Most used smartphone application categories in the UK 2017

Phone calls and messages were the most frequently used smartphone application categories in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017, despite the perception that smartphones are used for just about everything other than speaking on the phone.

Most popular communication apps in Great Britain

Apps belonging to the Facebook group figure extremely highly in communication app rankings, with WhatsApp, Messenger and Messenger Lite topping the charts for android devices. Android users in Great Britain downloaded WhatsApp 754,930 times during May 2019. British iPhone users downloaded the app 605,101 times, and Facebook Messenger 264,230 times. WhatsApp is the most popular communication app for android devices worldwide, with 74.65 million downloads in April 2019.

Time spent using smartphones in the UK

When using smartphones, more people in the UK reported using smartphones for an hour or more in 2017, than any other length of time. 14 percent of respondents to a Statista survey claim to spend less than ten minutes per day using their phones, while 36 percent report using the device for 61 minutes or longer.

Most frequently used smartphone application categories in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017

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Release date

May 2017


United Kingdom

Survey time period

May 3, 2017 to May 11, 2017

Number of respondents

918 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

respondents are English speaking residential population who own smartphone

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

This question was phrased by the source as follows: "What functions/apps on your smartphone do you use most frequently? the duration of use is not relevant to this question - answer: very often or regularly or occasionally"
*e.g. text message, whatsapp, slack, etc.)
**e.g. iTunes, Spotify, etc.)
***e.g. Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
****e.g. Google maps,, etc.)

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