Talking and Browsing on Phones is Blasé Users Spend More Time on Apps

One of the interesting news pieces coming out of last month’s Mobile World Congress was new data from mobile research firm Zokem that shows mobile phone users now spend far more time using applications on their phones than actually talking. When application use is looked at as a whole – combining messaging and other applications – the app usage is now two-and-a-half times greater than voice usage.

Average Minutes of Screen time by type – January 2011
Messaging (email, text, multimedia, and IM) 671 minutes
Apps (maps, gaming, entertainment, productivity, and social networking) 667 minutes
Voice 531 minutes
Browsing the Web 422 minutes

This finding provides further evidence that mobile users – particularly younger users – view of phones has shifted to the point that they now   consider the device in their pocket to be more of a computer than the single-purpose device.

How quickly technology and our expectations change.  It is just over 30 years ago that Bill Gates shared his vision of a computer on every desktop and in every home. My own first PC back in 1980 was a screamingly fast monster with 64K (yes, K) of memory that we didn’t think there would ever be enough data to fill.  I was thrilled with the freedom from typewriters and the new world where you could edit text, shift paragraphs and actually save documents.

And it’s just over 16 years ago that the first commercial phone with paging and voice capabilities were ready for mainstream consumers.  For any of you who had a phone back then, you’ll remember we had to pull out the antennae in order to get a signal, and while those phones were a generation better than the ‘brick’ phones, they were still huge and required a carrying case on your belt.  It wasn’t until 1999 that the mobile web was introduced on phones, and it took until 2000 to get rid of that darn external antenna.  Jump forward to 2003 when the first camera phones really hit the U.S. market (japan had them in 2001), browsing actually began to be interesting, and the U.S. finally realized the handiness of text messaging.  Another hop forward to 2007 brought the first iPhone, and since then applications have been sprouting like mushrooms after a rain.

What new mobile capabilities mean to you and your kids

First and foremost, the new phone functionality means a better mobile experience. It also means more power in your hand, more responsibility to use the device appropriately, and a greater need to protect the phone and the information on the phone.

How do you learn more about teaching kids to use mobile phones safely and in a socially responsible way? I’ve got just the information you need… Check out these blogs:

Linda

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