"people using apps more and more" EXCEPT for news/reference in which case they were almost not using apps at all and only using mobile web
According to the most recent annual study conducted by the IAB, even consumption of news, search, and information in the US favors apps:
57% of users in these categories use mobile apps OVER the mobile web.
This is less than the usage across all categories (which is 88% to 12% in favor of apps), but even in the news, search, and information categories, app usage still represents the MAJORITY of internet time spent by people in the US.
I think this pretty much supports the thesis of the original email of apps = Global North, web = Global South.