Top Apps for Staying Home

6 May 2020
Carrier Billing

With lockdowns being extended and social distancing measures still in place across the world, behaviours are changing as consumers find their ‘new normal’ during the coronavirus outbreak. Mobile payments are being used more frequently, time spent in apps grew 20% compared to last year and there has been substantial growth in app downloads worldwide.

We’ve got the lowdown on some of the top apps out there, helping to keep users safe, entertained, connected and happier at home.

Mindfulness Apps

Increasing numbers of stress relieving and meditation apps have been downloaded from app stores, showing that many app users are taking a more mindful approach to the current situation.

  • Headspace – Guided meditation app, ranging from health to sleep. For personal use, or great for employers who want to take care of the mental wellbeing of their employees. In the USA, Headspace is offering free access to all public health workers via Headspace Plus.
  • Calm – Meditation, sleep and relaxation app, with sleep stories read by celebrity voices, including Matthew McConaughey. Calm is free to download, however a subscription fee is needed to access the full range of content.
  • White Noise – An app that plays noises at different levels of frequency, covering app users’ surrounding noises and helps them to concentrate, or sleep.

Social Apps

Worldwide, people have been spending longer on social media and messaging services to stay connected, taking the isolation out of social distancing.

  • Houseparty – Houseparty is a free, video calling app, allowing users to chat to multiple friends at once. It even comes with in-app games to play together while chatting. There are also separate virtual “rooms” that users can switch between, just like at a real house party. Houseparty saw downloads balloon more than 7X in mid-March, according to a new report from App Annie.
  • TikTok– A popular social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos. The first week of March saw users in China spending over 3 billion hours in the app, up 130% from the weekly average in 2019.

Health & Fitness

Wellbeing has become a priority to many app users during lockdown. Health and Fitness apps set global records for the highest level of both weekly downloads and consumer spend at $59 million and $36 million respectively during the week of March 22, 2020.

  • Nike Training Club – Nike made its NTC Premium service free for US consumers, providing streaming workout videos, training programs and expert tips from trainers. Nike has seen over 100% increase in weekly active users of its NTC app in the U.S. In China, Nike saw an 80% increase in NTC workouts in the latest quarter.
  • Asana Rebel – An app helping users to practice daily yoga and fitness to nourish both mental and physical wellbeing.
  • MyFitnessPal – A food diary app with a huge user-submitted database of foods plus reliable barcode scanner. Set goals and see fat, carbs, and protein consumed each day.

Food Delivery

  • Uber Eats – Uber Eats has maintained its global position as the #1 most downloaded food delivery app. Uber is addressing the evolving needs of communities with initiatives to help local restaurants by eliminating customer delivery fees, enabling daily payouts for faster cash flow and launching an in-app integration, allowing customers to make direct contributions to establishments. Uber Eats has also expanded its service to include grocery and convenience delivery.
  • Tesco – According to App Annie in the UK the Tesco Groceries app saw 290% more downloads than there were two weeks prior to 22nd March, with Tesco also predicting 20% growth in profits.


According to research by Nielson, streaming is expected to spike by 60% during isolation periods, as people expand their library of content.

  • Netflix – Netflix (which also includes the addition of Netflix Party – allowing you to watch Netflix with your friends online) saw 16 million sign ups thanks to lockdown.
  • Disney+ – Streaming everyone’s favourite Disney movies. On the first day of its launch in Europe on March 24th, Disney Plus generated around 5 million downloads across the 7 new European markets (including the United Kingdom and Germany). The Frozen 2 streaming date was also brought forward for kids in lockdown.

Working from Home

Globally, employees and businesses are adjusting to online meetings from home with the help of apps for video calling, scheduling, sharing, and presenting.

  • Zoom (the most downloaded non-gaming app March 29 – April 3) and Microsoft Teams – offer helpful functions like scheduling, sharing and video calling, to make working from home easier and connecting hassle free.

Opportunities for Apps

With a significant increase in new app customers in the market, many apps are currently offering extended free trials, social sharing, community benefits, progress trackers, levels to unlock or sending out notifications as a way to show new consumers what they’re offering.

As app publishers adapt to a ‘new normal’ app optimization, being discoverable (see example of Peloton’s name change to ‘Peloton at home fitness’) and building ‘extras’ into apps could be really beneficial, as well as making payments easier, more seamless and secure for consumers worldwide.

Carrier billing offers a simple and seamless payment solution, giving merchants access to new customers across the globe. Get in touch with SLA Digital to find out more.

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