Mostly, I just want to call your attention to App Annie, an app analytics site that I learned about last week. If you've ever been frustrated trying to get app download data, this site is a dream come true. There are other sites out there, but this one provided what I was looking for, at no charge.
App Annie aggregates data from the iTunes (reporting on iPhone and iPad apps) and Google Play (reporting on Android operating system apps) stores, and ranks apps. Data from the Amazon and Windows app stores is in beta but irrelevant to the asset management app space today anyway.
USAA On Top Of The Charts
The USAA app (with investment content and functionality as well as banking, mortgage and insurance content) sits at the top of what I'd consider relevant investment apps in the Finance category. Note that App Annie publishes rankings, not numbers. According to the USAA app download screen in the Google Play store, USAA has more than 1 million downloads.
Here’s a screenshot of the rank history of USAA’s Android app. You can see that the app has consistently ranked in the top 10 of Finance apps and since mid-2012 has been in the top 500 Android apps overall. The bubbles on the x axis mark new releases. Similar graphs are available for iPad apps. Well done, USAA!
When I visited App Annie, I couldn’t resist using it to build a ranking of asset manager apps in the Finance category and thought I’d share the list with you.
If you check out the table below and then proceed to the site (free registration required) and browse the individual app pages yourselves, you'll see added information that will be helpful when conducting your own research.
Relative Rankings May Matter More
Here are a few observations:
The Finance category in both stores is big and broad, including media, banks, brokerages, online financial management sites, etc.
Only USAA (#11 in iPad apps and #8 in Android apps), Fidelity (#13 in iPad apps and #24 in Android apps) and Vanguard (#23 in iPad apps and #62 in Android apps) are serious contenders in the Finance category. No matter, the rankings can provide insights on your competitive set or subset. While you wouldn't expect a financial advisor app to place high among all Finance apps, you'd be interested in how it does relative to other advisor apps, for example.
In the weeks leading up to the April 15 tax filing deadline, the rankings of the tax preparation and financial management apps were probably enjoying a boost.
A spokeswoman told me that App Annie ranks only apps that are in the top 1,000 of their category. The apps with No data shown don't make the cut.
I could find mention of only seven Android asset manager apps and only four with reported data. According to Comscore earlier this month, Android has 52% share of the smartphone platform. I fear that some of you are overlooking and underleveraging the platform.
Almost all asset manager app rankings drop over time. I can think of at least two possible explanations for their declines: 1. More apps are being launched, and they are more compelling. 2. Most asset managers do a sorry job of consistently promoting the availability and value of their apps.
The higher ranking asset management apps tend to update more frequently. Chicken or egg?
What are your reactions? Are there other asset manager apps that should be part of this list? (Seriously, is this all there is?) Your comments are welcome below.