What’s Up with Apps These Days?

Results from comScore’s latest annual U.S. Mobile App Report point to some interesting user behaviors.

No one needs to be reminded of how important mobile apps have become in today’s world of communications. Just looking around any crowd of people, it’s clear that usage has become well-nigh ubiquitous.

And now, we have some new stats that help quantify what’s happening, courtesy of the most recent annual Mobile App Report published by global media measurement and analytics firm comScore.

Among the salient findings from this report:

  • Today, mobile devices represent two of every three minutes spent on digital media.
  • Smartphone apps alone account for nearly half of all digital media time spent – and three of every four minutes spent while on mobile.
  • Over the past three years, total time spent on digital media has grown by over 50%. Most all of that growth has been because of mobile apps.
  • Indeed, time spent on desktop media has actually dropped by more than 10%.

Despite the rapid rise of mobile app usage, there are a few findings in the comScore report that point toward some consolidation of the market, with certain apps being the recipient of strong brand loyalties.

Typically, while smartphone users have uploaded many apps on their devices – and may use several dozens of them on a monthly basis – nine out of every ten mobile app minutes are spent with just five top apps.

[Good luck to any app provider attempting to break into that rarefied group of top performers!]

At the same time, “push notification fatigue” appears to be a growing issue: More smartphone users are rejecting app update notifications than ever before.  According to comScore’s recent report, nearly 40% of users rarely or never agree to such update notifications – up significantly from around 30% last year.

Conversely, only about 25% often or always agree to updates, which is down from about one-third of users in last year’s survey.

This last set of figures doesn’t surprise me in the least. With so many apps housed on so many devices, one could easily spend an hour each day accessing nothing but app updates.

Especially considering how little additional functionality these ongoing updates actually deliver, the whole operation falls into the “life’s too short” category.

One thought on “What’s Up with Apps These Days?

  1. You’ll be astonished to learn I don’t use a mobile phone. I still find desktop e-mailing perfectly fine for appointments — and I travel with a tablet on rare occasions.

    I keep waiting for two things. Kindle-type legibility is one. I’m a sun worshipper and can’t read normal devices in the sun. And I have huge fingers which bring up the wrong screens constantly. So I am waiting for phones that have bigger screens and are easier to use. Maybe we need one that can fold out like a newspaper.

    I live near an Apple store in San Francisco, so I can duck in when I’m out and about. But I sort of feel sorry for all these young people constantly pecking at everything. I’d be bored to death doing that, with a whole world around me to look at, listen to and talk to. I took a double-decker train once to Palo Alto. Everyone below me onboard was playing games. I must say I wonder about the imaginations of people who have to be constantly entertained. But I felt better realizing that’s all they were doing and that I wasn’t missing anything!

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