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Americans Now Spend Half The Time That They Are Online On Smartphone Apps: What's Behind The Trend?

6 September 2016, 8:34 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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A report by media analytics company comScore revealed that Americans are spending more than half of their time online on smartphone apps. The trend, which is largely expected to continue, is made possible by several factors.  ( Carl Court | Getty Images )

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on your smartphone apps? You are not alone, as a new report reveals that Americans are spending more than half of their time online on their smartphone apps.

According to media analytics company comScore, as of July and for the first time ever, smartphone apps take up more than 50 percent of the time of online users in the United States.

"While the smartphone app has been the most important access vehicle to the internet for some time, growing its share to a point where it now eclipses all other digital media platforms combined speaks to just how central to our lives the smartphone has become," comScore wrote on the blog post where it detailed its findings.

According to comScore, the increasing usage of smartphone apps should not be considered as a surprise, as the tendency of most users when they need to access information or when they want to while away the time is to unlock their smartphone and launch one of the installed apps on the device. In addition, unless the user is sitting in front of a computer, a smartphone app is the most convenient way to carry out a long list of actions, including everyday tasks such as getting directions to a location, listening to music, checking the weather and catching up with a friend.

In addition to the convenience that smartphone apps provide, the development of smartphone technology has also aided in the growth of the trend. With larger screens and faster mobile internet speeds due to improving 4G LTE networks, users have found more reasons to instead use smartphones over other devices such as tablets and computers.

One of the graphs in the comScore report reveals that smartphone apps account for only 41 percent of the time Americans spend online back in July 2014. The graph shows a largely upward trend, culminating in topping the 50 percent mark in July of this year.

Another graph shows that if the time that Americans spend on mobile browsers is also taken into account, the time spent online on smartphones increases to 57 percent. The online time spent on desktop computers is now only 32 percent, while the time spent on tablet apps and browsers is 11 percent. Taking a look at only tablet apps, the time spent is down to 9 percent.

The feat is a significant milestone for smartphone apps, especially considering that mobile apps only became prominent in the tech industry less than a decade ago with Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store only launching in 2008.

In the report, comScore noted that while smartphone apps are expected to increase their share beyond 50 percent in the near term, desktop computers and tablets will still play a crucial role in the online consumption of consumers, as they are used for specific tasks.

Publishers and advertisers, as recommended by comScore, should take into account this trend when planning their digital strategies, as smartphone apps will continue to have a large influence on their target consumers.

Users should also be more responsible though, as hackers are also aware of this growing trend on the usage of smartphone apps. One of the recent reports on app security is on the DressCode Android malware, which hackers sneakily embedded in Google Play Store apps.

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