The touch screen typing systems used on tablet computers such as the iPad require such an effort to type with speed and accuracy that tablets are used mainly as passive devices, according to new research commissioned by KeyPoint Technologies
and conducted independently by Opinion Matters.
The research reveals this issue discourages people from engaging in more complex, creative activities beyond simple emailing, and online social media interaction. This limits the tablet’s potential, particularly in the corporate world.
Typing is the biggest frustration
The research shows that tablet users’ biggest frustration is typing long documents of more than 500 words (44%), ahead of battery (36%) and connectivity concerns (23%). When questioned, users reported that it is not the on-screen keyboard itself that causes issues, but poor auto-correction, predictive text, and copy-and-paste functions associated with it.
“It’s clear that text input will be the next battlefield in tablet computing, as manufacturers try to steal a march on each other and improve the utility of their tablets,” says Sunil Motaparti, CTO of KeyPoint Technologies. “The poor typing experience leaves people viewing the devices as a compromised hybrid, mid-way between a smartphone and a laptop. Only with improved - faster and more accurate - text input technologies, can the tablet become a realistic replacement for laptops and a real aid to productivity.”
Activities governed by tablet limitations
The most popular activities people use a tablet for reflect the limitations of the devices’ text input capabilities, revolving around Web browsing (80%), games (61%), e-mail (57%), Facebook, Twitter, and other social media (56%).
The input gap holds the tablet back
Other findings from the KeyPoint Technologies "How Tablets Can Steal A March On Laptops" report include:
- The most popular form of entry was the manufacturer’s device touchpad with 31% of users preferring this mode of entry. Only 9% of users wanted speech recognition.
- The difficult typing experience on tablets leaves people viewing the devices as mid-way between a smartphone and a laptop (45% smartphone; 45% laptop).
- The majority of respondents agreed the auto-correct functionality on tablets required improvement (81%).
- Users under 45 were more likely to have an expectation that tablets offer a laptop-like experience. Eighty-six percent of these users felt the auto-correct could be improved.
The primary research findings are based on responses from 1,011 people in the U.S. who use tablet computers. The research was commissioned by KeyPoint Technologies and conducted independently by Opinion Matters in June 2011.