How Men and Women Use Their Smartphones Differently

man-woman-phone624.pngThe genders may be equal, but their smartphone usage may not be. While
there have been no readily available studies on how men and women may
use their phones differently, we suspected that there had to be trends
to separate the two. In an effort to get an idea of just how wide the
gap may be, we asked some of the most hardcore iPhone and Blackberry
junkies what they thought. The results may surprise you!


Husband and wife team Bill Horvath II and his wife Jen shared the differences they see in their use of the iPhone. ”To be perfectly direct, I haven’t noticed substantial differences in how we use the phone, though Jen’s more apt to use it for reading books than I am,” admits Bill. Jen, on the other hand, suspects that Bill spends more time gaming on his phone. While she grew up without many games in the home, the allure is unmistakeable. “Losing sleep to play one more level of Peggle is absurd. And I am guilty.”

But what about users who are not married. Would there be more drastic differences in their phone habits?

Casual Gaming Between the Sexescouple laughing smart phone.jpg
Both men and women agreed that playing games on their phones was taking up more and more of their time. Whether they were playing stand-alone games housed completely in their phones, or chose to use a mobile application that connected them to online team ventures when on the go, each gender admitted to finding gaming “addictive” when they were able to access it anytime and anywhere via the smartphone.

Silly games, like Fling! for the iPhone, are popular among both genders. Word games seemed to appeal more to women (although a fair share of the men we talked to liked them, as well), and the games and apps that bordered on nasty or juvenile (iFart, for instance) held a steady younger male user audience. Men were also notoriously more open to playing games with a long-term goal in mind: Role Playing Games (RPG) and “building” modules seem to be played by a slightly higher number of males in our interviews.

For Women, by Womennatural women.jpg
Not surprisingly, the gender of an app developer could play into who downloaded it and how high they rated it. Most recently, an app hit the market that was designed to help women count contractions during labor. Many of the female users complained that it only counted contractions from the end of one to the beginning of another (not from the beginning of one to the beginning of another.) While no one could tell the gender of the developer just by the info given on the download page, many of the disgruntled users assumed that it was an uneducated male – and then swore off any other apps by the same developer.

There is also a growing market of smartphone tools designed to reach into the more sensitive areas of a woman’s life. Things that women would speak about only to one another, or to no one at all, can be tracked, learned about, or perfected via a smartphone app. Thanks to sites like LadyAppApp, gals can get the latest news on tools designed just for them, like TouchCloset, iCoolHunt, iPeriod and, of course, all those really cool pregnancy apps. Even sites like TechCrunch and Mashable have interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to cover apps for women, exclusively. (Because you know you want to know how big your booty is, right ladies?)


When Apps Imitate Lifemom girl magazine.jpg
Most women we talked to seemed to have apps that reflect exactly what they would look for in a magazine feature, newspaper, or television feature. Horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and music news applications were common in the same age groups that would look them up in a recent edition of Cosmo or Glamour. They also shared that they have replaced many of these traditional forms of entertainment with phone applications. And why not? They are easy-to-access, and many of them are very affordable (or even free!)

Linsey Knerl / Wise Bread
Linsey Knerl
Linsey is the Community Manager for Wise Bread, a community dedicated to helping folks live large on a small budget. Linsey loves savvy tech solutions that help her share the world with her children.
Read More From Linsey Knerl
  • Heather Flett

    My husband is a huge reader on his iPhone. I prefer real books. Him, games! Me, mostly email, texting, calendar, etc.

  • LadyAppApp

    Suh-weet! Thanks for the name dropping. Only fitting, Lady AppApp is a minor celeb. Seriously though, app discovery is really tough and I think the app market is largely male dominated. I’m hesitant on to peg what is a “female app” just as I would be hesitant to say dolls are for girls and trucks are for boys, and I want to show women the myriad of apps out on the market. That said there are some apps that I feel like have uniquely enhanced my life as a woman. Tracking my sexual activity and period makes a big difference in my day to day health maintenance. Dating apps have made being busy and active and finding potential partners a lot more engaging. The app store is much more than just games and fart apps and I want women to know what’s out there for them.

    Check us out or follow on twitter: or

    • Ramazan

      Since you don’t leave ceommnts on my blog I’ll write you a ceommnt. :PI have to say that I haven’t done any more checking, but since the package is offering all the files it seems odd to me that with a little hack you won’t be able to run your own apps.I am thinking to linksys. When they released the firmware it wasn’t meant to run your own apps, but developers got around it.I used to have a netgear router at home and I had found pages that explained how to start the telnetd that was pre-installed, but not started.I guess it’s the same.We should run some contest as it seems to be a la page , lately (thinking about windows on the Xbox or on the Mactel).

  • Chandra

    You actually CAN brswoe the internet. Click on search icon from the main menu and type in a url (e.g. and it will take you to that website. You can use this for checking email or just looking at internet pages. You can change the display for the internet to landscape too.

  • s1974x

    I wonder when it will be considered misogynist to expect women to pay for their apps with their own money.

  • InnocentIII

    This exists as a story because of what?

    What national problems does this solve? People…..

  • Kashdoller

    Wow you managed to mistake your confused superior position in society with cell phone usage.

    Clue to the writer: I absolutely loved your section you devoted to the all male apps, how informative. Even though it lost 3 paragraphs to 1 paragraph when compared to its all-female devoted time in your fine blog piece, I can certainly understand why! Actually you told us why! Here is what you had to say on the utterly ridiculous notion of all-male anything

    “all apps in the ‘early days’ were created by, for men”

    Apps in the “early days”? By early days I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the iPhone 2 because that was the first one to have App Store and bacicslly revolutionized the smart phone industry. That was 2008, less than 5 years ago. And I got news for ya, big headline news. Two things actually….

    1. We are still in the “early days”
    2. The apps were then and CONTINUE to be primarily built by men. You implied this changed? No it hasn’t. Men are different than women and are naturally more gifted at math and programming than women. I can tell you have problem accepting this but it’s true.
    3. The apps were NEVER built -for- men! You are one funny cookie. The people building these apps have built them to sell and do have target groups. But as a whole there was never this big all male app golden age like you allude to.

    What you did here was write an article about women’s apps and devoted a small amount of space at the end to talk about how deservingly less important any all male apps could be and should be. So in your head you made up the same old used story about the gender privilege we men get based off of the EVIL patriarchy that we as men are due to reap in the sorrows of our sins because of it. It’s so ingrained in your brain you even made up some golden age of AppStore which was all male dominated and all male apps and females were home cooking on the sideline back in those rough long ago years of 2008 and 2009, right?

    Blah. Oh and is celebrity gossip and horoscopes reslly what you think most females want on their phone? Well you Can’t really get any more dumbed down than that can u??