Apps Beat Web Browsing On Mobile Devices?

As long as I’ve been using the web on various mobile devices, I’ve always found my usage heavily biased towards using apps. Right from Windows Mobile 6.1 (yes, they do have apps) to iOS, it has been about various apps. Why? It’s just more convenient/faster. When you need the web on-the-go, its almost always for a very specific purpose, and thanks to the ‘wonderful’ gprs/edge speeds we get, firing up Google and jumping from link to link isn’t always an option.

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At the recently held Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zokem – a company that provides mobile analytics – published a study on patterns in Mobile Usage. Now here’s the thing, it comprised of 2,200 smartphone owners and was restricted to the US and UK – so we’ll probably take the findings with a pinch of salt. Usage patterns for studied for the month of January 2011.

Messaging related services – which included emails, text messages, multimedia messages, instant messaging, had an active-on-screen-time of 671 minutes in a month. Apps which comprised of maps, games, entertainment, social networking, productivity, were a close second with 667 minutes of monthly usage. Voice usage was third with 531 minutes and web browsing was at 422 minutes in a month. A long way behind app usage. While the gap maybe exaggerated since the study was conducted among smartphone users – who have access to a lot of apps, unlike many feature phone users. The interesting thing to observe is the trend – Have apps will Use!

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(Image Credit)

Multimedia services – online music and video were used mainly through native apps. Email apps were found to reach 76% of the users in the study, while gaming apps were at 45%. In contrast, web browsing was used more for News, search and commerce sites. Adult entertainment saw almost zero usage on native apps and was accessed mainly through mobile browsing. Email and gaming through web browsing was found to have low usage as well.

This translates to over 20 minutes of on-screen-time for native apps, which is an important figure for developers and advertisers to look at. There was also a very interesting post by Chomp CEO Ben Keighran on TechCrunch this weekend Рdrawing parallels between what happened to the web in 1996 and the state of mobile apps today.  We recently covered a Cisco study that stated that mobile data traffic was going to increase 26 fold in the next features. It attributed bulk of this increase to consumption of mobile video Рsomething apps are used heavily for.

Do you use mobile apps more than you browse? Let us know!

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