The 5 mobile apps where you spend most of your time

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You may have page after page of apps on your smartphone, but new data from Forrester Research shows that most people spend 80 per cent of their time with five key apps. Based on a survey of U.S. smartphone users over 18, these are the top five mobile apps. Are they yours too?

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No. 5 (tie) Gmail 

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When phones first became “smart” it was driven by mobile access to email, so it’s no surprise that Google’s Gmail would make the list with its popular Gmail app. That it’s easier to use the app than set up Gmail with many native mail apps probably helps too.

No. 5 (tie) Pandora Radio

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There was a time we carried around a phone and a portable music player. Now, thanks to device convergence, we can get our music on our smartphone, and the Pandora Radio app is a popular choice for many to access Internet radio. Due to licencing issues it’s not yet available in Canada.

No. 3 Maps

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A whole generation is growing up without ever knowing the frustration of trying to navigate with those large paper maps, never mind trying to fold them back up. GPS-powered mapping apps are a very popular smartphone app, even if they occasionally make us drive into a lake. Apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze are relied upon by many.

No. 2 YouTube

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With high-speed LTE data and increasing access to Wi-Fi, video is the new killer smartphone app and YouTube is the King of video. It’s perfect for the smartphone and phablet – too small a screen to watch a movie, but just the right size for a short viral clip.

No. 1 Facebook

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That Facebook tops the list of most time-sucking mobile apps should come as no surprise; it’s a leading time waster on our desktops as well. And with its closed APIs it’s able to hold on to all its mobile users, unlike rival Twitter which sees its users divided amongst a slew of third-party apps.


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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.