Smartphone location-based services on the rise, study says

Location-based app Foursquare on an iPhone 4 Chenda Ngak

Location-based app Foursquare on an iPhone 4
Chenda Ngak
(CBS News) More smartphone users are using location-based services, according to a recent study by Pew Research.

Almost 74 percent of smartphone users enable location-based services to get real-time information, with 18 percent using the technology to "check in" to share their location with friends.

The number is a rise from 55 percent of American adults in 2011. The study suggests part of the reason for the jump in users is because of the increasing number of smartphone owners.

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"Over the past year, smartphone ownership among American adults has risen from 35% of adults in 2011 to 46% in 2012. This means that the overall proportion of U.S. adults who get location-based information has almost doubled over that time period, from 23% in May 2011 to 41% in February 2012," reports Pew.

Location-based services can range from Google Maps to Foursquare. Most popular apps now include the feature. The mobile photo-sharing app Instagram lets users tag a photo with its geo-location. Facebook launched its own location-sharing service, Places, in 2010.

Pew's findings are based on results from Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which conducted phone interviews with 2,253 adults, 18 and older, from January 20 to Feb. 19, 2012. The interviews were in English and Spanish - 1,352 calls were on landlines and 901 were on cell phones (440 of those cell phone users did not have a landline).

Read the full report at PewInternet.org.

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