Canadians spend 86 per cent of their time on a mobile device in apps and only 14 per cent in a browser, with the most popular categories being social and media apps, while games and retail take a back seat, according to a recent Flurry report.

The report looked at activity on 92,000 devices in March 2015 and found Facebook to be the most popular app, taking up 22 per cent of total app time.

However, it is a “tough crowd for games” the report notes, as time spent in gaming apps was only 14 per cent, compared to 32 per cent in the US, which means if developers can make a game popular in Canada, they have “likely got a hit on their hands”.

tumblr_inline_nocwzyj5CC1tpd7xq_500While the lifestyle & retail apps category is seeing increasing global take-up, in Canada it is still in its “infancy”, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns, a Canadian investment firm, which could be partly due to the large geographic size of the country, mixed with its smaller population of 35 million.

Total session growth from March 2014 to March 2015 was 26 per cent, driven by health & fitness, sports, finance, and utilities & productivity apps, all of them growing at least 2.5 times faster than other categories.

“Developers creating apps in these categories would be well served to launch their apps in this market and reap the benefit of a deeply engaged audience,” the report suggests, adding that “Canada has long been an important country for app developers. It’s often where developers first launch their apps – to test and solicit feedback before distributing their apps globally” because it is a unique market.