Productivity Apps: Most Downloaded Phone Apps Worldwide

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Today, we’re diving into the productivity apps that people are downloading all over the world. It turns out that many of us work on the go and care more about our privacy. Also, Airtable doesn’t want the “productivity” label; CEO Howie Liu wants it to be an app development platform. And influencers struggle to get paid on time.

Productivity around the world

If I could sum up what I learned about productivity in one word, it would be “subjective.” Everyone works differently and has different criteria for their favorite productivity apps. Still, there are some apps that most of us have merged (think Google Drive or Zoom). I was curious to know which productivity apps are the most popular among consumers around the world, so I asked for some information. sent me the top 10 productivity apps by downloads, monthly active users and consumer spend in Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, UK and US -United.

  • Google One, the cloud storage subscription service, is the most popular app by consumer spending in every country. No surprise here: we need our mobile storage!
  • The fastest growing app category in six of the eight countries is mobile cleaner/antivirus.
  • Microsoft Outlook is the most popular app with monthly active users in the US and UK. Waze is most popular in Brazil and France.
  • Public service apps, or government portal apps, feature in the list of top 10 most downloaded productivity apps in Brazil, France, Japan and South Korea.

What do these data points tell us? In general, global consumers have more control over digital privacy and work more on the go.

  • Lexi Sydow, knowledge manager at, noted that the rise of password management and authentication apps means consumers are more aware of cybersecurity issues.
  • The popularity of Microsoft Outlook in the US and UK indicates a move towards mobile working. “In fact, we see the average person checking their Gmail app almost nine times a day on their mobile device Monday through Friday in the US during the second quarter of 2022 on Android phones,” Sydow said.

Different genres of popular productivity apps show differences in “cultural norms or infrastructure between countries,” Sydow said. For example, the prevalence of public service apps could show the digital innovation of governments. Mobile cleaner and antivirus apps are often used more on Android devices, Sydow said, making them more prevalent in Android-dominant countries like South Korea and Brazil.

Productivity is one of the areas to watch when analyzing our relationship with our phones. Sydow said it’s a “first-mover” category when people first buy mobile devices. “We also expect our devices to do more of the heavy lifting for us – our personal life administration tool and our portal to connect to some of our most secure access and information points,” Sydow said. Around the world, our phones are our lifelines for work and productivity.

—Lizzy Lawrence, Journalist (E-mail | Twitter)

Airtable wants the company

Airtable is clearly not your average productivity company. In fact, it may not be a productivity business at all. Years ago, when Airtable was referred to as a “spreadsheet on steroids” in the press, CEO Howie Liu wasn’t exactly enthusiastic – he felt the company offered so much more than that.

To this day, Liu avoids comparisons with productivity apps such as Asana, Trello, Notion or Instead, he wants people to draw comparisons between Airtable and enterprise software giants like his former employer Salesforce, or even ServiceNow.

“We’re trying to position ourselves more against ServiceNow or Salesforce, not from a CRM perspective, but from a platform perspective,” Liu said. “We always intended to become an app creator.”

Read the full story.


Shortage of microchips could harm national security: The global shortage of semiconductors has hampered production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are more serious implications than a shortage of consumer goods. If the United States does not ensure continued domestic access to advanced semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer.

Learn more about Micron

Debt of influence

$20,000 is what a creator and her cousin paid for YouTube video automation software, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. When this software helped her earn less than $10 a day on her channel, she dropped the contract as soon as she could.

Meanwhile, the creators of Triller told The Washington Post that the company has been slow to make promised payments. They also allege that the agreements are so restrictive that creators who thought they would be flush are now struggling to make ends meet.

This week’s stories capture a general theme in the influencer world right now: unease and disappointment. Many people who try to get rich this way instead get ripped off and end up in debt or struggling to pay the bills.

Some news from the staff

Does anyone else have a bad case of whiplash from great resignation? It’s hard to know which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating or sinking. We are here to help you.

↓ Robinhood laid off 23% of its staff on Tuesday. Combined with the 9% of its workforce laid off in April, more than 1,000 employees have been cut.

↓ SoundCloud is reduce by 20% of its workforce. In an email to employees, the company reportedly said the cuts were “necessary given the difficult economic climate and headwinds in financial markets.”

↓ Walmart is cutting about 200 corporate positions as part of a restructuring, affecting departments such as merchandising, global technology and real estate teams.

For more information on hiring, firing, and rewiring, check out our tech company tracker.


Shortage of microchips could harm national security: To ensure America’s security, prosperity, and technological leadership, industry leaders say the United States must encourage domestic chip manufacturing to reduce our dependence on chip producers. East Asia for critical electronic components.

Learn more about Micron

Thoughts, questions, advice? Send them to [email protected].

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