Apple's new phones lead to iTypos

A new study found that while iPhone users can type as fast as users of phones with keypads, they make more mistakes.

iPhone users make mistakes more often when texting compared to users of phones with hard keys, a new study found.

User Centric tested how many mistakes mobile phone texters make, comparing the results of iPhone users with customers who have phones with full keyboards and those with numeric keyboards. User Centric, a Chicago usability consulting company, studied 20 users in each group.

The study, while based on an extremely small sample size, makes for interesting reading.

The researchers found that while iPhone users entered text as fast as their counterparts, they made significantly more texting errors. iPhone users made 5.6 errors per message, while keyboard users made 2.1 mistakes per message and numeric phone typers made 2.4 mistakes.

The iPhone has only one key. Users type text messages on a keyboard that appears as an image on the phone's screen.

Surprisingly, the study found that iPhone texters don't improve with experience. The researchers also asked users in the other groups to send text messages using the iPhone. These novice iPhone users made mistakes at the same rate as people who have owned iPhones for at least one month, the study found.

The iPhone only recently hit shelves in Europe, where mobile phone users have been texting longer and more often than their counterparts in the U.S. The mass market in Europe has been using numeric keypads to text for years and has been largely resistant to change, with many phone users shunning predictive text programs or other texting innovations.

But Apple isn't the first to introduce a new kind of mobile text-entry system. Digit Wireless has been pushing its Fastap technology since 2001. Fastap is a combination of hardware and software technology that lets phone makers place more keys on a tiny keypad by using raised and lowered keys. The phone maker can choose what letters and numbers go on the keys and how many keys will appear on a phone.

Despite its novelty, Fastap is receiving a positive reaction in Europe, said Mark Connon, CEO of Digit Wireless, speaking during the recent CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment conference. "The iPhone is driving the user interface discussion," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?