Education Apps Market Trends and Top Apps

Sensor Tower, provider of the mobile app and publisher data through its Store Intelligence, has recently published “The State of Education Apps Report.” This report consists of an analysis of the education vertical on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. It also covers the download and revenue trends and rankings of top apps from Q1 2017 through Q1 2020.

In this blog post, we compiled the overall education app trends and the highlights of this report with a focus on the COVID-19’s effect. 

Image: Quarterly downloads of education apps, App Store and Google Play, Worldwide

Expectedly, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in education apps downloads since the schools were closed worldwide, and people looked for alternative ways to continue education. After a 17% Y/Y download growth in 2018, and 18% Y/Y in 2019, education apps showed a 30% Y/Y growth in the first quarter of 2020. This also happened after a 6% decrease in Y/Y growth in the last quarter of 2019.

COVID-19 affected education category downloads in such a positive way that 30% growth is the highest since 2017.

Top Downloads

Image: Most installed education apps on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store

Duolingo, a language learning app that also serves on the web and has a freemium model, has been number one when it comes to install numbers in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Launched in 2011, Duolingo provides lessons on 37 languages and has more than 300 million active users. The number of monthly Duolingo users is around 25 million, and the amount of time the average user spends on the app is 10 minutes per day.

Duolingo saw a rise of 108% in new sign-ups from March 9 to March 30 due to the pandemic. 

Image: App Store, Duolingo

Google Classroom is a free service by Google, especially for schools. It integrates docs, sheets, slides, Gmail, Google Meet, and calendar into a platform so that teachers and students communicate easily. In May 2020, Google Classroom was the most downloaded education app in both stores and overall with more than 17 million installs, a 12.6x year-over-year increase from May 2019. Brazil made up the majority with 15.2% of total Classroom downloads, and India followed Brazil with 13%. 

Image: App Store, Google Classroom

Other school communication apps were also affected by the pandemic. In the previous years, these school communication apps, such as Remind, ClassDojo, and Google Classroom, had steep increases just before Q3 around the start of school in the US. In 2020, with the shift to remote education, school communication apps spiked in the first quarter.

Image: Quarterly the US downloads of top School Communication apps

Download Growth by Country

Image: Download growth by country. Weekly download growth following the 200th confirmed case, App Store, and Google Play

Generally, education app downloads had a steep increase in the first few weeks after the 200th confirmed case.  China had more than 250% growth in education app downloads compared to pre-COVID-19.

Image: App Samurai, Download growth in education. Peak week in 2020 vs. weekly average in Q4 2019

Australia saw the biggest growth in education apps download with a 190% growth in peak week in 2020 compared to the weekly average in the last quarter of 2019.

Top Language Education Apps Revenue Market Share

Image: Top language education apps revenue market share

Although Memrise couldn’t increase revenue market share in the first quarter of 2020, Duolingo had more than half of the US revenue market share.

Last Words - Top Education Apps in May 2020


In May 2020, YouTube Kids was the second most downloaded education app overall and in Google’s Play Store with almost 9 million downloads, a 2.7x increase from May 2019. Duolingo, Photomath, and PictureThis follow YouTube Kids in overall downloads.

With many countries closing schools down during March to May, education had to go online, which positively affected the education category. Although momentum will not stay like this for a long time, user behavior has certainly changed the perception of education apps.

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