Posted by: garyskidmore | September 15, 2014

My Mobile, Multiscreen Life – with More Living to Come

From ATX -- My Multiscreen Life

Like you, I’m very busy managing my life (personal and business) with my three screens: iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air. My use of each screen reflects the strengths – and weaknesses – of each, and I’m still largely tethered to any one screen for any given task. In other words, no one device is likely to replace completely another – at least not in the immediate future.

For example, using my iPhone or iPad throughout the day, I may spot stories, news or ideas I want to link to and share using LinkedIn and Twitter (@gskid on Twitter — follow me). I’ll also check Facebook numerous times daily to keep up with family and friends.  I rarely use my notebook for these tasks.

I also daily use several apps on my mobile and tablet, — Google Maps, Safari, iTunes, Pandora and the online editions of The Wall Street Journal and Austin American-Statesman. I also listen to the iPad app of Bloomberg every morning. And everyday on my drive to the office I use the Apple podcast app to listen podcasts from TED, KCRW, Dan Pink, Freakonomics and Andy Stanley.

Then there are those mobile apps that I use for a specific purpose:

  •  Fandango (to check on movie times and buy tickets)
  • Airline and Hotel apps to make reservations and confirm details (Southwest has the best)
  • Weather Bug (to see if it will once again be above 100º in Austin)
  • Pay for my bold coffee with the Starbucks app
  • Check scores, listen and occasionally watch via ESPN’s apps
  • Amex and Wells Fargo apps to make payments and deposits (just snapshot the check via the app and it’s deposited!)
  • Walgreens app to send photos to my 86-year-old mom (the photos print at a Lubbock store and she picks up since she doesn’t do Facebook or iPhone)

According to Nielsen, U.S. Android and iPhone users age 18 and over spend 65 percent more time each month using apps than they did just two years ago. In Q4 2013, they spent 30 hours, 15 minutes using apps, a full half-day more than in Q4 2011. The average number of apps used per month increased to 26.5.

My own behavior may help explain why mobile ad spend is overtaking radio and print — is TV next?

There are still many things that are done best on my MacBook.

  • I’m editing this blog with Word.
  • I build and review complex spreadsheets
  • And accessing attachments (perhaps I need to store everything on the cloud)
  • Especially buying stuff online (even though I do most of my searches on my phone)

Unfortunately, when it comes to ecommerce, a reliable, easy-to-use mobile wallet is still elusive for me. (I’m hoping Apple Pay is the answer.) This remains the big opportunity.  According to Nielsen and xAd/Telemetrics, more than 50 percent of buying searches are on a mobile, but only 33 percent of online shopping is on a mobile device, while 77 percent of smartphone shopping lead to in-store purchases.

The reason I like my financial apps is that I can complete a transaction…pay a bill, deposit, transfer, but unless I use a retailer’s specific app (Amazon, for example) I have to complete the 30 or so steps to complete a purchase and that’s just too hard with my phone typing. We need a universal way (thumb print checkout, perhaps) so we can do search-and-complete transactions.

At the end of the day, I turn to one of my leading indicators: watching what millennials do. I still see them using laptops, tablets and smartphones. Certainly, as we’re multi-screen, jumping from one to another, we’re not using each screen equally for the same purposes. I wonder if we ever will. The PC is not dead.

Tell me about your multi-screen habits and your mobile use (how many apps do you regularly use?) that you’d like to offer a comment on – post it below!

Helpful Links:

MarketingCharts and CMO Council: How is the Media Mix Changing? |

MarketingLand: Mobile Ad Revenue Surpasses Print & Radio |

Nielsen: Smartphones – So Many Apps So Much Time |–so-much-time.html

Wired: How Working on Multiple Screens Can Actually Help You Focus |


At the heart of this multiscreen life is a counterintuitive realization: that a profusion of devices can help focus one’s attention rather than fracture it. A pile of browser tabs on your laptop becomes mentally confusing; tasks get hidden and maybe forgotten. But when screens are physically separate, the problem evaporates.”

— Clive Thompson in Wired (July 7, 2014)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: