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Old 12-29-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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iOS vs. Android (Part 1)

Basically, I could call this thread "Apple iPad vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab".
Those are my 2 favorite tablets - and probably the 2 most successful ones for the moment.

I've found lots of reviews about both of them. For iPad, given that it's already available for 7 months, the reviews are kind of realistic, in my opinion. For Samsung Galaxy Tab, I still mainly read nonsense.

Before going into details, my personal ranking in advance.
After very careful consideration:
iPad = 8/10
Galaxy Tab = 6.5 /10
For Galaxy Tab, it was especially hard to rank. I love it. And for the last 6 weeks I've used it almost exclusively. It's got huge potential, but there are some annoyances as well. Fortunately, most of those issues are in the OS, so they might be solved with Android 2.3 or 3.0 rather quickly.

From my personal experience as a heavy user:

Uninstall & Refund:
That's a huge weakness of iOS/iTunes. You can't test most of the apps and you can't get any refund, just because you don't like the app.
On Android, you get a full refund. No questions asked. I don't mind, whether the refund period is 24 hours (what I've had so far) or 15 minutes (latest discussion). It's still a huge benefit. And usually I know within minutes, whether the app is what I wanted.

Stability:
A few days ago I've stated in another thread, iPad never did crash on me whereas this happens more or less every day with my Android units.
I have to be more specific about that.
There's no "blue screen of death" for neither unit. You never crash the entire system. In the worst case, a specific app hangs itself and you manually have to "kill" it.
This happens on iPad as well. I just kind of forgot about it, because I didn't use my iPad for maybe 2 months (mainly because of Samsung Galaxy Tab). And -and that's a huge plus for iPad- because you easily can close any app via the physical home button. On Galaxy Tab, although in general I prefer them, the capacitive buttons sometimes simply don't react for some seconds, when the app is stuck. Meaning: On Android, your entire system can "hang" for some seconds. On iPad, you just close the app whenever you want.

Keyboard:
In my opinion, by far the biggest weakness of iPad.
You've got a single keyboard, which in addition is extremely stupid.
It just doesn't learn.
I've read somewhere, it would be learning. But only in some specific apps.
On Android, you can choose tons of keyboards. I love using "Swype" for example. It perfectly learns. And whatever it learns can be used in every single app. You easily can add or delete from your personal dictionary. My email address for example only takes 4 letters, then I get the correct suggestion(s). There even are keyboards with shortcuts, as we had them 10 years ago (!!) on PocketPCs/Palm Pilots.

Desktops:
Folders did help on iPad. But still you can't do very much on iPad.
On Android, you can use widgets on your desktop for example.
You can have your programs in some kind of "Start/Programs" structure similar to Windows. In addition, you freely can arrange shortcuts on the desktop. You can add shortcuts to almost everything: Contacts, Maps, Apps, Playlists, ...

Appstore:
I'm very critical about both iTunes and Android market.
In my opinion, the over all quality is close to a disaster. Yes, most apps are less than $ 5. But for most, even that's already too much.
I'd rather have professional apps, developed by the "big ones", instead of having thousands of apps from hobby programmers.
There are exceptions of course. "Navigon" on iPhone4 for example a few weeks ago won in a (competent and professional) review agains "real" navigation systems. I happily pay the $ 50 premium for this kind of quality.
Anyway: In direct comparison, iTunes still is ahead. I guess, for any 5 titles in Android, you find about 7 to 10 similar apps in iTunes. The highlights on Android clearly demonstrate, it absolutely can compete with iOS. But there simply are more choices in iTunes.

Performance:
I can't really benchmark those units.
But my gut feeling says, iPad and Galaxy Tab are about even.
Both, in general, perform extremely well.
I find myself more and more annoyed by boot times, startup times, responsiveness and the likes on PC or Mac in comparison to these tablets.

Full screen of mobile phone apps:
The majority of apps in iTunes is designed for the smaller display of iPhone.
Same for Android.
On iPad, it's easy: Per se, the iPhone app starts in the original size, having huge borders around it. You can hit the "x2" button, and the app doubles in size. For some, the result is great - no pixelation at all. For most of the apps, it's a compromise in my opinion. It's workable, no doubt about that. Maybe 95% of those apps are totally usable. But lots of them simply look less appealing than "real" iPad apps.
On Galaxy Tab (I can't speak about Android in general, it's different for each manufacturer/unit), it's even worse without "hacks". Some apps double and look about the same as iPhone apps on iPad. Some apps don't work at all. Some apps zoom incorrectly...
BUT: There's a solution. The app "Spare Parts", legally available in the Android market, tweaks the OS. (I've read somewhere, the app even is just an extract from the original source from Samsung). The apps then don't just double, they scale perfectly. Same (or similar) can be done with a jailbreak on iPad. But tweaking Android to me seems less intrusive than jailbreaking iOS. And it's way easier to do. And the hitrate of working apps (I haven't tried the jailbreak tweak on iPad) seems to be bigger on Android.

I'll add some further details later on.
But for now, my conclusion:
Without the appstores, just comparing hardware, it would be way closer. Actually, I personally prefer Galaxy Tab because of its mobility. But what worth is a great hardware, if it lacks content? And here iPad shines. I simply find more content in iTunes than in Android. The gap is getting smaller. But for now, iPad is (not that much anymore, but still) ahead because of availability of applications.

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-30-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:37 PM   #2
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I prefer the Nook Color because it's only $250. The other two are overpriced.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I prefer the Nook Color because it's only $250. The other two are overpriced.
I didn't add "price" as a criteria. For one, I find the price of both absolutely okay. A low end notebook still is about € 800 - and in lots of areas less appealing than those tablets.

In addition, each consumer has to decide about his personal budget and needs.
I wouldn't compare "Mercedes" to "Volkswagen" or "Toyota" either. To some, "Mercedes" simply will be overpriced. Others just will compare to "BMW".

Last week, I saw a € 100 tablet from China. For this price, it was spectacular. How can they even integrate GPS, processor, touchscreen, RAM, ... for that kind of money?
The price/benefit ratio of that unit certainly is great. Still, I wouldn't buy it for myself.

I'm spending maybe 5 hours every single day with some gadget. For those thousands of hours (over a usage period of 2 or 3 years) even a price of € 1.000 would be way cheaper (per hour) than going to the cinema, having a standard dinner in a restaurant, purchasing a paper book or any other activity for your spare time.

And I don't even want to recommend any specific unit. I just wanted to show some of the differences between the systems...

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-29-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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I agree with MgMueller. I would rather pay $1000 for something I really like then pay $300 for something that does a similar job but is just not as good in every respect and then curse myself every day when using it. Obviously, all this is also a matter of everyone's personal financial situation.

Still, tablets are just not there yet, hard and software wise they are just big phones.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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That's why I sold sold my Pocketbook IQ and now save up my money for either the iPad or the Galaxy.

Still undecided, though the price drop of the Galaxy Tab sure is enticing ...
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for this thread. I've been Android curious as I have no had experience with Android at all. I have a 1st Gen iPod Touch as my brush with iOS.

I tired to play with a Galaxy Tab today but the demo unit at Radio Shack was not working. Is there and Android emulator for Windows by any chance?

I really want to see what happens with WebOS (I use a Palm Pre).

EDIT: I found an emulator for PC and Mac.

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Old 12-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this. I appreciate an evaluation from someone who's owned both, even though our needs and opinions may be different. I can at least see from your comments what I might expect.

I have no intention of buying an Android tablet until at least Honeycomb comes out. Even Google says that Froyo and Gingerbread aren't designed for tablets. I'm an open-source kind of guy, and I hate closed systems (à la Apple and Amazon), so my path is pretty clear (yes, I prefer apps from hobbyists, even though they may have fewer features or a few bugs; no, I'm not an Android developer). Still, I'm curious to see what HP-Palm's webOS can come up with.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
I agree with MgMueller. I would rather pay $1000 for something I really like then pay $300 for something that does a similar job but is just not as good in every respect and then curse myself every day when using it. Obviously, all this is also a matter of everyone's personal financial situation.
That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm paying $250 for a device that does what I need it to do, rather than $500 for a device that does what I need it to do plus stuff I don't need it to do.

Why waste money by paying for features I don't need?
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:27 AM   #9
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@mgmueller: Great review like. Though I must admit I am a bit confused by it.

From your score you mark the iPad a better product. But when I read your review it looks like you like the Tab better. The only real advantage you note the iPad has over the Tab is stability, but then you go on to say that the iPad behaves the same way too.

I guess the review does not indicate why the Tab scored so low and the iPad scored better, can you elaborate?

Also I'd like to know why you scored the Tab so low.

Can you talk about the screen quality difference and also portability

Thank you
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:18 AM   #10
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I'm keeping watch on Android, rooting for more stability, less Wild West. I'd like to see competitors step it up against Apple already.

My tablet needs are pretty basic, and I'm willing to pay for convenience, ease of use and reliability. I read threads about people messing with Android tablets and wince. I just want tech to work; I don't wanna waste time messing with it, hoping to get it to work.

iPad serves most of my needs for now, but I'd be happy to jump to a better product. For me, that means hardware, software and support, though.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
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That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm paying $250 for a device that does what I need it to do, rather than $500 for a device that does what I need it to do plus stuff I don't need it to do.

Why waste money by paying for features I don't need?
I would pay extra for a product that looks much better, has better build quality, better hardware (screen, processor, software, memory), and better features --- if that's what I want. (I want neither the iPad nor the TAB, just for your info). You never know when those additional features come in handy. And if it is just for reading, well, then I am fine with the devices I have now for the moment.

To each his own -- I am not that frugal if I really like something. If you are the "my car gets me from A to B" type of guy, that is fine, of course. I just feel differently about it. I would rather buy nothing that buy something just because it is cheap.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
I would pay extra for a product that looks much better, has better build quality, better hardware (screen, processor, software, memory), and better features. You never know when those additional features come in handy. And if it is just for reading, well, then I am fine with the devices I have now for the moment.

To each his own -- I am not that frugal if I really like something. If you are the "my car gets me from A to B" type of guy, that is fine, of course. I just feel differently about it. I would rather buy nothing that buy something just because it is cheap.
For me, cars are just transportation and tech is just a tool. I want both to work reliably and with the least amount of trouble, though, and I'm willing to pay accordingly.

I tried out a couple of Nooks because I was buying a gift for a pre-teen reader. His needs differ from mine. For my needs, I'd rather go without a tablet and wait for something better, instead of getting a Nook.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
I would pay extra for a product that looks much better, has better build quality, better hardware (screen, processor, software, memory), and better features --- if that's what I want. (I want neither the iPad nor the TAB, just for your info). You never know when those additional features come in handy. And if it is just for reading, well, then I am fine with the devices I have now for the moment.
Huh??? The Nook Color is second to none in the looks department and it's build quality is just as good. As far as hardware is concerned, it actually has a better display than the Galaxy Tab. The processor is a bit slower 800MHz vs 1GHz and onboard storage is half at 8GB vs 16GB; but neither of these hamper my needs. Stock NC's run Android 2.1 with promised upgrade to 2.2. Rooted, it runs 2.2 just like the Galaxy Tab.

You paint a picture of a very crippled device. The facts prove that assessment wrong. Like I said, I'm not going to waste money for a device that only does marginally better than one at half the price.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:38 AM   #14
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I would rather buy nothing that buy something just because it is cheap.
I feel the same way. My buying is based on build quality, features needed, and price. That's why I chose the Nook Color over the Galaxy Tab and iPad.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:26 AM   #15
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@mgmueller: Great review like. Though I must admit I am a bit confused by it.

From your score you mark the iPad a better product. But when I read your review it looks like you like the Tab better. The only real advantage you note the iPad has over the Tab is stability, but then you go on to say that the iPad behaves the same way too.

I guess the review does not indicate why the Tab scored so low and the iPad scored better, can you elaborate?

Also I'd like to know why you scored the Tab so low.

Can you talk about the screen quality difference and also portability

Thank you
=X=
I'll add further details in a few hours.

Tab really was hard to rate. I can't just rate the hardware (what good is a "naked" OS without apps?), but have to consider the software as well.
And unfortunately, Android in some areas is somewhat limited. For example, I've found only 2 good navigation apps for Android. On iOS, I find half a dozen additional iPhone apps.
The "naked" hardware would be even. Personally, I even prefer Tab's 7" portability.
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