Zoom and NHS Covid-19 app overtake WhatsApp and Instagram to become the UK’s most popular App Store downloads of 2020, Apple reveals

  • Zoom is the most-downloaded free iPhone app in the UK in 2020, Apple reveals
  • Second-placed on the list is the NHS’s Covid-19 app released back in September
  • Apple has also revealed top 20 for paid iPhone apps, iPad apps and gaming apps

Zoom and the NHS’s Covid-19 app have overtaken WhatsApp and Instagram to become the most popular downloads from Apple’s App Store in the UK for 2020. 

Top of Apple’s list of the most-downloaded free iPhone apps in the UK is Zoom Cloud Meetings, reflecting users’ increasing reliance on video calls to accommodate working from home.

Taking the second spot is the NHS Covid-19 app, released late September as a tool to help alert users if they have been in close proximity with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus. 

Video-sharing platform TikTok, WhatsApp and Houseparty, the app which combines group video-calls with games and quizzes, round out the top five for free iPhone apps.   

The impact of coronavirus is evident throughout the list for this year, with Microsoft Teams, a communications platform for businesses, ranking seventh. 

Apple has also revealed top 20 lists for paid iPhone apps, iPad apps and gaming apps in the UK this year. 

Zoom has been the most downloaded free app for the iPhone by people in the UK in 2020, according to Apple

Apple’s lists reflect that fact Britons were effectively forced to turn to video conferencing technology to work from home, chat apps to stay in touch with family during social distancing, and e-learning to catch up on schooling.  

‘This year, more than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps,’ said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. 

‘This was thanks to the amazing work of developers who introduced fresh, helpful app experiences throughout the year.’ 

Streaming services are also peppered throughout the top 20 list of free iPhone apps downloaded from the App Store  – YouTube at number eight, Spotify at 13 and Netflix at 16. 

Disney+ – the launch of which on March 24 coincided with the start of lockdown in the UK – ranks at number 12. 

Other social networks and chat apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger also sit in the top 20. 

Last year, WhatsApp and Instagram were number one and two on the list, but Zoom and the NHS Covid-19 app have knocked them off their perch. 


The NHS Covid-19 app was second on the most downloaded free iPhone apps in the UK for 2020

 1. ZOOM Cloud Meetings

 2. NHS Covid-19

 3. TikTok

 4. WhatsApp  

 5. Houseparty

6. Instagram 

7. Microsoft Teams 

8. YouTube 

9. Snapchat 

10. Facebook    

 11. Facebook Messenger

12. Disney+

13. Spotify

14. Widgetsmith

 15. Amazon

16. Netflix 

17. Google Maps – Transit & Food 

18. Uber Eats: Food Delivery 

19. Gmail – Email by Google 

20. Microsoft Outlook 


In the paid-for iPhone app category for the UK, Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit and Official DVSA Theory Test Kit are revealed as ranking first and second for the year, respectively.

Also in this list is the Dark Sky Weather, a weather-predicting app bought by Apple earlier in the year, and Mirror for Samsung TV, which casts a phone display onto a Samsung Smart TV. 

There are also a few e-learning apps in the iPhone paid list, including Hit the Button Maths 20 and Spelling Shed, for remote learning after schools closed to curb the spread of the virus. 


The Dark Sky app – now only for iOS since being bought by Apple in April 2020 – provides users with hour-by-hour temperature readings, visualisations of weather activity and smartphone alerts

 1. Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit 

2. Official DVSA Theory Test Kit 

3. Procreate Pocket 

4. The Wonder Weeks 

5. Forest – Stay focused 

6. TouchRetouch 

7. Facetune 

8. CITB Op/Spec HS&E test 2019 

9. Dark Sky Weather 

10. AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch  

 11. Squeezy NHS Pelvic Floor App 

12. Freya • Surge Timer 

13. Teach Your Monster to Read 

14. Mirror for Samsung TV 

15. Sky Guide 

16. WatchChat 2: for WhatsApp 

17. SkyView® 

18. Ski Tracks 

19. Hit the Button Maths 

20. Spelling Shed


For the iPad, Zoom also lands at number one in the free apps chart, with Microsoft Teams in the top five too. 

In the rest of the top five for free iPad apps was Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime – reflecting Brits’ love of content on a decent-sized portable screen. 

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 also have their own streaming free apps in the top 20 list for iPad, which also contains many high performers from the free iPhone app list.  

In terms of paid iPad apps, graphic editing software Procreate and note-taking app GoodNotes 5 are first and second, respectively. 


Covid-19 has forced millions of people to turn to the screens for entertainment and streaming sites such as Netflix

Free iPad apps 

1. ZOOM Cloud Meetings 

2. Disney+ 

3. Netflix 

4. Amazon Prime Video 

5. Microsoft Teams 

6. YouTube 

7. Messaging for WhatsApp on iPad 

8. TikTok 

9. BBC iPlayer 

10. Google Chrome 

11. Houseparty 

12. Messenger 

13. Microsoft Word 

14. Facebook 

15. Skype for iPad 

16. Amazon 

17. All 4 

18. Spotify 

19. Sky Go 

20. ITV Hub

 Paid iPad apps  

1. Procreate 

2. GoodNotes 5 

3. Notability 

4. Teach Your Monster to Read 

5. Hit the Button Maths 

6. Duet Display 

7. Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit 

8. Spelling Shed 

9. Affinity Photo 

10. Affinity Designer 

11. Numberblocks: Card Fun! 

12. Toca Life: Hospital 

13. Alphablocks: Letter Fun 

14. LumaFusion 

15. Numberblocks: Hide and Seek 

16. Toca Kitchen 2 

17. Official DVSA Theory Test Kit 

18. Toca Life: Neighborhood 

19. Mirror for Samsung TV 

20. Toca Life: Vacation

In the gaming category, online multiplayer social title Among Us! is named most popular free iPhone game, while Football Manager 2020 Mobile is the number one paid game.  

Among Us! is a multiplayer social deduction game set in space where players have to uncover murderous saboteurs who attempt to jeopardise a mission. 

The game’s profile shot up in October when a live-stream of Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing the popular game amassed almost half a million viewers on gaming service Twitch.  

Alongside the most downloaded apps, Apple has also revealed its own editorial picks for best apps of 2020.

Light exercise app Wakeout! is named iPhone app of the year, while iPhone game of the year has gone to action role player Genshin Impact.

Elsewhere, Zoom picked up more accolades, being awarded iPad app of the year, while Legends of Runeterra, a digital collectible card game, is iPad game of the year.

Five winners were also celebrated as app trends of the year – Pokémon Go; Caribu, a video calling app designed for children; Shine, for ‘daily self-care’ and meditation; e-learning app Explain Everything Whiteboard; and ShareTheMeal, a crowdfunding app by the United Nations World Food Programme to fight hunger. 

‘Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers, and these Best of 2020 winners are 15 outstanding examples of that innovation,’ Schiller said.

‘From helping us stay fit and mindful, to keeping our children’s education on track, to helping fight hunger, their impact was meaningful to so many of us.’


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) had 439,000 views on video live streaming service Twitch when she played multiplayer game Among Us

Top free iPhone games:

1. Among Us! 

2. Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles 

3. Subway Surfers 

4. Roblox 

5. Woodturning 3D 

6. Call of Duty®: Mobile 

7. Ink Inc. – Tattoo Drawing 

8. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game 

9. 8 Ball Pool™ 

10. Cube Surfer! 

11. Trivia.io 

12. Brain Out 

13. Draw Climber 

14. Johnny Trigger 

15. Mario Kart Tour 

16. Tangle Master 3D 

17. Sort It 3D 

18. Fortnite 

19. Fishdom 

20. Park Master

 Top paid iPhone games:

1. Football Manager 2020 Mobile 

2. Minecraft 

3. Monopoly 

4. Plague Inc. 

5. Heads Up! – Trivia on the go 

6. Bloons TD 6 

7. The Chase: Ultimate Edition 

8. Tenable 

9. Geometry Dash 

10. Tipping Point 

11. Cluedo: The Official Edition 

12. Earn to Die 2 

13. Pocket Build 

14. Countdown – The Official TV Show App 

15. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 

16. Rebel Inc. 

17. The Game of Life 

18. True Skate 

19. Bloons TD 5 

20. RFS – Real Flight Simulator


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