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Here are the most downloaded apps of 2021

Surprise! TikTok topped the charts again this year.

Apps on an iphone
Image: Unsplash

Since the invention of smartphones, apps have helped shape how we interact with our devices. In 2021, there seems to be an app available for just about everything, and we’re using them more than ever. As the year wraps up, let’s check out the most downloaded apps throughout the course of 2021.

Analytics firm Apptopia has compiled a few lists detailing the most downloaded apps of the year in its annual rankings earlier this week. To no one’s real surprise, social apps were the big winners this year, as people continue to spend more time at their homes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s biggest winner probably comes as no surprise. Video sharing app TikTok garnered a massive 656 million downloads this year, over 100 million more than its closest competitors. Meta’s suite of social apps also did very well, with Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp taking up the next three spots.

Most downloaded apps of 2021
Screenshot: Apptopia

The biggest standout on this list is CapCut. CapCut is a video editing app that lets you cut and edit videos right on your phone. The app is popular among TikTok users, and, surprise, the app is developed by the same company that develops TikTok.

The most downloaded apps in the United States are similar to the worldwide rankings, with a few differences here and there.

Meta’s suite of apps was a bit less popular (except for Instagram) and a couple of entertainment apps made the cut, with YouTube and HBO Max breaching the top 10 in the U.S.

Subway surfers on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

And for games, Subway Surfers, a game that came out almost 10 years ago, was this year’s most downloaded game app worldwide. Netflix maintained the crown for entertainment apps, though other options are gaining traction, with HBO Max being king in the United States.

As you can see by the numbers, apps have become a huge part of people’s lives worldwide. And, at least for 2021, TikTok reigns supreme as the most downloaded app of the year.

There are a couple of apps on the list that could give TikTok a run for its money next year, but the future is definitely looking bright after two straight years of being number one.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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