Smartphone App Consumption More Mobile Than Tablet Use

The use of mobile apps varies across devices. So when examining the engagement level of mobile apps, it is important we understand the division between smartphones and tablets in terms of user time spent on them.

Tablet Users Browse and Watch More Videos

Our analysis reveals that in categories of apps such as browsers and videos, tablet users spend relatively longer hours than with other apps. When looking at the browsing apps category in more detail, Safari and Chrome both enjoy a relatively high share of user time spent on tablets, though Safari’s share is significantly higher, 43% to Chrome’s 21%. This is most likely attributed to the fact that Safari is the default browser of the iPad, the leader in terms of tablets’ installed user base.

In the video categories, time spent on tablets is even more significant, with Hulu and Netflix users spending 55% and 49% respectively of their time using their tablet apps. Similarly, 32% of time spent on YouTube comes from tablets, although not at the same levels as Hulu.

Other apps with a relative high share of time spent on tablets include Amazon Kindle, Google, Gmail and Facebook Messenger. The share of time spent on tablets for all four of these apps exceed 20%, with Amazon Kindle’s share at almost 84 %.

Smartphone App Consumption More Mobile

Zooming out and looking at the total time spent per app category reveals a similar picture. Entertainment; books, catalogues and reference; and games and children top the list in terms of the share of time spent on tablets. This is not a surprise, given that the larger screens of most tablets improve the user experience of most of these apps.

Similarly, the share of time spent on tablets while using productivity apps is relatively high (29%), demonstrating how more and more people are shifting a part of their workload (e.g., e-mails, and documents) from PCs to tablets.

One interesting category to highlight is lifestyle and shopping, where the share of tablet time spent is relatively low. This may be a strong indication that mobile users tend to browse online stores (e.g., Amazon and eBay) on the go. This could be because most smartphone app consumption is more mobile than tablet app consumption.

If you’re interested to learn more about the app consumption, you can download our latest US Digital Content report.