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What Are Windows Phone App Trends Telling Us About Mobile Interaction

What Are Windows Phone App Trends Telling Us About Mobile Interaction
  • On March 22, 2018

It’s hardly a secret that the world is becoming more and more mobile with every passing day. It’s rare that you can travel anywhere without seeing someone engrossed in their mobile phone. Whether they’re scrolling social media on the bus, flicking through news stories on their lunch break, or losing themselves in a hit game on the train, mobiles and their subsequent apps are everywhere. With Windows phones becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to Apple or Android, and with the Nokia Lumia 1520 being named as one of the best smartphones for gaming, taking a look at Windows App trends can give us an incredible insight into how we use our mobiles every day – and we have some of those trends for you below.


Download volumes can tell us a lot about how people are interacting with their mobiles on a daily basis, and most importantly, just what they’re using them for. When going by the Microsoft app and data trends, the download volumes of different types of apps are split into two sections: Apps, and Games.

In the way of ‘Apps’, the volume of downloads per genre of app for the past month in particular is the most even that is has been since mid-2017, however February 2018 has seen its biggest percentage of app downloads being of the Entertainment genre (19%). ‘Entertainment’ includes the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and many more, but with a fairly steady percentage since February 2017, it’s clear to see that the ongoing popularity of streaming services certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Video streaming services are becoming increasingly popular, and with newfound download options that allow users to download and watch content offline and on the go, our entertainment is more accessible than ever before.

Gaming has seen a far more prominent trend in that Action and Adventure games are taking up 38% of overall downloads within the app store. When it comes to our gameplay, this trend in particular suggests that users are opting for games with a storyline and something to come back to every time we play. What’s important to remember, however, is that ‘action and adventure’ is a genre that can cover many other types of games and as a result, everything from Roblox to Cooking Fever have worked their way into the top games on the app store currently.

App Revenue

Windows phones make up for some of the best devices for mobile games and apps alike, and this can be seen in the sheer volume of revenue that Microsoft bring in from their own app store. With apps available on mobile, and even on laptops and tablets now, they are more accessible than ever before, and the revenue is certainly benefiting from this fact.

With increased app availability comes a better insight into just which apps are bringing in the most money for the company, and this is certainly the case for February’s apps revenue trends. With an incredible 39%, entertainment apps are bringing in the highest percentage of revenue, but Photo & Video related apps are only behind by 10%, with 19% of revenue being pulled in from here. However, apps such as Netflix or Amazon Video will are likely to fall into the Photo & Video category too, so this higher percentage could very well be shared.

Interestingly, the third-highest percentage comes in the way of Productivity apps. This suggests that people are willing to spend money on apps that make our lives a little easier, whether it’s budgeting, word processing, reminders or frankly anything that can improve and assist our productivity. What’s notable, however, is that the increase in productivity app spending could very well have been down to the introduction of the Windows 10 mobile creators update just last year, but this is a case of speculation.

It’s also worth noting that, compared to gaming, apps tend to have a lower percentage of in-app spending. In February, apps saw a 62% spend on the base app, and just 38% on in-app purchases. However, this lower in app purchase spending could very well be down to the simple fact that apps are more likely to be paid to begin with. Games often come free, but with the knowledge that you may need to pay later on to continue onto extra content or excel through the levels, consumers are often deterred, but more on this later.

Game Revenue

As far as gaming is concerned, Action & Adventure apps of course bring in the highest revenue of all, however Shooter and Sports have definitely put up a fight in previous months. In February, there was an incredible 47% of revenue coming in from Action & Adventure apps, but Shooters only sat at 17%, and Sports at 18%. In months passed, however, this has been the complete opposite. In September 2017, for example, Sports brought in 39% of revenue, Shooters brought in 32%, while Action and Adventure only brought in a very low 15%. Game tastes change on a regular basis, often flowing with the new releases of the time, and so this could very well have accounted for the change in focus in previous months.

In-App purchases within games are almost always higher, or equal to the revenue gathered from the purchase of base games. In February 2018, however, this was quite the drastic change, with the base games only bringing in around 39%, while the in app purchases made up for an incredible 61% of revenue. Gaming on our mobiles is often a free experience until we want to go further. From power ups and boosts to in-game coins and currencies, our mobile games often come with a host of different ways we can spend money to excel in the game, and while it isn’t always necessary to spend this money, it’s clear that players are still doing it regardless. Fan-loved game Fortnite recently made over $1million just from in-app purchases within 3 days of it’s addition to the app store, and while they built up popularity away from mobile first, this is just one example of how developers can make money, and how we are spending it.

The future of gaming is thought to be mobile, and while the truth behind it can certainly be debated, it’s not something to ignore. Whether an entertainment app or a new hit game, the trends behind our app usage and purchases can tell us everything we need to know about how we’re using our devices, and just where focus is turning. As a result, it’s worth keeping an eye on – so watch this space.