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Older Americans Increasing Use of Mobile Devices

by Sara Foster | Mar 18, 2020

Older adults in the US are typically slower to adopt newer technologies than their younger counterparts. This has been particularly true with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, a survey from December 2019 found that Americans 50 years and older are increasing their use of these devicesphoto of a senior man looking at a smartphone

The 2020 Tech and the 50+ Survey from AARP found that smartphone adoption has increased to 86% among US adults in their 50s and 81% among adults in their 60s. In 2014, only 48% percent of those age 50 and older owned smartphones. In addition, this age group has increased their use of tablets to 52% in 2019 from 30% in 2014.

How are older Americans using these devices? The survey found these results:

  • Smartphone use by people over 50, other than sending/receiving messages:
    • Maps, directions and traffic information – 68%
    • Visiting specific websites or surfing the internet – 58%
    • Getting news and other information – 58%
    • Accessing social media sites – 55%
  • Tablet use by people over 50:
    • Visiting websites or surfing the internet – 54%
    • Getting news and other information – 43%
    • Accessing social media – 41%
    • Playing games – 41%
    • 60% of tablet users use their devices daily.

The survey data came from 2,607 US adults age 50 and over who responded to the survey.

  • mobile trends
  • mobile strategy
  • seniors

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