Attendees play a check-in game to win prizes by tapping their NFC-enabled Android smartphones
Attendees play a check-in game to win prizes by tapping their NFC-enabled Android smartphonesREUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Google Play and App Store registered 17.2 billion downloads worldwide in the first quarter (Q1 ) of 2016 from Jan. 1 through March 31, according to a report published by Sensor Tower, a platform that supports apps for iOS and Android. The report also shows tremendous growth in gaming apps, as expected. 

Google Play witnessed 11.1 billion downloads, a 6.7 percent increase over the corresponding period last year, and 6.1 billion for App Store (13 percent increase) in Q1 2016. WhatsApp tops the list of most iOS and Google Play app downloads worldwide, followed by Messenger, Facebook, Piano Tiles 2 and Instagram.

A total of eight gaming apps, namely Piano Tiles 2, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, Color Switch, Clash Royale, Subway Surfers, Traffic Rider, Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga featured in the worldwide iOS and Google Play top 20 in Q1 2016. This shows the trend of young people spending more time on mobile phone games.

WhatsApp leads Google Play apps worldwide downloads with over 100 million in Q1, followed by Messenger (more than 80 million), Facebook (more than 60 million), and Instagram and Piano Piles 2 (more than 40 million each). Messenger leads in iOS apps downloads with more than 30 million, followed by Piano Tiles 2, Facebook, YouTube and Color Switch.

The study by Sensor Tower put into account only one download per Apple or Google account, and downloads of the same app by the same user to multiple devices, or re-installs of the same app by the same user are not counted towards the total. Android app install estimates represent downloads from the Google Play Store only, and Sensor Tower does not provide download estimates for third-party Android stores.