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One-sixth of people use just their phones to get online

We're slowly dumping our computers for handhelds to get online

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Using your computer to access the internet is swiftly going out of style. Instead, we're ditching those cumbersome bricks of wire and chips for our mobile devices, operating apps, pulling up information and essentially running our lives all from a device that fits neatly into our pocket.

Dependency on mobile devices is growing rapidly. One out of every six people will use mobile phones — and only these — to get online this year. That population is set to grow from the 45 million in 2018 to what eMarketer calls the "mobile-only audience" of 55.7 million by 2022.

Online content is easily consumed through smartphones and handhelds. The idea that we once needed a large format screen to watch a video clip, play an online game (Pokémon Go anyone?) or read a news article has long passed.

But people access the internet for far more than information and entertainment. Our mobile devices are now the remote controls for our connected devices. Our phones are how we operate many of the so-called smart products we have at home whether that's a pet feeder, door lock or even our TV.

Samsung just made this point, showing how its new TVs can be linked to home Wi-Fi — and even apps like Hulu and Spotify — all through a few clicks on a smartphone. (Now you really can lose the remote and not worry about it.)

How we operate things at home is changing rapidly. We once depended on keys to open the door, a switch to turn on the lights, and our hands to peer inside our refrigerator to see if we were out of milk. Today, many of us use apps, on our mobile phones, to run some of these actions, some of us use our voice — and tomorrow we may just walk in and our devices will recognize our face.

For now, the mobile phone seems to be the device du jour to play games, run our home, and if eMarketer is correct, depend on to get online in coming years.


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