Apps Dominate Smartphone Usage

(March 3, 2015) – According to Pew Internet Research, 68% of American adults aged 18-64 currently own a smartphone. (And if you’re reading this, I know you have at least some interest in mobile tech, so I’m going to assume you’re one of them.) How do you spend your time on your phone?

Research from mobile analytics company Flurry reveals that of time spent on smartphones (which is about two hours and 45 minutes per day—more time than we spend watching television every day), 86% is spent in apps versus a mere (and decreasing) 14% in mobile websites.

Why the disparity?

It could be for a number of reasons:

    • Apps are the essence of smartphones. If you don’t use the apps on your smartphone, you might as well just get a regular mobile phone complete with call and text only.
    • Apps provide unprecedented navigation speeds. What may take 10-20 touches in a mobile web browser may only take one in an app.
    • Apps have the highest engagement. Smartphones allow for extreme personalization through app selection. Because users have downloaded their favorite apps, they spend more time in them than anything else.
    • Apps are meant to be revisited. Mobile sites are best for looking things up—usually just once. Apps are used for recurring engagement to access the things users care about most.

As the demand for apps continues to grow (the Google Play store holds 1.3 million as of July 2014, while Apple’s app store holds 1.2 million), so will the time spent in apps. If you don’t have one, users may choose not to engage with you at all.

Shouldn’t you be where the majority of your customers are?

Want to see other sites vs. apps comparisons like this one? Check out our new Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Sites Cheat Sheet to help you compare. Plus, check out our previous installments of the apps vs. sites blog series, “How Many Touches Does It Take to Get to the Center of a Mobile App?” and “You’ll Always Have Your Apps.”


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Author: Stefanie Jansen

Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps Cheat Sheet

What’s the difference between a mobile site and a mobile app? Do I choose one or both? Find out in our quick and easy Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps Cheat Sheet!

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