These third-party apps outperform Apple’s – here’s what they do

Home » These third-party apps outperform Apple’s – here’s what they do
Apple enables external link support in ‘reader’ apps

On Thursday, Apple released a press release and report conducted by the Analysis Group on the success of third-party apps on its App Store. Scrolling through the report, you may see some apps that look familiar and some that may not. Just what exactly are these apps? Also, why would anyone use them over one of Apple’s apps? Why are they popular?

Let’s take a closer look at some of these popular third-party apps used on iPhones within the United States.

Reading apps

Tapas, Readict, Dreame, and Wattpad are all online social reading platforms. Each app connects readers and writers through original pieces. Readers can support their favorite writers through paid stories, writing contests, and more. Unlike Audible, Kindle, and Apple Books, they’re all places for indie authors to share their work. 

Audible is Amazon’s own audiobook and podcast service. For a monthly subscription, users will have access to one of the largest catalogs of audiobooks out there. Kindle is another app from Amazon, it is the retail giant’s selection of ebooks. There are subscription plans like Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading, but neither are required to use the service. eBooks can be purchased individually. 

Libby and hoopla are reading apps that allow readers to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more using their local library card. In addition to reading material, you can rent movies, music, and TV through hoopla.


SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn Radio let you stream popular music, podcasts, and radio stations. TuneIn also has sports and news, with the option to stream live from CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. Additionally, Amazon Prime members get a discount on a subscription to TuneIn Live for their Alexa devices.

Musi markets itself as a simple music streaming platform. You can bookmark and organize music videos, create playlists, share music with friends, and stream onto any AirPlay-enabled device. The app is free, but with a paid subscription you can remove ads. Audiomack is a youth-driven, artist-first music streaming platform. Both Audiomack and SoundCloud let smaller creators share their music and build their audience right from each platform. 

Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music offer some of the world’s biggest music catalogs. With a premium subscription, you can listen to unlimited songs ad-free. Various deals help makes some of these platforms a success. For example, a YouTube Premium subscription provides complimentary access to YouTube Music. Also, there are student discounts on Spotify Premium subscriptions. Spotify takes the number one spot in the US, and as mentioned in the report, the app is used 1.6x more than Apple Music.

top music streaming services on iphone

TV Streaming

Apple TV+ has more of a quality over quantity approach compared to the other major streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max are the top players alongside Apple and offer endless amounts of content. HBO Max is still new to the streaming game but is jam-packed with Blockbuster content. Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video have been around the longest and reign supreme in the US. As noted in the report, Netflix is used 17x more than Apple TV+.

Tubi TV, owned by Fox, offers a selection of over 35,000 movies and tv shows on demand in HD; completely for free. It’s the leading free TV subscription service that you can use across all your devices. Crunchyroll is different from the rest as it offers the world’s largest collection of anime and manga. It’s free with ads but offers a paid subscription to remove ads.

top tv streaming on iphone in the us

While it’s interesting to see a slew of third-party apps outperform Apple’s, it’s not that surprising. An important note from the report shows that many iPhone users use multiple apps within a category. Especially when it comes to app types we discussed like reading apps and music and TV streaming, consumers tend to spread their resources.

The full report can be viewed here.

How will this data change in time? What are your thoughts on this? Are any of these apps new to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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