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Typing Trouble: Text Input Gap Hinders Business Use of Tablets

Tablet computers won’t be truly ready for business use until the on-screen typing experience improves, new research shows. Until this input gap is bridged, tablets will be consigned mostly to passive use such as media consumption .

Typing with speed and accuracy using the  touch screen typing systems used by tablet computers  such as the iPad requires too much of an effort, according to new research by Opinion Matters for KeyPoint Technologies.

"The poor typing experience leaves people viewing the devices as a compromised hybrid, midway between a smartphone and a laptop," said Sunil Motaparti, chief technology officer of KeyPoint Technologies. "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 .”

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, the research finds.

The biggest frustration comes from typing documents that are more than 500 words. 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 the keyboard.

The most popular tablet activities reflect the limitations of the devices’ text input capabilities, revolving around Web browsing (80 percent), games (61 percent), email (57 percent), Facebook, Twitter and other social media (56 percent).

"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," said Motaparti.