Delete those useless apps! Americans use only five apps per day

As more apps flood the market, it becomes increasingly difficult to cut through the noise in order to appeal to users. But what triggers mobile users to engage and stay active on their apps?

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Mobile usage is increasing year over year, yet over three-quarters of users say they use less than 10 apps per day.

Most of us only use five of our mobile apps per day, yet we have 25 or more apps, often up to 50 on our phones.

New York-based location augmentation platform Connecthings' recent survey, the State of Mobile Application Usage, has revealed several useful trends for mobile app brands.

It surveyed 1034 mobile users across the US in the last quarter of 2018, demographically representing the US population

Over half of users (56 percent) consider themselves to be rapid adopters of new technology, with more male respondents (37 percent) considering themselves to be early adopters compared to 17 percent of women.

Half of users reported having less than 25 apps installed on their mobile device. Only four percent reported having over 100 apps on their device.

Delete those useless apps from your phone. American mobile users only use five mobile apps per day


Respondents reported using only a few apps on a daily basis, which is not surprising considering the number of apps installed on their phones. Over four out of five (84 percent) said they use less than 10 apps on a daily basis.

Interestingly, Generation Z show extremes of mobile app behaviour. Two out of five (42 percent) use less than five apps per day, and 14 percent use over 20 apps each day -- more than all of the other generations combined.

Men like an orderly phone, too. Over two thirds (69 percent) clean up their phones at least once per month. They sort apps into folders, or delete apps they no longer want to use. 

Two-out-of-five men clean up their phones once per week -- compared to under three in 10 (29 percent) of women.

Phone notifications often do not achieve their intended action. Over half of respondents (58 percent) said that they only open about a quarter of the notifications that they receive.  Only one in 10 open three-quarters of notifications.

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Weather notifications were the most opened overall, at 38 percent. Baby Boomers and rural users being the most responsive, at 52 percent and 45 percent,  respectively.

Lack of relevance or notification importance was cited as being the most annoying aspect of notifications. Two-out of-five respondents said how annoyed they were. Baby Boomers and rural users the most annoyed, at 47 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Throughout generations, users are interested in receiving more personalized experiences, and less annoying notifications. Context is important to receive a good app experience.

Creating an adaptable app that can recognise and personalise the experience should be top of mind for brands.

App developers need to create apps that stand out by understanding user context so they can add value that keeps users engaged.