This digital life goes mobile
More consumers accessing internet on mobile, says new report.
More Australians are embracing the digital life – with a higher proportion accessing the internet using cell phones or mobile devices.
A March report released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says that Australians are strongly embracing the digital life at work, home and on the road.
More than nine in 10 (92 per cent) adult Australians had used the internet in the six months to May 2014, including 100 per cent of the 18-44 age group.
Younger adults are the most active digital citizens, but 68 per cent of those aged 65 and over are also participating online.
“The way Australians access the internet is changing,” says ACMA. Seventy per cent go online with a mobile phone and 50 per cent using a tablet.
Laptop and desktop computers are still the devices of choice for internet access. The home is still a preferred place to connect, although more people are going online from alternative locations such as the workplace, wireless hotspots or a friend’s place.
Among the trends, most online Australians (68 per cent) now use three or more devices to access the internet. And almost a quarter (23 per cent) are using five or more devices.
To manage multiple devices at home, there’s a trend towards the more complex home networks. Multiple devices are connected to the internet using either a fixed line or Wi-Fi networks.
“The level of digital engagement is also intensifying as people download increasing amounts of data, actively embrace cloud services for data storage, conduct more activities online, and connect as digital workers and digital consumers.”
In the June quarter of 2014, total data downloaded grew by 53 per cent over the same quarter in 2013. Notably, the growth occurred in the volume of data downloaded to mobile devices. This almost doubled (increasing by 97 per cent over the June quarter 2013).
In the last six months to May 2014, three in four Australians with a smartphone (75 per cent) downloaded an app on their mobile phone. Those aged 55 and over showed the largest increase in app downloads.
Participation in online communities and blogging is an area of increased activity. This now involves 54 per cent of online Australians. The cloud is being used to back up and store files online.
Australians are using webmail less, as an increasing range of online activities competes for attention.
“Australians of different ages use the internet in markedly different ways. Those aged 18-24 are much more likely to share files and content online through services such as Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram.”
Moreover, backing up and storing content online is popular with those aged 18-44. Digital communications are now embedded across business, work and social life. Almost half of employed people use the internet to work away from the office.
Increasingly more people are buying goods and services online. They’re using the internet to do business, work and communicate with others using a range of communications applications.
Despite this uptake – or digital engagement – more than one million Australians (around six per cent) reported that they never accessed the internet.