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Falling Asleep with Angry Birds, Facebook and Kindle - A Large Scale Study on Mobile Application Usage

Matthias Böhmer; Brent Hecht; Johannes Schöning; Antonio Krüger; Gernot Bauer
In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services. International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI-11), 13th, August 30 - September 2, Stockholm, Sweden, ACM, 8/2011.


While applications for mobile devices have become extremely important in the last few years, little public information exists on mobile application usage behavior. We describe a large-scale deployment-based research study that logged detailed application usage information from over 4,100 users of Android-powered mobile devices. We present two types of results from analyzing this data: basic descriptive statistics and contextual descriptive statistics. In the case of the former, we find that the average session with an application lasts less than a minute, even though users spend almost an hour a day using their phones. Our contextual findings include those related to time of day and location. For instance, we show that news applications are most popular in the morning and games are at night, but communication applications dominate through most of the day. We also find that despite the variety of apps available, communication applications are almost always the first used upon a device's waking from sleep. In addition, we discuss the notion of a virtual application sensor, which we used to collect the data.