iPad Owners Love Reading Digital Content But Email Is Still The Most Common iPad Task


More than half of iPad owners prefer to read news and books on their device rather than on paper.

There’s no question that the iPad is incredibly popular and revolutionary. As the device continues to become part of our daily lives, we’re beginning to see the iPad take hold in schools, workplaces, and our homes. What’s the most common task performed on an iPad(or other tablet)?

According to research firm Gartner, the most frequent task is checking email.

In a new report, Gartner used survey data from consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia that was recorded in a diary-style format at the end of last year. Email was the most common task performed on a tablet but a more interesting observation from Gartner is that people are largely using tablets as a way to replace tasks that previously involved printed and paper in one form or another.

The report stopped well short of saying we’re going to become a paperless society in the near future, but it did identify some interesting trends.

After checking email, which was a task performed by 81% of those surveyed, top tasks included

  • Reading the news (69%)
  • Checking the weather forecast (63%)
  • Accessing social networks (62%)
  • Gaming (60%)

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner pointed out that more than half of table users preferred reading news, magazines, and books on their devices rather than on paper.

The rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content. The survey found that more than 50 percent of media tablet owners prefer to read news, magazines and books on-screen, rather than on paper. On average, one in three respondents used their media tablets to read a book, compared with 13 percent for mobile PCs, and 7 percent for mobile phones.

The study offered some other interesting tidbits, most of which were discernible because of the task diary format used in the study. That format provided more accurate details of what people were actually doing and how often compared to a simple self-reporting questionnaire.

  • Due to iPads and other tablets, users surveyed spend 20% less time using a computer over the weekend.
  • iPad/tablet owners are most likely to use their devices on weekday evenings. Weekend use drops, presumably because of other activities.
  • The living room remains the most common place that iPads and other tablets get used (87%) followed by the bedroom (65%) and the kitchen (47%).
  • 45% of tablet owners keep their device to themselves and don’t share with other members of the household.

While the iPad and other tablets are playing increasingly important roles in our lives, they still haven’t replaced iPhones, Android handsets, or other smartphones as the most commonly used piece of technology in our lives.

Source: Gartner