Don’t worry, be appy, say smartphone users

Just four years ago, angry birds might have put you in mind of a Hitchcock film and the idea of downloading a Star Wars lightsaber sound effect onto your phone might have seemed outlandish, but not anymore.

One third of smartphone users are now so besotted with their favourite apps that they say they cannot do without them, according to a survey.

The survey has also shown that three-in-five people have become smartphone users and each one has, on average, downloaded 22 apps.

A third of smartphone users are so hooked on social media apps, such as Facebook’s, that they cannot imagine living without them.

The survey of almost 1,000 people was conducted on behalf of Ulster Bank, which is launching the first banking app that will be available to Irish users of the three most popular types of smartphones.

It is not just social media applications that have phone users glued to their mobiles: The survey also shows apps for news, maps, travel, and gaming are also popular, with 60% of those surveyed saying they have at least one game on their phone.

More than half those surveyed have weather, music, photo, and video apps.

According to the survey, most smartphone users are aged 25-34 and live in Dublin, with a user typically spending about one hour per day using apps.

About 53% of all smartphone users claim that apps have made their lives easier, while 56% said they mostly use their apps when at home.

One third of people surveyed are already banking app users and half of those use the app every couple of days. Two thirds said they preferred app banking to online banking.

As the phrase “there’s an app for that” has entered the popular lexicon, users asked about their dream app suggested a home budgeting app, a financial advice app and an app that can generate an income for its owner.

The Ulster Bank app does something similar, with users receiving alerts to help manage their spending.

It is now available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, with Glynis Hobson of Ulster Bank’s direct banking division saying: “We now have more than 100,000 mobile customers and with results showing that 40% of smart phone users are using a banking app at least every two days, the expansion of the Ulster Bank app to the three leading smart phones, plus its advanced features, means more of our customers will benefit from banking on the go.”

* ulsterbank.ie/mobile


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