Google Finds Tablet A 'Multitasking' Device
Tablets have become multitasking devices, with more than 42% of activities occurring while doing another task or engaging with another entertainment medium. But the majority using a tablet -- 82.2% -- to watch videos or other big-screen activities do not switch to another device in midstream. That means a consumer may start and finish watching a movie on the same tablet device, according to research released Wednesday.
Google released research Wednesday that finds this is not the case when it comes to searching for information. The research shows that activities like shopping and searching, managing finances, checking the calendar, and email can begin on a tablet and then end up on a smartphone or laptop.
Of all the activities people do on tablets, checking email, playing games, social networking and searching are the most frequently done in front of the TV. They also have become companions for checking email while eating, and playing music while cooking.
Tablets are personal devices. About 91% of the time people spend on tablets is related to personal, rather than professional, activities. It turns out that people do more activities on tablets in shorter bursts on weekdays, such as checking email during the weekdays and playing games, watching videos or movies, and social networking on the weekends.
Google released search trends on tablets in September. The company identified that during the workday users search from their computers and they use smartphones throughout the day with an increase during commute times and in evenings. Tablet use spikes dramatically in the evening. While both tablets and mobile are portable devices, the data points to tablets being used primarily at home as leanback devices.
Tablets typically stay within the home, traveling from the couch to the bed to the kitchen. Few consumers take their tablets with them when they leave the house, but people often take them on vacation or work trips. where they use them as a laptop replacement. Only a small number take them on commutes, and most don't share their tablet with another family member, according to Google.
Tablet owners are contributing to online spending. The National Retail Federation released numbers this week revealing that consumers on tablets did their share of holiday spending. The NRF found that while 42.9% do not plan to research or make a product purchase on their tablet, 37.4% said they would research products and compare prices, followed by 25.7% who would purchase products and 25.2% who said they would look up product, location or store hours information.