The number of Americans owning a cell phone remained stable from 2009 to 2010, but what cell phone owners did with their phones changed significantly. Of the eight mobile data applications asked about in both 2009 and 2010, all showed statistically significant year-to-year growth. Among cell phone owners, this included taking a picture with your phone (76% did so in 2010, up from 66% in 2009), sending text messages (72%, up from 65%), sending email (34%, up from 25%), accessing the internet (38%, up from 23%) and playing music (33% from 21%). Additionally, new questions revealed a majority of cell phone owners (54%) have sent a picture or video to someone with their phone, 23% have accessed a social networking site and 10% have posted on a status update service such as Twitter. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.