App Usage Up 21 Percent This Year

App usage is up more than 20 percent over the last year.

Those pursuing a career in information technology might dream of creating and developing a $1 billion app such as Snapchat. Mobile applications are becoming an increasingly integral part of smartphone and tablet usage with apps taking up more than 50 percent of people's time on these devices, according to comScore. Whereas users previously spent time surfing the Internet or using other services, applications have come to be multipurpose platforms for user engagement that serve as mobile hubs for activity. Social media, health-related apps and music apps attract users daily. According to a new study by Localytics, the amount of time people spend in apps has increased 21 percent over the last year. 

The App Revolution 
Though there are millions of apps, most consumers only interact with a select handful on a regular basis. However, users tend to access a personal selection of apps on a daily basis. Music applications have seen significant growth due to subscription services steering customers away from services such as iTunes. Health-related apps have also seen a major increase in usage, and it is likely that as wearable devices gain popularity, this genre of application will occupy more time for many users. Devices such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit have provided users with a up-to-the-second forum for accessing information such as heart rate, calories burned and other routine health functions. 

In general, app behavior suggests that most consumers comfortably use a few apps and remain loyal to them. While this may seem discouraging to some developers, in reality it is a good sign of the potential longevity of well-embraced applications. That is to say, those in IT who can create apps for a niche audience can expect them to spend a significant portion of time interacting with the application. Apps that are used consistently tend to be the ones that stick around and become staples. Consider examples such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

Localytics also found that users are launching apps more frequently each month. This suggests that when users enjoy a specific application, they return to it more regularly. Students working toward an IT degree can certainly learn from this research as they look to create new applications.  

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit

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