Study shows smartphones act as entertainment guide


TAIPEI–Most Taiwanese smartphone users mainly use the electronic device as a restaurant finder and travel guide, a recent Internet survey has found.

Some 38 percent of the Taiwanese responding to the survey said they use smartphones to look for restaurants and food recommendations, while another 35 percent described smartphones as convenient sources of travel information, according to a large-scale study conducted by Google last year.

Smartphones not only help Taiwanese consumers locate restaurants, they facilitate the sharing of food and travel experiences, the study, called Our Mobile Planet, found.

The study also drew responses from smartphone users living in the greater Asia-Pacific region.

Among smartphone owners in the 18-29 age bracket, 66 percent of those in Singapore said the mobile device served mostly as a food directory, followed by 55 percent in Hong Kong, and 40 percent in Australia and China, respectively.

Half of all Singaporean smartphone users and 49 percent of smartphone users in Hong Kong, all aged between 30-49, agreed, it said.

Among those that have tried to capitalize on the trend is local food and leisure website iPeen, which runs a free food app that provides a list of restaurants and landmark sights for Taiwanese users.

Since the debut of the app’s iOS version in 2010, it has attracted nearly 100,000 downloads, and about 90 percent of the users have updated its recently revised version, it said.

An Android version of the app also reached 1,000 downloads in the 24 hours since making its debut, iPeen added.

Users can use the app to catalogue and manage information, including their favorite Michelin restaurants and places to visit, iPeen said.

Users can also search for a restaurant nearest them by initiating the global positioning system embedded in the app, iPeen said.