Market Data

Open Rates of Official COVID-19 Apps Reached As High As 92% in 2021

Vincent Zhou

All over the world, people have embraced government-backed COVID-19 apps in efforts to keep safe and facilitate a quicker return to normal in 2021. More detail is revealed in In App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report.

At the height of the pandemic, there was plenty of discussion about what the response to the pandemic would have been if it had come, say, 20 years ago.

Take working from home – a perfectly logical solution to the need for social distancing. But in a time before broadband and video conferencing, this would simply not have been feasible for the vast majority of employees. 

Similarly, think about mobile apps and their role in the pandemic response. Yes, there may well have been contact tracing and systematic vaccine roll-out plans in the 1990s. But without a smartphone in every pocket, how efficient would they have been?

Without a doubt, the mobile app has been central to public policy in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In's State of Mobile 2022 report, we shine a light on the impact of official COVID-19 apps in different regions.

The Response of Citizens to COVID-19 Apps Varies Greatly by Region


According to our data, Malaysians have engaged the most to their official COVID-19 app. 85% installed the official MySejahtera app, of which there was a 92% open rate. Just behind was Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app, which achieved an 80% install rate and 89% open rate.

India's Aarogya Setu app saw the highest number of total downloads – surpassing 100 million downloads from launch in April 2020 to Dec 2021. However, Aarogya Setu, largely an information-based service, represented a 30% install penetration rate in 2021.

In some regions, the attitude of citizens towards COVID-19 apps fluctuated over time such as in the UK where users were being notified of possible exposures in the official COVID app (rolled up under NHS). Despite this, downloads of the health service’s NHS app increased by more than 300% YoY. In fact, it was the UK’s most downloaded app of 2021. This app keeps track of a person's vaccine record and provides a QR code to prove their vaccine status. Its open rate reached 81% in 2021.

France’s Vite Ma Dose App Speeds Up Vaccine Roll-out

Across the ocean in France, 44% of citizens downloaded the official TousAntiCovid app, while an impressive 88% opened it. It ended the year as France’s most downloaded app.

But the more interesting story in France was the development of the Vite Ma Dose app. This was created by an engineer named Guillaume Rozier who was frustrated at the lack of good information regarding nearby availability of vaccines. He developed a free app that scans the many platforms offering appointments and presents users with a list of those nearest to them. For his work, Rozier was awarded the National Order of Merit.

Combating COVID-19 Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

The governments of each region respond differently to the ongoing pandemic. In Australia and the United States, state-led efforts to combat COVID-19 means a lack of a unified nationwide app (or in the case of Australia, a de-prioritized national app). In other regions, vaccine access and contact tracing are rolled up as part of an existing nationwide healthcare app, such as the UK’s NHS App. Regardless of the approach, vaccine rollout, availability of COVID-19 apps that provide timely information, and COVID-19 app engagement remain crucial to the ongoing effort to overcome the global pandemic.

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February 9, 2022

Market Data

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