Productivity app: Most downloaded phone app worldwide

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

Productivity around the world

If I could sum up what I’ve learned about productivity in one word, it would be “subjective.” Everyone works differently and has different criteria for their favorite productivity apps. However, there are a few apps that most of us bundle up around (think Google Drive or Zoom). I was curious about what productivity apps are most popular with consumers around the world, so I asked for some insight. sent me the top 10 productivity apps by downloads, monthly active users and consumer spending in Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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

What do these data points tell us? In general, global consumers are more in control of digital privacy, and they work more on the go.

  • Lexi Sydow, head of insights at, noted that the rise of password management and authenticator apps means consumers are more aware of cybersecurity concerns.
  • The popularity of Microsoft Outlook in the US and UK indicates a shift towards mobile work. “In fact, we see the average person checking their Gmail app nearly nine times a day on their mobile device Monday-Friday in the US in Q2 2022 on Android phones,” Sydow said.

The different popular productivity app genres reflect differences in “cultural norms or infrastructure across countries,” Sydow said. For example, the proliferation of public service apps can reflect digital innovation by governments. Mobile cleaner and antivirus apps are used more often on Android devices, Sydow said, making them more widespread in Android-dominant countries like South Korea and Brazil.

Productivity is one of the areas to watch when evaluating our relationship with our phones. Sydow said it was a “first mover” category when people first bought mobile devices. “We also expect our devices to do more than the heavy lifting for us – our personal life admin tools and portals to connect us to some of our most secure information and access points,” Sydow said. Around the world, our phones are our lifelines to work and productivity.

– Lizzy Lawrence, reporter (email | nervous)

Airtable wants the enterprise

Airtable is clearly not your average productivity company. In fact, it may not be a productivity company. A few 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 much more than that.

Until now, Liu has avoided comparisons to productivity apps like 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’ve always aimed to be an app builder.”

Read the full story.


The lack of a chip could harm national security: A global shortage of semiconductors has hampered the production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are deeper implications than a lack of consumer goods. If the US does not ensure continued domestic access to leading semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer.

Read more from Micron

Influencer debt

$20,000: That’s what a creator and his cousin paid for a YouTube video automation software, the New York Times reported Wednesday. When that software helped him earn less than $10 per day on his channel, he canceled the contract soon after.

Meanwhile, Triller’s creators told the Washington Post that the company has been slow to make promised payments. They also say that deals are so tight that creators who thought they would be flush are now struggling to survive.

This week’s stories capture a general theme in today’s influencer world: malaise and frustration. Many people who try to get rich this way end up getting caught instead and end up in debt or struggling to pay the bills.

Some staff news

Anyone else have a bad case of the Great Resignation whiplash? It’s hard to keep up with which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating or sinking. We are here to help.

↓ Robinhood laid off 23% of its staff on Tuesday. Along with the 9% of its workforce it laid off in April, more than 1,000 employees were laid off.

↓ SoundCloud is slashing 20% of its workforce. In an email to employees, the company reportedly said the cuts were “necessary due to the challenging economic climate and financial market problems.”

↓ Walmart cut about 200 corporate roles amid restructuring, affecting departments including merchandising, global technology and real estate teams.

For more news on acquisitions, layoffs and rewiring, check out our tech company tracker.


The lack of a chip could harm national security: To ensure America’s security, prosperity and technological leadership, industry leaders say the US should encourage domestic manufacturing of chips to reduce our dependence on East Asian producers for critical electronics components.

Read more from Micron

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


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