Study reveals the anatomy of Successful Apps

With the rapid increase of smartphones users apps have become one of the fastest-growing markets in the IT industry.

As the mobile developer population has boomed along with the amount of apps in the store, today’s users have millions of apps to choose from. This may ultimately decrease the chances of creating a successful app.

A recent study conducted by UK based Mobile experts at Money, has published findings to reveal the anatomy of a successful app.

The study finds that App ratings and App reviews definitely influence, if not dictate, users’ final choices. And for developers, ratings and reviews serve as a reference for feedback on how their apps are performing.

The data shows that new apps need at least 12,000+ reviews to make it on the App Store top listings page. Social Networking, Music and Reference apps get the most reviews, which can include user comments, complaints, or improvement suggestions.

Apps also need an average 3.3 stars to gain user trust and influence them to download the app. Music, Productivity and Photo & Video apps get the highest ratings.

Understanding the user experience when they search in the app store is fundamental for apps to stand out in a crowded store. The data goes on to show that app descriptions perform best when using short titles, no more than five 5 words with descriptions that include a minimum of three images and 267 words.

The technical information analysed reveals that apps should be supported by at least 37 devices, available in seven languages, and not use more than 116 MB of space. 

New Data Determines What Makes a Top-Performing App

Apps categories performance in the store:

Analysing the relationship between the average price paid and the user satisfaction (average ratings), the study found that Productivity and Music apps have the best correlation between both. These app categories have the highest average ratings overall (4.0) and they are among

the top five types of apps users consider worth spending their money.

While Music Apps have the highest average ratings and are among the categories users are more willing to pay for, though it’s worth noting that the music category includes a broad variety of apps: music creation, radio, education, sound editing, lyric writing, and concert ticketing.

Music-making apps are also the most expensive, making them the most profitable, in the store as well. Musicians spend an average of $10.23 in music-making apps, which suggests that the “pro-sumer” user is the best target to make money with apps.

Streaming and music player apps, however, are often free or cost less than $1. Noteworthy names such as Spotify and Amazon Music are also found in this category, making it quite difficult for new apps to compete.

The Medical category is by far the highest, almost four times more than the price users typically pay for an app. While the data might assume that a higher price equates to a higher user satisfaction, the findings indicate that medical apps don’t stand out from the crowd.

The Top 10 Apps People Spend the Most On:

Genre

Price ($)

Star Rating

Medical

8.78

3.4

Business

5.12

3.7

Reference

4.82

3.4

Music

4.82

4

Productivity

4.33

4

Navigation

4.12

2.7

Education

4.03

3.4

Health & Fitness

1.92

3.7

Book

1.79

2.5

Utilities

1.65

3.3

The Lowest Rated Apps:

Finance Apps receive the lowest average ratings in the app store, and appear to have saturated app stores. While they claim to help users save and more wisely spend money, financial apps have an average rating of 2.4 and are struggling to achieve their objectives.

The data also suggests that the Book App category is not performing well among mobile users; with an average rating of 2.5, they are the second lowest rated type of apps. A poor user experience is one of the reasons why an app doesn’t succeed: data indicates that reading books on a screen is less satisfying than reading a physical book, and research in many fields indicate that reading from screens makes us read slower, learn and remember less, and sleep worse.

Genre

Price ($)

Star Rating

Finance

0.42

2.4

Book

1.79

2.5

Navigation

4.12

2.7

Lifestyle

0.89

2.8

News

0.52

3


There are many reasons why an app succeeds or fails, but the data from money.co.uk indicates that a successful app has three main factors that determine success: the way it’s marketed, the user experience, and the functionality of the product itself.

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