Checking our smartphones is now as much a part of the daily morning ritual as emptying the dishwasher, preparing breakfast and nagging children to get out of bed.
In fact, 84 % of US adults admit to checking a smartphone app as part of their early morning routine. Most -- 67 % -- launch their email app but the weather -- 45 % -- and social media -- 40 % -- are not far behind. The Harris Interactive study of 2,036 adults aged 18 and over (1,124 of whom are smartphone owners), commissioned by cloud-based testing company SOASTA finds that the news headlines and traffic information apps are also popular every morning as are more esoteric pursuits. For example, one in ten respondents claimed to use shopping apps while 6 % check their horoscopes and 3 % plump for dating.
"It's clear from our survey that checking mobile apps is becoming part of our daily lives," said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA. "From managing their investment portfolios to checking the daily commute, smartphone owners are using apps to gather information and plan their activities wherever they go."
The fact that dating apps were popular enough to make the survey list ties in with new findings from the Pew Research Center published on Monday. It found that 11 percent of internet-using US adults have used an online dating site -- up from just 3 % in 2008 -- and that over the past decade, attitudes towards both online dating and people that use the sites has changed for the better. Consumers that turn to online dating are no longer considered ‘desperate' by their peers, and 23 % of online daters claim to have met their husband, wife or long-term partner via a site.
Likewise, the popularity of shopping apps over breakfast is less than surprising considering Parks Associates' latest report. It found that 25 % of US smartphone owners defer to their devices for retail guidance, launching apps when in physical stores to help make consumer electronics purchasing decisions.
It's amazing how quickly the smartphone has become an integral part of every-day life for so many. Until the original iPhone launched in 2007, smartphones were largely seen as business tools, yet six years later the US and most of Europe are already moving towards smartphone saturation, such is their popularity and -- thanks to Android -- affordability.
And it would appear that this combination of connectivity, mobility and simplicity is proving addictive. SOASTA's is merely the latest in a growing number of studies that highlight how difficult it is to get consumers to put their phones down, even for five minutes. According to the Mobile Consumer Habits, which also studied US smartphone user habits and which was published in July, consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to ignore their smartphones even in the shower (21%) or during sex (9% of respondents).
Over one third (35%) also admit to using their phones in the cinema and 32 % admitted the temptation to check apps was too great even during a school function.