Study: iPhone texters more likely to make typos | iLounge News


Study: iPhone texters more likely to make typos

A new study by User Centric, a Chicago-based usability consulting firm, claims that iPhone users make more typos than those using phones with full keyboards or phones with numeric keypads. Despite the extremely small sample size of only 20 users to a group, the researchers found that iPhone users entered text as quickly as their counterparts, but made significantly more errors — 5.6 per message, compared to 2.1 and 2.4 for full keyboard and numeric keypad users, respectively. The study also found that iPhone text input doesn’t improve with experience, by asking users in other groups to use the iPhone, and comparing their results against those of people who had owned the phone for at least a month. The report does not mention whether the texts sent in the study contained internet shorthand, such as “lol” or “rofl,” or whether the messages were in traditional English, which might favor the iPhone’s ability to try and recognize the words the user is attempting to type.

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any statistician will will tell you that a sample size of 20 is far too small.

Posted by Joshua Taylor on November 14, 2007 at 5:23 PM (CST)


The bit about the experience not improving is complete bogus… Every person I have talked to has greatly improved in accuracy and speed. I am typing this on mine right now and I have made few mistakes and it has taken me a short amount of time. I got my phone a month ago and the first few days were horrible. I always hit the wrong letter… So I guess you cannot make me believe that you do not get better.

Posted by keels on November 14, 2007 at 6:09 PM (CST)


I don’t know waht they are talking about. I usee mine al the time and I nevr make any typos.

Posted by ort on November 14, 2007 at 6:26 PM (CST)


Mu oPhine os dine.  nO [rib;lwms ty[ing hwrw,

Posted by shat on November 14, 2007 at 6:27 PM (CST)


this dont even deserve to be news. Come on, what kind of survey is done with 20 people.

Posted by bill on November 14, 2007 at 7:17 PM (CST)


i would have to disagree with this completly I am typing text messages on my iPhone so much faster than on other device I have owned.

Posted by jon on November 14, 2007 at 11:43 PM (CST)


I’m more careful than most, because shoddy grammar and spelling is a pet peeve for me, but I will concede that even after five months, typing on the iPhone is a shade more unpredictable than a tactile QWERTY. That said, typing on it is fluid and fast and the self-correction is much more reliable than I had anticipated.

Errors in the mobile age are plentiful as it is. The iPhone doesn’t seem to contribute an inordinate amount of misspellings to the morass.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on November 14, 2007 at 11:54 PM (CST)


The magic number in statistics is 30… get 30 participants or get out lol

Posted by Toleran on November 15, 2007 at 12:46 AM (CST)


All of the posts here so far pretty much confirm this survey’s results.

Posted by Drew on November 15, 2007 at 1:19 AM (CST)


As Jeeves would have put it….Pfooey!

I dont care even they had a sample size of China’s population and the results were the same.

Typos or not, I LOVE using the phone….txt,mail,surf,phone whatever…..I dont care if I make a million typos each line….thats the bottomline as far as this piece of work is concerned.

My contacts are damn pissed coz of the typos?Pfooey again..

At least I am happy…

P.S:- B4 turd starts orbiting,I am hardly a fanboy and have never owned a mac(though after the fiasco thats Vista,I might).

Posted by nfa on November 15, 2007 at 1:35 AM (CST)


I switched to iPhone from a qwerty slide phone. I routinely send 5000+ txts per month. I type much faster on a iPhone with one finger than I did with two thumbs.

I see three advantages of the software key board.

Applying the right amount of force to real buttons to get your letter on the (small) screen isn’t always easy when typing fast.

The paint doesn’t wear off the buttons leaving you helpless to find the right [shift] functions.

I can type on my iPhone while driving with a minimum amount of ignoring the traffic around me. Not safe, by any means, but much safer with a large screen and light touches vs. small screens and pushing the phone off into the floor with more button pushing force than the mount can handle.

I just don’t get what all the fuss is about real buttons. I hated them. Good riddance.

Posted by Octal040 on November 15, 2007 at 5:39 AM (CST)


ROTFLMAO :D.  Before opening the comments, I predicted what the fanboyz are going to say, and, not surprisingly, I was spot on :).  If this article was exactly the same, except that it showed that the iPhone users had less typos, everyone would be all over it - woohoo - what a great device I bought!

Thanks for the comic relief.

Posted by kokketiel on November 15, 2007 at 8:23 AM (CST)


I can’t believe that someone will spend time doing a study like this.

Posted by dxt on November 15, 2007 at 8:29 AM (CST)


I type email and texts on my iPhone DAILY. Mistakes? Almost never. once you get the curve of the way iPhone auto-corrects, you adjust for it and it makes you faster and more accurate.

Not get better with time? Folks, a 5-year-old gets better with time! What’s that crack supposed to mean? Only a moron doesn’t get better at it with time.

Posted by Chad on November 15, 2007 at 8:50 AM (CST)


kokketiel, do you have anything of substance to add, other than your customary “fanboy” barb?

Personally, while I don’t object to the term, I do think it’s disingenuous to use it as a blanket expression for anyone who dares to like or love his or her iPhone. I’m happy with mine, though I acknowledge its limitations. Doesn’t mean that I fall over myself to praise it at every turn, or that I am a blind loyalist/apologist for Apple products.

Looks like mere trolling to me. Some of your prior comments here were similarly vacuous. I’m wondering if you’ll ever make a substantive contribution at all, and I’m certainly not holding my breath.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on November 15, 2007 at 10:46 AM (CST)


How can they call that a legitimate study with a sample size of only 20 people?!?!?!  Anyone who has taken a basic statistics course will knows that those results mean absolutely nothing.

Posted by Greg on November 15, 2007 at 1:58 PM (CST)


An n of 20 is not problematic in terms of the internal validity of the analysis.  In fact, statistically significant differences between groups with small samples have to be larger with small groups in order to reach statistical significance.  In other words, very large differences are required for significant findings in comparing small sample groups while very small differences can still yield significant differences if the samples are large enough.

There may be an issue with external validity with using such a small sample (will the results generalize) but this is a larger issue having more to do with research methodology rather than statistics.


Posted by Mike on November 15, 2007 at 11:02 PM (CST)


sounds like some iphone users making excuses.

i would suspect the intelligence of iphone users to be much lower than others.

this sample pool size is 1

Posted by gabe on November 17, 2007 at 5:15 PM (CST)


its not fanboyism, us iPhone owners are just saying that the phone types good, people who make mistakes are the people who don’t watch, I always correct myself quickly, its not hard and typing on the thing is easy to say the least. Just because I may infact make more mistakes that iPhone corrects, doesn’t mean I make mistakes on a normal keyboard. I don’t own a Mac either, I love Vista, and my iPhone.

Posted by alex on November 27, 2007 at 9:12 PM (CST)

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