Flurry: one-third of app time spent on games


The average U.S. smartphone or tablet user spends two hours and 38 minutes on their device, the majority inside an app.

Just over half an hour is spent inside a mobile browser, while more than two hours each day is spent inside apps, such as Facebook.

According to the mobile analytics firm Flurry, games top the list of most-used apps, while Facebook is threatening to overtake Safari, Apple’s dominant web browser, Opera Software’s Opera Mini and other popular mobile web browsers as the most-popular way to access social and other content on the web…

According to Flurry data, while mobile gaming apps on average account for 32 percent of the time iOS and Android device owners spend in apps each day, the Facebook app alone consumes eighteen percent of app usage, nearly the same time spent in browsers.

By comparison, social networking apps (a big factor in App Store earnings these days) like Twitter or Pinterest garnered only six percent of daily app usage, researchers found.

The ability of the single Facebook app to almost overwhelm all browser usage is credited to opening web links normally viewed in Safari or another browser inside the app, using the embedded WebKit browser.

This feature essentially captures most web traffic. “Facebook has become the most adopted browser in terms of consumer time spent,” Flurry said Wednesday.

In contrast, Safari managed only twelve percent of mobile usage, while Android’s native browser registered four percent and Opera Mini only two percent of time spent in mobile devices. Google’s Chrome browser and the open-source Firefox browsers, while popular on the desktop, did not even cause a blip on Flurry’s radar.

Flurry app time (chart 002)

In terms of other app categories, entertainment apps and utilities tied with eight percent of usage. News and Productivity mobile apps were each able to carve out only two percent of usage.

The research findings are just another confirmation that games are the key to unlocking app usage, in-app purchases and app store dominance.

While myriad of issues face the browser, refinements in the user experience are most notable in gaming. Not only are games the perfect content for touch screens, but they are go-to apps when waiting in line or otherwise cooling your heels.

Flurry app time (chart 001)

Likewise, Facebook has turned the social-networking experience into brief snippets of information on friends and interests. By retaining we links within the app, Facebook extends its use by creating an ecosphere where users can read, comment and visit links without the jarring switch to a dedicated browser.

An increasing number of apps are taking Facebook’s lead, offering web browsers as an option to built-in HTML viewers. The dedicated mobile browser will likely continue it marginal usage as immersive apps dominate.

And how do you spend your mobile computing time?