In an always-on, connected world with a surplus of new devices fit for every function, location and context it’s no surprise that mobile phones are helping people multi-task and even duck out of awkward situations. A recent Yahoo! Mobile/Razorfish study ( reveals some intriguing gender differences in usage and ranks the smartphone as the highest rated device in the home with 75% of votes.

The more than 2,000 U.S. respondents that participated in the study — which revealed that the iPhone 4S is the top searched mobile phone — were asked questions on their multi-tasking habits and device preferences, bringing to light some interesting trends and valuable insights. The study found 52% of consumers use their mobile device to escape awkward situations. Women are more likely to use their phone as an excuse than men.

Overall men (59%) are using their web-enabled mobile devices most frequently for navigational purposes. And, not surprisingly, men were almost twice as likely to say that checking their mobile for sports news causes arguments with their significant other (29%) compared to women (17%).

The smartphone is the new fact checker; 58% of men are “fact checking” on their mobile web browser while at a live sporting event, with nearly half (47%) checking out scores of other games and players.

An overwhelming 90% of those polled said that multi-tasking on their smartphone (while watching live TV and commercials) was to communicate with others (via text or phone).

Over three quarters (77%) of content searched for on laptop/desktop devices while watching TV is NOT related to the show they’re watching. However, over half (57%) of people multitasking on tablets are searching for related content.

Per the Yahoo Mobile/Razorfish survey, young women are the prime demographic to surf the Internet related to what they’re watching (65% of women under the age of 35, compared to 47% of men of the same age).

Men are more likely to use their mobile device as a functional, all- in-one tool; whereas women are more likely to use it as an extension of the traditional phone, to update and connect with friends across their social networks on the go.

Online purchases on smartphones are more popular with men (70% under 35 years) than with women (64% under 35 years). Now that surprises me.

— Dennis Sellers