app-1013616_960_720Android users can download more than 1.6 million apps. Apple’s app store exceeds 1.5 million. With all that choice, how many are actually being used? More than I thought.

Nielsen Mobile Insights reports that smartphone owners used an average of 27.1 different apps per month. Even with all the choice out there, that number hasn’t changed much.

“Despite rapid evolution throughout the marketplace, including new apps, additional device functionality and broadened device capabilities, the number of apps used has remained relatively stable since the end of 2012.” — Nielsen Mobile Insights

The big change is the amount of time mobile phone users are spending with those apps.

“What is exploding, however, is the amount of time mobile phone users are spending with those apps, as usage time is up 77% over a three-year period. In fourth-quarter 2015, smartphone users spent nearly 41 hours per month tapping into their apps” — Nielsen Mobile Insights

Most popular?

Entertainment apps (165.9 million users) and Search/Social apps (165.6 million users). Other top apps included news and information, travelcommunication, and retail.

Surprisingly, millennials use fewer apps than the rest of us. BUT, they spend nearly 48 hours a month using them. According to Nielsen, women use more apps than men and spend an average three hours more using them each month.

flip-a-coinrSo, it’s a coin toss.  50/50.

That leaves two distinct challenges for app makers. First, you have to get people to find and download your app. Then, use it! 25% of installed apps are never used, according to Google and another 26% are abandoned after the first use. So even if they download your app, there’s a better than 50% chance they’ll never use it or try it once and ditch it.

Then, if they do keep — and use — the app, it’s still no prize

A Quettra study showed that the average app (on Android) lost 77% of its daily active users within the first three days. 90% stopped using the app within 30 days.