2016 has been hailed as a big year for digital with Facebook dominating the most popular app chart with 146 million average unique users every month.
That’s 14% more than in 2015 and Facebook Messenger comes second in the Neilsen chart with 129 million unique monthly users.
In third place is YouTube with the fastest growing app being the Amazon App which rocketed by 43% and Instagram rose by 36%.
The chart also analysed what smart phone owners are using to access apps with 53% using Android devices, 45% using IoS, 2% are using a Windows phone and 1% use Blackberry.
The top 10 of smartphone app use in the US for 2016 sees Google Maps in fourth place followed by Google Search then Google Play and Gmail makes an appearance in seventh place.
Instagram is in eighth place while Apple Music is ninth and the Amazon app makes an appearance in 10th place.
Phablet take up soars
The growing popularity of Phablets – smartphones with a minimum screen size of 5 inches – means they will become the main form of phones around the world in 2017.
Research from Flurry reveals that Phablets accounted for 37% of new phones in the run-up to Christmas which is 10 percentage points higher than the year before.
Medium size phones, such as the iPhone 7, accounted for 45% of all new device activations though this is a fall of nine percentage points.
However, by the middle of 2017, phablets will account for 59% of mobile devices while medium sized phones will account for 29%.
The good news for mobile phone app developers is that the larger devices encourage longer app usage and better app experiences.
From their research, the firm says that the owners of a phablet will launch 21% more apps than those owning smaller screen smartphones.
Their average session length is also 3.5% longer.
In addition, developers will struggle to compete in an increasingly crowded app market which is set to reach $102 billion by 2020, according to App Annie.
In response, app developers need to adapt their strategy is to capture a rapidly growing market and stay abreast of consumer preferences and trends.
There may also, says the research firm, need to adopt different monetisation strategies for different apps.
China bans military fitness apps
Chinese military authorities are warning that soldiers using fitness apps could be posing a security threat.
That’s because the software may track a soldier’s movements and location and inadvertently reveal military secrets.
Soldiers have also been warned about posting workout results onto social media platforms.
In one instance, a fitness instructor had to delete social media posts since they revealed exactly where he is based and 43% of soldiers apparently have motion tracking apps.
In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …
From January 1, it will be illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving in California after a new law was enacted. Drivers cannot hold a phone ‘for any reason’ even when accessing apps.