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Ofcom says that the majority of downloaded smartphone apps aren’t used

Ofcom has produced another report, this time on adults' media use and attitudes, with some interesting findings, particularly on the mobile app front.

Ofcom's researchers found that apps are more popular than browsers when it comes to services in general, and that 48 per cent of mobile owners download apps onto their smartphones – which is up considerably from 37 per cent in 2012.

The most interesting snippet, though, is how many apps go unused after they're downloaded. The average mobile user has 23 apps on their handset, but only 10 are used on a regular basis. In other words, nearly 60 per cent of apps downloaded are briefly used and then discarded.

Ofcom also found that apps are much preferred to the browser when it comes to gaming, video viewing and music – indeed even 50 per cent of those who read the news online preferred an app, compared to 36 per cent who plumped for a browser/website (presumably the remainder didn't express a preference either way).

The report covered a number of topics and themes, one of which was a growth in older folks heading online. 83 per cent of adults are now going online, with 42 per cent of those aged 65 or over now online (compared to 33 per cent in 2012). Tablet use also seems to have had a massive growth spurt in this older age bracket, with the number growing from 5 per cent to 17 per cent – more than trebling.

98 per cent of those under 34-years-old are now online, and 62 per cent of adults now use a smartphone (up from 54 per cent in 2012).

Ofcom also noted a sizeable increase in financial activities on phones. 33 per cent of folks said that they went online shopping on their mobile (up from 23 per cent), and 34 per cent admitted to checking their bank account on their phone (up from 25 per cent).

When it came to social networks, 66 per cent of adults now have a current social network account, which is only up 2 per cent from 2012 – that isn't surprising, as we've seen that the likes of Facebook have reached saturation point when it comes to markets like the UK and US. The growth propelling Zuckerberg post-billion-users is coming from emerging markets. 96 per cent of UK adults who do have a social networking profile have one on Facebook; three in ten have a Twitter account, and one in five a YouTube account.