But due to the popularity of free apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the number of people using their smartphones to make conventional voice calls fell by 1.7 percent in 2017.
Britons check their smartphones once every 12 minutes on average, according to the report, and for many people checking their phone is the first thing they do when they wake up and the last thing they do before they go to sleep.
For the first time women spent more time online than men, particularly in the age group 18 to 34.
Ofcom report finds worrying stats about our internet use:— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) 2 August 2018
— 80% of Britons spend less than 40 hours a week on the internet
— 35% of young Britons don’t check their phone within five minutes of waking up
— Four-fifths of public don’t feel stressed if their internet connection dies
Smartphones Getting In Way Of Human Interaction
But the hegemony of the smartphone is also annoying us, with more than half of consumers saying devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with their relatives and friends and 43 percent admitting they themselves spend too much time online.
A majority of Britons found it bad form to use their form during meal times but there was a distinct generation gap when it came to using a phone while watching television, with 62 percent of the over-55s objecting, compared with only 21 percent of those aged 18-34.
The Communications Market Report 2018 has been published. Grab your morning cuppa and have a read through the #CMR2018 highlights, revealing a decade of digital dependency: https://t.co/A9JFB6rKVv pic.twitter.com/R8QBnvmBFe— Ofcom (@Ofcom) 2 August 2018
"Over the last decade, people's lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services," said Ofcom's director of market intelligence Ian Macrae.
"Whether it is working flexibly, keeping up with current affairs or shopping online, we can do more on the move than ever before. But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they're not," said Mr. Macrae.
There was a big generational divide regarding smartphone functions.
Our level of mobile phone addiction revealed…— Sarah-Jane Mee (@skysarahjane) 2 August 2018
We check our mobile phones on average every 12 mins (pretty sure mine is more like every 2 mins 🙈) and feel stressed if we can’t access the internet @Ofcom
How switched on are you?
More @SkyNews #Sunrise from 6am@jonathansamuels pic.twitter.com/vekarpb3mR
Young People Want Video Streaming
People over 35 tended to believe web browsing was more important, while those under 35 were more interested in video streaming.
The Ofcom report also found 78 percent of adults have a smartphone, 42 percent of UK households owned a smart TV and one in eight homes had a smart speaker, like Amazon Echo.
The average spend on communications per household was £124 per month and four out of ten households subscribe to Netflix while the average user get through 1.9 gigabytes of data each month.
Almost 70 percent of users say they choose to watch TV programmes and films on-demand to avoid adverts and 35 percent admitted to "binge watching" their favorite programmes on their devices.