Ever since the pandemic struck the world, it reshaped the global app industry. Although mobile apps worldwide witnessed a spike in terms of usage, global mobile advertising budgets shrunk to a great extent – the CPM steeply dropped by 14.8%. A lot has been going on in the mobile apps arena the past couple of months, let us have a look at some of the major news, stories, and events during the month of May:
Apple Rolled Out iOS 13.5 With COVID-19 Exposure Alert Support
On May 20, 2020, Apple rolled out its stable version of iOS 13.5. The most prominent highlight of this iOS version is that it comes with features to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Unlock the Device Faster With a Mask On
If you are wearing a face mask, you will be able to unlock an iPhone using Face ID much faster than before. This is one of the core elements of the iOS 13.5 update, particularly for those who are part of the healthcare system and working tirelessly to save lives.
The COVID Exposure Notification API
The all-new COVID Exposure Notification is another highlight of the iOS 13.5 update. It works by informing the people you came into contact with the past 14 days, should you test positive for the COVID-19. Similarly, it informs the same to you as well if someone you came into contact with tested positive. However, it requires a public health authority or a government-approved application to be installed before you can turn on this feature on your iPhone.
Other Features and Fixes
In addition to the above core changes, this update also includes features such as Medical ID that lets you record your medical data and history in case of emergency. This also allows you to share your medical record with a 911 dispatcher. Also, there are bug fixes and modifications made to Group FaceTime, security problems, black screen issue while playing streaming videos, etc.
Google Announced Flutter 1.17 and Dart 2.8, the First Stable Release of 2020
In light of the recent events and the challenging times that we all are collectively going through, Google cancelled the Google I/O this year. Having said that, it’s not all bad news for the developers. On May 6, 2020, Google announced the launch of Flutter’s first stable update, the cross-platform app development framework by Google. It did take a little longer as the organization has been revisiting its infrastructure for a new launching process. In addition to this, Google also launched its Dart Programming language version 2.8. You can read more about what value these updates bring for the developers here.
Number of Coronavirus Apps are Tracking Us
Whether effective or not, there are multiple apps being designed and some of them have been launched already to detect your COVID-19 exposure. Various healthcare sectors and government officials require data that can assist them in limiting the spread of the COVID-19. You can view the top 25 Covid-19 tracking apps from around the world on this source.
Alibaba Wants to Collaborate with Millions of Influencers
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a lot of businesses have refocused on their social media platforms and digital outlets, which they might not have been using to full effect previously. The Chinese giant, Alibaba Group, joined in the race, too.
It recently announced that it will collaborate with 100,000 influencers and content creators across platforms like Instagram and TikTok in order to boost online business revenues. This will be part of the AliExpress Connect platform that connects social media influencers with small and large brands for campaigns.
COVID-19 Not All Bad News for Everyone
Global lockdowns haven’t been bad news for everyone – TikTok, the short-form video app company saw a massive surge when it hit the 2 billion mark in terms of app downloads. April revenues stood at $78 million. YouTube stood at second position when it comes to app revenues – recording a whopping $76 million in gross revenues. This was a 57% year-on-year increase recorded by the video-sharing giant.
Increase in Mobile Game Downloads
Ever since the world has been instructed to stay home and give up their social interactions due to the coronavirus, the mobile games app industry saw an upward trend in terms of app downloads and in-app purchases. In comparison with January this year, the mobile app downloads witnessed a 35% increase in the month of March. The Gaming Spotlight 2020 Review Report talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the global mobile app industry.
Also, mixed user behavior was observed as far as banner ads, in-game video ads and rewarded video ads were concerned. The ones who played for 15 hours or more a week were more ‘okay’ with banner ads, as compared to those who played less. On the other hand, one in ten gamers stated that they preferred in-game video ads – that was 23% of the total number surveyed. 18% said they liked in-game ads.
AdInMo Secures Funds to Boost In-Game Mobile Ads
The programmatic ad company that specializes in non-intrusive ads in video games recently announced a $500k investment to scale the capabilities of its platform. The company provides various tools to game developers that they can use to integrate display ads in the gaming arena.
Dating Apps See Longer Sessions During Lockdowns
Ever since the lockdowns came into effect around the world, dating apps experienced a steep increase in terms of downloads, usage, session durations, etc. According to AppAnnie, a mobile data and analytics platform, renowned dating app Bumble experienced an increase in messages and video call sessions among its users. During March and April, user sessions went up by 40% in the US as compared to the January weekly average.
Consumer Preference of Targeted Ads
It was recently reported that over 35% of consumers prefer targeted mobile ads based on their purchase history, 34% preferred browsing history while 33% went with the website they were actively browsing. This is one of the important metrics in modern-day digital advertising since billions of dollars are spent each year in mobile ads.
Facebook Takes on Twitter with Venue
Facebook recently announced the launch of Venue, a platform to engage fans during live events. With this app, the internal team at Facebook that focuses on new concepts within social networking, aims to offer a platform for fans and followers to participate, comment, engage and share their views during live events, mainly sports.
This will greatly challenge Twitter, which is currently the ‘second screen’ used by millions of users worldwide during live events. The usage of ‘hashtags’ on Twitter lets the fans to comment on their favorite events while engaging with other fans as well that share similar interests towards a live event.