Nielsen: Apple Music, Apple Maps among top 10 smartphone apps

The Nielsen research group looked at some of the top trends in digital for 2015, including the top U.S. smartphone apps and operating systems. Apple Music and Apple Maps made the top 10.

The apps with highest year-over-year change was Facebook Messenger with a 31 percentincrease in users from 2014, and Apple Music, with a 26 percent growth. According to Nielsen, Apple Music has 54,550,000 monthly users. What’s more, the once-maligned Apple Maps app has 46,406,000 users, a growth rate of 16 percent year-over-year.

In 2015, Facebook again took the lead as the top smartphone app. The social networking app had more than 126 million average unique users each month, a growth of eight percent from last year. YouTube came in second with over 97 million average unique users each month, followed by Facebook Messenger with more than 96 million average unique users each month.

Nielsen says smartphone penetration grew to 80 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers at the end of September 2015 from 78 percent at the start of the year. In third-quarter 2015, a majority of subscribers used Android (53 percent) and iOS (43 percent) devices to access their apps. Three percent of U.S. smartphone owners used a handset that operated on a Windows phone, followed by 0.7 percent on a BlackBerry.

Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement is installed (with permission, of course) on panelist smartphones (approximately 9,000 panelists ages 18-plus with Android and iOS handsets). Data is based on Nielsen’s monthly survey of 30,000-plus mobile subscribers aged 13 and up in the U.S.