People use tablets predominantly for games, search and email, according to a new survey by Google's AdMob. Unlike mobile phones, which owners take everywhere, tablets are being used primarily at home on weekdays.
Eight-four percent of respondents in Google's survey said they use their tablets for playing games while 78% use them to search for information and 74% use them for emailing. After those top three categories, usage starts to drop off sharply: 61% read the news, 56% access a social network, 51% consumer audio or video entertainment, 46% read e-books and 42% shop.
More than half of respondents spend more time on their tablets than read a paper book (59%) and listen to the radio (52%). But that doesn't necessarily mean tablets are eating into radio listening. As mentioned below, tablets are mostly used at home on weekdays. Since more radio listening takes place in the workplace and auto than in the home, it stands to reason that home activities such as TV would be more at risk of being disrupted by tablet use.
The survey was run in March 2011 and had 1,430 respondents.
Other survey results of note:
-- 38% use their tablets two or more hours per day and 30% use it one to two hours per day
-- 82% use their tablets primarily at home and 69% use them most frequently on weekdays
-- 77% said their PC usage had decreased as a result of tablet ownership while 28% said the tablet is their primary computer
Google's findings are similar to some of the takeaways in an October 2010 Nielsen report on iPad ownership. In that survey, Nielsen found that news (44% of respondents), music (41%) and e-books (39%) were the most regularly accessed types of content by iPad users. It also found the top paid iPad apps were games (62% of iPad owners), e-books (54%) and music (50%).