July 2, 2014

Tablets continue to grow in popularity

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Tablets are the new computing platform. While smartphones are an established essential, many people have questioned the need for a device that sits between a smartphone and a laptop. However, new figures suggest that school of thought has now changed…

Data from Kantar reveals that 45% of British adults now own a tablet, up by 13% on last year. The biggest fans are 33 – 44 year olds with 58% having at least one tablet in their household.

Although Apple remains the market leader, their share is falling – from 63% six months ago to 56% according to the latest figures.

Difference in use to smartphones

Smartphones are very portable and tend to be on a person pretty much 24/7. They are always in reach and used for quick checks or look-ups or extended periods to kill time – such as the commute.

The majority of tablets rarely leave the home. They are used as a portable home computing platform particularly in the evenings, when users are watching television – a trend known as ‘second screening’. Often tablets will be the port of call for longer periods of research, such as holiday shopping or which car to buy.

Children and tablets

Tablets are becoming increasingly more popular among children too; perhaps owing to the fact parents feel they are safer due to the lack of calling and texting ability.

Currently 69% of parents of school age children have a tablet at home and data from Futuresource Consulting reveals that tablets are now a more popular gaming platform than the Nintendo 3DS

Apps for tablets

It’s fair to say then that tablets should not be overlooked in the app development process. Understanding the purpose of your app and how a consumer will use it is essential to decide which platform it is most suited to – it may be that both is the answer.

One critical thing to remember is that smartphone apps don’t always translate directly onto tablets. The larger screen makes navigation much easier and opens up new avenues for creative design and user interface and whilst it’s just as important to keep a tablet app easy to use, there are often many more possibilities.