Coronavirus effect on mobile apps usage in the US


Ever since the COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, most of the countries around the world have had to adapt to abrupt changes to the current climate by adhering to social distancing and practicing remote work. Apart from essential workers, schools and offices have taken advantage of existing video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams to communicate on daily basis, helping the economy to run to certain extent even during complete shutdown.

That being said, not all kinds of work and school related tasks could be accomplished with just these video conferencing apps. They are limited to few vital functions that caters towards a feasible work environment but not all. Some of the other vital work and school related tasks are being accomplished by usage of other apps in tandem with video conferencing apps.

Work related Apps

Some productivity related apps in App Ape trending charts of the USA had unusually high monthly active users (MAU) in April and it may have to do with the lockdown. Data taken from App Ape shows that this screen recording app has seen sudden exponential growth especially since the beginning of 2020 with %400+ increase in MAU last month alone. One hypothesis for such rapid increase in MAU can be linked to usage of Zoom or other video conferencing apps; users might be recording their zoom sessions to review them later on their smartphones.

According to App Ape, with %350+ growth seen in MAU last month in USA, Tap Scanner is making routine office tasks easy by allowing users to take pictures of any important documents and digitally scan them. The app overlays same effect to the document as seen while physically scanning paper via a scanner. Even though the app has been on the market for a long time, even before the onset of the pandemic, the growth rate seems to have been on rapid rise only since January as many users are starting to discover this useful app mainly due to emphasis on remote work.

School related Apps

Chart data taken from App Ape shows that MAU for Google Classroom has tripled since November 2019. It may be growing in linear fashion but it is one of the most used apps worldwide. According to Hindustan Times, Google doesn’t charge most schools to use Classroom (Hindustan Times). That aspect might have encouraged many schools and universities to utilize Google’s service to provide students with assignments and have them virtually graded online. Having a discrete setup like Google Classroom allows teachers and students to congregate at one place, where they can interact and complete sessions on daily basis without the need for any physical interaction.

Another app found on App Ape’s Trend Radar in Education category in April was Microsoft Math Solver. As the name suggests, it uses AI to recognize math problems via camera and solve it instantly. Given the current scenario of online classes and all, this app was launched just in time to assist students with their assignments. Even though it was launched recently, the user base has been growing steadily.

Daily tasks at work or school that required face to face interactions are now becoming less frequent or no longer necessary for the foreseeable future. Dramatic shift towards online presence such as remote work for offices and online classes for schools and universities comes with its own perils; primarily, security and efficiency. However, as more people diversify their app usage to improve their remote work efficiency, more app developers tend to improve their app eco-system and security again possible various threats and hacks.

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