If you’re someone who constantly uses the same phone apps and never downloads anything new, don’t worry - you’re one of the majority. According to comScore’s new 2017 US Mobile Apps Report, 51 percent of smartphone users download zero applications each month.
Even those that do install new apps on their phones each month aren’t downloading that many. Most users – 13 percent – download just one, 11 percent download two apps, 8 percent download three apps, 5 percent download four apps, 7 percent download 5 to 7 apps, and 5 percent download 8 or more.
The good news for mobile device apps is that they account for half of all time users spend engaging with digital media. Of the 57 percent of time spent on mobile apps, 50 percent of this takes place on smartphones, while the remaining 7 percent happens on tablets. As for the other platforms, desktop takes a 34 percent share, while the mobile and tablet webs languish at the bottom, taking 7 percent and 2 percent respectively.
Younger millennials – those aged between 18 to 24 – are the heaviest mobile app users. They spend two-thirds of their digital media time using smartphone applications, accounting for more than three hours per day of in-app usage. By contrast, over 65s spend most of their digital time (53 percent) on desktop rather than smartphones (27 percent), and use mobile applications for around 1.6 hours per day.
Unsurprisingly, Millennials are the driving force behind new apps. 70 percent of those aged 18 – 34 said they’re always looking for new and interesting ones, compared to just 37 percent of those aged 35 – 54 and 22 percent of users over the age of 55. They’re also more willing to pay for apps, with an average of one in five downloading at least one paid-for app each month, and 70 percent making at least one in-app purchase annually.
One element the age groups have in common is reasons for deleting apps. An almost equal number of users removed one from their device in the past year due to lack of storage space, declining interest/usage, and to declutter their phones.
When it comes to the most popular apps, Facebook and Google continue to dominate. The two tech giants own 8 of the ten most used applications, including the top six. And while Facebook leads among three of the age groups, it seems 18 – 24-year-olds prefer YouTube.