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How’s the weather? Canadians most likely to check an app for that

A driver scrapes ice from his windshield in Brampton, December 22, 2013.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Is it any surprise that in a global comparison of what apps mobile users keep going back to again and again Canadians ranked high for checking the weather?

In an online survey with more than 19,000 respondents in 27 countries conducted by Ipsos, users were asked what kinds of apps they regularly used.

Forty-seven per cent of the Canadians polled said they most often loaded a weather app, which was eight percentage points above the global average.

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By comparison, only 22 per cent of the users in Saudi Arabia regularly used a weather app and on the high end, 56 per cent of South African users pulled up a weather app often.

About a third of the Canadians surveyed said they regularly use a banking app and a quarter each said they use music and news apps frequently. Canadians were tied for third-last globally when it came to reading news through an app.

Forty-two per cent of the Canadian respondents indicated they're just not big app users at all. They said they don't regularly use any of the eight types of apps that researchers asked them about.

In another online poll of 1,009 Canadians conducted by Harris-Decima for Rogers, respondents owning smartphones had an average of 21 apps on their device and tablet owners had an average of 29 apps installed.

IPhone users had installed an average of 30 apps, which was triple the number for BlackBerry users and 50 per cent more than Google Android users. IPad users had an average of 36 apps downloaded, which was about 60 per cent more than BlackBerry and Android tablet owners.

When asked about which social media apps they had downloaded, just over half of the respondents said they had Facebook installed, 41 per cent had YouTube, 28 per cent had Twitter, 19 per cent had Instagram, 16 per cent had Google+, 14 per cent had LinkedIn and 12 per cent each had Snapchat and Pinterest.

Not surprisingly, younger respondents between the ages of 16 and 29 were far more likely to use social media apps. About 74 per cent of them used Facebook, 68 per cent used YouTube, 47 per cent used Instagram and 46 per cent each used Twitter and Snapchat.

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The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

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