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android tabletsWhen the iPad was released, tech journalists were quick to worship it. Wired went so far as to write a front-page article claiming that tablets would change the world. While it was not about the iPad only, it was obviously inspired by the upcoming release of Apple’s device.

Now, a year and a half later, it appears the revolution has been one-sided. Recent figures show that only 6 million Android tablets The 3 Best Android Tablets Available Today That A Buyer Should Check Out The 3 Best Android Tablets Available Today That A Buyer Should Check Out While the iPad was able to jump on the tablet market before anyone else, Android tablets from competitors are starting to flow like water. There’s now a wide variety of options available and many of... Read More have been sold, a slender figure compared to Apple’s sales of 40 million iPads. Let’s have a look at why Android has yet to catch on.

Lackluster Hardware Quality

android tablets

Old ideas don’t die easily, even when they’re outdated. It’s still not hard to find people who are under the belief that Android tablets are quicker than what is inside the iPad 2. In truth, however, the iPad 2 often proves quicker than Android tablets powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2. Even Tegra 3 What You Need To Know About Tegra 3 [MakeUseOf Explains] What You Need To Know About Tegra 3 [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’ve considered an Android tablet recently, there’s a good chance that it was powered by a Tegra 2 processor. Most of the tablets on the market using (relatively) stock versions of Honeycomb are powered... Read More , as it turns out, fails to outmatch the iPad 2 in raw graphical potential.

The iPad 2 is also among the thinnest and lightest ten-inch tablets on the market, with only the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime giving it competition in these areas. Display quality is well above average, besting every Android tablet except the Prime, which has been reviewed but not released.

While the later points in this post are a bit more complex, this one is quite simple. The iPad 2 sells well because the hardware is better. If you’d like evidence, just find a retailer near you that stocks tablets and compare for yourself. The Android designs are almost universally lackluster in comparison to the iPad 2, and those few that do come close have similar price tags.


Confusing Operating System Support

ipad vs android tablet

Honeycomb was confusing from its inception. In the early days it wasn’t exactly clear if Honeycomb was supposed to be for tablets only. Once that became evident, it introduced a yet more fragmentation into an already confusing platform. Suddenly, there were two versions of Android with different features and different app stores.

Worse, some tablets continue to use old versions of Android. Given the choice between buying an iPad and researching the differences between Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, most will just buy the iPad. They don’t have the time nor inclination to do the legwork.

This is something that Amazon is doing right. The Kindle Fire runs Gingerbread, but many consumers will never know it. The Kindle Fire’s Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet – Which Tablet Should You Buy? Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet – Which Tablet Should You Buy? For a time, it seemed that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet would be launched without opposition from the company’s e-reader rival, Barnes and Noble. Not to be outdone, however, the retailer recently unveiled the Nook... Read More product page mentions the word “Android” only twice and never mentions the version. You’re not buying an Android tablet – you’re buying a Kindle Fire. And that’s a good thing.

Poor App Availability & Quality

ipad vs android tablet

It’s long been apparent that quality is an issue in Android’s app store. Allowing developers to upload apps with no quality controls certainly allows for volume, but it doesn’t help people find what they want.

This is causing a number of headaches for Android, not least being lower developer revenue. This, in turn, leads to lower quality – at least in my opinion. Quality is subjective, but as an Android owner who has used iOS devices on many occasions, I am desperately jealous of the selection provided by Apple’s App Store.

Perhaps the strangest app-related headache for Android, however, is the poor quality of search. Navigating the store is difficult and finding what you’d like can be an issue if you don’t know the exact name of an app.

All of this translates into a poor experience for consumers who buy an Android tablet. The long-running dominance of the Apple App Store has created an impression among consumers that they can find just about anything they’d like on an iOS device and, just as importantly, trust it to be reasonably good. Android is failing to foster the same environment.

The Low Price & Lack Of The “Apple Tax”

android tablets

Another traditional complaint targeted at Apple products is that they’re more expensive. This, like accusations that Apple hardware is not on par with the Android competition, is obviously false when applied to iOS devices.

The Apple iPad 2 starts at $500. For that, you receive the 16GB model. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is only $50 cheaper (as purchased from Amazon). The upcoming ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime will offer 32GB of storage for the same price, which is nice. But early reviews also indicate the Prime’s battery lasts several hours less and that its GPU performance is inferior.

Like the iPhone before it, the iPad doesn’t present consumers with any significant “Apple tax”. Yes, it’s more expensive than many competitors, but there’s tangible reasons why it’s more expensive, as was discussed already. That’s hardly an “Apple Tax”. That’s paying more for a high-quality product.

But the final nail in many an Android tablet’s coffin is the fact that even though the iPad is among the most expensive tablets on the market today, it’s still only $500. That’s a nice chunk of change, but for the kind of person who is going to buy a tablet, it’s affordable.

Will Android Ever Get It Right?

Apple’s advantages in the tablet market are numerous, but it’s possible this is a temporary situation. Markets change. Yet there are indications that this could be a lasting conundrum. Computer manufactures have been trying, and failing, to replicate Apple’s hardware design in the consumer laptop market for years. Only Amazon, with the Kindle Fire, has shown any sign that it might sell in iPad-like volumes. Yet the Kindle Fire has arguably sold well precisely because it has distanced itself as far from mainstream Android as possible, so it’s hard to count that as a victory for the Android camp.

As always, only time will tell, but it’s clear that the iPad will remain the champion for the near future.  What do you think?

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  1. besttabletsdiscount
    May 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

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  2. Blanca Perez
    January 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    So joining a cult and having them control every aspect of your tablet life is the better choice?

  3. MassDivide
    January 14, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Android Enthusiast here. Your points are all valid, except about the primes inferior graphics over an iPad2. However because they are superior, the iPad2 Annihilates it in terms of a notch down in graphics, but nearly double the battery life. Making it a better "on the go" entertainment device.. Asus is the only competition Apple has. Even then Apple has a 85% marketshare within the iStore apps. If android wants to be a better contender. They need slow down with the updates and focus on hardware standards. Seeing these 512 MB tablets is a joke. I can get a kindle fire for 200bucks.

  4. Scott
    December 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Every Apple phone sold creates a potential Apple tablet buyer. Not a potential Android tablet buyer. Every Android phone sold creates a potential Android tablet buyer. Not a potential Apple tablet buyer. Apple phones are now out-sold by Android phones in all world markets. The rate at which Apple phone sales are outstripped by Android phones is increasing. Not decreasing.

    Apple is well aware of this. It is fighting hugely expensive legal battles in various countries to stop the rising sales of Android phones as much to protect its own cellphone market share as because it wants to slow the sale of Android tablets to Android smartphone users.

    But Apple knows, because it isn't stupid, that it's playing Canute against a tide that's rolling in with unstoppable momentum. It also knows, because it isn't stupid, that geeks who buy tablets and smartphones are like geeks who once rushed to be first with plasma or LCD TV screens (or, before them, hi-fi.) They were the ones who agonised about 100Hz rates and audio bass response and absolute blacks. Many still do. But the overwhelming majority of TV sales are not to geeks but to users who couldn't care less about fractional percentage variations in technical parameters they've no inclination to even begin to understand.

    They want a TV to watch. And if what they watch suits them, then that's it. Ends.

    It was the same with hi-fi. And it will be the same with mobile phones and tablets.  The products with mass audience appeal will not be decided by geeks with spec sheet obsessions but by people who just want something to use.

    They haven't the slightest interest if it's ginger biscuit or gingerbread. Couldn't care less about the graphics performance rate. What they will take note of are friends, relatives, and, perhaps, work colleagues.

    My wife and I currently have HTC Desire HD Android smartphones and an Asus Eepad Transformer Android tablet apiece. Friends and relatives have bought one or other on the basis of seeing ours in use. They don't actually care that the Asus out-points the Apple iPad in every respect -- the detachable keyboard, the expandable memory, the number of ports. What they care about is something that's useable and flexible and pleasurable.

    As more and more people are using Android smartphones, and more and more people are moving up to Android tablets as a result, and word-of-mouth Android sales then increasing in consequence of that, it's clear that Apple is destined to be a niche manufacturer with a niche audience.

    • Guest
      December 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Indisputable, and well written.
      To the point, clear, and no need to validate any facts you quote as the author of the article and media have stated the Android sales for you.

      I concur that seeing the usage of Android has encouraged new buyers to Android. When people see me using my Android HTC Legend over the past 12 months they have been interested and 3 colleagues from work, 4 friends, 2 family members, and my partner all recently purchased Android Phones, and 1 a Acer Tab.
      I work in IT and just knowing that I prefer it was enough for them to go buy one. Over the years i learnt not to 'sell' things i like to people in my life, for one they don't care about technical specifics like i do, or about the customisation possibilities, they just want to use a device everyone else is using so if they need help they can ask someone they know who uses the same thing to help them.

      The reason Android sales continue to increase is both because the product satisfies geeks, and because the devices are owned by many others people feel comfortable buying one also and this trend wont stop, once the consumers start they wont stop until something entirely new comes on the market and the cycle restarts.

      • M.S. Smith
        December 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        Android doesn't sell a lot of phone because it satisfies geeks. It sells a lot of phones because it is cheap and it is plentiful. Period.

        There are only three iPhones that you can buy today. There are tens, maybe hundreds of Android phones. 

        When folks think Android, they think about the big ones, like my Thunderbolt. But if you cut out all Android sales except the big flagship phones, you'd lose a lot of market share. A lot people instead end up like my friend, who picked up some crappy Android 2.1 phone from Sanyo because it was free. They count as part of market share.

        Which is, of course, why Apple rakes in massive profits while selling fewer devices.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      That's a double-edged sword, Scott. Every Android product potentially creates and Android customer - if the experience is good. But because it's not tightly controlled, it may not be. In a recent Tech Report podcast, the site's editor (also named Scott) said that he believes every Kindle Fire sold is going to create an Apple customer in the future. Why? Because the experience can be really frustrating at times, in a way that the iPad isn't. 

      So Android well only create Android buyers if they're happy. And there's a fairly large gap between iOS and Android in that regard.

      Also, I don't think Android's cross-device support is really that strong or important. Apple at least has iCloud...but what cross-device functionality are you obtaining when you buy another Android device? That's a sincere question. I just can't think of anything right now.

  5. zeevb
    December 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Valid points but these where also valid for the iPhone vs. android-phones a couple of years ago. Seeing how Android overtook iPhone the tablet landscape may be changing in the upcoming year or two.

  6. Mike
    December 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. If this otherwise invaluable website is going to maintain its reputation, then 'articles' like this aren't the way to go. As I'm not a Contributing Editor earning a fee, I'll not bother with a forensic rebuttal, especially as the author of this arfticle hasn't bothered with much of, er, anything: it's as if he's living in Detroit of yesteryear when Ford's Model T is rolling off the world's first production lines and thinks that because Ford has a head start, ergo Ford will always lead. Yeah. Right.

    Apple was at its brilliant best in bringing the iPad to market. It had a head start and iPad sales were fuelled by existing Apple iPhone users.

    But that was as yesterday in the world of tablet computing as the Ford Model T was as yesterday in the world of the automobile.

    Tablet manufacturers like Samsung and, especially, Asus, are becoming as well established as did those earlier rival manufacturers to Ford. And sales of Android OS tablets are being fuelled by existing Android smartphone users.

    The significance of that cross-purchasing clearly eludes the article's author but has certainly not eluded Apple: it is fighting, desperately, to stem the spread of the Android smartphone because it knows that owners of those devices are statistically, and significantly, more likely to purchase an Android tablet than an iOS tablet. It also knows -- something else which has clearly eluded the article's author -- that Android smartphone sales worldwide not only now exceed Apple's iPhone but are racing ahead with no signs of a slowdown in momentum.

    That this so-called 'article' could easily have been issued by Apple Inc as a straight Press Release says everything there is to say about its hopeless imbalance.

    Hopefully the next time Make Use Of decides to run a piece about the comparative merits of Apple and Android tablets it will employ a writer who -- to maintain the motoring analogy from the start of this reply -- will actually do what motoring writers themselves do: own and run various vehicles on long-term tests, and then make an informed comment afterwards.


    • M.S. Smith
      December 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      Fortunately MakeUseOf does in fact employ people who do testing and reviews of tablets and various consumer electronics. Those are people like - me. It's not my fault if you don't check my experience before bashing it. 
      BTW: It's a car analogy! :D

  7. Richard Lim
    December 28, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Actually a lot of the discrepancies are due to perception!

    (-) Apple looks very solid and well built BUT actually has very bad hardware reliability! I owned 2 ipads & 5 Android tablets. I also polled my acquaintances who mostly have iPhones & iPads. Total population is around 10 Apple and 10 Android devices. The AFR (Annualized Failure Rate) for Apple is around 100%! I mean that the owners had gotten 10 replacement devices from Apple. I myself have replaced one of my ipad 64GB 3G twice! (Android failures are around 20% (1 software related + 1 loose casing - none f which requires mfr service).

    (+) Interestingly, when I see the display ipad in Challenger (our IT megastore) it is always full of games for browsers to play. Whereas the Android displays are usually in ex-factory state. No games! And yes, I agree that having too many different Android UI looks is quite confusing for casual browsers. This aspect can be easily fixed (if Google can settle on a unified UI for a while).

    (+) More importantly, Android tablet power management sucks! To be a viable competitor, they have to last the whole day, just like an ipad! This aspect is particular to Android tablets. For some reason Android phones have decent battery life!?

    (+) And yes, price does matter! They need to get the price down to about USD150~300 range. It has to be substantially cheaper to warrant going with a currently less featured platform. That can change later when Android catches up. And as HP shows, a USD200 Android can sell like hot cakes!

    • M.S. Smith
      December 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      "Apple looks very solid and well built BUT actually has very bad hardware reliability! I owned 2 ipads & 5 Android tablets. I also polled my acquaintances who mostly have iPhones & iPads. Total population is around 10 Apple and 10 Android devices."
      That's unfortunate if you friends had problems, but I'm going to rely on objective sources that do comprehensive reliability research using a wide variety of sources. SquareTrade rated Apple laptop reliability as better than average in 2009 ( 

      Among smartphones, the 12-month  failure rate of Apple's iPhone products has been the smartphone least likely to fail (

      A recent PC World report has found the iPad to be the most satisfying and reliable tablet among owners (

      These are sources that are worth trusting. I don't discredit what happened to your friends - it sucks when a new piece of hardware doesn't work right. But you can't take that sort of limited sample and then make broad claims about all tablets on the market. 

      Your other points I mostly agree with, even that price does matter to a degree - but I still think it matters less for tablets than some other devices, due to the tablet's nature as something of a non-essential luxury. 

  8. Guest
    December 28, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Linux will has and will continue to take over the technology arena, OSX/iOS has no chance.
    There are more Linux servers running sites that you use daily than Windows or Apple OS servers combined. And Android is the first of the Linux distributions to make it mainstream, with Ubuntu to follow in 2012 as it already is being sold pre-installed on many laptops, notebooks, netbooks, and development is under-way for TVs, Cars, and on topic, Tablets.
    There is probably 3 devices in most households running Linux of some flavour, your modem, your wifi router or hotspot, your media centre device, car stereo, VoIP Home Phone Dock. Check the manuals, you will learn that the source is licensed under GPL and some sort of Linux distro.

    This article has not made any relevant points for iOS or Android post 2010.

    Author, Get with the evolution of technology, learn a little about the entire business and consumer market for technology suppliers both GPL and Propriety. 
    Android (and Linux in general) do not deserve your ignorance, and whether you have realised it or not, most of the technology world realise everything above and you simply sound like a school boy trying to start up a blog with the quality in this article. 

    • M.S. Smith
      December 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Some hardcore fans have been claiming Linux's rise has been just around the corner for what...well over a decade?

      I'm also really dubious about claiming that Android is somehow a victory for Linux just like I'm dubious about the idea that the Kindle Fire can be used an example of a good Android tablet. 

      In each case the software available has been so radically altered that, although it still relies on the same under-pinnings, the end product is not recognizably similar to most owners.  

  9. Guest
    December 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm


    You make a massive point that Android devices are sold with multiple versions, and you are right.

    But in your ignorance, you forget iOS does the same!

    Buy a iPad2 after an iOS update, and when you get home you need to update all your software, iOS, iTunes, Safari, ect ect.

    Which is no different to buying an Android device with a version of Android that is not the latest...

    How is this a differentiation between the 2 OSs? Why not say "when will ALL OSs GET IT RIGHT?" cos When will Android get it right is inaccurate, misleading, and ignorant of you to say.

    Another point you make is how unprofessional Android market is, as an app developer for both iOS and Android (as well as blackberry,WebOS,Ubuntu) i can tell you now that registration on Apple is no harder or strict for developers initially or when an App is ready for release. in fact, the version control and updating processes in Android is MASSIVELY superior than Apple!

    How about you cover the customisation of the 2 OSs? or the ability to use your own media the way you want to? How about covering real user usages, what a every day user wants out of a device, and the real benefits of either device.

    You will find that Hardware specs on Apple are very low, and performance is only greater on the first instance of launching an App and only if no other apps are running (which you cannot check, and cannot easily stop running Apps), where as Android Apps, they have the option to either act like Apple (always on/always running/service) or a more power efficient and hardware utilisation method where you run the App only when needed, and its processes are off when not required, allowing the OS and device to run fast in the long run.

    Go, try to use your iPad for a day, then without closing anything you used throughout the day, run a new App that hasn't been run since you powered on last, tell me if its start up time is faster, and when you have 10+ apps accessed during this power on tell me that any one of them still runs quicker.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      If you want to talk about performance then post benchmarks or do them yourself. I'm not going to base my impression on doing something like launching an app and - doing what exactly? Seeing how many numbers I can count before it opens? 

      You've also missed the point about the operating system. Yea, maybe I will buy an iPad after a new iOS update and yea, i'll have to update my software. The point is that I can update my software as soon as Apple releases it.

      Can I do that on my Android? Nope. I gotta wait until my hardware manufacturer gets around to releasing the update. If they ever do get around to releasing the update. 

      That's fragmentation. And it's a big problem. 

  10. gerogezilla
    December 27, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    So what we have here is personal opinion and hearsay. That's nice. But ....
    So what.

    Some facts would be nice. Some objective tests. Or some benchmarks. How about a side-by-side of exactly what each has for hardware. Something that shows some concrete facts really would be nice.

    Until then all this article is a puff piece. The ramblings and personal opinion of, of, well I don't know of who.

    And apps? You have a problem with apps, or the lack of them? So an app on your iPhone is a good app for your tablet? Your iPad is nothing more the a large iPhone. That can't make phone calls? Well isn't that nice. But a tablet is supposed to be a tablet COMPUTER. Not some oversized smart phone wanna-be toy.

    Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against the iPad. Exactly. What I have against the iPad is exactly the same thing I have against tablet computers in general. As far as being a "computer" they are sorely lacking. So much so that I can hardly apply the noun "computer" to them.

    And no matter weather the OS is iOS or Android, they suck. When they are real tablet computers. When they run real OSs. When you can do real work on them, then I will look at tablets as a group and make my chioce. Until then. Well like the smart phone, they are for most people just another toy. Something that they can wave around and say ...

    "Hey! Look at me! I'm important! And I'm cool!"

    And I have better, more important things to do that that. But then like this article, it's just opinion. And nothing more.

  11. Kelenterprisesllc
    December 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Obviously Matt doesn't care for the Android system the same way I don't care for the Apple. I notice that he fails to mention things like the inability to upgrade and access portable storage. My Toshiba Thrive 16G comes equipped with a full size usb port for hosting everything from a keyboard to a portable HD as well as a full size HDMI port. It use a a full size sd card not a micro or mini and holds up to a 32 gig card. My ability to communicate with my Win7 pc is excellent. All this for under $350 on sale.Hmmm $150 less....

  12. Digital206zone
    December 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    The hardware limitations is not the device makers fault, it's Apple's. They pretty patented good design principles and thus, forcing tablet makers to make limited devices because of the Jobsian philosophy.

  13. Mark Griffin
    December 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    let me tone it down some the android beats the apple in reality n android loses the benchmark because its loading everythingn due to the simple fact that the browser is loading flash obviously it wont beat the ipad not loading itn you must jailbreak a ipad to have the same user access and control as a default android user root beats jailbreak badn the camera resolution is overwhelming to the ipad 2 apple pales in comparison to resolutionn user access and controln connectivity and expandibility. and productivity are all reasons why the android beats apple i can overclock and dual boot to some linux distro or windows i doubt the outstanding hardware of the ipad2 could even load windows 7 at all im sorry but you are dissillusioned my apps are mostly free

  14. Mark Griffin
    December 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    apple continues to beat android because everybody likes to pretend just lik you are as if macintosh isnt a piece of crapn i just love the 512mb of ram wo9w nevermind every android tablet has 1gb only the el sheepo androids are so substandarn another thing about this lincrediblel hardware of  apple is there whopping 0n3 and 0n7 front and rear cameras amazing might i add yeah fkin right try 2mp front 5mp back most with flash most of the higher end tablets have had a reduction in price since theyve been out unlike apple these other companies realize that a prioduct price should go downn oh and i forgot to mention the non expandability of the ipad2 no memeory card no usb no nothin we just love it no try u could get a toshiba thrive online for 300 16gb an get a sd card with 32gb 5mp camera 2mp fron full usb and mini changeable battery overclocked to 1n5 ghz and scratchproof screen hd fck a apple ipad gimme the specs

  15. Manmeet Soofi
    December 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I think Android tablets will take over iPad anyday now!! They are being picked up from store shelves or online stores like anything and everything.. read more about it at

  16. Robin Ashe
    December 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    You're being very, very selective with your info. Some benchmarks put the transformer prime within a few minutes of battery life from the iPad 2, and some put it considerably longer.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      And those benchmarks can be found at...? I'm not a mind reader. 

  17. Count Stex
    December 14, 2011 at 7:06 am

    I actually think a choice between selecting an Apple tablet and an Android one only exists if don;t already own an Apple or Android device. I bought an Android tablet because, having had an android phone since late 2009 I had invested in the market of apps and so didn't want to throw all that away. Once you are invested in a market, whichever it maybe, jumping ship is a bitter pill to swallow, and I don;t think the gains would ever make up for that.
    On the other hand I find this whole obsession with Apps a bit odd. On the small screens of phones purpose built Apps help to allow easy use, but with any decent sized tablet (10"+) then the need for actual apps pretty much disappears. Just use the websites as you would on a PC. Sure games and programs you want to always run like Twitter you will want something native for, but to check out YouTube or Flickr? Just go to the site surely? If there is one things the smartphone revolution has taken a back step with it's this reliance on apps over intelligently created web services. Though that is also down to carriers internet data charges sadly :/
    To sum up, pick the tablet that works for you ergonomically and economically and you'll be happy. On the 'virgin' need to actually choose a camp.

    • Tx_wright
      December 14, 2011 at 8:32 am

      You make a great case for ecosystem. This is certainly an important consideration that will severely impact people's ability to fundamentally change directions going forward.

      Don't underestimate apps however. In the iOS world you are really seeing a lot of apps that integrate experiences between the full computer world and the tablet/smartphone world. For example on of my latest favorites is a recipe app called Paprika. I can manage my recipes from my PC and and even clip recipes from websites. Then in the kitchen I have this nice screen to use while cooking and while at the store I can pull up the recipe and make sure I have purchased everything I need. It all syncs in real time and access is ubiquitous. I think these kind of your data anywhere will come to Android soon but they are now game changers on iOS.

      • Count Stex
        December 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

        I agree that sort of solution is absolutely the future, but what part of that requires an actual installed app? Can it not be done via a website and all be totally cloud based, the UI merely adjusting based on the real estate on the device being used? 
        I use a site called True Achievements for tracking my XBOX360 stuff. They have no app but the mobile version of that website feels 100% like an app. Of course that needs always on and speedy 3G+ connectivity but that's were things are headed anyway, we just need the Telcos to understand that and adjust prices accordingly.

        As for Android in this space, nothing will be clear until we have Android 4.0 on the majority of phone and tablet devices, and more of the apps available also through Chrome on PCs whatever the core OS it;s running on.

  18. bruno pagis
    December 14, 2011 at 1:08 am

    My wife and I own Ipad and Ipad 2. Both are 16 Gig Wifi models. We are fully satisfied. The very closed Apple environment perfectly fits with her request not to have me screw the entire machine with my experiments (how many times did I reformat her ex PC ;-) ). Mine is jail-broken and allows me to... break it with my experiments.
    I was ready for an Android tablet, assuming it would be more opened to experiments. But as mentioned in your article on section 'Confusing Operating System Support', I am not sure what I would get if I am not buying the latest Android OS. Will it be upgradable for instance ? So for the time being, I stick to Apple.

  19. Cassetti
    December 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I 100% disagree with this blog. I have been a tablet owner for 6 months now. I almost bought my first apple product ever with the release of the iPad, but waited for 18 months before I could find a real competitor: the asus transformer TF101. I have LOVED this tablet since the day I've bought it. 1) The hardware Asus provided is top-notch for a first generation tablet, I have NO complaints. 2) Operating systems can be confusing, but it doesn't really matter what you get, they all work better than iOS in my opinion (much more flexibility right out of the box). 3) I have never had an issue with app availability - I know what I want, and can get it both on my android phone and android tablet with no issues. There are plenty of options to choose - million times better than Windows CE/Mobile had for YEARS. 4) There are other options besides the Samsung Galaxy Tab which is too close to the iPad in price. $250 is the price point I feel most people want to buy a tablet, since I have dreamed of owning a tablet before they existed, I was more than happy to pay the price for my Asus.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      I like the TF101, in fact, I reviewed it. At the time I called it the "the best Android tablet on the market today."

      However, it's still not as good as the iPad 2. It's thicker, it doesn't offer as much battery life, and it just isn't as nice to look at. Plus it runs Honeycomb, which is certainly not as nice as iOS.

      That's not to take away from your purchase. I seriously considered buying the TF101 after I reviewed it. But from the perspective of the "average" consumer, I think the iPad's advantages are clear. 

      • Cassetti
        December 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

        I beg to differ. I can add up to 32GB of external storage for my transformer via a MicroSD slot. It has an HDMI port (high def portable streaming from slingbox and netflix device? Sounds GREAT to me!), and the docking keyboard gives you a USB port for external devices like thumb drives. Pretty sure the iPad doesn't offer that.
        Also battery life? I carry my tablet EVERYWHERE with me. Using it several hours every day (streaming netflix and whatnot). I get about 2 or 3 days of full use before I charge it overnight. That's plenty enough battery life for me.

        Sure, for everyday users who want to make purchases for proprietary DRM locked media (movies, apps, music, and e-books) which are not transferable to any device made from another vendor. Sure, it makes perfect sense to stay with the iPad. If you're computer illiterate, Apple makes it easy by removing options. For real 'geeks' like myself, the iPad simply limits my options far too much to make sense, my TF101 is way better than the iPad for what I do with it.
        The ONLY thing I give the iPad is it's form factor - it is a smidge thinner and lighter. The TF101 is by no means 'heavy'. I have held it one-handed many times while tapping away without any fatigue.

        Also, hasn't apple changed the app-store policies? Purchased apps are valid for only one device and  cannot be used on another device without purchasing a second time? No thanks, I paid a lot for my slingbox and Sygic GPS apps, I don't want to pay again to use it on a second device!

        • Tx_wright
          December 15, 2011 at 5:06 am

          Everyone certainly needs to make the choice that is "right for me". When I think about your examples (Micro SD slot, HDMI port, dock, keyboard, thumb drives) you are describing my ultraportable laptop. When I need that level of functionality that is the device I reach for. I personally don't want the limitations of any tablet os when I get to that point but as I said each of us has to make our own decision on use case.

          Your assumptions about DRM and apps are however great examples of the crap that gets thrown around by people who don't use the platform. DRM is a function of the content owner not the device or operating system. I know of no place you can legally download movies, tv shows or current e-books that are not DRM protected. This is not an Apple thing. Music in the iTunes store can be purchased in unprotected format and the new iTunes Match service will basically import the licenses for music you acquired from elsewhere (legally of course). Last time I check AAC files can be played on almost any device and easily converted to a variety of formats. On top of that I am not locked by Apple into their store. I personally have never purchased an iBook, I use the Kindle app. I download lots of music from Amazon and it sync right over to my iPad. In fact I can't think of a single place you as an Android user can purchase content from that is unavailable to me as an iPad user.

          In terms of apps not only are you wrong about the license but Apple has changed the game on desktop apps in this space. Any app you buy can be used on any iOS device registered to your Apple ID. You don't have to buy it again. They mirrored that on the desktop and if you buy an app in the Mac app store you can use that software on any mac you own. If anything they have made the environment less restrictive not more.

          The point of the article is missed by almost all the people who have written response comments. The title was "4 reasons what android tablets continue to trail ipads". Like it or not Apple has 65-75% of the market depending on who your read. That will likely decrease a bit as Android tablets mature and the market settles but dramatic change needs a catalyst. HDMI ports, removable SD cards and docks are catalysts. The average user does not get excited about these things. Show them AirPlay with an AppleTV and their jaws drop. When Google and Android device manufacturers come up with some jaw dropping stuff I will reconsider my position.

      • Blanca Perez
        January 21, 2012 at 12:29 am

        Your opinions. and those of your "average consumer" may be quite different in the long run. It's early in the game, where most people only know about Apple. When to go look for a tablet they may find that they can get something the fits their needs for far less, and with more flexibility.

      • Will Oren
        January 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        I'm glad that people can have this war over tablets arguing who's koolade tastes better.   I'm an avid android person, but would personally recommend the iPad for simple users that are mainly using a tablet for media consumption (i.e. my family)  As for myself I love the flexibility of the android platform and the option to choose the tablet that has the right form factor to not only fit my technical needs, ability to put any file on it and pull it off without using additional software, and fits with my personality.  Pros and Cons.  Find what is right for you and don't discriminate those who choose differently.  Working in education I support Android and iPad users all the same.  It is great to see this budding technology and interesting to see where it will go.

  20. Gl2k000
    December 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    The iPad is a wonderful device but....

    -  Answer to Hardware Quality:  Asus, Motorola, and Samsung tablets.  More options than iPad.  Samsung has done a wonderful job in the aesthetics area as well and has provided more options with a 7", 8" and 10" form not only does the Android market have hardware aesthetics covered but they have many more options.
    -  Price:  There have been Android tablets on the market for $100+.  There's an Android tablet for everyone and has been for a while.  They may not be the most powerful for that price point but the option is there and not everyone can afford the iPad.
    -  OS Support:  Not too  They are pushing the threshold and have taken over the mobile phone market in record time.  Android will take over the tablet market as well.  Look at the Nook and Kindle...both assimilated by Android due to the open nature of the platform.  Intel is also ramping up their plans for Android support on more common CPU's.  It's coming...Android is just relatively new to the mass market and it does take time to get going.  They've just committed to putting out updates at a fast pace hence all the Android versions available but if you look at the stats you'll notice that the market moves along pretty quickly and phones get upgraded in large waves to the latest version that the hardware will allow.
    -  App quality:  Again on the tablets I've had minimal problems with compatibility and in the Android environment you can easily overcome a lot of obstacles by rooting and installing a free app.  Don't forget that in the Android Market the majority of apps are free as well.  You have a lot of the iPad games being ported to Android if they have not already been ported and with nVidia pushing the hardware threshold with their Tegra line of CPU's, quality is about to surpass the IOS platform.  Android 4 with the new CPU's will yield some incredible results.  Hell, nVidia's Tegra2 chip has already changed the market and developers are ramping up for the next generation of mobile processors.  It's going to be great for everyone.

    Will Android get it right?  Of course they will.  People asked the same when they entered the mobile phone segment.  Look at Android now compared to RIM and Apple.  Just give them a little time.  Apple had a head start like in the phone segment but soon people migrated and the balance of things changed.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Hardware quality: Name an Android tablet that can rival the iPad2's hardware quality that isn't called the Samsung Tab 10.1 or the Transformer Prime. It doesn't matter if there are a lot of options if they're all not very good. 

      Price: So some Android tablets sell cheaply. Who cares? They don't make much or any money and they still don't sell in very large numbers. In fact, they usually just end up with 3-star reviews on Amazons from people say "Well, it's cheap, but..."

      OS Support: First, I object to using the Nook or Kindle as examples of Android operating system progression. First, the Kindle uses Android 2.3 (I don't remember what the Nook Tablet uses off the top of my head). Second, they are so radically altered that they're effectively outside the Android ecosystem unless you root them.

      Second, Android's takeover of the mobile phone market has been impressive, but it has had nothing to do with the operating system. It's had everything to do with wider device selection on a wider variety of carriers and Apple's refusal to make a 4.3" smartphone (not that I blame them - Apple is smart because they focus on profit more than market share).

      App Quality: That's great you've had minimal problems. As I said this is the most subjective point. Personally, I find myself at times wishing I had an iPhone. For example, Tiny Tower just came out for Android. But the port really sucks. I just wish I had an iOS device so I could play a decent version.

      Tegra 3: Will Tegra 3 beat the iPad 2 in graphics quality with Ice Cream Sandwich installed? I don't know, and you don't know, because no one has benchmarked it yet. Tegra 3 certainly doesn't look AMAZING on Honeycomb however - that has been benchmarked. And besides...rumors are saying iPad 3 in early-mid 2012. It'll take that long before Tegra 3 becomes common in Android tablets. 

      I am looking to Android now compared to RIM and Apple. RIM is in the dumps. But Apple? They're making more money than god and it's mostly because of mobile. We have to remember that while Apple's phone market share may be smaller than Android, we're in effect comparing a single product (iPhone 4) against hundreds of Android phones. I'll be more impressed with Android when they grab 85%+ market share like Microsoft did with Windows. 

      Thanks for posting a rebuttal, btw!

      • Gl2k000
        December 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Point is, there are 2-3 Android tablets that rival the iPad already.  Apple had momentum and ingenuity.  I love that Apple finally got someone else off their @5535 and forced the industry to push the threshold...but when you're running an OS based on Linux and it has almost no limitations, it's hard to survive against such an opponent.  Everyone doubted me when I told them Android would reign supreme in the phone segment when the G1 came out.  Look at me know, as the song goes.  Android will overtake the tablet market in 2012.  I'm glad this is in writing so we can come back and see who was right.  ;)

        • Gl2k000
          December 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

          BTW, I'm also known as LTxda.  :)

        • Tx_wright
          December 14, 2011 at 8:01 am

          My question is what is the basis for the assertion that Android will overtake iOS? Is something changing I am unaware of? Android development is not outpacing Apple's. It never has. There is no sign Apple is slowing down so it doesn't seem likely that Android will massively overtake iOS in a year.

          I think many technical people do not think about how the end users (who far exceed the technical users in numbers) view these products. Think of someone you know who would be confused by the terms Tegra 2 or Ice Cream Sandwich or even iOS and imagine their experience walking into your local Best Buy. 

          They can walk over to the Apple section see a clean minimalist display and basically need to pick storage size and 3G or not. It is all very logical and they are comforted by the fact that everything will just work and they can't make a decision that will leave them with regret.

          If they make their way to the Android section they are presented with a dizzying array of options that all are different sizes, have different features and what exactly is the difference between the Motorola Xoom and the Galaxy Tab? What about this Asus thing that looks like a laptop or this Toshiba Thrive? They ask the "salesperson" and if that person even knows the differences they then launch into an explanation of Honeycomb vs the Kindle that runs Gingerbread and oh yeah this one has an xx megapixel camera, and this one over here runs a Tegra 3 while this one runs a dual core processor. And by the way this one is going to upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich when that comes out. At this point you lost the sale and they retreat to the Apple section and buy the iPad. 

          I saw this first hand with my mother-in-law last week. A Kindle Fire probably would have made the most sense given that she will primarily consume content but the choices were just too much and she walked out with a $500 iPad.

          This is Android's problem and this is why they will always have difficulty taking over iOS. It has nothing to do with the latest whiz-bang feature from Android, the fastest processors for games or even the coolest new hardware. These are end user devices that are primarily used to consume content (internet, books, videos), play a few games and maybe use an app or two. They are luxuries and people just want them to work.

          Before you think I am wrong and point to the Android phone and it's phenomenal rise I would argue that the killer feature of the phone is communications. That is making calls and sending text messages. Studies have consistently proven that the vast majority of Android phone owners have never purchased an app. To me that means people are walking into their local AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile store and see a nice shiny Android phone that is free on contract or essentially free and they pick it. Then they do exactly what you would expect, make phone calls, send text messages and browse the web. 

          The use case for a tablet is completely different. They are not subsidized and are a luxury expenditure and the decision process is entirely different.

        • Gl2k000
          December 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

          I have to work so won't go into a long response but will say...we'll see.  :) 
          Just like I told the doubters that wouldn't believe Android would soon take over the phone segment.  I'm not an Android love, I love whichever technology is superior at the time.  Android being it right now and the near future.

        • Blanca Perez
          January 21, 2012 at 12:06 am

          So making information based decisions scaeres you? SO just stick with Apple. They will make all your choices for you.

        • M.S. Smith
          December 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm

          2012? I think that's waaaay to optimistic. 

          I don't think it's IMPOSSIBLE for Android to overtake iPad, but my point is they can't right now because they don't have the formula right. And this stuff doesn't turn on a dime, so maybe if Ice Cream Sandwich is the best thing since sliced bread and the iPad 3 mysteriously sucks, (hey, Jobs isn't in charge anymore, it could happen...) then we could see the tables turn in 2013. 

          But as you say, we got it in writing :D 

      • Blanca Perez
        January 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

        "Price: So some Android tablets sell cheaply. Who cares?"

        People who'd like a tablet and don't have iPad money.

    • Brettieboyster
      December 28, 2011 at 2:18 am

      I agree with G12K000... I am both an Apple and Android user but when given a choice would go with Android every time. I find it a more compatible, less restrictive and less controlling platform than iOS.

      Apple has been very innovative a technological leader for many years, but competition is healthy and they have a keen rival in Google who has also been noted for their innovative emerging technologies.

      Even Apple had a starting point so I say Go Google! Yeah Android! Give them a run for your share of all that money.... It only serves to benefit us all in the end.

      Posted from my Motorola Xoom Android tablet :-)

  21. Gl2k000
    December 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

    This article is lame and should have been written over a year ago when these points were valid.  Come on man, if you're going to write about technology at least know something about it and get up to date. sheesh.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

      That's not actually a rebuttal, you know...

      • Blanca Perez
        January 21, 2012 at 12:02 am

        Actually it is, and about as succinct as it gets. Android tablets that sell at the same price point as an iPad as comparable. The number of apps is increasing exponentially and they don't have to come from a single controlling source. Android is on the move, the iPad has been stagnant,

  22. Anonymous
    December 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I have both a Xoom and iPad...the real big division for me is apps. On the ipad, there are tons and tons of ipad specific apps. Finding (good) tablet apps (not just the mobile apps that are blown up to size) on the xoom is practically impossible. I.e., Netflix wasn't available up till a few months ago. I'm sure this will improve over time, but until that day the iPad will be a clear #1 choice. Other gripes are just bugs - although that's standard for android platform as a whole.

    • M.S. Smith
      December 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Apps is one of the bigger issues, to be sure. It's actually one of the reasons I liked the Kindle Fire gaming experience...Amazon went to the trouble of making sure there were games that were going to play nicely on the Fire, and were fun, available on Amazon's Kindle store.

      The Android Market is a bit of a mess even on the phones. On the tablets, its a mess without a great selection of quality apps. 

    • Cassetti
      December 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

      I don't know about on the Xoom, but on my TF101, I have NO problem running apps stretched to fit on my screen. The resolution seems fine to me.  I have run numerous apps designed to run on mobile phones just fine on my tablet without any issues. I really have not had one issue finding the app i want and having it work on my tablet, got any examples of apps which don't work well on a tablet?

      • Anonymous
        December 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

        I got the Xoom about a week after it came out. At that point, there were hardly any tablet apps available. It wasn't until about a month or two after the xoom came out that there was an update where you could stretch/zoom in on the mobile apps. Since then, its obviously gotten better. The market has been updated, there are more mainstream tablet apps, etc.

        The problem is that (again) there are still not many tablet apps available. You can blow up the mobile apps, but the UI is designed for small screens and while serviceable when blown up, is not as optimal. Finally, almost all mobile apps are designed with a vertical orientation. Tablets - especially the xoom which is very thin and wide - are designed for horizontal apps. I feel silly holding the xoom in a vertical position. With the iPad that's not such a big deal - especially since its not as narrow.

  23. Arthur McKenzie
    December 13, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I've been an iPad user for about a year now and can't think of a better alternative. And no, I'm no fanboy... I use Windows, Linux and iOS-based devices in equal measure. What matters most is functionality, ease of use and scalability of whatever piece of technology I'm using right now.

    For the most part, what drives the intensity of iPad vs Android debate is the "perception" of quality (either of one vs lack of in the other) and the semblance of cheapness.

    While Android tabs have potential, Apple has already realized that potential and continues to push the bar with subsequent releases (whether in terms of iOS upgrades or new releases). I think this is what keeps it on the cutting edge.