Developers left sweating as smartphone users spend more time on their favourite apps

Research has shown that smartphone users are spending more time on their favourite apps rather than downloading new ones, illustrating how difficult it is for new apps and developers to break into the industry.

The study, carried out by Boston-based firm Localytics, also found that consumers are now using apps 21 per cent more than they did last year.

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This rise is apparently down to users opening applications more often, rather than simply spending longer within them. App session length stayed constant at 5.7 minutes, whereas the average amount of app openings increased by 22 per cent from 9.4 to 11.5 times a month.

In what is an extremely saturated market, the largest growth has come from music, health and fitness, and social networking apps, all of which have a largely personal focus, whether this be through choosing your perfect playlist or recording personal health measurements.

However, despite these increases, a worrying sign for the app industry is that fewer applications are being downloaded each month, with users tending to stick with their favourites rather than experimenting with new ones.

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As well as developers, this also gives the likes of Google and Apple cause for concern, as the app ecosystem remains an important part of their overall strategies.

But with the abundance of apps on offer and the fact that fewer apps are being installed, it's hard to see how new apps will ever get any traction, let alone become commercially viable.