updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue September 6, 2011
Pew study shows rapid takeup of location apps
Over a quarter of the US uses some kind of online location service, Pew discovered Tuesday. About 28 percent have used Google Maps or a similar location service at least on the web. With smartphone owners, that number more than doubles to 58 percent, researchers said.
Only a slice of these have ever used a check-in service like Facebook Places, Foursquare, or Gowalla, however. Where 23 percent of all adults (55 percent of smartphone owners) had either used maps or a local recommendation service like Yelp, just four percent of adults and 12 percent of smartphone users opted for the same.
Only a few ever let their devices geotag posts, at seven percent of adults. Those who use social networking frequently were more likely to opt for it at 14 percent.
Pew was careful to put smartphone use in context and noted that it still represented a minority, albeit a significant one, in the US. Although 83 percent of Americans have a cellphone, only 35 percent of the population has a smartphone. Smartphone use has been expanding rapidly in the US but is still largely a bubble where certain services are used much more than elsewhere.