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Developers know they must stay on top of trends as far as technology, hardware, software and languages are concerned. However, there is another trend that developers should stay connected to: changing habits of smartphone users. The ways in which people rely on their phones evolves continually, and in order to provide positive user experiences, developers must stay plugged into those trends.

A Surprising Smartphone Trend Developers May Not Know

Everyone with a smartphone understands the constant pull of their device. We rely on them to stay connected to friends, to get us where we need to go, take and store photos, to help us quickly verify facts in the middle of conversations, to manage our schedules, stay on top of emails, order food, shop, and even control household electronics.

But on the heels of growing user data misuse and hacking scandals, as well as continual advice from medical professionals and mental health professionals that we should limit our screen time, several sectors of the population are starting to change the way they interact with their phones. Some stats developers should be aware of, according to Pew Research:

  • 54% of teens know they spend too much time on their phones.
  • 44% of teens check their phones before they get out of bed.
  • 36% of parents also say they spend too much time on their phones.
  • 26% of parents say they check their phones as soon as they wake up.

A recent study also linked smartphone usage to ADHD in teens, and 37% of teens acknowledge that their smartphone can be a distraction. Around 54% of teens say that they are actively attempting to cut back the amount of time they spend on their phones by checking social media and playing games less often. Parents have also resolved to be on their phones less to be more present in their children’s lives, as many teens also complain that their parents are too distracted by their smartphones.

How Developers Can Respond

So what does this mean for developers? It’s time to start thinking creatively. At this juncture, it is nearly impossible to cut smartphone usage completely, but users are actively looking for ways to cut back. They want to be smarter about the choices they make, and developers can respond in many ways when building apps.

Giving users easy-at-a-glance access to the most useful and critical information in an app eliminates endless scrolling to find what they want or need. Design and functionality can be leveraged to ensure users maintain relationships with companies and the apps they produce, without sucking up valuable time to interact with others and be more present in their daily lives.

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