India grew to become the world’s greatest app obtain market in 2019, accounting for over 20 billion downloads or greater than 10 % of worldwide app installs.
Whereas the numbers for 2020 aren’t but out, it’s estimated that India will proceed to steer different international locations when it comes to app downloads, using on its monumental smartphone inhabitants and growing web penetration.
Regardless of these robust development indicators, 2020 caused an unprecedented occasion that shook the nation’s app economic system — the federal government banned lots of of Chinese language apps, citing nationwide safety considerations.
The ban additionally hit TikTok, India’s most-downloaded app in 2019 and a socio-cultural phenomenon. The affect of the ban was such that native builders spent the primary half of 2020 launching options to Chinese language apps.
Echoes of ‘Made in India’, ‘Vocal for Native’, and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ grew louder by the day. TikTok’s absence spawned an business of brief video apps.
Past that, apps that catered to the wants of a pandemic-inflicted world additionally gained floor. From on-line studying and informal gaming to podcasting and inventory buying and selling to psychological well being assistants and job search — YourStory’s weekly App Friday column held a mirror to all the important thing traits of 2020.
Listed here are the prime 10 apps we featured this yr (so as of publishing).
With the coronavirus lockdown forcing faculties to close in March-end, downloads of Google Classroom (darkish horse within the Google steady till now) surged, and it climbed to the highest of the ‘training’ class on all app shops.
It grew to become India’s #1 studying platform by mid-April, going previous homegrown apps like BYJU’S, Vedantu, Toppr, amongst others. Google Classroom replicates an offline classroom-like surroundings on-line, and permits faculties and full curriculums to go digital. Quickly after the lockdown, even Delhi College moved all its programs to Google Classroom, popularising it additional.
Ludo King’s sensational rise publish the lockdown will go down as one of many defining occasions of the Indian web in 2020. The homegrown informal board sport dominated the app charts and have become the nation’s most-downloaded gaming app (500 million cumulative installs till December) of all time.
The sport, which provides a contemporary contact to the royal sport of Pachisi, raked in revenues of $300,000 in March alone using on the lockdown as folks have been compelled to search for at-home leisure choices. Ludo King’s rise additionally signalled the return of informal video games, which grew to become one of many prime on-line gaming segments in 2020.
The TikTok ban — one other defining occasion in India’s app universe this yr — spawned a complete business of different brief video apps. Mitron, which was hailed as ‘India’s reply to TikTok’, grew quickly to clock 5 million downloads inside a month of launch. By the top of Might, it broke into the prime 10 free apps on Google Play Retailer.
In subsequent months, Mitron went on to lift two rounds of funding from 3One4 Capital, LetsVenture, and Nexus Enterprise Companions. The app lets customers add or document brief movies, add audio results, or just flick through leisure content material with out creating an account.
India’s ban on Chinese language apps and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion name for self-reliance (Aatmanirbhar Bharat Innovation) triggered the expansion of ‘Made in India’ apps throughout classes. Homegrown MagTapp emerged as a compelling various to the banned UC Browser app.
MagTapp (derived from ‘magical faucet’) is a internet browser with an inbuilt picture dictionary, common doc reader, and content material translator throughout 12 Indian languages. The app, which claims to be the world’s first visible browser, notched up 5 million downloads shortly after launch. MagTapp goals to turn into an “empowerment software” for lots of of tens of millions of non-English audio system in India.
Kaagaz Scanner was one other gainer of the Chinese language app ban. Put collectively nearly in a single day by a bunch of IITians, it grew to become an aatmanirbhar various to the broadly used CamScanner app.
Kaagaz Scanner works like a sensible private assistant and helps in organising notes, reminders, classifying private paperwork, making enterprise playing cards, and so on. moreover serving its key objective — scanning paperwork and PDFs utilizing the telephone digicam. By September, it went previous one million downloads, and later, went on to increase funding from Pravega Ventures, Axilor Ventures, Higher Capital, and others.
Newly minted edtech unicorn Unacademy desires to “disrupt books” with its interactive storytelling app Graphy. Launched in June, it makes use of components like video, audio, photos, and quizzes to create a mobile-first studying expertise.
Graphy invitations creators (referred to as ‘graphers’), together with enterprise leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, comedians, and sports activities coaches to curate their finest tales, concepts, and experiences on the platform. Its Instagram Tales-like vertical format permits customers to play chapters in an episodic method. Graphy has crossed 100,000 downloads, and is poised to disrupt the artistic studying section.
Podcasting app Khabri is using India’s vernacular audio increase. The ‘Made in India’ audio platform is concentrated on the ‘subsequent billion web customers’ and aggregates Hindi audio content material throughout classes like information, present affairs, information, authorities jobs, motivation, devotion, books, motion pictures, and extra.
Khabri additionally lets content material creators launch unique podcasts and exhibits on the app, and permits customers to hearken to well-liked regional language radio stations. The platform is backed by Y Combinator, GSF Accelerator’s Rajesh Sawhney, Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and different distinguished angels.
Quickly after WHO declared that it was crucial to “take care of our psychological well being” in a socially distanced world, scores of customers took to psychological well being apps to deal with pandemic-induced stress, melancholy, nervousness, insomnia, and grief. Wysa, which makes out there an AI-enabled ‘chatbot therapist’, gained in downloads and engagement.
It gives a personalised psychological well being toolkit that’s out there in 30 international locations and is claimed to have benefited over 1.2 million folks. The app designed by therapists, life coaches, and AI consultants goals to be your emotional well being buddy and well-being tracker in terribly tense instances.
One of many prime traits of 2020 is the rise of on-line stockbroking. Because the rupee continues to depreciate and financial uncertainty grips us, Indians are more and more seeing worth in shares. Therefore, a bunch of buying and selling apps are witnessing document utilization.
Kite by Zerodha leads the pack, and has ranked persistently amongst India’s prime 5 finance apps. It’s constructed for the trendy, millennial dealer, and brings pace, simplicity, and zero latency buying and selling to first-time customers. Kite customers can purchase, promote, analyse, handle their portfolio, and even spend money on IPOs with only a few clicks.
Groww is one other beneficiary of India’s stockbroking surge. Based by former Flipkart executives, it helps folks develop their wealth by investing in shares, mutual funds, and gold at a nominal brokerage charge. Groww additionally comes with a mutual fund SIP calculator that helps customers estimate the returns on funding over a interval.
It has a one-time e-KYC or paperless account opening process, which requires customers to key in private particulars like PAN, Aadhaar id, and picture. Groww can also be amongst India’s prime downloaded buying and selling apps throughout Android and iOS gadgets.
Particular Point out: Apna
Apna, a jobs search app for blue-collar employees, shot into the limelight after being recognised as Google Play Retailer’s ‘Finest App for Private Progress’ in 2020. Launched only a yr in the past, the homegrown app desires to be the LinkedIn for India’s bottom-of-the-pyramid employees.
With 10,000+ job listings, Apna connects entry-level professionals like carpenters, electricians, welders, plumbers, packers, gross sales brokers, supply executives, safety guards, ward boys, peons, clerks, and so on. to future employers. The app has fulfilled the hiring wants of a few of India’s startups like Flipkart, Swiggy, Bigbasket, and Dunzo.