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Numbers Say Web Devs May Want To Target Mobile

Web developers looking where to concentrate their efforts might be interested in new research that indicates Americans now mostly use smartphones for their online lives.

"Another major digital media milestone was reached this July," comScore Inc. said in a blog post last week. "Smartphone apps, which have been playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ digital lives over the past several years, now account for more than half of all Americans’ time spent online, according to comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform and comScore Mobile Metrix. While the smartphone app has been the most important access vehicle to the Internet for some time, growing its share to a point where it now eclipses all other digital media platforms combined speaks to just how central to our lives the smartphone has become."

Those aforementioned Web devs should also note that Americans even spend 9 percent of their online time browsing the Web from smartphones or tablets, as opposed to 32 percent of their online time coming from desktop computers.

In the July report, the breakdown among online devices was listed as:

Device Access Percent of Digital Time
Smartphone 50 percent
Desktop 32 percent
Tablet App 9 percent
Smartphone Web 7 percent
Tablet Web 2 Percent

"The high usage of smartphone apps compared to other media touchpoints shouldn’t come as much of a shock when you think about your daily online behavior," comScore said. "Chances are when you want to know what’s happening around the world, or in pop culture, or in your friends’ lives, your first move is to reach into your pocket and open one of the number of different social apps on your phone.

"And unless you already happen to be sitting at a computer, a smartphone app is probably your first option when you decide to listen to music, get directions to a destination, check the weather or catch up on e-mail. The convenience factor is simply too powerful. You almost always have your smartphone on you, and apps allow you to immediately access a service in one simple tap of the screen. As smartphone screens have gotten larger and as 4G LTE networks enable faster speeds, there becomes even less of a reason to use other platforms such as desktop or tablets, save for specific tasks."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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