Smartphone and tablet purchases have been on the rise for several years, but 2011 was a turning point: This was the first year that these mobile devices outsold desktop and laptop PCs. The effect — and perhaps some of the cause of this — is a love affair with mobile apps, leading to more apps sold than ever and more time spent with them than ever. We mobile consumers demonstrated this very clearly both in the U.S. and abroad: Apple this month hit 18 billion downloads total on its iOS App Store, and Google’s Android Market likewise hit 10 billion.
As the year winds down, here’s a look back at the biggest, most significant things that happened in the apps we use on our smartphones and tablets this year, as well as the most important themes to watch out for come 2012
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