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Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)

Games, social networking take up most time in mobile apps; productivity near bottom

Owners of devices like Apple's iPad and other mobile gadgets are largely using them for games and social networking, according to a new analysis.

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An entry on The Wall Street Journal's Digits blog took a look at the overall state of the app market, finding that it is an industry in near constant flux. As pointed out earlier in March, some 63 percent of daily used apps this year are different from daily used apps from a year ago.

The constant in all of this appears to be what kinds of apps are most popular. A Flurry Analytics study found that games account for 43 percent of the time users spend interacting with apps. Another 26 percent is taken up with social networking. Functions like news and productivity account for only two percent of app interaction time apiece.

The study also looked at the pricing of apps in Apple's app store, finding that 56 percent of entries were free, while another 23 percent were $1. Twenty-one percent of App Store apps were over a dollar. By comparison, Google's Play app store is nearly three-quarters free apps. The average price paid for an App Store app at the end of 2012 was $3.18 on an iPhone and $4.44 on an iPad, both higher than the average price of $3.06 paid in Google's Play store.