Dutch regulator orders App Store changes, China’s app numbers decline, 2021’s new million-dollar publishers

The app trade continues to develop, with a document variety of downloads and shopper spending throughout each the iOS and Google Play shops mixed in 2021, in response to the newest year-end reviews. App Annie says world spending throughout iOS and Google Play is as much as $135 billion in 2021, and that determine will doubtless be greater when its annual report, together with third-party app shops in China, is launched subsequent yr. Shoppers additionally downloaded 10 billion extra apps this yr than in 2020, reaching practically 140 billion in new installs, it discovered.


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Apps aren’t only a strategy to cross idle hours — they’re additionally an enormous enterprise. In 2019, mobile-first corporations had a mixed $544 billion valuation, 6.5x greater than these with no cellular focus. In 2020, traders poured $73 billion in capital into cellular corporations — a determine that was up 27% year-over-year.

This Week in Apps provides a strategy to sustain with this fast-moving trade in a single place with the newest from the world of apps, together with information, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and recommendations about new apps and video games to attempt, too.

High Story

900+ app publishers will see their first $1 million in 2021

Sensor Tower is forecasting that the variety of publishers set to see their first $1 million (or extra) in annual web revenue in 2021 has practically doubled since 2016. This yr, greater than 900 publishers will attain this milestone, up practically 91% from the 475 who hit the milestone in 2016. This 900+ breaks right down to 581 on iOS and 325 on Google Play, it notes.

Nonetheless, the determine represents a decline from final yr, when 1,003 publishers hit their first web $1 million in world income — a change that Sensor Tower chalks as much as a normalization of shopper habits after the pandemic drove installs up throughout 2020 to outsized ranges. Shoppers in 2021 experimented with fewer new apps than in the course of the top of the pandemic, the report famous.

China’s legal guidelines influence the variety of out there apps

The South China Morning Submit this week reported on how China’s massive tech crackdown is taking part in out throughout the Chinese language app shops. Based on its findings, the variety of out there cellular apps has fallen 40% over the previous three years as new knowledge legal guidelines and different clean-up campaigns went into impact. By the numbers, Chinese language app shops had 4.52 million apps in December 2018, however as of October 2021, that had dropped to simply 2.78 million. It additionally famous the largest declines occurred over the course of this yr, as Beijing additional cracked down on massive tech with its new knowledge privateness legal guidelines.

The Netherlands orders Apple to permit courting apps to supply different funds

The Netherlands is the newest nation seeking to regulate the app shops with a brand new ruling, as reported by Reuters, that claims Apple has violated the nation’s competitors legal guidelines by way of its in-app buy insurance policies. Nonetheless, the case on this market is exclusive as a result of it’s solely making use of to a section of the app retailer — particularly, courting apps. (Match, in fact, has been a major Apple critic and has been pushing for brand spanking new cost insurance policies each within the U.S. and overseas.) The Netherlands’ Authority for Shoppers and Markets (ACM) says that Apple has till January 15 to implement App Retailer adjustments. If the corporate fails to conform, it might be fined as much as €50 million ($56.6 million), the report notes. Apple has appealed the ruling.

Weekly Information

Platforms: Apple

  • An unconfirmed leak bya French web site claims iOS 16 won’t help the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the iPhone SE 2016.
  • Applestopped signing iOS 15.1.1, which means there will likely be no extra downgrading choices out there now.

Platforms: Google

  • Googleintroduced the variety of customers partaking with Android apps on Chrome OS units was up 50% year-over-year in 2021, whereas Chrome OS grew over 92% YoY.
  • Amazonlastly fastened its damaged Amazon Appstore on Android 12 units, which had been stopping customers from utilizing its app — or apps put in by way of its app — for over a month.
  • The Google Play Retaileradded filters that allow you to slim down searches by units, like Android TV or Put on OS.


  • A2022 forecast notes TikTok is the world’s third-largest social community, on observe for 755 million month-to-month customers subsequent yr. This estimate comes from Insider Intelligence (previously eMarketer), which makes use of its personal system for counting MAUs to be extra constant throughout corporations, whereas additionally hunting down pretend accounts.
  • TikTokwill launch a delivery-only restaurant enterprise throughout the U.S. in March to advertise a few of the most viral meals dishes on its app, posted by TikTok influencers and creators. The corporate mentioned it’s not going into the meals enterprise itself, however is partnering with Digital Eating Ideas and Grubhub on the TikTok Kitchen promotion.


  • Fb Messengerrolled out vacation options, together with new AR results from magnificence influencers like Bretman Rock and Ashley Sturdy; plus holiday-themed phrase results; a New 12 months’s Eve chat theme; varied seasonal soundmojis, backgrounds and “reward wrap” on Messenger utilizing Fb Pay on Android. Messenger Youngsters is launching a Santa chat expertise and different video games and AR results.
  • WhatsApp is testing a brand new interface for voice calls and different options on iOS and Android.The positioning WABetaInfo noticed the brand new interface underneath improvement, which provides some UI tweaks and new indicators for end-to-end encryption.

Streaming & Leisure

  • TikTok is beingaccused of violating open supply licenses in its new Stay Studio Home windows app. The app is allegedly utilizing code from the Open Broadcaster Software program venture’s OBS Studio app and different open-source tasks with out following the licensing phrases.
  • The Vergedesires to know what occurred to Spotify HiFi? The high-end model of the streaming service was purported to roll out this yr, however by no means did. What provides?

Authorities & Coverage

  • Apple is in search of adismissal of an India apps market antitrust case, citing its small market share within the nation the place the Android cellular OS is dominant.

Funding and M&A (and IPOs)

 Zepto, a 10-minute grocery supply app working in India, raised $100 million in Collection C funding, led by Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund. With the spherical, the app has now greater than doubled its valuation to $570 million, up from $225 million in lower than two months in the past.

Rocket Firms, maker of Rocket Mortgage, acquired Truebill, a private finance app that helps shoppers handle their payments, subscriptions and budgets. The deal was for $1.275 billion, up from Truebill’s remaining non-public valuation of $530 million following its final spherical.

Amsterdam-based tennis and padel courtroom reserving app Playtomic raised €56 million in Collection C funding led by GP Bullhound after its month-to-month bookings surpassed 1 million in November 2021, up practically 3x from a yr in the past. The app reaches 1+ million customers throughout 34 nations.

 Taptap Ship raised $65 million in Collection B funding led by Spark Capital to additional develop its cross-border remittances app, which now covers 20 nations, together with these in much less developed markets.

 Lapse, a Dispo-like app that lets customers take pictures that “develop” 24 hours later, raised $11 million in seed funding led by Octopus Ventures and GV.

 Gaming firm Rec Room raised $145 million in funding led by Coatue Administration, for its cross-platform recreation that runs on cellular, PC, recreation consoles and VR headsets. The corporate has grown its person base from 2 million in March to now 37 million, and is valued at $3.5 billion.

Spotify acquired podcast tech firm Whooshkaa, which turns radio programming into on-demand podcasts. The tech will likely be built-in with Spotify’s Megaphone.

 Vietnam-based MoMo, an excellent app providing cash transfers, insurance coverage, investments, donations and extra, raised $200 million in Collection E funding led by Mizhuo Financial institution. The spherical values the enterprise at $2+ billion.

 Stockholm-based Voi, an app providing e-scooter and e-bike leases, raised $115 million in Collection D funding led by Raine Group and VNV World. The corporate, which has scooters in 80 European cities, will subsequent start getting ready for an IPO.

Triller, a one-time TikTok rival turned dwell occasions app, introduced plans to merge with adtech firm SeaChange to take the 2 corporations public at a ~$5 billion valuation.

Indian e-commerce startup Snapdeal filed for an IPO, which seeks to boost $165 million. The 11-year-old firm, which provides its companies on-line and by way of app, competes with Amazon and Flipkart in India, and has shifted its focus lately to serve shoppers in smaller cities and cities.


Wombo Dream

Recognized for an AI-powered lip-syncing app, Wombo’s newest app, Dream, is tapping into AI to create artwork. To make use of the app, you kind in what you wish to create an image of, then select a method — like vibrant, pastel, darkish fantasy, steampunk, and so forth. Dream will then spend just a few seconds making the completed composition — a few of which look higher than others. You possibly can repeat the method till it delivers a consequence you want. The app has already seen over 10 million photos created by customers and has been downloaded over 1 million instances throughout iOS and Android.


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