Published On: 06/16/2014

Smartphone AgainLast month, the RJI ​released some of the results from its Mobile Media Research, which surveyed more than 1,000 US adults about their usage of mobile devices (including tablets). Traditional wisdom states that there are significant differences in the usage habits of Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers, and in many respects this wisdom is certainly correct. However, RJI's research finds there are also similarities too, especially when it comes to news usage via mobile.

63% of adult smartphone users use multiple news apps

Although the numbers are different, there appears to be little variability in the total percentage of adults in each age group who use more than one news app. In fact, 63% of male Boomers used an average of 2.2 news apps in a given week, which is more than the average male, who uses 2. According to the research, however, news app usage appears to be one of the areas in which mobile users acts similarly, regardless of age.

Gen Xers are most likely to use both tablets and smartphones, use mobile devices "everywhere" and use their devices "very frequently

In total 84% of Gen Xers say they use their mobiles very frequently, with Gen X women being only somewhat more likely to say so (actually, the average score between Gen X and Millennial women is exactly the same, meaning Millennial men are less likely than Gen X men to say they use their devices very frequently). Gen X women (52%) were also the most likely to say they use both a tablet and a smartphone. When Gen X men are added to the analysis, 46% of all Gen Xers use both devices - that's exactly the same percentage as Boomers who do the same, and both generational cohorts are substantially more likely than Millennials to use both devices.

Boomers are more likely than others to say they're using mobile more now compared to last year

Although a majority of all generational cohorts said they're using their devices more today than they were last year, 64% of Boomers did so, compared with only 55% of Millennials. Additionally, while 7% of Millennials actually said they were using their devices less than last year, only 3% of both Boomers and Xers said the same, confirming wisdom that indicates older generations mark one of the greatest opportunity segments for mobile expansion going forward.