Mobile developers often work in a vacuum, guessing at what their users want when they build mobile apps, but not really knowing it. They need to guess no longer. The U.S. Mobile App Report from the analytics firm comScore offers plenty of help for app developers.
The report, available free here, provides a snapshot of overall mobile use, including how fast mobile app use has been growing, the most popular types of apps, how often people use mobile applications on each individual device, how iOS and Android application users differ behaviorally and demographically, and much more. It's well worth a read.
The Takeaways for Mobile ApplicationsThere are a very high-level takeaways from it that developers will find extremely useful. The first is very good news: Mobile app usage has surged 52 percent in the past year. It shows no sign of letting up, and so app developers can look forward to increasing demand for their work. In fact, app usage far outpaces Web usage on mobile devices, accounting for seven out of every eight minutes of media consumption.
More than one-third of smartphone users in the U.S. download one or more apps per month. And 79 percent of them used apps at least 26 days a month, while 52 percent of tablet owners used them at least 26 days a month.
So it's clear that people are highly dependent on apps. But what kinds of apps? Knowing that will help developers in several different ways. Independent developers can know what types of apps might sell, and can focus their efforts there. Developers in businesses or who develop for businesses can use the popularity of certain types of apps to guide their enterprise-focused development efforts.
Social networking, games, and radio apps such as Pandora account for nearly half of all the time that people spend on mobile apps. As for the top apps, Facebook is far ahead of the pack, followed by YouTube.