A company in Chicago is claiming that it takes twice as long to write a text message on an iPhone compared to regular mobiles.
User Centric tested the iPhone’s texting features with frequent texters to see how rapidly they could adapt to the iPhone’s touch keyboard. All 20 participants sent at least 15 messages per week. Ten participants owned phones with a full QWERTY keypad and 10 owned phones with a numeric keyboard. None of the participants owned an iPhone.
Each participant typed six fixed-length text messages on their own phone and six on an iPhone. It took QWERTY users almost twice as long to create the same message on the iPhone as it did on their QWERTY phone. While there was improvement over time, the difference persisted even after using the iPhone for 30 minutes.
In contrast to QWERTY users, numeric users used the “multitap” method of entering text messages on their phones. They pressed individual number keys multiple times to get a desired letter or character to appear. Although multitap is inherently inefficient, numeric phone users took nearly as long to create a message on the iPhone as they did on their numeric phones. There was no increase in efficiency despite the iPhone’s corrective text approach.
When using the iPhone’s touch keyboard, all participants frequently selected keys that they had not intended. Participants usually corrected these errors by using the backspace key to erase one character at a time. Only 7 participants figured out how to use the corrective text feature on their own.
The complete summary of this study is available at http://www.usercentric.com/iPhoneTextEntry.html