As of the end of last year, according to StatCounter, over 77% of all smartphones in Kenya were running Android, Google’s mobile operating system. Globally, that number was a little above 80% according to industry research firm Gartner.
While those numbers are definitely very impressive and something to chest thump about for any Android enthusiasts out there, what apps are these users downloading and subsequently using on these devices?
I turned to digital market intelligence platform SimilarWeb for answers and there were some interesting findings.
The most installed Android application in Kenya is Facebook’s WhatsApp. In fact, of the top 10 apps, at least half are from Facebook. The main Facebook app comes second while its lite version is 7th. Messenger and Instagram are 5th and 8th respectively.
The findings are a bit interesting because contrary to what you’d expect as a result of Kenya’s betting craze moreso among the youth segment which also happens to be the most active when it comes to downloading apps and being adventurous with their smartphones, no betting app makes the top 5 Android apps in Kenya in March 2017. The closest we come to a betting app is the presence, at number 9, of the All Football Pro app, an application meant to provide football news, live scores and match highlights, and the GameMania app, targeted at casino goers and not casual keyboard warriors.
There’s quite a lot of truth in those quarterly statistics released by the Communications Authority of Kenya that show that SMS keeps growing instead of either stagnating (due to our peculiar habits) or plummeting as is the case in the rest of the world. Betting is keeping SMS alive and profitable, for now, since apps are out of the picture.
Another interesting observation is the no-show by Jumia. There must be a problem with the data from SimilarWeb, no? Or is it because the Jumia is the same across various countries? Jumia rival Kilimall, however, does make it to the top 50 Android apps in Kenya at position 34.
Ride-hailing services Uber and Taxify also make an appearance with the former, the oldest in the Kenyan market, rounding up the top 10 while the latter is ranked 45th.
Opera mini remains the most preferred means of accessing the world wide web from Android devices in the country thanks to its famous data saving features (compression) while the most preferred means of getting news is not through Genesis Media’s Tuko News app. Not surprising, though, given the many posters and banners in public transport urging users to install the app and the banners all over the web stressing the same.
A game that I noticed all the young people I interact with playing, Dream League Soccer, makes it to number 46 on the list, just a step ahead of Equity Bank’s Eazzy Banking application which also happens to be the first app on the list from a bank just as it is elsewhere.
The rest of the breakdown is as below:
|9.||All Football Pro|
|12.||imo free video calls and chat|
|13.||Photo Editor - Photo Effects|
|18.||All Whatsap Status|
|19.||Free Emoji Keyboard|
|23.||Oxford Dictionary of English|
|24.||Update for you WhatsApp App|
|25.||Virus Cleaner - Antivirus|
|27.||Opera mini (beta)|
|28.||CM Transfer - Share files|
|29.||Super File Manager (Explorer)|
|32.||Google Play Games|
|33.||VLC for Android|
|35.||Fingerprint Pattern App Lock|
|37.||Temple Jungle Run 2|
|39.||Candy Crush Saga|
|40.||Game Mania - Casion Slots Kenya|
|42.||Update for WhatsApp|
|43.||File transfer by Flashare|
|46.||Dream League Soccer 2017|
|48.||3D Pool Ball|
|50.||Car Traffic Race|
*Top 50 FREE Android apps