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Response to [Diversity in Smartphone Usage] by Falaki et al.


This paper reports a study of the diversity in smart phone usage. First, along all aspects of the study they found “immense diversity” among the 255 users. Users differ by one or more orders of magnitude in interaction time, application number, etc. However, they also discovered “qualitative similarities” among users such as application popularity. Some of their results inform the design of Body-Centric Interaction, e.g., varied number of applications challenges how to associate them to space whereas the popularity suggests prioritizing only a subset.


  • We find that qualitative similarities exist among users that facilitate the task of learning user behavior.
  • In 2009, smartphone penetration in the US was 25% and 14% of world wide mobile phone shipments were smart phones.
  • By 2011, smart phone sales are projected to surpass desktop PCs.
  • The mean number of interactions per day for a user varies from 10 to 200; the mean interaction length varies from 10 to 250 seconds; the number of applications used varies from 10 to 90.
  • Aggregate view application popularity:
    1. communication;
    2. browsing
    3. media
    4. productivity
    5. system
    6. games
    7. maps
    8. other
  • …an overwhelming majority, close to 90%, of interactions include only one application.
  • Interactions with maps and games tend to be the longest and those related to productivity and system tend to be the shortest.


  • How to describe the relationship between users and smart phone? (consider the one between users and desktop computers)
    We keep using desktop computers or not using them – similar to a binary relationship. But we use smart phone occasionally, and seemingly unpredictably. It might be interesting to simply study “when will people use smart phones”. Or “if we can predict when people use smart phones, what can we do about it”.

About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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