On average, we only focus on about eight apps at a time. And we use these apps more than you might think: The average smartphone user spends two hours a day with apps, more than double the time spent two years earlier, according to Flurry Analytics.
Where did we find all this free time? It’s hard to say exactly — if you look at the following graphic, the amount of time watching television and surfing the Web is flat in the past couple of years. Of course, we often have apps running in the background, like music-streaming apps, allowing us to multitask.
So consumption of apps is catching up to television viewing – some might say that’s a good thing, that apps are more productive than watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” But as the following graphic shows, productivity apps capture just 2% of our time. Rather, games are stealing the most of our attention – 43% of our time is spent catapulting angry birds at pigs and fighting monsters.
What are the top-performing apps? Apple says Disney's “Temple Run: Oz” adventure game is currently the top paid app for its mobile devices, word game Icomania is the top free app and Supercell’s free medieval strategy game “Clash of Clans” is the top-grossing (thanks to in-app purchases).
Free remains king in app stores – most people aren’t willing to shell out money to buy an app, so developers are keen to find ways to show ads or entice with upgrades. But the prices are higher in the Apple store compared with Google’s, where the apps are far more likely to be free.
At the end of 2012, the average price paid for an app in the Apple store was $3.18 on an iPhone and $4.44 on an iPad, according to Distimo. That compares with an average price of $3.06 in the Google Play store. Those two stores represent about 87% of U.S. smartphone users, according to comScore.
Then there are the super-premium apps. The highest price for an app in Apple’s store is $999.99. According to Distimo, there were 30 such apps as of January, mostly software for specialized industries like piano tuners and anesthetics – though at least two of those apps are now free or $1.99, reflecting the constant shifting of business models."