Brits fail to utilise full smartphone tech


Underuse of smartphones means over a quarter do not believe they are getting value for money

The average Brit uses just a third of their smartphone’s features, with the newer and more innovative apps most likely to be ignored, a study has revealed.

Despite the vast majority of adults now owning some form of smartphone, the study from mobile telco, Talkmobile, which commissioned the research, found that around two thirds of the built-in functions or apps go unused because people do not need them or do not even realise they are there.

The average Brit regularly uses eight of their phone’s built-in apps and functions, and although they have used another six occasionally, they do not really get the most out of them; based on a list of 40 built-in functions, this means just 35% of functions are being used.

Also, it is the features manufacturers use heavily to advertise the latest handsets, such as mobile payment, finger print scanning and voice dictation, that are actually among the top ten most underused on a phone.

It also emerged that despite our love of the smartphone, half of all adults find themselves longing for the days of the simpler mobile phone.

Stuart Wilson, spokesperson for Talkmobile, said: “Smartphones have evolved so much over the past few years and now contain far more built-in features and apps than mobile phones did previously. If you need to do something, there is a very good chance you can use your smartphone to do so, or at the very least, download an app for it. But there will be many of us who remember the days when a mobile phone was nothing more than something you could make calls with or use to send text messages, and perhaps play the odd game.

“While the endless list of built-in features is impressive, it seems many of us are paying for a lot of things we don’t use, or even know are there in the first place,” added Wilson. “If you are spending money on a phone, you want to get the best value out of it you can, so it‘s important to consider whether you really need everything on your expensive smartphone.”

The study found 59% of users are not aware of all the features on their mobile, while 92% do not use all of the features on their phone; a further 30% admit they are not even close to using everything their phone is capable of. While 67% say this is because a large number of the features are not really relevant to their day to day life, a third admit they do not understand them.

The stocks and shares tracker is the function most likely to be ignored, followed by voice dictation, iPhone’s passbook, podcasts and the iPhone Health app or equivalent.

Mobile payments, the compass and fingerprint recognition are also rarely used, while iBooks, or built-in E-readers, and the Newsstand and its equivalent completed the top ten.

Voice recognition, photo editing software, the stop watch and reminders are also among the least used functions on a smartphone.

As a result of the underuse, 27% do not believe they are getting value for money when it comes to their smartphone.

It also emerged that while sending text messages and making calls is still the most popular use for a mobile phone, other popular uses include taking photos, surfing the internet and using it as an alarm clock.


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