H(APP)Y? HB’s Guide to Apps

By: Sukhmani Kaur

Mobile apps were introduced in the summer of 2008 by Apple. Since then, the download and utilization of apps has increased exponentially with each passing day. According to comScore, apps account for more than 52% of all the time spent by the U.S. population along on digital media. With a staggering 1.37 million Android apps in the Google Play store and similarly colossal number of 1.2 million Apple apps available in the App Store, how does one decide which apps to download? It would take years to discover desirable apps, review the features of each, their ratings, download a free trial, and then decide whether to keep an app or delete it. By the time one would be done, the apps sampled would be hopelessly outdated. It appears to be an insurmountable task considering that according to Statista, approximately 5,600 apps are added to the Apple store alone each month. To make the impossible slightly possible,I sent out a survey via SurveyMonkey to see how students at HB decided what apps they wanted and which ones were their favorites.

A majority of students downloaded an app based on a friend’s recommendation while the apps rating influenced the decision of a quarter of the students.

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The clear winners in popularity amongst upper school Hathaway Brown girls were; Instagram (48%), Twitter and Snapchat (24%), Quizlet (20%), and Spotify (13%).  One of the surprising discoveries seen was that Facebook rarely made the top 3 apps students used at HB as only Juniors and Seniors chose Facebook as their second and third choice app.

A majority of the students picked their top three apps (60-70%) for the entertainment value, while 30% picked their top three apps for their educational value. The time students spend on their No. 1 ranked app varies from 5 minutes to 5 hours while the time spent on the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked apps varied from 5 minutes to an hour. Most students spend approximately 30 minutes on each of their top 3 apps.graph 3

SnapChat for emerged as the clear winner for instant messaging with Facetime being the next best alternative. Surprisingly about 10% of students don’t use instant messaging in this age of need for immediate gratification and constant communication.  Quizlet was clearly the educational app favored amongst all upper school students.

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Unfortunately, for future app developers, students overwhelmingly chose a nearly free app over paying for one.

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The bottom line is that most upper school students are savvy shoppers who spend less than two dollars on the apps that they value the most. So if you want to connect with your class mates online, use Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, but if you want to group study, Quizlet will be the way to go.

Sources: comScore, Statista

Picture: http://www.applause.com/img/glammershots/app_wall.png