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Business and productivity app downloads soared last year

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Chinnapong)

The pandemic has driven a siginficant increase in business application downloads, especially among communication-based services, a report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie suggests.

According to the report, the number of business and productivity apps downloaded in 2020 was 7.1 billion. That's up by more than a third (35 percent) compared to the year before.

As expected, the biggest surge came in spring 2020, when governments across the globe began to enforce country-wide lockdowns.

Besides an increase in the number of downloads, the type of apps downloaded has also shifted. Zoom Cloud Meetings, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams were the top three apps downloaded in 2020, pushing WhatsApp Business, Gmail and Microsoft Word from the top spots.

These new leaders weren't even in the top 20 business and productivity apps a year before.

Zoom alone had a tremendous year. At the start of 2020, it was hosting 10 million video meeting participants every day. In March, this figure had grown to 200 million, and the app even remained in the number one spot after Google made all its meetings free in April.

App Annie also said that both Adobe and Cisco did a great job of adapting to the abrupt changes in ways of working. While Cisco WebEx became a huge hit, Adobe Acrobat Reader rose to the #14 spot among the most popular apps in 2020.