Every month we research and compile user data to track and analyze Internet browsing habits from the US and across the world. Analyzing and understanding these habits helps us build websites more efficiently and effectively for the end user.
This article outlines user trends and browser news from the past six months.
Google Chrome: Google will be releasing version 34 soon (it is currently in beta). The biggest updates will be coming for Android devices. Chrome has been focusing its latest efforts on increasing usability and awareness across mobile platforms. Over the past six months, mobile Chrome has seen a 143% increase in market share for mobile browsing, effectively doubling its market share since November. That is the most significant increase in mobile market share over that time period. Chrome’s desktop browser has also continued to climb, seeing a 28% increase in the US and a 15% increase in the world. As of the end of March 2014, Chrome is the most used browser for desktop devices in the entire world.
Web Browsers (Desktop; US Only) – March 2014
Chrome – 36.15%
Internet Explorer – 32.62%
Firefox – 16.7%
Safari – 10.02%
Microsoft Internet Explorer: It has been an interesting last few months for Microsoft’s browser and platforms. IE11, which was released last July with some disappointment due to a significant amount of bugs, quickly released updates to fix the problems that were found. Microsoft has seen a gigantic increase over the past six months in the US market with a remarkable 7,646% increase in market share of all IE versions. As IE9 & 10 continue their decline, we still see IE8 holding its own capturing 9.89% of the IE market share as of March of this year. Microsoft will be releasing the final security update for Windows XP on April 8th. After that, any flaws, no matter how severe, will not be patched by Microsoft. In spite of advanced warnings by Microsoft, 18% of Web users were still using the operating system as of March. We will continue to watch market trends for IE8. While the eventual goal would be to no longer support the troublesome XP, for now we will still need to keep our clients web properties as functional as possible in this browser.
Finally, Microsoft reported last year that they would start releasing quarterly updates to IE much like Chrome and Firefox have done. However, we have not seen any such updates since those reports. IE11 has released an update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 platforms. To learn more about this update, click here.
Internet Explorer Web Browsers (Desktop; US Only) – March 2014
IE 11 – 11.62%
IE 10 – 5.67%
IE 9 – 4.77%
IE 8 – 8.43%
Mozilla Firefox: Mozilla’s browser has continued to see an increase in market share over the past six months, seeing a 23% increase in the US. However, Firefox’s CEO made the news recently with anti-gay statements that could affect future market share reports. In protest, some web companies put a temporary block on their sites for Firefox users. Using a modal box, they asked users to visit their site using another browser. In other news, Firefox is finishing up beta testing for version 28. With this update, Firefox focused most of its efforts on updating its developer tool to better mirror Chrome.
Apple Safari: Apple’s default browser saw a significant decline in desktop market share in January in the wake of reports of lacking security. However, Apple recently released an updated version addressing 25 known flaws with the desktop version. Safari still owns the mobile US market share, capturing over 58% of users. Apple also continues to be the leader among Mobile Operating Systems and Mobile Device Vendors around the world.
Web Browsers (Mobile; US Only) – March 2014
Apple (Safari) – 58.35%
Android (Default Browser) – 20.02%
Chrome (App) – 13.94%
Silk (Kindle Fire Default Browser) – 1.97%
In other recent news, a study as to how the average US smartphone is used was released. Here is a breakdown of what users do on their mobile devices.
Time Spent on iOS & Android Connected Devices (2013)
- 86% Apps
- 32% Gaming
- 17% Facebook
- 9.5% Social Messaging
- 8% Utilities
- 4% YouTube
- 4% Entertainment
- 4% Productivity
- 3% News
- 3% Other
- 1.5% Twitter
- 14% Browser
- 7% Apple Safari
- 5% Google Browsers
- 2% Other
*These statics were pulled from Flurry Analytics, ComScore & NetMarketShare.
According to the report, of the 2 hours and 42 minutes that consumers in the US spend on their smartphones every day, 86 percent – all but 23 minutes – is spent in third party apps. Nearly 32 percent or one-third being chalked up to mobile gaming, with social media and messaging following closely behind at 28%. As for browsing, a remarkable 50% of all mobile browsing in the US is done through Apple’s Safari browser.
Here are more statics:
Search Engine (Desktop & Mobile; Worldwide) – March 2014
Google – 89.23%
bing – 3.67%
Yahoo! – 3.4%
Operating Systems (Desktop; US Only) – March 2014
Windows 7 – 47.57%
Mac OSX – 17.01%
Windows XP – 14.49%
Windows 8 – 7.32%
Operating Systems (Mobile; US Only) – March 2014
iOS – 60.17%
Android – 33.42%
Windows – 1.6%
Series 40 (Nokia) – 0.78%
Screen Resolution (Mobile; US Only) – March 2014
768 x 1024 – 21.18%
320 x 568 – 20.78%
320 x 480 – 15.9%
720 x 1280 – 6.33%
Synapse compiles all statics within this report from StatCounter.com. StatCounter is the world’s leader in internet market share information collection. StatCounter uses a pool of over 3 million websites that collect over 5 billion unique visitors each month.
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