In June of last year, I posted about my trials with using an Android tablet, and why I decided at that point to stick with my iPad. Ten months later, I have revisited Android, and I’m happy to report that I am now using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 running Android 4.2 on a daily basis in place of my iPad.
So what changed? I did, the IOS and Android operating systems did, and the market did. Read on for more info…
In the time frame between my last post on Android and now:
- Apple updated IOS to version 7.0 and then 7.1. I wasn’t crazy about the upgrade, from the visuals to the performance, and there wasn’t anything that was a game changer for me. It was the same old, same old. Being a techie, I like new toys, and a span of about two years is a good run for a gadget. The iPad 2 I had was dated and the newer iPads weren’t offering anything really radical. In fact most of Apple’s products seem to be suffering from the same fate since Steve Jobs passed away. They are still solid performers, but there really isn’t anything amazing about the newer iPads. The specs have improved, but essentially its the same device as my old one. So I started looking at Android again.
- Several magazine subscriptions I had on the iPad expired, and I chose not to renew them. The magazine store on iPad has a wide variety of magazines, but I realized the cost for a lot of them where you are locked into only being able to use them on an Apple device was too high. The Zinio application allows you to view magazine on multiple devices and through the web, and several vendors are following that same model now with their periodicals.
- I discovered Dropbox and EverNote – two free cloud based applications that allow you to move content between your devices. Now I didn’t need to physically hook up my table to get content to it anymore. In fact, in the past six months, I never synced my iPad to my computer at all.
Looking back on that article some of the other reasons I stayed on the iPad are no longer relevant:
- Size: This time around, I tried out a larger Android tablet. Apple offers tables in two sizes, but with Android, you have more choices. The screen shape can be rectangular or square and the overall size can vary between 6-11 inches. The Samsung tablet I picked up was almost the same size and the iPad I had been using. As a bonus, the vendor I purchased through included a Bluetooth keyboard case with the tablet.
- Fragmented app market: The Samsung came bundled with an email app that allowed me to access all three email accounts I use regularly in one application. Plus the fact that I no longer use Yahoo email seems to have helped as well. 🙂
- I did a lot of research into e-reader software for Android and found several choices, that seemed to meet my needs: I do a lot of reading on my iPad and usually have a couple of dozen books stored on it at any one time (computer books for reference, several fiction titles, photography books). They come in a variety of formats (PDF, ePub, Mobi for a few). MoonReader+ with the PDF reader plugin has been working well for me. The only caveat being adding bookmarks could be easier.
And some of the reasons I liked Android still hold true:
- Speed. No doubt about it, Android is fast. Starting an app generally takes only a second or two and switching between them is just as fast. The small amount of memory in smartphones requires more efficient coding and it shows in how well apps perform. Plus because Android is open source, a whole lot of programmers have looked at it and tweaked it to run as well as possible.
- Expansion: From what I have found, you can add additional external storage to most Android devices. The Samsung tablet is a 16 GB model, and I was able to add an additional 8 GB of storage by inserting an SDHC card. After a quick format of the card, the system recognized it and I was able to store data on it. Contrast that with an iOS device where you are locked into the amount of storage it came with.
- Price: Much like Microsoft concentrated on the software and left the hardware to others, Google is not trying to control the hardware end of the smartphone and tablet market for Android devices. The result is Android devices at prices ranging from $50 up to several hundred depending on the quality of the hardware. What a boon for consumers and I’m sure a major factor in the Android market share. The Samsung was about $150 cheaper than the comparable iPad model.
- Color: The 1280 x 800 resolution screen on the Samsung looks great. Its clear and crisp, with no fuzzy edges. Perfect for gaming. Unfortunately, I don’t do a lot of gaming, but I intend to look into watching some videos on it soon.
So there you have it. Who said I was stubborn?
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