Goodbye, Desktop. Hello, Apps

If you’re not reading this on your smartphone or tablet, you will be soon.

We’re in the midst of a revolution in digital media, and a new report offers two striking findings:

  • Most of us are using desktop computers less and mobile platforms more.
  • And those who spend most of their “digital media time” using apps outnumber those who don’t.

The report, by the Internet analytics company comScore, breaks down the use of mobile media and apps by age. No surprise: Facebook, YouTube and Pandora Internet Radio dominate every age group; in fact, Facebook leads the pack by substantial margins, especially among those 35 and older.

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In the 55-plus group, Facebook and Facebook Messenger account for more than 20 percent of app usage¬†(“Share of Mobile App Time Spent”), eight times as much as Pandora.

App usage among 55+

Three apps make the top 10 only in the 55-plus group:

  • Yahoo Mail
  • Words With Friends
  • Solitaire
iPhone Group Convo

Kik Messenger

So what apps are younger people using? Here’s a rundown:

  • Kik, a messaging app with a built-in browser that lets you share video, images and sketches with others. It’s especially big with the 18- to 24-year-olds.
  • iFunny:), which lets you share pictures, videos and comics with others. It’s also popular with the youngest users.
  • Viggle, which lets users earn rewards by watching TV or listening to music in a social media environment. This one is right behind Netflix in the 35-54 age group.

If you’re not already having fun with the photo app Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) or the “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” messaging app Snapchat (which spurned a $3 billion takeover offer from – seeing a pattern here? – Facebook), two other apps that are especially popular among younger users, download them and give them a try.

In some related news about digital entertainment, the Washington Post reports that “the number of female gamers age 50 and older increased by 32 percent from¬†2012 to¬†2013,” and that adult women game-players now outnumber teenage boys by 36 percent to 17 percent. The statistics are in a new report from the Entertainment Software Association.

What apps do you use regularly? What games are you playing? Tell us below in comments.

 Graph: Courtesy of comScore

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ll4044 5pts

We do most every thing off of two iphones and two ipads. The biggest problem for us is the data usage while traveling in "off network areas" aka data roaming. All is ok as long as we are in our home territory. When traveling in most northern states the coverage is sparse and have to use other carriers networks. Is anyone else having the same problems with downloading and data plans?

2Papa 5pts

People waste way too much time with this facebook nonsense. 

Allan67 5pts

The writer uses the term 'App', but an App is really a new fangled term for a computer program.  The revolution, at least in my mind, is the move from the 'traditional' desktop/laptop PC to the tablet/cellphone.  I really think that both have their place in the world.  I work on a PC and play on my Android tablet.  Microsoft tried to bridge the gap with Windows 8, but that was too radical for the users of both technologies, but I do think that the touch screen concept will be the wave of the future - fingerprints on the screen and all.  . 

So here's my confession; I have grown to prefer to read using  a Kindle App (program) on my Android.   There is also a nice Kindle Application on my Windows 8 machine, but I've not migrated to that yet.  My reasoning is that I can adjust the font size to suit my eyes.  Also, the screen is back-lit, so I can adjust the screen intensity to read in dim light.  Not to mention that the local library has an ebook service that provides me with a source of reading material. 

And this is written on a Windows 7 desktop - which I prefer above all the other technologies at my disposal. 


elizabeth13046 5pts

I don't use apps. The only games I play are Spider Solitaire & Shockwave Jigsaw Puzzles.

elizabeth13046 5pts

I am 68 years old and do not have a smartphone or a tablet and I do not plan to obtain either anytime in the future. I use both a laptop and a desktop pc. I will continue to use them because my eyesight isn't too good and I can't see the small screens on the tablets and phones clearly even when I wear my prescription eyeglasses.

menschmedia 5pts

Hey ju8920- Yes, things change, and fast. I bet you're talking about battery power not memory - and yes, that is the Achilles heel of iPhones - if Galaxy 5 and others have better power management then I'd be tempted too.

I suspect you know that there are a handful of ways to manage power - here's a roundup - two years old, but I bet still relevant:

As for apps - the morning headline brought another billion dollar acquisition - Amazon buying Twitch - a "platform" that's also tied to Apps - anybody out there watching gamers play via Twitch?

ju8920 5pts

Here's the thing about new technology. If you wait a minute, it's old. But who cares? Am an iphone, iPad, macbook pro user...thinking about switching my iPhone to a Galaxy 5---reason is that no matter how many times I close down my apps,  my memory is depleted within 1 hour from 100% to 43% then 20%, etc. Any thoughts about switching?

kimster 5pts

I use bridge apps a lot -- Bridge Base Online and Bridge V+