Smartphone apps account for half of online activity in US

shutterstock_mobileappsHow much of your time online is spent using smartphone apps? If you’re like most, you split your Internet activity 50/50 between smartphone apps and well, everything else. According to a new report, of all the time the average user spends online, half of it is through smartphone apps.

ComScore, a “company that precisely measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior everywhere,” reports that in the past two years, total online time spent on smartphone apps has risen from 41% to just over 50%. That means smartphone apps account for more online activity than smartphone web browsing and all tablet and desktop Internet use combined.

Given the convenience, versatility and usefulness of smartphone apps, their dominance over other modes (desktops are second at 32%) isn’t too surprising. ComScore comments that “the convenience factor is simply too powerful…apps allow you to immediately access a service in one simple tap of the screen.” What is somewhat surprising, though, is that while we’ve been using apps more, we haven’t been using more apps. Smartphone app use is at an all-time high, but app downloads are on a steady decline.

App usage up while app downloads continue to fall

In June, a month before comScore reported record online activity for smartphone apps, declared the app boom is over. There’s still plenty of apps out there, with new ones emerging daily, but our need to download them to no end has apparently passed.

Recode reports app downloads are down 20% over last year, with only a select few like Snapchat and Uber experiencing growths in download rates. Perhaps the reasoning behind the decline has to do with the fact that there are so many apps out there, resulting in a general “app-athy” among users.

Whether you’re part of the majority that uses just a handful of apps or one of the few who still has to try every new app out there, chances are you’ll be spending over half of your online time on them.