'Wave Trip,' 'Temple Run 2' among best new Android, iOS apps of January 2013



Another yuletide season is in the rearview mirror, and mobile app analytics firm Fiksu reports it was a very happy holiday for developers. As consumers unwrapped millions of new smartphones and tablets, they also downloaded an average of 5.32 million iOS apps per day last month, up 16 percent from 4.57 million in November but down from 6.04 million per day in December 2011, when robotic install tactics were still in heavy use. Fiksu's Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of acquiring loyal users among brands who proactively market their apps, found that app marketing costs also jumped to $1.67 in December, up 21 percent from November's $1.38 but still a bargain compared to the year-ago average of $1.81.

"Mobile app marketers are a year older and wiser, and we saw this reflected in the December Fiksu Indexes. Unlike the spending frenzy we saw in 2011, many opted for a value-versus-volume approach in 2012, collectively applying a more conservative, sophisticated strategy to their Q4 campaigns and largely avoiding big gambles on a long App Store freeze," said Fiksu CEO Micah Adler. "As a result, marketing dollars were spread to the long tail of apps outside the top 200, and the peaks in volume and cost per loyal user, while still significant, weren't as extreme as they were in 2011."

There's still no more effective marketing tool than a brand consumers already know and love. Case in point: Imangi Studios' Temple Run franchise. Downloads of the original mobile game, first released in August 2011, now exceed 170 million, and earlier this month Imangi launched Temple Run 2, which premiered on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS before expanding to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android a week later. Although Imangi debuted Temple Run 2 with relatively little fanfare, that didn't stop consumers from finding it in app stores: iOS device owners downloaded the game more than 20 million times in its first four days of availability, generating more than 210 million sessions in under a week.

Temple Run 2 deserves its success: Imangi built a brand that's now synonymous with the endless runner concept, and the sequel fulfills and in many respects eclipses the promise of the original. In fact, I think it's one of the best new mobile apps released this month.--Jason

Click here for the rest of the best apps of January.

MyScript Calculator 8
Temple Run 2
Tennis in the Face 2
Wave Trip 1