Can Your Apple Device App Usage Reveal Your Personality?

Can the app usage patterns on your Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices reveal whether you a “Hip Urban” single or stay-at-home pet owner? According to a new study by app market research firm Flurry Analytics, some users’ app usage reveals that they can qualify as both.

In order to better understand how users interact with their iOS devices, Flurry developed multiple “Personas” based on app usage on iPhones and iPads. These Personas were then compared to a benchmark “Everyone” Persona in order to discover differences in Persona app usage on various iOS devices. According to Flurry’s research, the iPhone had a 72 percent share of the Everyone Persona compared to a 28 percent share from the iPad.

However, these Personas are not cut-and-dried categories of users. Many iOS device owners fall into multiple Persona categories. For example, a Value Shopper Persona that is looking for store sales or coupons overwhelmingly uses the iPhone more than the iPad. However, this user may also have a Pet Owner Persona that uses the iPad nearly 70 percent more than the iPhone.


An iOS device owner’s usage is not just dependent on what Persona category they fall into. Flurry also notes that the context of the app usage also helps to determine whether an iPhone or an iPad is used. In general, Flurry discovered that “Personas ‘on the move’ skew most heavily toward iPhone.” This makes sense given the iPhone’s smaller size and portability.

On the other hand, Flurry found that, “Personas that heavily favor iPad are associated with home-oriented activities.” Gamers also skewed heavily towards the iPad in their app usage which is not surprising considering the iPad’s larger screen size.


Furthermore, Flurry discovered interesting temporal patterns in iOS device usage. Flurry found that the time spent on iPads surpassed that spent on iPhones during the period between 6 PM and 11 PM. This reflects the tendency of users to increase their iPad usage after they return home from work.

So what is the significance of this research for app users and developers? Flurry notes that, “Savvy app developers and advertisers will increasingly factor contextual differences such as those into their development and targeting plans.”

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