Information on-the-go anytime/anywhere

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The Pew  Research Center Internet & American Life Project  have just published their “Just-in-time Information through Mobile Connections” report/survey (pdf).

Whilst the survey’s respondents are, unsurprisingly, from the US, it probably confirms with credible research, widespread mobile/smartphone usage habits. If, say, here in the UK we added “ Get up-to-the minute weather forecast information” to category 6 of their seven “activities” we would likely be home & dry, if you see what we mean!

The seven activities are:

  1. Coordinate a meeting or get-together
  2. Solve an unexpected problem that they or someone else had encountered
  3. Decide whether to visit a business, such as a restaurant
  4. Find information to help settle an argument they were having
  5. Look up a score of a sporting event
  6. Get up-to-the-minute traffic or public transit information to find the fastest way to get somewhere
  7. Get help in an emergency situation

At an overview level they find that “70% of all cell phone owners and 86% of smartphone owners have used their phones in the previous 30 days to perform at least one …” of these activities. “Overall, these “just-in-time” cell users …. amount to 62% of the entire adult population.”

On the above seven core activities the percentage of all cell phone users were found to be 41% for 1 then 35%, 30%, 27%, 23%, 20% and 19% for # 7 respectively. The breakdown between smart and other phone owners is shown in the heading graphic.

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On the demographics front, again, unsurprisingly, the 18-29 year old group move the 70% figure for those who have performed one of the activities up to 88%

The second of these graphics again breaks down the 7 activities between four age groups.

As with all of Pews reports comprehensive survey details are available.

About the Pew Survey

The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from March 15 to April 3, 2012, among a sample of 2,254 adults, age 18 and older.    


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Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,351) and cell phone (903, including 410 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.  For results based on internet users (n=1,803), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.



Their Overview of the survey states “The rapid adoption of cell phones and, especially, the spread of internet-connected smartphones are changing people’s communications with others and their relationships with information. Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers.”

We don’t entirely agree and, partially linking to yesterdays “bank holiday” post, we think it’s the hugely increased ease of access to information / social media networks on-the-go & anytime/anywhere that is the change rather than individuals becoming “seeker solvers”!


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