2022 in review • TechCrunch

Welcome again to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the newest in cell OS information, cell functions and the general app financial system.

Global app spending reached $65 billion in the primary half of 2022, up solely barely from the $64.4 billion throughout the identical interval in 2021, as hypergrowth fueled by the pandemic has slowed down. But general, the app financial system is constant to develop, having produced a record variety of downloads and shopper spending throughout each the iOS and Google Play shops mixed in 2021, in keeping with a number of year-end reports. Global spending throughout iOS and Google Play final 12 months was $133 billion, and customers downloaded 143.6 billion apps.

This Week in Apps affords a solution to sustain with this fast-moving trade in one place with the newest from the world of apps, together with information, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and far more.

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Year-End App Scoreboards

Image Credits: Apptopia

Apptopia is first out of the gate with its full-year retrospective of the highest apps globally. The app intelligence agency this week launched 33 prime charts primarily based on information from iOS and Google Play mixed, apart from information from China which is iOS solely. The information was collected from Jan. 1 2022 by Dec. 20, 2022.

The firm even created its personal classes to focus on apps that don’t but have their very own app retailer class — like quick-serve eating places. (McDonald’s topped Starbucks right here.)

Overall, the agency discovered that the highest app worldwide was TikTok with 672 million installs. It was adopted by Instagram, WhatsApp, CapCut (using on TikTok’s success), Snapchat, Subway Surfers, Facebook, Stumble Guys and Spotify.

Apptopia additionally selected to this 12 months categorize TikTok as Entertainment, not Social Networking, which allowed it to prime Netflix because the most-installed Entertainment app.

Besides Subway Surfers, an countless runner that first launched in 2012 (!!), different older video games proved to have endurance, like Candy Crush Saga, 8 Ball Pool and Among Us!

Image Credits: Apptopia


Other highlights embody the first-time look of SHEIN because the No. 1 Shopping app of the 12 months, after beforehand rating No. 2 final 12 months and No. 4 the 12 months prior. Wish, in the meantime, didn’t make the reduce. Crypto apps had been additionally absent from the highest charts as was China’s Didi, because it was impacted by the nation’s zero-Covid coverage. However, the token-based plan for Sweatcoin made the exercise app the No. 1 Health & Fitness app globally.

It will likely be fascinating to check Apptopia’s information with these from different companies because the 2022 studies start to reach.


  • Google’s Play Store will now allow parents to approve apps and in-app purchases initiated by youngsters. Parents will act because the household supervisor of the household account to approve the purchases when there’s no fee technique, specifying how they wish to pay for the app or different purchases.
  • Google is appealing a ruling by India’s antitrust body that claims the corporate engaged in anti-competitive practices surrounding Android cell units.
  • Google launched HD maps as a part of its Google Automotive Services. Volvo and Polestar are first to combine with it.
  • Android Auto introduced a brand new design supposed to make it simpler to navigate, play music and podcasts and talk whereas on the go.
  • At CES, Google announced new media playback options, together with higher playback choices for Spotify Connect-compatible units and cross-device notifications for resuming media playback on the transfer.


  • Apple lastly shut down Dark Sky, the climate app it acquired to enhance its personal Weather app providing. The app was popular with customers however much less so by meteorologists, a Slate article noted.
  • Apple needed to quickly pull the new HomeKit architecture from its iOS 16.2 replace to repair a Home sharing problem.
  • A French court docket fined Apple €1 million over its abusive App Store practices with regard to “important imbalances” in its relationship with app builders.


  • Amazon-owned encrypted messaging app Wickr Me has stopped accepting new sign-ups and will shut down on Dec. 31, 2023, the corporate introduced. The app had come under fire beforehand for enabling individuals to commerce youngster sexual abuse materials.
  • WhatsApp ends support for a large number of older devices together with telephones from Apple, HTC, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony and others.
  • WhatsApp additionally launched official proxy support for international customers, permitting customers to remain linked even when their connection is blocked or disrupted. The characteristic depends on servers arrange by volunteers and different organizations.
  • Telegram was updated with new options like hidden media, which provides a layer to blur a picture; new instruments for managing the cupboard space utilized by media, information and music; and new drawing and textual content instruments; and different modifications for profiles and teams.


  • Cryptic tweets from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney have individuals questioning if Fortnite will likely be returning to the iPhone in 2023. In a submit, the exec tweeted “Next 12 months on iOS!” — suggesting, maybe, the sport maker will launch the sport once more on Apple’s platform. Epic is at the moment interesting its antitrust lawsuit with Apple and is engaged an analogous swimsuit with Google.
  • The FTC also fined Epic Games $520 million for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and manipulative “darkish patterns” that tricked customers into making purchases. The cash will likely be refunded to clients and is the biggest refund in a gaming case, and the biggest FTC administrative order in historical past.
  • Amazon brings its subscription-based Prime Gaming to India, providing video games throughout PC, Mac and cell. Top titles embody League of Legends, DeathLoop, Quake, COD Season 1, EA Madden 23, FIFA 23, Apex Legends, Destiny 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
  • China’s on-line gaming regulator approved 45 foreign games, ending the crackdown on gaming releases from outdoors the nation. Pokemon Unite was among the many newly authorised titles.
  • Nvidia upgraded its $20/mo GeForce Now plan (Ultimate) with new servers with higher {hardware} parts. The service works throughout Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, and choose net browsers, together with Safari on the iPhone and iPad.


  • Tumblr added support for livestreaming on its cell apps for iOS and Android. The service is powered by Livebox, which permits customers to tip streamers. The service, dubbed Tumblr Live, could be discovered in a brand new Live tab and arrives at a time when the app has seen a surge of progress because of the Twitter exodus.
  • TikTok is now telling users why a video is on the For You feed. Users will be capable to entry a brand new characteristic, “Why this video?” from a query mark icon to be taught why a video was really useful to them — for instance, due to content material they’ve beforehand watched, looked for, feedback they’d posted, or movies they shared.
  • Snapchat’s subscription service, Snapchat+, added three extra options — the flexibility so as to add customized backgrounds for chats; present a subscription to a good friend; or change the digital camera button to a coronary heart, soccer ball or one other picture.
  • Twitter’s subscription service Twitter Blue now supports video of up to 2GB, 60 minutes in size, and 1080p on iOS; Android is proscribed to 512MB, 10 minutes.
  • Twitter added support for crypto to its “cashtags” feature for monitoring a given coin’s market worth. It additionally added publicly visible tweet counts, which was a personal analytics characteristic. It additionally noticed a 12+ hour outage in Australia and New Zealand. Yikes.
  • Instagram added a Reels template for making a 2022 recap of as much as 14 photographs. In the previous, customers had typically turned to third-party apps, like Top Nine, for recaps.
  • Meta closed down a Cameo clone called Super which had provided digital meet and greets with creators.
  • Mastodon has climbed to 2.5 million monthly active users, because of the Twitter exodus, up from round 300K customers in October. The firm is basically financed by Patreon, bringing in round $31,000 monthly, up from $7,000 in November. The firm has rejected affords of funding from VCs, saying they don’t perceive its goals and wish to commercialize the platform.


  • Quora launched an A.I. chatbot in its iOS app that lets customers ask questions and interact in back-and-forth conversations. The bot, known as “Poe,” is at the moment invite-only and affords entry to plenty of text-generating A.I. fashions, together with ChatGPT. (It’s unclear if the corporate has a partnership right here — however ChatGPT doesn’t supply a public API).
  • Apple launched A.I.-powered book narration in Apple Books. The firm mentioned the characteristic will assist unbiased authors who won’t be capable to convert their titles to audiobooks due to “the associated fee and complexity of manufacturing.”
  • Picsart debuted an iOS app, SketchAI, that turns photographs and drawings into digital artwork utilizing A.I.


  • YouTube beat out Apple for the NFL Sunday Ticket streaming deal. The landmark deal will permit the corporate to supply the subscription as an add-on to YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels. The multi-year deal is pegged at $2 billion.
  • Amazon is developing a standalone app for streaming sports activities content material, The Information reported. The transfer may assist Amazon higher promote its dwell sports activities content material, together with the NFL’s Thursday Night Football.
  • Spotify may also be working on HealthKit integrations probably to counsel songs primarily based on the workout routines customers had been performing.
  • Snap shut down its desktop camera app, Snap Camera, which provided filters for video calls on Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom.
  • TikTok expanded its viewers controls characteristic which now provides creators the flexibility to limit their movies to grownup viewers. Previously this was solely accessible on TikTok Live.
  • TikTok partnered with IMDb to introduce a brand new characteristic that lets customers tag films and TV reveals in their TikTok movies. The hyperlink takes viewers to an in-app web page with IMDb data concerning the title and permits creators to avoid wasting titles to a brand new Favorites tab on their profiles. MovieTok goes to like this.


  • Pinduoduo’s low cost market app Temu became the most downloaded U.S. app from November 1 to December 14, Sensor Tower information discovered. The app noticed 10.8 million U.S. installations from September 1 on.


  • The IRS decided to delay a requirement that might have compelled e-commerce apps like Venmo, PayPal, Cash App and Etsy to ship tax types to SMBs with $600+ in transactions.

Government, Policy and Lawsuits

  • France’s information safety watchdog, the CNIL, fined Apple €8 million (~$8.5M) for not acquiring cell customers’ consent previous to putting (and/or studying) advert identifiers on their units associated to its show of customized advertisements on the App Store.


  • Viva Republica, which runs the South Korean finance tremendous app Toss, raised $405 million in Series G funding, valuing the enterprise at 9.1 trillion received ( $7 billion). Previously, the corporate was valued at 8.5 trillion received in June 2021.
  • Indian fintech app Money View raised $75 million in a Series E funding spherical led by Apis Partners, valuing the enterprise at $900 million. The firm is trying to scale its credit score enterprise and construct extra merchandise for the South Asian market.
  • Jakarta-based fintech app Akulaku raised $200 million from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the biggest financial institution in Japan. The strategic funding will assist the corporate develop into new markets and construct merchandise along with MUFG.
  • Product Science, the maker of cell app performance-monitoring instruments, raised $18 million in seed funding thus far from backers, together with Slow Ventures, Coatue, K5 Global, Mantis Ventures, Benchmark’s Peter Fenton, Insight Partners co-founder Jerry Murdock and unnamed Snap VPs.
  • Indian fintech KreditBee has raised an additional $100 million led by Advent International as half of a bigger Series D funding now closed at $200 million.
  • 10-year old Chipolo explains why it’s not worried about Apple’s AirTag: Chipolo nonetheless runs its personal app for its AirTag-like tracker, nevertheless it’s additionally embraced Find My integration. Unlike Tile, the corporate instructed the DoJ it wasn’t anxious about Apple’s entry into its market.
  • FluentPet’s talking button system lets you get a ‘text’ from your dog: FluentPet launched an app-connected speaking button system, FluentPet Connect, that integrates a cell app with its canine communication instruments — programmable buttons that, when pressed by a doggie’s paw, say phrases you’ve gotten recorded. The new product is an replace to the mannequin first made standard by a canine named Bunny, whose 9 million+ social media followers landed the sheepadoodle on Forbes’ record of the highest 50 social media creators of 2022.

Image Credits: FluentPet


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