Apple's Top Apps of 2013: 10 Insights from the Most Popular Downloads

Apple's Top Apps of 2013: 10 Insights from the Most Popular Downloads
Candy Crush Saga Dominates
YouTube Is Sorely Missed
Communication Apps Make a Splash
Games Still Matter Most
iTunes Radio Faces Competition From Pandora
The Old Winners Are There
Kindle Puts iBooks In Question
Angry Birds and Star Wars: A Match Made in Heaven
The Enterprise Is on the Outskirts
Disney Animated a Hit With Apple's Editors
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Apple's Top Apps of 2013: 10 Insights from the Most Popular Downloads

By Don Reisinger

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Candy Crush Saga Dominates

Candy Crush Saga, a game from developer King.com led the App Store's Game section in total downloads. The game was also the top free app of the year, and thanks to in-app purchases, cemented itself as the top-grossing app of 2013.

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YouTube Is Sorely Missed

It appears iOS owners miss YouTube. According to Apple, the app was the second most downloaded free program on the iPad in 2013. YouTube was previously bundled with iOS, but after Apple's falling out with Google, the company nixed that. It appears iOS owners are more than happy to bring it back.

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Communication Apps Make a Splash

On the iPhone, especially, communication and social apps have proven very popular. Vine took the fourth spot for most downloaded free apps in 2013 while Snapchat, another sharing app, came in sixth. Instagram and Facebook followed. It was a big year for social apps that help users communicate.

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Games Still Matter Most

Ultimately, games are what drives the bulk of Apple's App Store downloads, according to the data the company provided. The top-selling apps, as well as the top free apps, were overrun with games, ranging from the previously mentioned Candy Crush Saga to Minecraft. For developers who want to make a splash, going for gaming might not be a bad idea.

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iTunes Radio Faces Competition From Pandora

Apple might now be competing in the music-streaming space with iTunes Radio, but at this point, its users seem content with either using Pandora or complementing Apple's offering with the popular music app. Pandora came in ninth place in Apple's listing of free apps, outpacing any other streaming-music app in 2013.

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The Old Winners Are There

No surprise here: The apps that have been popular in years past are still going strong in 2013. Netflix and Facebook are among the top apps of the year, along with Twitter, Pandora and even Flashlight. If anything, the App Store's data this year proves it's hard to unseat the leaders.

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Kindle Puts iBooks In Question

Apple's iOS users might find some value in the company's iBooks ebook service. But the popularity of the Amazon Kindle app on the iPad indicates folks are also seeking that app out. In fact, the Kindle app came in 11th place on the iPad's listing of free apps this year, putting at least some pressure on iBooks.

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Angry Birds and Star Wars: A Match Made in Heaven

Rovio seems to have the secret to attracting gamers to its titles. The game's Angry Birds Star Wars HD came in fourth place for top-paid apps on the iPad, while Angry Birds Star Wars II came in sixth place. Rovio also had a winner on its hands with Bad Piggies, which took the seventh spot.

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The Enterprise Is on the Outskirts

Where is the enterprise in this year's collection of top apps? A glimpse at both iPhone and iPad apps reveals that business apps aren't nearly as popular as some corporate users might think. Perhaps, that's because they're targeting a niche audience. But it calls into question exactly what enterprise users are doing with the App Store once they get an iPhone or iPad in-hand.

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Disney Animated a Hit With Apple's Editors

Each year, Apple's editors, who are responsible for keeping the store's inventory up today, pick a program that they believe is the very best. This time around, it's Disney Animated. The $10 app provides a "tour of Disney's … film vault" and provides "interactive character models." It's a nice app for Disney fans and kids, alike.

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