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Most downloaded apps never get used

Ofcom report finds tablets are fuelling silver surfing
Wed Apr 30 2014, 09:00
Briefcase full of apps

TWO-THIRDS OF APPS downloaded onto mobile devices are never used, according to an Ofcom report.

The UK telecom regulator's latest Adults' Media Use and Attitudes Report shows that while there remains a preference for dedicated apps over finding the same information on a mobile website, in most cases the apps are downloaded and sit idle.

Almost half (48 percent) of app users said that they download apps onto their phones, a rise of 11 percent from the same survey two years ago. On average, users downloaded 23 apps, of which 10 got regular use.

The report suggests that security is a driving factor, with just 20 percent of users expressing concern about app security, compared with 51 percent who expressed concerns about the internet. This suggests there is a lack of understanding that information contained within apps is obtained via the internet using APIs.

The report also looked at the demographics of internet uers and found that 83 percent of the population now uses the internet, with 98 percent of the 16-34 age group now online.

Silver surfing has increased dramatically thanks to the advent of the tablet computer, too. Forty-two percent of over 65s now go online regularly, a jump of nine points from the previous Ofcom report, with 17 percent of those using a tablet device, up from just five percent in 2012.

Ofcom reports usually read more like school reports for the broadband and telco companies, with BT and Orange the most recent targets of its wooden spoon. µ


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