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updated 8/3/2011 3:49:25 PM ET 2011-08-03T19:49:25

Smartphone users are not just addicted to their devices, they’re addicted to apps, a new study suggests.

A new report from research consultant firm Latitude and MTV networks revealed that 83 percent of users feel addicted to apps on their handheld devices.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,300 app-engaged smartphone owners between the ages of 13 and 64, investigated the underlying psychology and behaviors surrounding app adoption and which characteristics help some become successful.

The findings revealed that the top three reasons for constant app checks are that they encourage personal “me time” moments, improve everyday routines and allow users to discover new skills, such as learning a language.

Apps encourage users to relax and focus on whatever they choose, with 87 percent of participants saying apps allow them to have fun no matter where or what they are doing.

“[They] allow intense personalization and hyper-focus, filling our idle moments with on-demand 'me time,'" the report said.

App users are also drawn to those programs that enhance day-to-day experiences, from enabling productivity and creating free time to improving mental well-being. About 77 percent of participants said apps serve as their personal assistant and 91 percent said apps expose them to new things.

"We learned that apps not only provide small doses of fun, but also offer real emotional and functional value to people’s everyday lives,” said Neela Sakaria, senior vice president at Latitude. “People welcome the opportunity for apps to open their eyes to new experiences, skills, relationships and even a greater sense of well-being"”

The report also found that word-of-mouth was most important when it comes to the discovery and adoption of mobile apps, as 53 percent of participants said personal recommendations is key in deciding which apps to download.

For paid apps, price is the top factor.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at smurphy@techmedianetwork.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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