October 30, 2014

New Report from Pew Internet: “Just-In-Time Information Through Mobile Connections”

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From the Overview

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has documented some of the ways that people perform just-in-time services with their cell phones. A new nationally representative survey by the Pew Internet Project has found additional evidence of this just-in-time phenomenon. Some 70% of all cell phone owners and 86% of smartphone owners have used their phones in the previous 30 days to perform at least one of the following activities:

 New Report from Pew Internet: Just In Time Information Through Mobile Connections

  • Coordinate a meeting or get-together — 41% of cell phone owners have done this in the past 30 days.
  • Solve an unexpected problem that they or someone else had encountered — 35% have used their phones to do this in the past 30 days.
  • Decide whether to visit a business, such as a restaurant — 30% have used their phone to do this in the past 30 days.
  • Find information to help settle an argument they were having — 27% haveused their phone to get information for that reason in the past 30 days.
  • Look up a score of a sporting event — 23% have used their phone to do that in the past 30 days.
  • Get up-to-the-minute traffic or public transit information to find the fastest way to get somewhere — 20% have used their phone to get that kind of information in the past 30 days.
  • Get help in an emergency situation — 19% have used their phone to do that in the past 30 days.

Overall, these “just-in-time” cell users—defined as anyone who has done one or more of the above activities using their phone in the preceding 30 days—amount to 62% of the entire adult population.

These just-in-time information searches take place in the wider context of people using their smartphones to get needed information right away. In this survey, we also asked about using cell phones to get turn-by-turn navigation or directions while driving. Some 65% of smartphone owners say they have done that, with 15% doing so on a typical day.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.