Having all kinds of information at our fingertips is one of the things that make smartphones so useful. In the past, we had to use a plain old browser to find that information. Now, thanks to the advent of the smartphone "app", we can use dedicated programs which are specifically built to present said information in an attractive, easy to use way.
Apparently apps have done this quite well, because a new study by Neilsen found that Android users access the internet from apps more than they do from the browser. According to the study, Android users spend about an hour accessing the internet every day. Of that time, 67% is done through apps, while the remaing 33% comes through the browser.
For many of you, this may not be a surprising statistic. In fact, we even predicted this trend here on Pocketables a little while ago. However, if you consider that just a few years ago Steve Jobs was pushing the idea of a browser and web app platform with the first iPhone, this statistic shows an odd shift. Web browsers were supposed to do everything, but problems with flash and general compatibility made apps a necessity.
At this point, both browser and phone technology has advanced, but apps are still seen as a main source of information. This is for a good reason,because even though some apps could be replaced by simple bookmarks to the mobile version of a website (and I've seen some that are), most have now evolved into more complex content delivery tools that provide a richer experience than the one currently available on the web. HTML5 has the potential to make web pages and the browser effective again, but apps may already have too strong of a foothold.
This change is not necessarily good or bad, it is just an interesting change in the market. Still, I don't think that we will stop seeing browsers on smartphones any time soon. Do you prefer using dedicated apps, or a browser?[ReadWriteWeb]