Mobile app usage is over 5 hours per day in some regions

Consumers are spending record amounts of money on apps, so it should come as little surprise that people are also allocating more time than ever to apps. But how much screen time is too much? Should we really be spending upwards of 20 percent of the day interfacing with mobile apps?

According to the latest data out of mobile analytics firm App Annie, the global average time spent in apps now sits at 4.2 hours a day. That’s an increase of 30 percent compared to just two years ago and in some regions, the average is even higher.

Users in Brazil, South Korea and Indonesia, for example, are now dedicating more than five hours a day to their app habit on average. In India, time spent in apps increased 80 percent in Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

As TechCrunch highlights, one broad takeaway here is that consumers in the US are now spending more time in apps than they are watching television. Then again, App Annie’s data only includes Android phones for some reason.

To better track what is driving increased app consumption, we turn to App Annie’s top breakout apps list which highlights quarter-over-quarter growth in the App Store and on Google Play.

Here we see that encrypted chat apps like Telegram and Signal are popular, as is the VPN Master app, suggesting heightened interest in secure communication. Signal in particular saw downloads spike earlier this year when Elon Musk recommended it to followers on Twitter.

App Annie said late last month that consumers spent a whopping $32 billion on apps in the first quarter alone.