India is the second largest market in the world for app downloads to date in 2021, according to a recent report by app intelligence platform App Annie.

The momentum builds on app downloads recorded in 2020 in which Indian consumers installed 24 billion apps, up 28 per cent year on year.

The top downloaded app categories were games, social apps, and entertainment apps. YouTube, WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook were the most downloaded apps.

The growth in the app market is also recorded in terms of app engagement.

In 2020, Indian consumers spent over four hours a day in apps on an average for the first time. In total, that added up to a collective 651 billion hours for the year.

Indians spent 4.6 hours on average per day per person in Q3 2021. India now ranks among the most mobile-first consumers in the world, the report said.

Mobile gaming

It is also the world’s top market for mobile gaming in terms of downloads across iOS and Google Play.

"In H1 2021 Indian players installed 4.8 billion games. That's one for every five globally," App Annie said.

Ludo King, a free-to-play title developed by Indian studio Gametion Technologies was the top game for the period by downloads as well as active users.

"Although Ludo King is locally developed, it is something of an anomaly. In fact, domestic titles barely figure in the India games charts," the report added.

Only 7.6 per cent of the top 1000 games were developed by homegrown publishers. The situation is very different in other regions. In China, the home grown ratio is 60 per cent, as per the report.

Digital payments apps on the rise

Another popular category of apps is digital payments.

With the increasing popularity of the Unified Payments Interface payment method, downloads of select merchant utility apps has also increased

As the volume of UPI transactions doubled in a year to reach nearly 8 billion in Q2 2021, cumulative downloads of merchant utility apps increased 48 per cent YoY to over 124 million during the quarter.

The growth of digital and mobile payments on and offline "has created a significant opportunity among developers to create apps for merchants," as per the report.

According to the data, Khata Book was one of the top apps with 14 million average smartphone monthly active users in India in Q2 2021.

"A parallel opportunity created by the UPI-led digitisation of payments has been in 'buy now pay later' and credit apps," the report further added.

"Products such as StashFin, Dhani, Kissht and Slice Super Card make it possible for consumers to access near-instant credit. Our numbers reveal rapid growth in this market sector," it added.