How many apps do you use in a month?

New Nielsen study lifts lid on our handset habits

Surprise, surprise: we're using more apps. Nielsen's got the scoop on just how much more.

A new study by consumer analyst Nielsen tells all on the habits of smartphone users, revealing that we use just 27 individual apps every month.

The research says consumers are spending more time on their apps than ever before, revealed that Android and iPhone users in the US spent just over 30 hours a month on apps in Q4 2013, a significant rise on the 18 hours spent in Q4 of 2011.

Despite the rise in time spent on apps, the amount of apps used per month only rose by 3 during the same period, from 23.2 in 2011, up to 26.8 last year.

Monica Bannan, VP of product leadership at Nielsen says content is king when it comes to cracking open the market for smartphone apps, and talks about an 'upper limit' for the apps we're using every month:

“Although there does appear to be a limit to the number of apps people are willing to access on a monthly basis, they're spending 31 percent more time than they were last year, proving that it's the content that counts.”

The news is great for brands like Facebook or Twitter, who already have a strong foothold on your home-screen, but could signal bad business for up-and-coming apps trying to break into your monthly collection.

So who's using what? Nielsen says the 25-44 age demographic uses the most apps in a month (29), but 18-24 are spending the most time on their apps (just north of 37 hours).

Nielsen was keen to point out that the golden oldies are all-in on the app revolution too, with smartphone users aged 55 and over spending 21 hours a month on average, across 22 individual apps.

The study also went into detail about the types of apps we're using, with social network taking the lead with an average 11 hours monthly usage. Entertainment and gaming apps also fared well, with monthly usage rising 71% since 2012.