These days mobile computing is largely driven by apps, and surely there can be no second opinion about it. Pew Internet and American Life Project has just released an in-depth look into the impact of apps on how adults use technology. There are quite a few interesting facts that have come out from this report.
For starters, adults who use apps are usually younger (ha!) and more well-to-do than those who don’t. This can, of course, be linked to the fact that an affluent adult will have access to smartphones and the latest mobile computing devices.
However, apps are not all pervasive as yet, but actually far from being so. Only 35% adults in the US have apps on their mobile phones, and yet only 24% actually use the apps! This shows the vast potential for growth of apps because over 80% of US adults own a cell phone. Moreover, about 10% US adults do not even know whether their phone can run apps. This proves that people still buy phones for their basic functions such as calling and texting.
While adults do a lot of stuff with their phones such as messaging, browsing, playing music and taking pictures, only 29% use apps for this purpose. The rest prefer to use in-built phone functions to carry out these operations.
One important insight which could have been provided by this study, but has not been, is why the 11% of adults, who have apps on their phones, do not use them. But it can be a safe guess that most of them are in a very early stage of adoption.
Paid or Free apps?
The study has revealed that there is no clear winner between paid and free apps as of now, because around 50% of adults who have and use apps on their phone have purchased them.
On a different note, only 60% of all adult app users keep their apps well organized so that favorites can be accessed quickly. This may be a reason why many app users could not say how many apps they have on their phone!
Mobile gaming apps are used by 60% adults and this makes them the most popular. Following closely are news and weather apps at 52%, navigation apps at 51% and social networking apps at 47%. Surprisingly, the common notion is that social networking apps are the most popular among adults, but as the study shows, this is definitely not the case.