A new report from app analytics company App Annie focuses on "connected apps," or apps that require separate hardware to run — which includes everything from printers with Wi-Fi to the latest Android Wear smartwatches. Although wearable technology has received a lot of attention recently, the report suggests downloads for their usually required companion apps are still low.
App Annie's report looked at 30 apps that require an external piece of hardware to work and inferred the number of downloads on both the Apple App Store and Google Play they received this past August.
The most downloaded app in the batch was Chromecast, which is a strong sign of the $35 streaming stick is success over the past year. The second most downloaded connected app was Fitbit after that come a bunch of apps that suggest that a lot more people have cable set-top boxes and printers than pieces of wearable technology. It also implies that people like to download apps for something like a printer or a satellite TV box, even though those apps are not required.
App Annie divided the 30 selected apps into six categories, and the top two categories, Media and Productivity, accounted for roughly 70% of downloads among these apps over the time period. Apps categorized as media include Chromecast, DirecTV, DISH and GoPro. Productivity apps include a bunch of printer apps from companies like HP and Kodak, as well as Square's Register software.
Apps that connect to newer technologies related to smart homes, smartwatches, and wearable technology accounted for only 15% of downloads, and that is combining four loosely related categories together. While app downloads are not a perfect proxy for device sales, you would expect the two to correlate fairly closely. Apps in these categories include Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Pebble, Misfit Shine, Nest Mobile, Dropcam and Android Wear.
The App Annie report doesn’t provide estimates for the number of downloads over the period. For that, you’ll have to subscribe to App Annie’s premium services. You can take a look at the full report here.