Not only are people using their smartphones more, but they're using their smartphones to do more, according to a new survey from Google conducted by Ipsos OTX.
Over 5,000 U.S. adult smartphone users were surveyed in the study, which found that smartphones are used not only to supplement computer use, but in ways that laptops or desktop computers would not traditionally be used.
A full 93 percent of smartphone owners use their phones at home, where it's likely they have access to another computing device. Thirty-nine percent say they've used their smartphone while going to the bathroom. 72 percent of them use their phones while consuming other media (presumably, in addition to whatever media they're consuming on the phone itself).
It's clear that the portable quality of the smartphone has a great deal to do with they way its used. Search engine sites were the most popular type of site that users visit, and ninety percent of mobile searches ended in an action of some kind, such as buying a product or visiting a restaurant.
Accordingly, 95 percent of smartphone users have used their phones to find local information, with 88 percent of these users taking some sort of action as a result of those searches within a day, and 44 percent making a purchase. Ipsos OTX's results point to the fact that much of what seems to make the phone useful is what it can do on the go. For someone walking down the street with a phone in hand, searches for the location of nearby coffee shops and hair salons are clearly undertaken with the purpose of executing some function, rather than being an idle query.
Smartphone users also love both shopping on their phones and using their phones to get help in buying goods in the real world: 79 percent of users use their phones for the latter, comparing prices, finding stores, or looking at related items. Another 74 percent of those shoppers make a purchase, both through the mobile Web (35 percent), home computer (59 percent), or in-store (76 percent).
That of course brings Google to the final point: advertising. 82 percent of users notice mobile ads, and half of these users take some sort of action afterwards. With users increasingly purchasing, researching and buying products as a result of what they find on their phones, Google's looking ahead to a near future where our phones can function as credit cards. The company is already testing near-field communication (NFC) technology in devices like the Nexus S, so one can only imagine the purchasing possibilities.
Watch Google's short video on the survey below: