As a heavy smartphone user I have gone back and forth on the apps vs browser debate and while mobile browsers have gotten much better over the years and allow you to do many things apps can do it really is tough to beat a good app experience. Flurry issued a new report on US mobile device usage that shows overwhelmingly prefer apps to the browser, 86 percent of usage time is spent with apps while only 14 percent of that time is spent with the browser.
They used the same methods to collect data from US users the last couple of years and found that the average time an American spends with a mobile device is now at two hours and 42 minutes per day. Shoot, I hit two hours a day just during my train commute so I know I am well beyond that average.
Looking at what these user spend their time in, the data shows 32 percent of the time is with games, 28 percent on social networks, eight percent with entertainment activities, and the rest of the time with utilities, productivity, news, and others. It seems that people aren't really being that productive with their mobile devices while social interactions and entertainment dominates the time on devices.
Social networks consume 28 percent of the time on mobile devices with Facebook clearly dominating in the social networking category at 17 percent of the total time. Looking at friends and family around me, that seems to be very accurate. I just moved my wife back to a Windows Phone from an Android device and it may get returned later this week since Facebook is one of her primary uses and the Windows Phone Facebook app is not nearly as functional as it is on Android.
Gaming has always been at the top of the list in application sales and downloads and continues to dominate the time people spend on their mobile devices. I only play a couple games, primarily Words with Friends and Angry Birds Star Wars, but I see my teen daughters playing games all the time.
The Flurry study shows that time spent with mobile devices has only increased four minutes since last year, so maybe people are starting to tire a bit of their mobile devices and will look up and communicate with a real person more often. Or at least I can hope they do.