They're larger than a smartphone and smaller than a tablet, and according to Flurry, 20 percent of all active devices are now phablets. The analytics division of Yahoo recently released a report that looked at the growth of the category over the last several years based on data from its proprietary platform.
The rise of so-called "phablet devices" that sit somewhere between the form factor of a smartphone and a tablet are propelling the overall mobile and app industry to 78 percent year-over-year usage growth as measured by number of sessions, according to Flurry.
Consumers appeared to have moved immediately from their Christmas stockings to their smartphones, with 2.5 times the number of app installs as compared to an average day in the first three weeks of December, according to Flurry. The company looked specifically at U.S. data for its research on app activity.
Even with many of today's analytics tools, you can't tell a lot about your app or game's users besides their gender, age and so on. However, a range of tools are coming out that attempt to track everything from "sentiment analysis" (how people feel about an app) to predictions about future behavior.
The advantages of developing software for a device that stays pretty much glued to consumers 24 hours a day appear to be paying off. According to Yahoo!-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry, time spent on mobile devices has grown to 177 minutes per day on average, surpassing time spent with the TV, which stayed flat at 168 minutes per day.
Women make 31 percent more in-app purchases than men, according to a recent report from Flurry. Following the surprise success of the game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the analytics firm decided to dig deeper into gender differences across a variety of mobile gaming factors.
It's not the kind of thing you can easily plot on a graph, depict in a chart or even list as a series of percentage points, but there has to be some way for developers to analyze what's happening in the mobile app analytics space. It may have started last year when Facebook acquired Onavo Insights, but over the past few months the pace of consolidation among those who collect and interpret data on all kinds of mobile apps has accelerated considerably.
Flurry's reports offer all kinds of information about future trends in the app market, but even Flurry's data scientists may not have seen this coming: an acquisition by Yahoo for a reported $200- $300 million.
With all the walking, standing in line, racing to grab a snack and lugging around backpacks, developers will be getting plenty of exercise when they attend Google I/O. If the rumors about what's being launched are true, though, it's their app development strategies that may need to shape up.
It's become as predictable as turkey and mashed potatoes on Christmas Day: device activations spike, followed by a corresponding rise in app download volumes. According to the latest report from Flurry, however, developers may not want to count on the holiday season as a long-term engagement strategy.