Going online using cellphones
Sept. 23, 2013
by Mark Ollig

Since purchasing a smartphone last year, I’ve been using it regularly for checking emails, updating my online social media, and staying informed via mobile news websites.

A majority of us are now using smartphones, and so “cellphone” and “smartphone” will be used synonymously throughout my column, as will “online” and “Internet.”

These days, it should not come as much of a surprise to anyone that most of us are using our cellphones for accessing the Internet.

The fine folks at the Pew Internet & American Life Project seem to agree.

They recently made public a new report entitled, “Cell Internet Use 2013.”

This report was created using the results from individual telephone surveys taken from April 17 to May 19.

“A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information,” said Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.

The number of American adults surveyed who use their cellphone to go online was found to be at 63 percent, which represents an eight-point increase from the survey taken in 2012. When Pew started tracking cellphone Internet usage in 2009, 31 percent were using their cellphone to access the Internet.

I was pleased to learn cellphone owners age 50-64 are experiencing a higher-than-average increase in using their smartphones for accessing the Internet. It was reported 51 percent in this group used their smartphone for going online, which is 15 percent higher than was reported in the spring of 2012.

Don’t worry; yours truly is doing his part in keeping up with the younger demographics.

Speaking of the younger demographics; of the 18-29 year-olds, 21 percent said they are regularly using their cellphone versus any other type of computing device for going online.

“For many, such as younger adults or lower-income Americans, cellphones are often a primary device for accessing online content,” Smith is quoted as saying.

It’s not too surprising that the Pew report revealed those young adults, age 18-29, in all likelihood, will at some time go online using their cellphone. In fact, the Pew report found 85 percent of them will, as compared with 73 percent of those ages 30-49.

An amazing 91 percent of all Americans now own a cellphone. The Pew report states 57 percent can be considered regular cellphone Internet users.

The report shows 34 percent of the cellphone Internet users prefer to use their smartphones to access the Internet, instead of their desktop, laptop, or tablet computer.

In addition to checking email, I am using my smartphone much more now to access Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I also use it for accessing popular national and world online news sites; as well as local area online websites.

I am at home right now using my MacBook laptop to write this column. I have my smartphone connected to the Internet via a wireless tether from the MacBook’s AirPort (Wi-Fi) connection.

The smartphone alerts me to any emails, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter messages. I use it to respond with, instead of the laptop.

Speaking of alerts, my smartphone just whistled, which means I have a new message from someone.

With the increase in the number of smartphones being used, it makes sense we would be seeing more of us using them for going online.

Smartphones, although having a smaller viewing area than other smart mobile devices, do have advantages; they are lightweight, packed with plenty of applications, and are easily transportable.

Results used in the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Cell Internet Use 2013 report, was created from the data obtained from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Various cellphone Internet usage questions were asked of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older.

Here’s a link to the full report: http://tinyurl.com/bytescell2013.

Eventually, we will be seeing Internet usage reports include devices such as Google Glass, possibly an Apple iWatch, and advanced high-tech mobile devices that have not even been created yet.

Stay tuned.

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