iPad vs Android Tablets
Tablet PCs started to get popular after the introduction of Apple iPad. There was tablet PCs in use before, but Apple presented it in an attractive manner that convinced the consumers to buy this new device. At the time, Apple concentrated on the three basic needs of the market; reading, entertainment and browsing. Owing to this, it instantly became a hit. Consumers loved this new sleek device that lets them read when they are travelling, watch a movie when they are free and browse the internet whenever they want. On top of that, iPad was light and had an intuitive user interface with a super resolution. This made the consumers extremely happy, and the iPad sales hiked.
After a while, with the introduction of Android, consumers started to compare iPads with Android Tablets. That is when the real competition began. At the time, iPads had a head start over Android Tablets. Moreover, they were manufactured under strict supervision of Apple, and the OS was also tweaked by Apple whereas Android Tablets came from various manufacturers. Gradually Android improved their operating system and the manufacturers produced hardware that was better suited for the operating system. As of now, we think both tablets have made it to the same platform and hence the true competition begins now. Here, we will talk about both individually before comparing them.
Apple has been an innovative company throughout its lifespan. This is not just because the management encourages innovation, but because the employees are innovative. As such, we could always expect a product that is highly user friendly. It is the same reason that raised iPads into such great heights. Basically iPads can be divided in to two parts; the device and the iOS. Both of these are manufactured by Apple and hence, suited with each other perfectly. Until recently, Apple’s hardware lacked some components we can normally see in Android tablets and in terms of raw hardware performance, Android tablets outsmart iPads. The differentiating factor is the synergy between hardware and the operating system that exists in the iPads.
When we look at the iOS, it has an intuitive user interface and a pleasing look. Apple likes to keep things simple and thus over the iOS versions from back in the days, the user interface hasn’t changed much. This may be a significant advantage because the consumers don’t really have to get used to a new interface style after each release of the OS. On the other hand, this may be rather boring to open minded geeks out there. The major flow that used to be in iOS was the lack of support for flash which made it impossible for an iPad to stream YouTube video. Fortunately now YouTube has adopted HTML5 standards and hence iPad can stream. Further, flash is now becoming an outdated technology, so it doesn’t seem Apple is taking any initiative to support flash either.
Another glitch iOS had was the lack of support for multitasking. That is partially fixed with the recent releases of the OS, but Android multitasking has an edge over it. When we look at the bright side, Apple App Store has more apps than any other app store in the world. This is expected because of the competitive advantage it had and the user friendly development environment. Another key factor that boosted the apps for iOS was the platform independence. The apps could be used in both the iPhone and iPad without any modification which freed the developers from the trouble of having to code again. iOS is currently at v5.1 and a beta update to v6.0 was released recently.
Competitions tend to make products advance and innovative. That is what happened with Android. Looking at their history, one can get a clear understanding of how much they have grown for this short lifespan. That is the reason analysts declare that Android Tablets are going to surpass iPads by the next few years. We will talk about Android Tablets in two steps as well; the devices and the operating system. The devices have a large diversity unlike iPads since they are manufactured by a lot of vendors. Some of the leading Android Tablet vendors are Samsung, Asus, Motorola and Huawei. Owing to this, there are tablets that have very advanced hardware in them. For instance, Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime has a very advanced hardware set up.
On the other hand, the operating system is also open source. This enables manufacturers to tweak the operating system to suit their devices. Another advantage is that the tablets will have various and dynamic user interfaces that users can choose. This may be considered as a disadvantage as well where the synergy of the hardware and software is considered. Android operating system is developed having a general model in mind and hence it may not serve the specific purposes hardware can serve. For instance, there was a window of time where quad core processors weren’t fully supported by Android although now it has been fixed. Android used to be hasty on UI but now it has an admirable user experience with many different interfaces. The apparent difference you can identify is that simplicity is not essentially an item in Android’s agenda. It can be anything you want, and if you want it simple, you have to make it simple.
Compared to the Apple App Store, Android Play Store has less number of applications, but fear not, this is only a quantitative measure and it’s rare for you to, not find an application that does the same thing an iOS app does in the Play Store. Although this is the case, Apple App Store is carefully and strictly maintained whereas Android Play Store has more of a community based model. Further, Android has always been good at multitasking and easily surpasses iPads. For instance, the new Samsung Galaxy S III (not a Tablet PC) can play a video on top of any application you’re working on which is extreme multitasking. It won’t be long before the tablets have this feature, as well.
A Brief Comparison between iPads and Android Tablets
• iPads are proprietary devices that only Apple can manufacture while Android Tablets can be manufactured by Google approved Vendors who can then use Google Android as the operating system.
• iPads are more mature than Android Tablets, and they have a simpler and intuitive user interface.
• iPads feature a rich application store that is larger than Android Play store.
• iPads are more conservative in battery life compared to Android Tablets.
A direct comparison between Android Tablets and iPads can’t be made since there are a lot of variations to Android Tablets by a lot of manufacturers. However, if we take the general case, we can clearly realize that Android and iOS has come to the same anchor point as of now and they would compete with each other, to be the better player in the market. In my opinion, choosing between an iPad and an Android Tablet is more of a balance between personal preference and cost. iPads are still considered as superior by some people and they are simple but costs a lot. On the contrary, an Android Tablet comes in all kinds of price ranges with different options where you will have a variety of preference you can choose, depending on your application. Hence the choice is ultimately up to you because, as of now, you can clearly do anything you did with an iPad with an Android Tablet, as well.
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