Every year Flurry Analytics publishes a report of mobile usage based on data collected from over 150 billion app sessions per month. The report for 2015 shows us some very interesting insights about app usage growth, device sizes and other metrics. So, let's jump to the results. App usage has seen a significant 58% year-over-year (YoY) growth or when compared to the same period of the previous year (2014). Among the app categories, the ones that allow a user to personalize its device got the bigger chunk in growth, with 332% YoY, way over the remaining categories.
In this category are included custom launchers and lock-screen replacements, and also custom keyboards, mainly Emoji apps, which got the largest chunk in usage. Next on come News & Magazines apps with 135% YoY growth, as users consume more content, especially news, on their devices. Utilities & Productivity apps saw a 125% boost on the period, and Lifestyle & Shopping grew 81%. Travel & Navigation, Sports, Health & Fitness and Messaging & Social got a little over 51% each, and Music, Media & Entertainment apps have seen a 21% growth. At the end of the stats are Games apps, that actually had an 1% drop in usage.
One important metric shows the growth in popularity of phablets, in the likes of the Galaxy Note 5. Users have been consuming a lot of content on these larger-screened phones, and both growth rate and time spent on apps have soared when compared to smaller screen devices. News & Magazines, for example, had on phablets 5.34 times the growth than all devices combined, while Sports saw 5.16x times and Music, Media & Entertainment had 4.19 times the growth of other devices. Time spent on mobile grew 117%, and phablets again got the largest growth rate with 334% when compared to the same period from the previous year. Medium phones and small tablets come way below with 85 and 81%, respectively, while full-sized tablets grew by 26% and small phones at only 8%. This result corroborates the premise that bigger screens make users use them more. Another interesting result is that the time spent of mobile devices has surpassed that of traditional television, and some cable companies already started to move their fingers to adapt to this new reality. That said, phablets are a very good target for it. During this Christmas, about 50% of all Android devices activation were phablets, and according to Flurry, if the phablet usage keeps growing at its current pace, by October 2017, while small phones are likely to be extinct by Q2 2016. You can check the full report on the source link below.