The most popular Android app could be the last app you'll ever use

The most popular Android app could be the last app you'll ever use

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to vote for your most used app. I asked because research suggests that most people spend the vast majority of their time in just a small selection of apps. I wanted to know which apps make up this elite circle. But, instead of a circle, the results make a case for one app to rule them all.

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Google's highest ranking app came in second place. / © ANDROIDPIT

The results

Over a thousand of you took part in the poll, so thanks for that! The results leave no room for doubt when it comes to the most popular app: WhatsApp took home 30 percent of the vote, almost twice as much as Chrome, which took second place with 17 percent, followed closely by Facebook, with 16 percent.

I was pleased to see Feedly, probably my second most used app, take four percent of the pie, but after the top three of WhatsApp, Chrome and Facebook, the percentages took a nose dive – fourth place went to YouTube, with nine percent of the tally, and the remaining ten apps in the list received between six and zero percent of the votes.

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A not-too-shocking victory for the titanic WhatsApp. / © ANDROIDPIT

What does it mean?

What's most interesting here is how much credence these results lend to the theory of messaging platforms like WhatsApp overtaking Android to become the dominant form of mobile technology. If people are using their devices primarily for the purpose of using WhatsApp, then why not center everything around it?

With reports suggesting WhatsApp and Facebook are looking towards integrating bots that will essentially replace apps, the construction of a course in Android's direction seems already to be underway. These bots would allow you to order pizza, book flights, inquire about hotel rooms, etc., etc., all through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, more deeply ingraining these services in our daily lives.

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The top three apps accounted for 63 percent of the votes. / © ANDROIDPIT

Why do we use WhatsApp so much?

The answer is simple, really: we use our phones to communicate. Sure, they do fun and practical things besides, but predominantly we pick up our phones to talk to someone in some way. The remaining time is atomized between apps that we occasionally refer to to order food, make a booking, play a game, check on the status of something, do a bit of reading, add an appointment to our calendars, fact check something an idiotic friend said, etc.

Smartphones' purposes are manifold, but there is one primary purpose that overrides all of these. That is chatting to our friends and families; everything else is welcome, even extremely useful, but secondary.

We're spending most of our time on WhatsApp, anyway, so why not let it incorporate those third-party apps we use a couple of times a week at most? It seems like an excellent path to world domination to me.

Do you think these results suggest that WhatsApp is as important as I think? Or am I reading too much into this? Let me know in the comments.

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  • I'm not huge texter. I use Chomp SMS, because I like is pop-up feature. I don't have WhatsApp on my phone, or FB, or FB Messenger. I use my work email and Gmail a lot, and Feedly, the Guardian, and Scanvine daily to keep up. I use Flynx far more than I use any other browser--mostly, to follow a link from one of those three apps. The apps that I use for the most time every day, besides my launcher (Smart lLauncher Pro)? For my daily commute--and whenever I'm in the car: Car Dashdroid and Podcast Addict. (Oh--and Google Now.)

  • steve Apr 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I don't think the question was clear enough for a realistic survey.

  • I like that

  • I love

  • WhatsApp came with my phone. I hated it. Too complicated for people that want to send a simple text message. I'm like Thomas S. I use Firefox, synced with my pc, & tho I get on Facebook occasionally, I don't use FB Messenger. I heard it's got issues. I don't need problems. I'd say my most used apps are the Clock, ACalendar & TruePhone.
    I don't want to spend hours learning how to use an app. I want it simple. Download & use.

  • storm Apr 8, 2016 Link to comment

    It's too broad of a brush for the data collected. WhatsApp might be the most used app in a list format. But how much time is being spent in the apps? If I access WhatsApp 15 times a day for 2 minutes on average, but use Chrome 2-3x for 10-15 minutes at a burst, is WhatsApp really the most used app? Most accessed, yes. Or I check my calendar 10 times for 10 seconds each--my wifes, and my kids calendars all feed into mine so I'm at the right place at the right time. But those 100 seconds are probably more important than the few thousand I put into Chrome or WhatsApp as far as making my family's life work out right. Caveat. I don't use Facebook at all. I have no account and I don't see that changing. I mention Whatsapp just for the sake of the topic.

    There is far more into measuring the impact an app has than access counts, time spent and so on.

    While my phone communicates information to me, most of that sourced from another human, none of it is from chat apps. And usually not voice either. Calendars, emails, shared todos, shared evernote, what comes through my feeds in Newstand and so on. Some is directed to me specifically. Some is just things I'm interested in. Broaden your perspective on communication. Even the employees at Androidpit communicate with me on a daily basis. Through Chrome.

    And to say that moving to WhatsApp as the core or actual OS is great over-reach of the data when it has only 30% of the vote total. Popular, but not necessarily significant.

  • I keep trying to like WhatsApp, but I don't know anybody who uses it regularly.

    • it depends on the country. In some countries like e.g. germany everybody uses it all the time but in other e.g. poland. bobody even has it.

  • ***

  • Interesting. I know of no one, literally no one, that uses WhatsApp. Furthermore, I'm the only one that I've ever met that has even tried it.

  • It's difficult to get accurate results on a poll like this, especially since only the tech passionate crowd is taking it (and I'm guessing mostly male users too). Otherwise, you would see a lot more social apps at the top (ahem, Pinterest) and Instagram would have a much higher percentage.

  • I think alot of people use WhatsApp because of the simplicity, myself included, so if they decide to start crowding it with all kinda other stuff, someone might just overthrow them...

  • If everything is done through Whatsapp then you limit the potential of what devs can do with their software

  • I don't use Whatsapp, Facebook (I go through the browser) or Chrome (I prefer Firefox, I have synchronized with my desktop Firefox and I have some very useful plugins)

  • that information is all well and good but how many total votes were there? it seems that unless you have a substantial percentage of phone users voting it's hard to make assumptions that you make, also what about age spread of said voters if all those votes came from 12 to 19 years old your information base is incomplete.

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