Smartphone Owners Use At Least Nine Different Apps Every Day
Mobile Apps

Smartphone Owners Use At Least Nine Different Apps Every Day

David Bolton • May 5, 2017

The apps economy just keeps on trucking …

Apps are a daily habit that we show no signs of wanting to break.

A recent study by mobile analytics company App Annie said that apps essentially run our lives. According to App Annie’s Spotlight on Consumer Usage report [PDF], people will use an average of at least nine apps every day, with each individual app used fulfilling a particular need at that moment.

Apps have successfully integrated themselves into the dozens of tasks that we undertake every day of the month, App Annie said. Around 30 apps are used per month, with utilities and tools leading the way. And while people can have as many up to 110 apps installed on their smartphones, anywhere between 33% and 50% of apps are actually used in a regular cadence.

“Consumers have spoken: By and large, they prefer to manage their lives through apps,” said App Annie. “For many industries, apps are increasingly becoming a must-have.”

app annie daily usage

App Economy Relies On Retention And Re-Engagement

Daily or monthly app usage varied depending on the country.

The global leaders are Brazil, India and China. Smartphone owners in these three countries use at least 11 apps per day, although it is worth noting that App Annie’s data for China only relates to iOS devices. The United States and Japan are not far behind, with the latter more likely to use gaming apps rather than anything else on a daily basis—the Japanese spend around 75 minutes per day in mobile games, App Annie said.

app annie us usage

Excluding pre-installed apps, people spend time in a variety of familiar app categories.

Social networking and communications apps were favorites across the board, but games and productivity tools were also used on a regular basis. On average, iPhone owners used more apps per day than Android device owners, although the actual difference was minimal. People who prefer Android to iOS are also more likely to be casual gamers—Android users play 30% more games than iPhone owners.

People Spend Hours, Not Minutes, In Apps

Bearing in mind that App Annie’s 2016 Retrospective report said that time spent in apps had increased to almost one trillion hours during that calendar year, the first three months of 2017 saw a 25% year-on-year global increase in time spent in apps.

Time spent is a valuable indicator of both retention and re-engagement within the apps economy.

In the countries under the report’s microscope, over 80% of time spent in apps was in an app that was not deemed to the top app in that country. In South Korea, for example, the average user will spend nearly 200 minutes per day in apps but less than 20 minutes in South Korea’s top performing app—currently free music streaming app Melon, according to App Annie’s data.

app annie android

Average minutes per day spent in apps were also dependent on where somebody lived.

In the United States, the average person spends around two hours and 15 minutes every day in apps, while a Brazilian averages over three hours. This time spent in apps in both countries equates to over a month per year—a significant amount of time when you take into account that most app interactions are fleeting or fall under the category of “micro-moments.”

“This increase in total time is largely a result of an exploding global user base,” said App Annie. “However, user-level metrics, such as the number of apps used and the average time per user, are vital in understanding what lies behind the cumulative hours.”

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