Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Apps get workout with owners watching TV, in bed, or in bathroom

by Howard Wolinsky

Where do you use your apps?

While watching TV? In bed? In the bathroom? On your commute?

A new study from Nielsen Co., best known for its TV research, suggests that you are playing with your smartphone and tab in those places and more.

Likewise, Nielsen found e-readers, are getting a workout in those locations, though use patterns vary among devices.

Nielsen surveyed nearly 12,000 device owners.

The survey company found that your smartphone and your tab are your “TV buddies.” Sixty-eight percent of smartphone users and 70 percent of tablet owners use the devices while watching TV.

E-readers, like the traditional analog books, are bedtime companions. Sixty-one percent of eReader owners use their devices in bed, compared with 57 percent of tab owners and 51 percent of smartphone owners.

When I covered cell phones for the Chicago Sun-Times, I heard about people who dropped their phones into the toilet. Of course, phone users are not just using their apps in the john, but also chatting up their friends and making business deals.

The Nielsen survey shows smartphone users do favor bathroom use. Twenty-eight percent of smartphone owners use their devices in the bathroom compared with 25 percent of tab owners and 17 percent of eReader owners.

Smartphones also rule on the daily commute, though we hope that’s on public transportation rather than playing Angry Birds or calling friends while driving. Forty-seven percent of smartphone users use their devices while commuting compared with 20 percent of tab owners and 11 percent of e-reader owners.

There’s long been a fuss about smartphone use in classrooms. But only 23 percent of smartphone users told Nielsen that they use smartphones in class or meetings compared with 24 percent of tab owners and 10 percent of e-reader owners.

Nielsen also aimed at ferreting out how much time connected device users spend with their devices while watching TV, lying in bed, etc.

Here’s what the survey company found:

— Smartphone owners said 20 percent of the time they use their smartphones is while watching TV, compared with 11 percent lying in bed.

— Tablet owners said 30 percent of their time spent with their device was while watching TV compared with 21 percent lying in bed.

—E-reader owners said only 15 percent of their eReader time was spent watching TV, though they spent a 37 percent of their device usage time in bed.