More Americans using smartphones for getting directions, streaming TV


Just as the internet has changed the way people communicate, work and learn, mobile technology has changed when, where and how consumers access information and entertainment. And smartphone use that goes beyond routine calls and text messages does not appear to be slowing, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted in July 2015.

The percentage of smartphone owners who say they have ever used their phone to watch movies or TV through a paid subscription service like Netflix or Hulu Plus has doubled in recent years – increasing from 15% in 2012 to 33% in 2015.

Among the smartphone activities measured, getting location-based information is the most universal task. Nine-in-ten smartphone owners use their phone to get directions, recommendations or other information related to their location, up from 74% in 2013.

The share of smartphone users who report using their device to listen to online radio or a music service, such as Pandora or Spotify, or participate in video calls or chats has also increased by double digits in recent years. (2015 was the first year in which we surveyed about using a mobile device to buy a product online or get sports scores and analysis.)


Younger adults are especially likely to reach for their phone for something other than calling and texting. Getting location-based information is the one activity measured that is common across all age groups, however.

Listening to music and shopping on the go are especially popular among smartphone owners ages 18 to 29: 87% have listened to an online radio or music service on their phone, compared with 41% of those 50 and over, and 73% have shopped online through their mobile device, versus 44% of older users.

Activities that are less prevalent but not uncommon among smartphone owners include video calling or chatting; getting sports scores or analysis; and watching movies or TV through a paid subscription service. Again, younger adults are especially likely to use their mobile device for all of these activities. For example, 52% of 18- to 29-year-old smartphone owners have ever used their phone to watch movies or TV shows through a paid subscription service, compared with 36% of 30- to 49-year-olds and only 13% of those 50 and older.

These differences speak to a broader pattern of younger Americans’ adoption of and engagement with technology. Younger adults are more likely than older adults to own a smartphone, to be constantly online and to rely on their smartphone for internet access.

To see more and the original story follow this link to Pew Research.


Netflix Previews Family Profiles, Shows Off Super HD and 3D streaming at CES 2013

The current leader in subscription video streaming is Netflix, and today at its Las Vegas hotel suite we saw some of the technology it’s planning to stay a step ahead of the competition this year.

First up was one of the most widely requested features — the ability to set up individual profiles for different family members, complete with their own queues and recommendations. The profiles can be set up on device or on the Netflix site, with toggles for a preference to its Just for Kids menu UI, as well as asking a bit about your preferred movies to seed initial recommendations. We also got an eyeful of the new “Super HD” 1080p streaming, and although network issues kept us from getting a true gauge of the quality, we did confirm that the new max bitrates are well above the old “X-High” standards.

Another thing we confirmed? That Cablevision and Google Fiber aren’t the only US ISPs on its Open Connect list — check the site to see if yours is.

Netflix was even showing off 3D streaming, and although we weren’t able to confirm the type of compression being used (top/bottom, side by side or something else) we did watch it and it was mostly clear with only a few hints of ghosting. There are apparently several dozen 3D titles available to start, although customer reaction may dictate when/if more are added. The second screen experience we’ve seen on the PS3 was also shown working with Samsung TVs, in much the same manner. One thing that could make it better however, is the DIAL multiscreen initiative it’s pushing with YouTube. If picked up as a standard, it would let you automatically launch these streaming services on a mobile device, and make them start playing on compatible TVs without having to launch the app on the TV first.

Not enough good news? Netflix also announced a launch date for another original series, Hemlock Grove, which hits April 19th (trailer after the break), and dropped the news that we’ll be getting 14 new eps of Arrested Development in May. We expect to hear a bit more about all of that later in 2013, but if you want a preview of the features we saw then just check out the gallery.

Full press release and hands-on photos in source link.

Source: Engadget