When the first iPad was released back in 2010 many commentators questioned whether they would succeed; given that they didn’t seem to fulfill an obvious gap in the market. Too large for a pocket, unable to take calls - buy an iPad the joke went and pay hundreds of dollars for a bigger, more useless version of the phone you already have.
Time has clearly shown those early naysayers wrong; as 229 million tablets were sold worldwide last year. Approximately 68 million, or 30%, of the total were Apple devices and while collated Android sales figures are not yet available for 2015 it is likely in the 140m - 150m range; confirming that these two operating systems maintain a virtual duopoly on the tablet market.
Which to plump for?
Assuming your choice is between an iOS and Android device, what are the main advantages of each system? The primary advantages of iOS are twofold - it is incredibly intuitive and, because the system is built for a very small range of devices, the 500,000 iPad specific apps will run extremely well; with few glitches or crashes. However for the trademark Apple style, you will have to pay somewhat over the odds.
Android tablets are sold by a variety of manufacturers, and utilise a wide variety of hardware. Samsung, Kobo, Asus and, of course, Google have all released successful tablet ranges running Android - but on a wide variety of screen sizes, processor types and other hardware options. Although this gives the consumer a relatively larger choice it comes with usability drawbacks - you may download an app for your Android tablet and find it requires hardware your model doesn’t have. You’ll also run into more bugs and crashes - but be compensated by a larger range of titles and the greater freedom given to developers in the Android framework.
As an example, Android users rave about Tasker which allows you to program your phone to perform actions when triggered; like turning on WiFi as you approach home, for example. No equivalent app exists for iOS because Apple are incredibly reluctant to give any developers the “under the hood” access these apps require.
Of course both systems share their basic functionality and have a large overlap in the range of compatible apps. Whichever system you buy you’ll be able to watch TV on Netflix, read emails or play video games on the move. Given the recent surge in popularity of “interactive gaming”; betting to you or I, most casinos and bookmakers ensure their full suite of games is available on all platforms.
Before making your choice try to think what you want to use your new tablet for. If you’re just looking to watch videos and music; Android will likely fulfill your needs at a lower price. If however you’re looking to do a bit more, organising emails, contacts and calendars for example, you’ll likely find iOS far more simple and intuitive.
Author - Dan Brook