New research out today from Disney UK reveals that in just four years since the first app was downloaded, Britain has become a nation of ‘Appy Families. 75% of parents with app-enabled devices share them with their kids and more than one third of parents already consider apps to be an ‘integral part’ of family life.
Disney surveyed 2,000 UK parents who own an app enabled device and found that despite the wealth of free apps, 49% of parents are ‘appy to spend money on apps each month. Even with the tough economic environment, the research shows two in five parents spend up to £10 each month, which means UK families could be spending as much as an estimated £132 million a year.
We have a new new app from Disney which my daughter is loving and it teaches so much too. She di dhave to show me what to do however. This report found that once downloaded, it’s usually the kids who instantly understand the technology and functionality, with 56% of parents having had their child teach them, or another family member, what to do. In my house my five year old has to show me how to use the TV remote half the time too.
It’s not just the older kids getting ‘appy, with almost half of parents, who have one child aged five or under, saying their little one uses at least one app-enabled device. 31% say their young child has taught another family member how to use an app, particularly a grandparent (62%).
29% of parents questioned admitting to using an app download as a treat for their children. For some parents, these downloads are used to reward good behaviour (17%), for others, playing apps together is a means of creating quality time with their family (16%). The appy family looks set to continue, with 50% of parents saying that if they could design an app, they would want one they can play with the whole family.
The findings also show that appy families are more likely to download games (86%) than entertainment (53%) or music (48%) apps and, surprisingly, despite being created specifically for mobile devices, children play apps most often in the home (76% of respondents).
The speed and extent to which apps have become part everyday life for millions is amazing in March 2012, the 25 billionth app was downloaded from Apple’s App Store. There are currently over 500,000 apps on the App Store and the term app was named 2010’s ‘Word of the Year’ by the American Dialect Society.
Research is based on 2,000 respondents, based in the UK, who own app enabled devices and have children under 18 years of age
 3 months average ending December 2011, Comscore, MobiLens