Despite a sea of mobile apps to choose from, the average American spends the majority of their time using just three apps.

In its annual U.S. mobile app report, market research firm comScore found that 50 percent of a user's time spent on apps is within their top-ranked app. The number two app accounts for 18 percent of app time while their third favorite app consumes 10 percent of time spent in apps. Collectively, the top three apps account for 78 percent of all time spent in apps.

It may come as little surprise, then, that the top apps get some special attention. comScore noted that three in four smartphone users keep their most used app on the home screen and fully in view versus tucked away inside an app folder or on a secondary screen.

Time spent in apps comes at the expense of the mobile web. Those polled said they spend 87 percent of their time in apps versus the mobile web while on a smartphone. The figure drops to 83 percent on tablets, likely because tablets offer a better web browsing experience due to having a larger screen.

comScore further points out that while its more difficult to establish an audience for an app, the rewards are certainly worth it as people send 18x more time on apps than mobile web visitors spend on websites.

One final takeaway - your age plays a significant role in determining how you interact with a smartphone. Of those aged 55 or older, 34 percent said they operate their device exclusively with two hands versus just nine percent in the 18-34 age group. The reason for the gap, the researcher said, has to do with youths having higher levels of comfort and familiarity with a device as well as possessing greater tendency to multi-task.

Lead image via Creatista, Shutterstock