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.
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?
Is the Pixel 4a worth an upgrade from the Pixel 3a?
The Pixel 4a is a clear upgrade over the 3a, but the question you have to ask first is whether your 3a is in need of an upgrade in the first place.
Google confirms Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are coming, but with few details
Google has confirmed it will have two more Pixels to launch in 2020, and they'll both have 5G. The Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 will come later to complement the standard Pixel 4a, and while we have a decent idea of what they'll be like through leaks, Google isn't spilling details.
Google Pixel 4a review: The best camera under $400 is a perfect 2020 phone
It turns out Google's "less is more" approach really fits well within the constraints of a less-expensive phone, and its strengths in software and camera processing stand out against less-refined competition. The Pixel 4a picks up right where the 3a left off, with better specs, the same great camera, and a $50 lower price.
Time to dump Chrome: 8 alternative desktop web browsers
If you getting frustrated with the lack of privacy, slower speeds or difficulty using extensions in Chrome, it's time to switch to one of these web browsers.