Apple is responsible for creating and managing one of the world’s most popular smartphone app stores, with more than a million different programs and games available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to download.
It is no surprise then that the company announced this month that more than 25 billion downloads from the App Store have been made since it launched back in 2008, a figure that will make its rivals green with envy.
The list of the most downloaded apps was divided between both paid and free contenders. And perhaps unsurprisingly it was games that managed to lead the pack in the premium app category, helping to generate tens of billions of pounds for Apple and its third party developer partners in the process.
Topping the paid app charts was Angry Birds, the simple yet addictive avian-flinging game that created a huge global franchise. Although interestingly it was announced this week that Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, has actually seen profits fall by 73 per cent in the past year.
Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump and Cut the Rope were also in the top five most downloaded paid apps on the App Store, showing that fans of casual gaming titles were really drawn to these experiences on their iPhones. And of course each of these big selling games was noteworthy for offering unique mechanics and impressive design decisions.
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There may be more free apps on Android’s Google Play store than there are on Apple’s App Store, but there are still hundreds of thousands of bite-sized software suites that iPhone fans can download without spending a penny.
Social networking behemoth Facebook managed to come out on top in the latest chart, dominating the free downloads with its regularly updated app. Second place went to Pandora Radio, ahead of Scrabble-style free game Words With Friends and VoIP calling app Skype.
Angry Birds even popped up in this list, taking eight place with the free version of the full game. And in at number 10 was video streaming service Netflix, which of course requires a subscription and so is not technically free to use.
Interestingly social networking service Twitter only managed to secure 12th position in the free download list, suggesting that users are perhaps a little more swayed by third party clients than the official version. The company’s decision to clamp down on outsiders using its API to create apps has put a damper on things in the past couple of years.
The list of the top paid and free apps is a little different when looking at iPad downloads, with Apple’s word processing software Pages being the biggest premium seller, while Angry Birds HD Free won out in the free camp.