Apps are an essential component of any smartphone, and while this is an area that iOS was previously king of, that's definitely no longer the case. The Google Play Store has grown and matured a lot over the past couple years, and Q4 of 2017 was its best quarter yet.

According to App Annie, the Play Store saw 19 billion new app downloads (not including updates or re-installs) during last year's final quarter. Compared to the Apple App Store, that's a lead of 145%. The App Store still saw more dollars spent at $11.5 billion (two times more than the Play Store), but those 19 billion installs officially make Q4 2017 Google's best quarter to date.

Emerging markets played a big role in this number, with countries like Brazil, India, and Indonesia allowing the Play Store to see a year-over-year growth of 10% for these areas. To help put things into perspective, Google Play downloads in India alone were more than app downloads in the U.S. across Google Play and the App Store combined.

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The most popular apps on Google Play during Q4 of 2017 include those in the Finance, Games, and Personalization categories, and as we continue throughout Q1 2018, App Annie predicts that Finance-related apps will continue to see strong performance.

If you helped contribute to Google Play's last quarter, what apps did you download?

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