Tablet devices have seen big sales increases over the past few years. According to a Pew Research study, 42% of American adults currently own a tablet computer. Though more users own smart phones, people use their tablets differently. The larger screen generally allows users to act differently than on their smaller phone screen, they are more willing to complete purchases on their tablets, where users tend to use their phones to browse before switching to a traditional computer to complete their transaction. Part of the problem with buying from online stores on mobile devices is the fact that many online stores aren’t designed for mobile sales.
Tablets and smart phones are being used for many of the same things users once relied on their desktop or laptop computers for. The private sector is watching, and companies from different verticals are investing in these changes. From the car insurance world, Acceptance Insurance has really made a move towards mobile, all the way to retail with and even furniture from sites like Wayfair.
Tablets are much easier to use while on the go, as laptops cannot be used without being seated at a table. Tablets can be used while riding public transport or walking, a big advantage that has made them very popular among commuters. They generally have better battery life compared to laptops, most high end devices will last for an entire day of use before requiring charging.
There are some issues with mobile devices that haven’t been completely solved yet. Many older websites that rely on Flash content will not function correctly on many mobile devices. Other sites without mobile specific layouts will be hard to read on smaller screens. This problem is being addressed rapidly, as active websites are adding mobile specific pages that make the content more easily read on a mobile device.
Tablets are also taking market share from dedicated e-reader devices. The quality of tablet screens has improved sufficiently so that users can comfortably spend hours using them without eye strain, which means that dedicated e-readers aren’t able to keep up with the superior feature sets of tablets in comparison. While the e-ink displays of traditional e-reader devices allows for an experience closer to a printed book, most tablets can be configured to reduce the back light while reading books to provide a comfortable reading experience.
Users are also drawn to the ease of use of most tablets. There is much less to configure on a tablet compared to a desktop, as all software updates are installed automatically without requiring users to hunt down patches. Viruses and other malware are also more easily avoided on mobile devices, as apps cannot be installed without user approval. All apps are approved, it is difficult to create a piece of malicious software and get it approved for an app store. This controlled environment also users to be more confident in their devices continuing operation, Windows desktops require much more care to keep running without being infected by malicious software. However, this also reduces the variety of software available.
Overall, tablet computers offer a much more convenient user experience compared to traditional computers. They are easily brought to any location, they can run all day without hunting down an outlet to recharge, and they don’t suffer from the same security issues that laptops have been plagued with the last few years. The market looks good for continuing expansion, with many quality devices coming to market every year.