Technology

The web becoming just another app

April 06, 2013

NEW YORK, April 6 — Individual apps are replacing the web browser for the majority of smartphone and tablet features.

The research, undertaken by Flurry Analytics to understand how the smartphone market has grown and developed over the past five years, draws information from over 300,000 smartphone and tablet apps and from more than one billion monthly active smart devices.

Using a web browser accounts for only 20 per cent of time spent using a tablet or smartphone — the other 80 per cent is taken up with apps. — Picture courtesy of shutterstock.comUsing a web browser accounts for only 20 per cent of time spent using a tablet or smartphone — the other 80 per cent is taken up with apps. — Picture courtesy of shutterstock.comIn terms of usage behaviour and trends, in the US at least, Safari dominates the mobile browser space but it turns out that the browser is being slowly abandoned in favour of specific apps. 

According to the data, 80 per cent of time spent on iOS and Android-connected devices (smartphones and tablets) is spent using apps. The remaining 20 per cent of the time is spent browsing.

The data also shows that the average US smartphone or tablet owner spends two hours and 38 minutes a day using their device and that over 50 of those minutes (32 per cent of time spent) are spent gaming, which is now the number-one app category. Facebook is the second most popular app or destination, accounting for 18 per cent of time and, because Flurry now sees a web browser as a type of app in its own right, Apple’s Safari browser is the third most popular destination, accounting for 12 per cent of time spent every day — that’s more than all other social media destinations combined (6 per cent of total time spent per day).

Looking globally, Flurry also notes that as well as huge growth in the smartphone and tablet user base over the five years that it has been gathering data, it has also seen a continuing rise in the average number of apps consumers use on a daily basis. Android and iOS devices launch on average 7.9 different apps a day, compared with 7.5 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 7.2 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

However, the biggest surprise from the report is that it appears, in the case of mobile, that the traditional concept of the Internet could already be on its deathbed. 

“[W]e believe that the web will change and adapt to the reality of smartphones and tablets. Websites will look and behave more like apps. Websites will be optimised for user experience first and search engine optimisation second. This supports the trend of mobile first and web second, which brings both mobile app and user experience design to the mobile web,” said the company’s Simon Khalaf in a blog post to accompany the report. — AFP-Relaxnews