Apple reveals most popular App Store downloads of 2019: TikTok and FaceApp make the top 20 free iPhone apps in spite of controversies while Mario Kart Tour tops the games chart

  •  TikTok entered the top ten for the first time, despite numerous controversies 
  •  FaceApp made its debut in the top 20 chart, claiming eleventh place 
  •  Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour was named most popular ‘free’ iPhone game of 2019

TikTok and FaceApp have been named among the most popular free downloads from Apple’s App Store in the UK, in spite of controversies surrounding the two apps.

TikTok entered the top ten for the first time, claiming eighth spot behind more established social networks and messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

The controversial video-sharing app was fined $5.7 million in the US earlier this year for illegally gathering data on children, and has been banned in India amid fears its is being used to spread pornographic material.

It also stands accused of having secretly collected private user data in the US and transferring this to China in a new class-action lawsuit.

TikTok entered the top ten for the first time, claiming eighth spot behind more established social networks and messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook 

TOP FREE iPHONE APPS 

FaceApp made its debut in the top 20 chart, claiming eleventh place in the company’s list of top free iPhone apps.

Security researchers raised concerns about app earlier this year, claiming that its Russian developers could access images from the users’ camera roll without their permission. The FBI has also labelled it a ‘potential counterintelligence threat’.

Meanwhile, Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour was named the most popular free iPhone game of 2019, despite the backlash it has received for its heavy use of microtransactions for in-game purchases.

As for the apps that iPhone users are forking out money for, Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit and Official DVSA Theory Test Kit were revealed as the top paid-for iPhone apps of 2019. 

The Wonder Weeks, which allows new parents to track their baby’s development, scooped second place.

Guessing game Heads Up! the topped the list of best selling paid iPhone games, followed by Football Manager 2019 Mobile and Minecraft.

While the most downloaded free iPad app of the year was named as Netflix, drawing app Procreate was the most downloaded, paid-for iPad app. 

Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour was named the most popular free iPhone game of 2019, despite the backlash it has received for its heavy use of microtransactions for in-game purchases 

The technology giant’s App Store is visited more than half a billion times each week, Apple said, and has so far earned developers more than 120 billion dollars (£92.6 billion) in revenue.

Alongside the most downloaded apps, Apple also revealed its own editorial picks for best apps of 2019, with the technology giant labelling this year the “best ever” for its App Store.

Sky: Children Of The Light was named the iPhone game of the year, with artificial intelligence-powered Spectre Camera named iPhone app of the year.

Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said: ‘Developers around the world inspire us all with innovative apps that have the power to influence culture and change our lives, and this year that is as true as ever.

‘The 2019 App Store Best Apps and Games winners reflect our global desire for connection, creativity and fun.

‘We are excited to announce such a diverse group of 2019 App Store winners, showing that great design and creativity comes from developers large and small, and from every corner of the world.

‘We congratulate all the winners and thank them for making 2019 the best year yet for the App Store.’

Apple App Store is visited more than half a billion times each week, and has so far earned developers more than £92.6 billion in revenue 

Drawing and sketching app Flow by Moleskine was named iPad app of the year by the technology firm.

The awards also included the first-ever Apple Arcade game of the year award, which went to action game Sayonara Wild Hearts.

Arcade, Apple’s first subscription-based gaming service, launched in September and is now home to more than 100 exclusive games.

Elsewhere in its awards, Apple named puzzle game Gris as the game of the year on its Mac computers, with travel photography and video app The Explorers named the Apple TV app of the year.

WHAT IS TIKTOK? 

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016

Tik Tok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions. 

Tik Tok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.  

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.

Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app Musical.ly, also with headquarters in China. 

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits. 

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos. 

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion). 

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