Nielsen has been watching Android users, and it’s clear that the app phenomenon is not just an Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) thing. Two-thirds of all time spent on an Android phone is spent inside an app, according to data expected to be released Thursday by the market research company.
The Android users who agreed to participate in a Nielsen project monitoring their smartphone activity spent an average of 56 minutes a day accessing either the mobile Web or applications on their phones, but vastly preferred the apps according to the data. That application usage was also concentrated among the most popular applications on the platform as a whole, with the top 50 applications for Android representing 61 percent of the panel’s app usage.
Unfortunately Nielsen is not ready to release comparable data for iPhone users, which might make for interesting data for those developing apps and targeting mobile platforms. But it does show that people have been trained to think of apps as their mobile gateway to the Internet, even on Android, a platform which tends to get second billing among application developers.
Android doesn’t have the restrictions on in-app subscription behavior that has led some publishers to push their mobile Web sites over their apps, so this trend may not be worrying for that group. However, if similar numbers are in play for iOS users (if anything, I’d estimate higher app usage) it could be a problem for those trying to build mobile experiences outside of the app walls.