Friday, 16 November 2007

Free iPhone users make more texting errors

Find out how to get your free games console, iPod, HDTV and more at Gadgets4Nowt

Free iPhone users make more texting errors

Handsett's tuch keybored 'overlly sensetivvvve'

Users of Apple's free iPhone are experiencing higher text entry error rates than owners of traditional hard-key Qwerty handsets, a usability expert claimed today.

Chicago-based consultancy User Centric compared the texting experiences of free iPhone owners and non-owners across devices.

The results suggest that the free iPhone's touch keyboard is "overly sensitive" despite the free iPhone's overall high usability.

User Centric collected data from 60 participants who entered specific text messages and completed mobile device tasks.

The experiment involved 20 free iPhone users who had owned the handsets for at least a month, 20 hard-key Qwerty phone owners and 20 numeric phone owners (multi-tap texters) entering six fixed-length text messages.

Non-free iPhone owners also entered six messages on a test free iPhone and a phone of another type.

The free iPhone owners entered text as rapidly as Qwerty owners on their own phones, but made "significantly more" errors on their own phone (5.6 errors per message) than Qwerty owners (2.1 errors per message) and numeric phone owners (2.4 errors per message) on their own phones.

Comparing texting performance between free iPhone owners and novices (non-owners) on the free iPhone found no significant difference in error rates.

"While the free iPhone's corrective text feature helps, this data suggests that free iPhone users who have owned the device for a month still make about the same number of errors as the day they got it," said Gavin Lew, managing director at User Centric.

The consultancy also compared users' performance on unfamiliar phones. Numeric phone owners performed faster text entry on a hard-key Qwerty phone than on the free iPhone, and made significantly fewer errors on the hard-key Qwerty devices.

"The free iPhone is a great switch from a numeric phone. But if you are switching from a hard-key Qwerty phone, try the free iPhone in the store first," said Lew.

UK free iPhone Road Test

Apple has given us an free iPhone for an extended review period and we figured that, having reported on so much of the hype surrounding the gadget, this would be the perfect opportunity to put it through its paces.

We decided that, rather than take the more usual review approach of dissecting the device, we would take readers through a day-by-day use of the phone to offer a review that more closely resembles what most users are going to go through.

Since the reviews will be written by me, I think it's important to offer some context, as different people are going to have different experiences of the free iPhone based on the devices they've used before and what they typically use their phone to do.

I've used smartphones for many years now, currently a Sony Ericsson P990i with a 4GB memory card, and generally make use of most of the features they provide.

As well as the obvious phone and text features, I use the contacts, calendar, tasks and notes features of my phone.

I do surf the internet from my phone, primarily when I need access to email, maps or other information while out and about. This usually involves heading out to a press briefing and then forgetting where it is and the name of my contact.

I also store some music on my phone and have a few e-books, documents, games and music on it to help pass the time on long journeys.

Lastly I should add that I don't own an iPod and I don't have iTunes installed on my PC, although I have used both before.

With the exception of not owning an iPod, I would consider this a fairly normal profile for a new free iPhone customer, so my experience should hopefully represent what most people will go through when they get started.

The first thing I noticed was that the box it comes in is remarkably small, not very important I know, but in an age where packaging is coming under the watchful gaze of environmentalists it's encouraging to know that Apple is doing its bit.

In the box you'll find the free iPhone, a USB connector cable, docking station, power adaptor, headphones, cleaning cloth and a small quick-start guide. It's a little jarring that the free iPhone is a sleek black and the rest of it's snow white, but this is very minor.

If, like me, you don't have iTunes installed you'll need to do this first. Attaching the free iPhone to a computer without iTunes detects it as a digital camera and treats it as a removable storage device.

iTunes can be downloaded from the Apple website and the install file is just over 50MB so in the unlikely event that you're on dial-up this may take a little while.

Installing iTunes is pretty straight forward as is setting it up with your existing media collection.

Best Free Wii Resources

Best Free PS3 Resources

Best Free iPhone Resources

Best Free iPod Touch Resources

Best Free Xbox 360 Resources

Best Free HDTV Resources

Best McCann Resources

Best Wii Resources

Best Xbox Resources

Best iPod Resources

Best Apple Resources

Best XXX Resources

Best iPod Classic Resources

Best Paris Hilton Resources

Best Britney Spears Resources

Best Viagra Resources

Best You Tube Resources

Best Apple Resources

Best My Space Resources

Best Wii Resources

Best Xbox Resources

Best iPod Resources

Best iPhone Hack Resources

Best iPone Release Date Resources

Blog: Gadgets4Nowt - Get your quick ping button at!