Industry Titans: Which Apps and Why Have Gained Fame on App Store and Google Play in 2023

There is a good tradition for the beginning of every calendar year – to analyze the wins and fails of the previous one in order to achieve a new peak. The RadASO team became curious about the top-rated apps on the App Store and Google Play through 2023. We’ve analyzed them month-by-month, traced their position shifts, and collected some new names among the leaders. Who they are? Keep reading to find out.

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Best mobile applications of 2023 according to App Store and Google Play

By the end of 2023, App Store and Google Play have selected the winners in their app of the year nomination.

Regarding the App Store Awards 2023, they’ve pronounced AllTrails as the best app of the year for iPhone. This app helps users find and discover walking, running, and biking trails. 

AllTrails Logo

AllTrails screenshots

In the words of an Apple representative, this app was declared the best because it “helps the world to find a way to the outward.”  

Among the finalists of the App Store Awards for iPhone apps, one can also find Duolingo and Flighty

  • Duolingo is a language learning app that uses gamification to encourage users to study more. It offers a variety of language courses with an emphasis on fun, interactive learning.

Duolingo logo

duolingo screenshots

  • Flighty is an app for real-time flight tracking. It provides explicit details on flight status, time change alerts, and other helpful info for travelers.

Flighty logo

Flighty logo

These apps were pointed out for being innovative, useful, and capable of improving user’s day-to-day life.

According to Google Play Awards, the best overall (among all categories in total) app is Imprint: Learn Visually.  It offers short lessons on psychology, history, health, tech, and other fields.

Best App Imprint


Imprint Screenshots

The title of the best app by the Google Play user's choice was rewarded to ChatGPT by OpenAI. This recognizance clearly shows fast-paced IA integration into our everyday lives.

ChatGPT logo

 ChatGPT Screenshots

TOP-10 free global overall apps in 2023

In 2023, both stores had their top positions mostly occupied by social networks, communication platforms, and content editing tools. 

App Store and Google Play apps

Those apps’ popularity in both stores is conditioned by their ability to fulfill the user’s everyday needs: 

      1. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat – for entertainment and social interactions;
      2. WhatsApp, Telegram, and Messenger – for communication;
      3. CapCut – for video editing.

The first place, by a long way, belongs to TikTok. It has a leading position thanks to being widely used for short video creation and consumption. It’s no longer an entertainment-only app but also a platform with elaborate opportunities for business growth, advertisement, and personal brand development. 

App Store, unlike Google Play, features navigation (Google Maps), shopping (Temu), e-mail (Gmail), and video viewing (YouTube) apps in its TOP-10.

In addition to all the above apps, Google Play TOP-10 also features Spotify – a music and podcast streaming platform.

TOP-10 position analysis of the overall apps at App Store for 2023

overall top10

The world-famous app TikTok remained an absolute leader for most of the year.  The only exception was July when it was beaten by the hotshot new social media app Threads freshly added to the sore (see more details below). 

CapCut video editor occupied the second position for the year's first half, but then its position dropped.

Social media. Instagram app’s position was quite unsteady but has never dropped below 7th, unlike Facebook. It was knocked out of the TOP-10 in April and hasn’t returned so far. 

Messengers. WhatsApp showed a much more consistent position compared to Telegram

The shopping app Temu appeared in the TOP-10 in April. Since August, it has kept a sustainable second position. 

TOP-10 position analysis of the overall apps at Google Play for 2023

overall top10 Google Play

Google Play’s unchanged leaders through 2023 were social media and entertainment apps: Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. These apps remained in the first three positions for the whole year. CapCut, WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, Telegram, and Snapchat were also consistently in the TOP-10. 

New 2023 apps that have made it to the TOP-50 of the worldwide overall apps at the App Store

Among the Worldwide Overall apps at the App Store, a few new ones have appeared in the TOP-50 this year. Let’s take a closer look at them below. 

  • Threads is an app for text communication by Instagram, created as a chat for their community. Allows users to communicate directly with their favorite content creators and like-minded people, and develop their own audience to exchange thoughts and creative ideas. 

Threads Logo
Threads Screenshots

  • ChatGPT is an app by OpenAI that offers its users cutting-edge AI technology achievements directly on their smartphones. With ChatGPT, one can get instant answers, personalized pieces of advice, creative inspiration, professional consultations, and learning opportunities.

New 2023 apps in the TOP-50 of worldwide overall apps on Google Play

Similarly to App Store, Threads was named one of the main new apps in 2023. 

It is also joined by the shopping app Temu, which offers the widest variety of goods for all tastes and needs. This app brings together shops and goods in the fields of fashion, home decor, handicraft, make-up, clothing, and footwear:

TEMU logo

TEMU Screenshots

What was the effect of the full-scale invasion on the Ukrainian mobile app rating

The full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine had an impact on every sphere of life, with no exception for the mobile app market. The RadASO team has noted changes in favorites at both stores. Let’s take a closer look. 

TOP-10 Overall App Comparison of the App Store and Google Play for 2023

overall App Store and Google Play apps

These apps are in high positions in the TOP-10 of both stores:

    • social media – Instagram
    • entertainment content – TikTok
    • messengers – Telegram, Viber
    • Ukraine’s most popular mail service – Nova Poshta.

Their popularity is conditioned by the importance of social interaction and communication, along with covering Ukrainians’ logistics needs.

Unlike Google Play, at the App Store, apps like Google, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Diya have also become very popular at the App Store.

On the Google Play TOP-10 list in 2023, there are shopping apps and AliExpress, WhatsApp messenger, online banking app Privat24, and air alert app Povitryana Tryvoga. 

Month-by-month overall app comparison in Ukraine for 2023 (App Store)

month by month Ukraine AppStore

In Ukraine, TikTok, Telegram, Google, and Google Maps have remained highly stable in ranking and kept their positions in TOP-10 through the whole of 2023. 

In January 2023, Svitlo app by ZAV landed in the first position. That was the time of mass power cutoffs due to energy deficiency in Ukraine. People were looking for a handy power monitoring tool, which was why the app was so popular.

In July, at the peak of vacation season, many Ukrainians planned their domestic trips as overboard traveling was complicated due to war-induced circumstances. That caused popularity boos for the Ukrzaliznycya app, designed to help with train trip planning within Ukraine’s borders and allows one to quickly obtain info on schedules and tickets.

In September, we noticed increased demand for Gmail, Google Meet, and Zoom apps caused by the start of the school year. Those apps are used for online lessons, communication between students and teachers, and the coordination of group assignments and homework. Thanks to their flexibility and accessibility, those apps became integral to Ukrainian education during the war. 

October sales and discounts provoked Ukrainians’ interest in shopping apps like Temu and AliEхpress.

In December, have entered the TOP-10. The most likely reason is that Ukrainians have started buying Christmas and New Year gifts for their loved ones. 

Since November, the ChatGPT app has remained in the first position. That is not surprising, considering its popularity and wide AI employment worldwide. 

TOP apps of 2023 in Ukraine on Google Play

month by month Ukraine Google Play

TikTok and Telegram remain undisputed leaders. That points out high user interest in social media and messengers. The key factors of their popularity are their multipurposeness and functionality.

Nova Poshta,, and AliЕxpress show growth in specific periods, which can correlate with seasonal purchase and delivery peaks. For instance, it can be Black Friday or the Holiday season.

Since August, the app has been growing in popularity. It reached TOP-3 in November when the incidence usually peaks. In the same month, the positions of the Helsi app (a service for doctor appointments) also improved.

The war has had a significant impact on app ratings in Ukraine. Occasionally, we can see apps like Svitlo or Povitryana Tryvoga. But, despite temporary difficulties, Ukrainians don’t stop communicating, sharing helpful content, making purchases, and enjoying their lives.

New overall apps in the TOP-50 apps of the year 2023 list in Ukraine

In the Ukrainian App Store, similar to the Worldwide app list, among this year’s newcomers in the TOP-50, one can find Threads and ChatGPT.  Let’s take a look at the new apps of the year on Google Play, which succeeded in achieving high positions:  

Latest news is an aggregator app for the hottest news:

Latest News

LatestNews Screenshots

PhotoRoom AI Photo Editor is a universal app for editing, designing, and optimization of visual content that also helps to manage a business from a smartphone. It’s a perfect tool for small businesses and content creators looking for a quick and easy way to create professional visual content:


PhotoRoom Screenshots

Firstly, in the worldwide TOP-10, one can note apps for entertainment and social interaction. In particular, those are apps for communication and video editing. Against the background of this trend, AI impact truly stands to be mentioned, as it has defined the line of development for 2023. Many apps have successfully integrated AI into their operation, and this tendency will likely remain relevant in the near future.

Leveraging expert mobile marketing services can help businesses capitalize on emerging trends and leverage advanced strategies to optimize app visibility, user engagement, and overall performance in the competitive mobile app landscape.

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