Name
TikTok icon TikTok Instagram icon Instagram
YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream icon YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream Cash App icon Cash App
Instagram icon Instagram WhatsApp Messenger icon WhatsApp Messenger
Facebook icon Facebook Snapchat icon Snapchat
Messenger icon Messenger DoorDash icon DoorDash
Snapchat icon Snapchat Tubi - Free Movies & TV Shows icon Tubi - Free Movies & TV Shows
Gmail icon Gmail Amazon Shopping - Search, Find, Ship, and Save icon Amazon Shopping - Search, Find, Ship, and Save
Cash App icon Cash App Wish - Shopping Made Fun icon Wish - Shopping Made Fun
Netflix icon Netflix PayPal Mobile Cash: Send and Request Money Fast icon PayPal Mobile Cash: Send and Request Money Fast
Amazon Shopping icon Amazon Shopping Walmart Shopping & Grocery icon Walmart Shopping & Grocery

Top Apps Launched on the App Store and Google Play in 2020

The following chart shows some new apps that have had the most successful launches of 2020. We determine ‘new apps’ by identifying when apps began to receive their first downloads. If an app began the year with zero downloads and made it into the top 200 apps or games by the end of the year, it is considered as ‘new’. Widget apps and new streaming services became very popular last year, with the launch of Peacock TV and the rise and subsequent fall of Quibi. A new face-swapping app was also popular last year, following a similar trend from 2019.

Another interesting discovery is that two of the most popular app launches for the Play Store were the COVID-19 contact tracing apps for California and New York. Neither app was as popular on the App Store.

Top Games Launched on the App Store and Google Play in 2020

Finally, which new games launched on the App Store and Play Store quickly rose to the top of the charts and were downloaded the most? In 2019, hyper-casual games won big and filled many of the top positions in the Games category for both stores. This was not particularly the case in 2020. Project Makeover and Among Us were two of the most popular games of last year. Some other games that left their mark on the top charts were Sushi Roll 3D, Chat Master and Acrylic Nails.

In 2019, nine of the top 10 game launches on the App Store - and all of the top game launches on the Play Store - were hyper-casual games. Call of Duty®: Mobile was the only game that did not fit into that genre, and was the only game launched in 2019 that remained in the top app rankings in 2020.

While there are many apps and games that performed well on both stores, the App Store and Play Store are quite different in terms of top chart rankings and download trends. The pandemic changed cultural trends quickly, and user needs changed during the course of the year. Streaming, productivity, food delivery apps and games all had their moments and were the most popular and downloaded apps of 2020.

With these insights, we can quickly see that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are very different and should always be studied and considered separately.

App Store Play Store
Icon App Name Icon App Name
Project Makeover Project Makeover Sushi Roll 3D - Cooking ASMR Game Sushi Roll 3D - Cooking ASMR Game
Rush Hour 3D Rush Hour 3D Imposter Solo Kill Imposter Solo Kill
Phone Case DIY Phone Case DIY Chat Master! Chat Master!
Madden NFL 21 Mobile Football Madden NFL 21 Mobile Football Project Makeover Project Makeover
Let's Be Cops 3D Let's Be Cops 3D Among Us Among Us
Hyper Typer! Hyper Typer! Acrylic Nails! Acrylic Nails!
Acrylic Nails! Acrylic Nails! Shortcut Run Shortcut Run
Color Roll 3D Color Roll 3D DOP 2: Delete One Part DOP 2: Delete One Part
Oh God! Oh God! Icing On The Dress Icing On The Dress
Shortcut Run Shortcut Run Hit Master 3D: Knife Assassin Hit Master 3D: Knife Assassin
App Store Play Store
Icon App Name Icon App Name
Widgetsmith Widgetsmith Google Pay: A safe & helpful way to manage money Google Pay: A safe & helpful way to manage money
Color Widgets Color Widgets Peacock TV - Stream TV, Movies, Live Sports & More Peacock TV - Stream TV, Movies, Live Sports & More
Peacock TV Peacock TV Reface: Face swap videos and memes with your photos Reface: Face swap videos and memes with your photos
Reface: face swap videos Reface: face swap videos CA Notify CA Notify
WATCHED - Multimedia Browser WATCHED - Multimedia Browser Quibi: All New Original Shows Quibi: All New Original Shows
Quibi: All New Original Shows Quibi: All New Original Shows Mr Beast Burger Mr Beast Burger
Hype Simulator Hype Simulator COVID Alert NY COVID Alert NY
NBA: Live Games & Scores NBA: Live Games & Scores Parler Parler
Photo Widget : Simple Photo Widget : Simple Zynn - Lifestyle Inspiration & Creative Ideas Zynn - Lifestyle Inspiration & Creative Ideas
Zynn Zynn Pokémon Home Pokémon Home

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