While there is all sorts of buzz in the app market these days, most smartphone users still prefer to use a mobile browser. So instead of downloading a special CNN app, for instance, users would rather just open their phone's built-in Web browser and go to CNN.com directly from there.
It's not a huge majority, though. According to Jumptap's research, 58% of people who access online content from their mobile device prefer to get it from a browser. 42% prefer a specialized app.
Users responded that they are familiar with the browser because of years of experience with browsers on their computer, and because of its versatility.
Some said an app version of their favorite website is not as functional and is difficult to navigate. Personally, I hate the Facebook mobile apps because it over-simplifies the social networking site. I would much rather access the full HTML version of Facebook.com.
The study was targeted at advertisers to reveal how users spent time on their smartphones. As such, there were some interesting ad-related results as well.
For example, Android was the driving force behind ad requests, taking in 39.1% of Jumptap's ad exposure. Apple's iOS platform clocked in with 29.8% while Blackberry took 24.8%. So Android users are more likely to respond to ads than any other mobile user.
So the next time you open up that Gmail app, stop and think. Is it really better than opening up your phone's browser and going to Gmail.com?