Accessing content and information is the primary action that the average consumer performs with their smartphones, but did you know that the average mobile consumer spends more time accessing this information with the mobile web versus a native mobile app? All this according to a recent report released by the Online Publishing Association (OPA) which covers the behavior of today’s smartphone user.
Smartphone content consumers access content with mobile web applications 57% of the times versus with a native mobile app. Mobile web apps have become more popular lately primarily due to their cross-platform compatibility. Some developers continue to only develop native mobile apps, but many are turning to mobile web apps for their ease of deployment and management. Since market accessibility is paramount to the success of any mobile strategy, it’s no surprise that many companies are turning to mobile web solutions to meet their consumer needs.
Some of this content accessing varies by content category. Certain activities, such as checking the weather (incidentally, the #1 activity performed on a smartphone), were more often accessed via native mobile apps than with mobile web apps. Other categories, such as news and entertainment, leaned more towards mobile web app access. The sports category was tied evenly between mobile apps and mobile web. Although some of the activities varied, on the whole mobile web access was still preferred over mobile app access.
Still, mobile app downloads stayed strong, with nearly all (96%) of the study respondents indicating that they download apps onto their smartphones. These same respondents indicated that on average they downloaded 36 mobile apps within a 12 month time frame. And 56% of these users reported that they use at least half of the apps downloaded onto their smartphones. So although mobile web apps appear to have gained ground on mobile apps overall, the download and usage of mobile apps still remain a strong presence in the mobile landscape.