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iPad Tops with People Who Actually Use Their Tablets

January 3rd, 2014 - 10:07 am

USAGE

And it’s not even close. More than three-quarters of all tablet web browsing in North America is done on iPads, despite iPads representing less than half of all tablets sold in North America.

This makes no sense to me.

I understand why iPhone commands a similar percentage of smartphone web browsing — because most Android phones are purchased by feature-phone buyers who don’t want (or use them as) smartphones. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. If all you need is a feature phone, then that’s all you should buy. And today’s Androids are a helluva lot nicer than yesteryear’s Symbians and BlackBerrys.

But if you’re going to buy a tablet, why aren’t you going to surf the web on it? For my money, there’s no better way to websurf than to do it by touch on a comfy-size screen from my sofa. And anyway it’s not like you’re going to be doing big spreadsheets on there. I know Apple makes an iPad version of their Numbers spreadsheet, and Microsoft has (sort of) ported Excel, but for my money there’s no worse device than a tablet for doing spreadsheets.

This leads me to believe that the number one purpose for Android tablets is “paperweight,” with “doorstop” a close number two.

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All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Not sure it's accurate. How does their software register use by a tablet? I know my Galaxy 10.1 is set up to pretend to be a desktop, so it does not get mobile sites. Does that register as a tablet?

This does indicate a problem with much of the web for tablets. Most sites will redirect to a mobile site set up for phones if you don't set up the browser correctly, which might put users off. Does iPad work differently by default?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, that's iPads + iPhones. I don't consider my iPhone a tablet. I do use it a lot, and if I have a paperwork session in the john at work, I'll check my email, plus Vodkapundit, instapundit, and drudge.

I strongly suspect that the usage stats are far, far heavier on iPhone than iPad. Unfortunately, this survey combines them.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I use my Nook HD+ for reading books, and occasionally I'll take it on a walk (when it isn't too cold to go gloveless) and read. I very, very rarely do any web browsing on it, since I have a 50 inch screen on my home desktop and a 42 inch screen at work.

My daily folder bookmark is 39 tabs. That doesn't really work on my android.

Tne Nook HD+ is perfect for reading books, since they opened it up to Google Play. Barnes and Noble sells it, it' works with plenty of open formats and the Amazon Kindle app lets me enjoy my Prime membership perks too. I have a kindle paperwhite...somewhere...

A relative has an iPad, and it's close to as good as a weak desktop with a pathetically small screen, but I'll take my 50 inch Vizio on an i7 32 gig RAM, 256 gig SSD and a 2 gig Nvidia GTX660.

And the closest comparable iPad to my Nook HD+ was a shade over 3 times the cost.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
... and when you posted this, I realized: it had never even occurred to me to use my Kindle Fire to browse the web. This is not motivated by antipathy, though. I've been forced to use the web function once or twice when my computer was broken, and actually, I don't have any problems with the Kindle browser. Its ease of use seemed better than the Microsoft tablet I borrowed from a friend for a while and on par with the iPads I've used at various times over the years. So, either it's very different from the normal Android browsers people complain about or I didn't use it long enough to find whatever problems they had.

Now, WHY didn't I use it more? Well, when I'm at home, I have my much larger and more powerful desktop PC. It's got two screens and I can manage tabs more easily, keep up however many hundred tabs on however many browsers I want to, etc... with no trouble. I don't have to worry about running into sites restricted because the tablet doesn't have Flash, or Java, or HTML5, or (rarely) Silverlight (Although, on the flip side, I also don't know who supports what, to be quite honest. For all I know the iPad has wonderful Silverlight integration.). As for when I'm not at home... yeah, I'm too paranoid to use public wi-fi and using my phone for internet is too expensive. I just don't browse outside the house.

I like to use my Kindle as a reading and app device exclusively, and in that capacity it's served very well. I don't really know where the underlying usage disparity comes from. I've long SUSPECTED that the difference between "Mac People" and "Microsoft People" and "Amazon People" and so on, is related to deeper divisions about what people actually prioritize in their technology. More than once, I've had a Mac or Microsoft friend utterly baffled by some Google or Amazon thing I thought was really cool (yes, for example, I DO still think Google Glass is really neat. And I think the Galaxy Gear was a good idea, poorly executed.). From which differences, a thousand unwinnable flamewars hath spawned.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The cited "study" is flawed in that it only counted hits one Chitika web ads. It is quite possible that the sites using such ads skew to iOS users.

I suppose there are times I would use a tablet to browse the web, but going from my phone usage, it wouldn't be very often. Most of my browsing is at home on my desktop. If I'm using my phone on the web I'm usually looking something up, such as a phone number, address, or specific website pertinent to what I'm working on.

If I'm not at home (or work) I'm shopping, driving, engaging in other hobbies; in other words not surfing the web.

I wonder how the numbers would change if we examined Facebook and/or photo page usage instead of ad hits.

...For those complaining about default Android browsers (I don't use the web that often on my phone) why not install Firefox for Android?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firefox is nearly as bad on Android as the default browser (including Chrome, on later devices).

And that's pretty hilarious as Google was using WebKit for their browsers until fairly recently. Now it's 'Blink', which is Googlese for "We forked WebKit and screwed it up".
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firefox is great. I've been using it since I got my Galaxy 10.1 over a year ago, and never have problems.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
People buy them for media consumption and games, the same reasons I bought my iPad. A tablet is the last device I reach for when I want to do some web browsing. For my money there is no worse way to surf the web than on a tiny (10.1" is tiny in my book) screen that gets fingerprints on it every time I click on a link.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a Samsung Note 10.1. I wish I had saved a little longer and gotten the iPad. The browser is not fun. The legacy Samsung software is a PITA. Hate. Can't delete it either. All the best games are developed for the iPad. Android users hold their breath and hope that the good stuff gets dev'd for their pad.

That said, I do lie in bed and surf, read and play light games almost every night.

But next pad will be an Apple. I also have the iPhone 4s. Will likely upgrade in next year.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have the same as you, and I tried the iPad (albeit a mini) when my wife bought one. It was horrible. Just really unpleasant to use after the Galaxy, felt like a huge phone rather than a tablet, and I missed the stylus. That is without consideration of the micro SD and the handy handy shortcuts at the bottom of the Galaxy. She felt the same, and took the iPad back and bought a Kindle Fire HD which we both like.

I have an iPhone now, and that is OK (iOS seems to fit a phone somehow) but I am still going to swap out for a Galaxy S4 Mini when my contract is up, mostly because I loath iTunes.

So, given the lack of stylus and micro SD, the OS that is irritating for anything but a phone, higher cost of apps and the necessity of using iTunes, I cannot imagine wanting an iPad whose only advantage appears to be a better screen resolution.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because it works. When I first got an iPhone, I went to the bother of getting a small wifi hot spot to plunk in my pocket so I could actually use the thing on a network not designed by lepers. Mobile Safari had just that much better an experience, and iOS that much better a UX, to make the hassle worth it.

That is still pretty much true today, though Apple wisely joined the 21st century with respect to air interfaces. While I have my issues with some of the feature bloat that has crept into Safari on OS X, the iOS version is still a world beater, by a very wide margin.

I've been using various Android phones and tablets on and off for the last several years for compatibility testing with various projects. The UX is still a comedy of errors that has me one step away from setting a given device on fire on a good day. I actually crushed a fairly recent Samsung phone in my bare effing hands because the usability was so frustrating.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
My dad got a Kindle Fire for XMas last year. All he does on it is read books. Amazon handholds users to their store on the Kindle but not much of anything else. I know the Fire is a good tablet for the web or apps but I don't think it even dawns on my dad to do that stuff. Much less bother to figure out how. Hell, when he goes to Facebook, he does it on his desktop.

Same with his iPhone. The only app he uses is Facetime. And then only w/ me cause I forced him to. Once he figured out the phone does that, he thought it was pretty neat.

I think he's typical of most users who don't get more than 10% use out of what the gadget can do.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But if you’re going to buy a tablet, why aren’t you going to surf the web on it?"

Reading and Videos and gaming. And Facebook.

People don't get a Kindle Fire to do their web browsing - they do it for a cheap way to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix videos, maybe some light gaming, and some Facebook.

Hell, I'm a "serious computer guy", who's been an iPad user since the 2, and just got a stacked Mini Retina ... and I almost never use it as a browser platform - the occasional recipe or something, or while traveling, which means "rarely".

(Phelps has a point at some level for the bargain basement no-name Android tablets; those are trash from the start.

The Google Tablets are probably over-represented in terms of browser use:sales because they're targeted at tech enthusiasts.)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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