Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook-Funded Comscore Study Indicates Heavy Use of First-Party Apps on Android and iOS

Alex Heath, the Verge:

If you use an iPhone or Android phone, chances are the majority of your most-used apps were made by Apple and Google.

That’s the takeaway from a new Comscore study that ranks the popularity of preinstalled iOS and Android apps, such as Apple’s Messages, alongside apps made by other developers. The results show that the majority of apps people use on their phones in the US come preinstalled by either Apple or Google. The first-of-its-kind report was commissioned by Facebook, one of Apple’s loudest critics, and shared exclusively with The Verge.

I am guessing it will not surprise most of you to see the effect of defaults, but it is quite something to see Instagram, for example, used by fewer people every month than Apple’s own Stocks app on iOS and the Samsung Calculator on Android.

Interesting as it may be, I have serious doubts about the accuracy of this study. Apparently the most-used app on iOS is the phone app — according to this study, it has more active monthly users in the U.S. than the camera, Messages, YouTube, or Instagram. Why do I not believe that? Meanwhile, not a single phone app appears on the list of the twenty most popular apps on Android — but Walmart’s shopping app sneaks in at the bottom of the list. Also, Gmail is the fourth most popular app on Android, but the highest email application on iOS — Apple’s own Mail app — ranks thirteenth, which is yet another data point indicating that email analytics cannot be trusted.

I’m not arguing that Facebook skewed this study in a specific direction. I just think that these results indicate a flawed methodology.