Key Stats about Mobile App Use in 2016

Mobile technology is growing at lightning speed and mobile apps are a part of that ecosystem. This means the world is moving from desktop to mobile devices and it is apparent that every brand is making its presence felt via mobile apps. Basically, mobile apps are software applications designed to run on smartphones, tablets and wearables and are usually available through platforms known as app stores.  Some businesses have in-house app development teams but most companies will contract with a mobile application development company to build their app for them.

The idea that mobile users have a wide variety of choices is an understatement. Today, with over 1.6 million apps available on Google Play and over 1.5 million on Apple’s App Store, the idea that mobile users have a wide variety of choices is an understatement.

There are millions of apps to choose from, including social media apps, business apps, eCommerce apps, banking apps, gaming apps and business apps. But how many apps do people actually use? According to a new Nielsen report, smartphone owners use an average of 27.1 mobile apps per month.

Statistics about mobile app usage were gathered using Mobile NetView 3.0 data, which comes from mobile users who agreed to have tracking software installed on their devices. Approximately 9,000 panelists aged 18 and older participated in this study.

Despite rapid evolution throughout the marketplace, such as broadened device capabilities, additional device functionality and proliferation of new apps – the amount of time users are spending on those apps remained quite constant since the end of 2012, the study found.

However, since last quarter of 2012, the time spent per user every month has increased from 23 hours to nearly 41 hours.

The data collected by Nielsen was also broken down by gender and age. The study found overall, women spend slightly more time on apps than men do. They spend nearly three more hours each month using apps than their male counterparts do.

Another academic study conducted in South Korea also discovered that women spend more time on their smartphones. The report also stated that women tend to use social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc. more than men.

Younger millennials also spend more time on apps.

Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1997 and are now at the adult age of 19-35 years. These are people who grew up in the computer age and also witnessed the rise of mobile phones. In fact, they are the main audience for mobile marketing. With that said, Nielsen noted that millennials aged 18-24 use less apps per month (about 25.5) than millennials aged 25-35. Older millennials use (about 28.2 applications). Though young millennials use fewer apps on a monthly basis, they invest more time making use of mobile apps compared to older millennials.

All said and done, if the growth trend of app usage is any pointer, the near future looks bright for businesses adapting to the mobile world, especially with smartphone and wearable shipments expected to increase by a huge percentage over the next few years.

Pic: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr)

Want to Improve Your Advertising ROI? Try Mobile

In a recent study from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), they looked at the complete marketing budget for four businesses: Coca-Cola, Walmart, MasterCard and AT&T. MMA’s goal was to determine the value of mobile ad spending. After reviewing budgets and campaigns from these four companies they determined that bigger mobile budgets lead to higher advertising ROIs.

Companies are not just shifting their budgets to iPhone application development, Android application development, mobile web sites and mobile advertising because it is trendy, they are making the shift because it works.

A perfect example of this is when Coca-Cola launched its campaign for its Gold Peak Tea, they found that mobile accounted for 6% of the sales despite only requiring 5% of the budget. MMA goes on to show that if Coke had spent 10% of their budget on mobile instead of 5% that they would have seen an extra 4% in sales on this single campaign.

When it comes to Mastercard, MMA states that by allocating just 8% of their budget to mobile, they could reinforce their image as ‘a good card to carry while traveling’ by 7X. When looking at campaigns, Mastercard found mobile marketing produced 2X the results compared to campaign average. “I was surprised at how effective [mobile ads] were in relation to other media,” said Adam Broitman, vice president of global digital marketing for MasterCard.

According to Greg Stuart, CEO, MMA, “With very limited effort, brands can increase the performance of a campaign by 30 percent on average (and potentially much more) by simply reallocating funds.[to mobile]”

A key feature to mobile marketing programs, according to the report, was location targeting. Walmart program utilizing proximity targeting to reach people within range of a store proved 1.5X more effective than simply sending ads to people who had visited the store before.

Additionally, the MMA study also points out that ads that contain audio or video components produce a higher return on investment than standard display ads.

Android Application Development Trends to Watch

Mobile application development is a hotter industry than ever. According to Google, Play has 1.5 billion downloads a month from its application store for the popular Android platform.

To succeed businesses need to be more in tune with their customers than ever. One way to miss the mark with your customers is to develop one-size-fits-all applications and not considering the differences of each platform. Savvy companies will adapt their application offerings to the particularities of each platform. When it comes to Google’s Android the Android application development trends will be driven in great part by the arrival of Android 5.0 (Lollipop).

Companies looking to build an Android application in 2015 should examine these trends and features and make sure to discuss them with their Android application developer.


Notifications have been improved allowing users with the ability to see and interact with some notifications without having to unlock their Android device.   A sound notification strategy should include this new functionality to separate your Android application from your competitor’s.

Material Design

With Android 5 Google introduces Material Design. Google has upgraded many their popular applications such as G Mail to this new design style. Android users will expect other applications to be designed in line with Material Design standards.


This year sales of wearables such as smart watches and personal fitness devices are going to explode.   The release of Apple Watch April will increase interest in all smart watch offerings including Android devices.  Android Wear was recently updated and has improved usability.   If you are planning on building and Android application you should consider including Android Wear support.

Keep in mind that with Android Wear your applications can do more than just show notifications. Over the course of the year we are sure to see several innovations as developers work to make their apps integrate with wearable devices.


Android 5 features are enhanced with Bluetooth Low Energy device support, this includes allowing an Android device to act as a beacon for other devices.   Retailers should pay special note to the connectivity features when planning apps and should evaluate ways to utilize this improved sharing capability.