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What people do on their cell phones: Pew report

by: Amy Gahran |

Most of what people do on their cell phones has little to do with phone calls. Here are what the most popular non-voice cell phone activities are, according to new Pew research.

In Cell Phone Activities 2013, released this week, Pew found that 91% of U.S. adults own a cell phone (smartphones and feature phones combined). Fully 81% of cell phone owners send or receive text messages, and 60% access the internet from their phone (the topic of another recent Pew report). Half of cell phone owners send or receive e-mail, or download apps.

The popularity of mobile e-mail indicates how important it is to make your newsletters and other e-mail communications mobile friendly. If you're seeking to engage certain demographics, this becomes especially crucial. While 52% of all cell phone owners use mobile e-mail, it's especially popular among adults aged 18-29 (73%) and 30-49 (60%); as well as among college graduates (60%) and people from households earning at least $75,000 per year (74%). African Americans were slightly more likely (59%) to use mobile e-mail, compared to Hispanics (53%) and whites (52%).

Pew also found that half of cell phone owners access location-based information (such as directions or recommendations) on their phone. Yet only a mere 8% actively share their mobile location or check in to locations on apps.

Amy Gahran

Amy Gahran is a journalist, editor, trainer, entrepreneur, strategist, and media consultant based in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to writing
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