From shopping to gaming, the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is obviously the future. And while mobile usage is still growing, the market is beginning to reach the saturation point, according to new research from Flurry Analytics, released today.
According to the mobile analytics company, mobile usage grew 58 percent in 2015, compared to 76 percent in 2014 and 103 percent in 2013. But that growth in usage is coming primarily from existing users as mobile devices meet more and more of our daily needs.
The biggest bump came from personalization apps, which saw a 344 percent increase year-over-year. Most of that growth comes from custom keyboard apps that let users write with specialized emoji. The jump comes in part from Apple’s late-2014 iOS update allowing for third-party keyboards, which spurred creation of custom keyboards across mobile operating systems.
News app usage also more than doubled, with more people turning to apps for catching up on the latest events. Phablet use in particular accounted for an outsized portion of the overall 141 percent increase in mobile media consumption.
In fact, phablets also accounted for more than a quarter of all new devices activated during the Christmas season, according to Flurry, and they’re expected to become the dominant form factor for mobile use before the next holiday season. The increased screen size of the iPhone 6s Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 make consuming media more enjoyable for many users.
Productivity and shopping apps also saw big use growth. Slack, Microsoft’s Office 365 products and Google Docs helped people get work done on the go, while 40 percent of all online sales took place through mobile devices last year as usage grew by 80 percent.
But it wasn’t all growth: gaming on mobile was down just a hair this year. One reason may be that people are getting tired of freemium games that try to get you to pay small amounts to advance more quickly. However, console and PC gaming was also quite strong this year, thanks to well-received titles like “Halo 5” and “Fallout 4,” and console prices dropping after a few years on the market.