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Smartphone users go for location services

May 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM

WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- A survey of U.S. smartphone owners found nearly three-quarters of them access their mobile devices to get location-based information in real time.

In a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 74 percent of smartphone users said they often used location-based services to find restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses proximate to their current location, and about 18 percent said they then use so-called geo-location services such as Foursquare to check in and report where they are to friends family.

"It has been fascinating to watch how people's physical location has re-entered the picture in their communications patterns," Pew Internet Research Specialist Kathryn Zickuhr told Mashable.

Not surprisingly, Pew said, location-based information services and geo-social "check-in" services are most popular among young adults.

"For a long time in our research, we've seen that location didn't matter to consumer's Internet use or cellphone use. But the rise of location services and awareness has become a new part of people's use of these digital technologies," Zickuhr said. "The importance of where people are is reemerging as an element of their identity and their social interactions."