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Three-Quarters of Smartphone Owners Say Yes to Geolocation




An app would like to use your current location — is that okay?

74% of smartphone owners said “yes” to that question, up from 55% just a year ago. Seems like the tool that gave many people the willies at the start, is now becoming part of their everyday routine. Need directions? Want to find the bank branch closest to you or find the most popular coffee house in a new city? You can do it all, as long as you say yes.

Now don’t confuse the use of location-based services with location check-in services like Foursquare. A new report from Pew shows that only 18% of smartphone users participate in geosocial activities. That’s up from 12% last year, but it’s hardly a boom.

The Pew report breaks down the users by demographics and right off the bat there’s an interesting fact. Though men are notorious for refusing driving directions from humans, they don’t mind getting them from their phone. The use of location-services was almost equal between men and women and only slightly higher in the 18-39 group. Usage rose with income and education but even there the difference was negligible.

Of course, the results of this study were already skewed by the smartphone demographic. The person who plunks down cash for a smartphone is a person who is interested in all it has to offer, right? Why buy a smartphone if all you’re going to do is make calls?

What’s amazing is that 41% of all adults are using location-based service. That’s not smartphone owners, that ALL adults in the US. Smartphone ownership has risen to 46%. A year from now, we should easily crack the 50% mark. And while half isn’t good if someone offers you a dollar bill, it’s great for anyone in the mobile biz.