App and behaviour changing across smartphones during lockdown

EE has announced their latest report into the changing habits and trends of their customers. It shows how the usage of services and apps has changed recently, as lockdown came in and then eased off.

What’s perhaps not too surprising, as the lockdown restrictions eased some weeks ago, was how traffic to travel and holiday websites more than doubled. EE saw sites like Airbnb,, EasyJet, Ryanair and Skyscanner getting a big increase in usage and requests. This came as people fought to secure holidays and quick getaways in the sun. However, recent quarantine and restrictions on gatherings have meant that a lot of potential breaks are now either on hold or cancelled.

Likewise, being stuck inside, many online gaming sites like Mr Bet slots have seen a big rise in usage. The enforced shut-in has meant that many are turning to digital distractions in greater numbers, with mobile gaming studios enjoying a big increase in profits and players enjoying the odd payout via sites like goto The big increase in leisure time for more than 2bn smartphone owners has meant that gamers have found new games, new skills and now there’s been a massive increase in mobile advertising revenue too.

The massive mobile gaming revenues now put PC and console spending firmly in the shade, with smartphones earning developers $100bn this year. The advent of “free to play” games, which allow free entry with in-game purchases earning a continual revenue stream for developers, has proved hugely successful with smartphone gamers.

As we exit lockdown and enter a new period of restrictions, there’s been an explosion of movement in-between. EE tracked smartphones and saw customers moving around the UK far more during the May bank holiday and June heatwaves. Previously there was a relatively strong adherence to the lockdown measures. Likewise, traffic to fitness apps such as Strava reduced massively during the lockdown. Instead – along with gaming – the network saw a big rise in streaming video usage on sites like YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video.