Nearly 10 Percent of Americans Go Online Mostly with Smartphones

About 8 percent of Americans now do most of their web surfing on a smartphone, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project released Monday.

Among the 35 percent of Americans who own a smartphone, about one fourth use it as their primary access point for the Internet, the study said.

Thirty eight percent of black and Latino smartphone owners go online mostly using their cellphones compared with only 17 percent of whites, the study said.

The U.S. government has embarked on a major push to raise the government's profile in the mobile world.

Government mobile advocates tend to stress the on-the-go nature of mobile Internet use and to primarily highlight government apps that do something more active than simply outlining an agency's message or services in what amounts to a mobile-enabled web page.

The PTSD app launched by the Veterans Affairs Department and the Defense Department, for example, guides ailing veterans through a self-assessment of their anxiety level during post-traumatic stress disorder attacks and, depending on the attack's severity, responds with soothing music, pictures of a loved one or relaxing scene, or an emergency phone number.

As more and more Americans begin using mobile phones as their primary Internet access point, agencies may face pressure to squeeze more messaging about the full range of their services into what is fast becoming their primary point of contact with citizens.

About 23 percent of adult Americans say they go online using a smartphone in a typical day and 68 percent of smartphone users go online with their device in a typical day, according to the Pew study.

Smartphone ownership is more common among higher income people, college graduates and urban or suburban people, the study said.

A larger percentage of blacks and Hispanics, (44 percent each) are smartphone users than whites, (30 percent), the study found.