Sitting around at home over the holidays is no longer about playing pinochle with Aunt Gertie. People now have smartphones, and a bevy of time-killing apps installed on them to while away the hours.
App analytics firm Flurry today released numbers that showed app usage overall in the United States spiked by 25 percent on Thanksgiving compared to the previous Thursday, and not just as a result of shopping app use.
Flurry suggests the overall pattern of app usage over the Thanksgiving weekend demonstrates that smartphones and tablets have become the first "truly personal computers, changing their function as we change our routines."
"Sure, you can use them to shop without getting out of bed, let alone braving crowds at the mall, but your device can also entertain you with games, music, and movies," wrote Mary Ellen Gordon, in a blog post on Flurry's website. "It can even tell you how far you need to walk to make up for that second helping of mashed potatoes – if you choose to look."
Flurry's report compares Thanksgiving week to the week prior, and also compares those time periods for the two previous years. Baseline usage the week before Thanksgiving was up by about two-thirds compared to the same time last year, and about triple what it was during November of 2011.
The findings confirmed IBM's Black Friday, which showed shopping on mobile devices continues to risse. However, Flurry found that the usual Turkey Day spike in shopping app usage wasn't as large as the one last year. Neverthless, between 2012 and 2013, overall use of shopping apps in the week before Thanksgiving grew by about 70 percent, so the 2013 Thanksgiving spike comes on top of a higher baseline usage level.
Perhaps most encouraging however is that Americans took a break from work and counting calories. Flurry saw a marked drop in the use of apps associated with things business and education, health, and news.