LAST year, smartphone users clocked in a total of nearly one trillion hours spent using apps.
Intelligence company App Annie found in the first quarter of 2017, that amount of time has increased by 25 percent – indicating just how pervasive apps have become in everyday routines.
In their Consumer App Usage report, App Annie analyzed 10 countries, including China, South Korea, and Japan in Asia. Their findings reveal across all the countries, the average smartphone user used more than 30 apps every month, and at least nine apps a day.
Interestingly, Chinese smartphone users use 11 apps per day on average – App Annie points out this is despite WeChat’s dominant position as an all-in-one app in the country. Users can do nearly anything on WeChat – go on social media, order food or a taxi, shop, pay without cash, and more.
But it appears Chinese consumers are still keeping their options open rather than committing to a single app for their daily activities.
— Mike Quindazzi ✨ (@MikeQuindazzi) May 5, 2017
The report also reveals interesting data on retention and engagement rates; only one-third or one-half of all the apps on users’ phones were used each month. Although there isn’t any information on what kind of apps stay unused on the phones, many of these are usually outdated games, inactive social networks, or health apps that people only use when they’re ill.
But beyond that, it’s indicative of the volume of apps out there that are simply not useful. As a matter of fact, some companies have no business making an app at all. Future Hosting CEO Vik Patel wrote in Forbes the most important thing businesses need to keep in mind is to ensure apps are “of benefit to the user”.
“If the only benefit is to your company, then it’s a little rude to nag a user into installing an app on their phone,” wrote Patel. “Entrepreneurs should think long and hard about whether a native app if the right way to go.”
Different operating systems also show different user patterns in terms of what kind of apps are frequently used. Utilities and social networking apps form the three largest categories of apps used by iPhone owners in the US, while Android users use tools and communication apps much more in comparison.
Android users also use over 30 percent more gaming apps than iPhone users, despite using fewer apps overall – but iOS still has the upper hand in gaming revenue. Japanese and South Korean smartphone users played the most mobile games, spending over an hour per day on them.
While the report shows the importance of apps in everyday lives, businesses and organizations should be aware of several things before jumping headfirst into making one. These include intensive deep market research, efficiency testing, focusing market strategies, and understanding a target audience’s needs.