Skip to main content

Apps' user retention keeps iOS on top of Android

In the fickle world of mobile app users, iOS has the upper hand on the Android platform, according to new data by analytics firm Localytics.

Apple iPhone and iPad users are 52 per cent more loyal to their apps than Android users, the company reported, though it softened the blow to Google by adding that the entire app-developing industry is in fact continuing to thrive.

A mere 23 per cent of Android users reportedly launch an app more than 10 times after downloading it, Localytics said. The average Android app also suffers from 24 per cent one-time usage rates, compared to 21 per cent one-time users on the iPhone and iPad.

Improvements in both platforms suggest that many app publishers are simply building better apps, targeting mass markets or niche groups, the company posted on its blog Tuesday.

Some of the credit was offered to the general public, a group Localytics said is beginning to make more informed choices about what apps they download, instead of picking them willy-nilly, as they may have in the past.

The iPhone's own 94 per cent retention rate, compared to 47 per cent for Android, could factor into the app game.

Localytics reported overall app retention rates among all platforms 19 per cent higher than 2011. The company links the increase to app publishers' shift from counting "downloads" to a more mature customer acquisition process.

In the early days, publishers focused on developing a presence, simply measuring success by the total number of app downloads, Localytics said. Some may have been poorly acquired, though, or were dropped after one or two uses.

Last year, the company's research found that customers used a whopping 26 per cent of downloaded apps only one time, contrasted by another 26 per cent of those who used new apps more than 10 times.

This time, data proved one-time usage and long-term retention numbers are both improving.