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Smartphone use: the survey says

The way we use our phones is changing rapidly, and with the help of 1000 CNET readers we now have a better understanding of the things we do and don't do with our phones.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
3 min read
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The way we use our phones is changing rapidly, and with the help of 1000 CNET readers we now have a better understanding of the things we do and don't do with our phones.

Firstly, we'd like to say a big thanks to everyone who helped out with this survey. We know every other website you visit is probably asking you for some sort of feedback, so we really appreciate the time you took to fill in the form.

Calls are low and web surfing is up, no real surprises there. (Credit: CBSi)

Calls are down, but not out

Just over 75 per cent of the readers who completed the survey told us that they use their phones for calling for fewer than 30 minutes each day, with 5 per cent of all respondents claiming that they don't use their phones for calling at all. Still, a healthy 7 per cent of our readers say they use their phones for calling at least 60 minutes each day.

Web surf's up, dude

The other major area that confirmed our original suspicions was that web browsing is on the rise. Nearly 75 per cent of the responses we received indicated at least 30 minutes of web browsing on a smartphone each day, with a further 13 per cent saying they regularly browse on their phones between 60 and 90 minutes daily. The overall average worked out at about 50 minutes of browser time per user, making it the most popular smartphone activity polled.

Gaming and music

The amount of time we spend using our phones for pure entertainment is steady, but not astounding. A majority of users spend up to 30 minutes for gaming each day, while the average music playback was just under 45 minutes (however, this figure was skewed by the 10 per cent of people who listen to over two hours of music daily). For both questions, the "Not at all" value was also high, with 24 per cent of readers not using their music players and 35 per cent not playing games.

SMS is still strong, and Twitter is almost non-existent. (Credit: CBSi)

Social not working

Surprisingly, the vast majority of readers who answered our survey told us that they do not update their social-networking profiles from their phones. 84 per cent of readers said they post no more than a single Twitter post each day, with plenty telling us they never use Twiter on their phones at all. 55 per cent post the same number of times to Facebook, with a portion of those numbers avoiding the social site altogether. SMS messages, on the other hand, averaged out at just under 15 messages per day.

Tasks by manufacturer

iPhone and Samsung owners are the top web browsers, while CrackBerrys still own email. (Click image to enlarge) (Credit: CBSi)

We already know that our phones say a lot about who we are, but do they also say anything about what we intend to do with them? From the survey, we can see that iPhone users tend to web browse a lot, but then so do owners of Samsung handsets. This probably isn't too surprising given that about half of the people who told us they use Samsung are using a brand-spanking new Galaxy S, which is definitely one of our favourite phones to browse the web on.

Next to this you'll see the break down of email usage patterns by manufacturer, and again, there are no points for having guessed BlackBerry users would be on the top of this list, by a factor of two times more than most other phone owners.