Mobile Minute

Mobile Minute: Fitness Tracking and IOT Apps Surged in Popularity

Lexi Sydow

The likes of Peloton and Strava have experienced triple digit growth

What’s Happening: 

The pandemic has significantly increased the demand for at-home fitness, so much so that health and fitness app downloads increased 30% in 2020. Not only are consumers spending more time working out at home, but they are looking for new, interactive ways to keep moving. And many have turned to connected devices to keep moving. In fact, within the top 10 IOT (Internet of Things) and fitness tracking apps, we've seen download growth in the triple digits from Strava and Nike Training Club — the latter offering access to premium features for free during the height of the pandemic — a change they made permanent in July 2020.  

iot and fitness tracking apps

Why It Matters:

The Peloton app experienced 190% growth in global downloads during 2020 from 2019, due to its innovative approach to fitness paired with its stationary bike, community focus and live classes. Most recently, Gatorade launched a new smart patch that measures sweat and hydration, adding it to users’ Gatorade Gx profile. 

Strava is a prime example of an app that has seen phenomenal demand as consumers sought outside activities to supplement their home-bound lifestyles. Downloads of Strava surged 115% globally, with 95% growth in Brazil, 180% growth in the UK and 80% growth in the US. Strava goes beyond the tracking elements of fitness apps by providing a community focus on leaderboards and connections with other athletes. Strava ranked #2 among IOT and tracking fitness apps by downloads in 2020, up from #8 in 2019. 

"Engaging in sport takes commitment, spirit and most importantly – motivation, and nothing is more motivating than like-minded peers sharing and measuring activities together. The twin powers of sport and community, which are at the heart of Strava, came to the fore in 2020 as people prioritised their physical and mental health by staying active and sought out authentic connections to others in a socially distanced world. Strava is today the single largest sports participation platform in the world with over 80 million athletes in 195 countries."

— Gareth Nettleton, VP Marketing, Strava

Go Deeper:

Outside of fitness, the IoT and connected devices industry is poised to continue to gain popularity. It seems that we keep losing hours in our busy days which makes any device that can increase efficiency likely to be appealing. If our Garmin watch can soon connect to our coffee maker and our Amazon Alexa, a more seamless morning routine could be hard to resist.

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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.


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March 25, 2021

Mobile Minute

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