I’m going through a bit of a quandry, and it’s probably blaspheme to speak about, but I’ve held off purchasing an Android tablet running Android OS 4.0 for one reason: I’m not sure if I want it. I’m actually considering, hold your breath and sit down, an iPad.
But wait, before you say, “ugh,” and unsubscribe, let me explain.
First, I love Android tablets (“oh yeah, sure you do”). I especially love that Android tablets are packed with extra features, such as removable storage and USB, that do not exist on iPad. I also love that I can customize any Android tablet to my particular style. In truth, Android tablets are far superior devices, but there’s still a “little brother” element that they can’t quite shake.
So, my dilemma occurred long before I read this story, and strengthened moments thereafter. Unlike Peter though, I’m not about gaming, I’m about productivity and usability. Sure, I love an occasional game (I’m hooked on “the Birds” and now, Mini Motor Racing), but when I use a tablet, I want it to make my life easier. I want its features to wow me. Most importantly, I want to be able to do things, I want to “work” on my tablet.
Is it about the apps?
I’m not sure it’s the apps that get me. Aside from the overwhelming number of lawyer-centered apps (I wish Android had Fastcase, iJuror, or PenUltimate) iPad doesn’t carry too much weight. Most of Android’s apps are of similar quality, albeit some are smartphone-centered, but tablet adjusted, and there’s a similar number (please don’t start the “iOS has more argument” – I’m merely referring to the exponential growth of Android apps, compared with iOS apps).
Frankly too, if you’re truly honest about which apps you use most, you’ll probably also discover that Android has a comparable version.
If it’s not the apps, “then,” you ask, “what is it about iPad you’re loving so much?”
Quite simply, it’s stability.
I think Google lost control of Android, they know it, and they can’t fix it. Since Android’s an open-concept OS, developers are free to manipulate the system as they see fit. This openness is especially good for development and innovation, but significantly hurts consumers and end-users. Open concepts create anarchy, which in Android’s case is called fragmentation: too many devices running a number of different operating systems. Apple’s totalitarian control commendably stifles this major problem, “one OS shall rule them all.” Device manufacturers and providers freely add bloatware that slows down systems, creates frustration for users, and without rooting your device, is impossible to remove.
Google appears poised to control with Android 5.0, but that’s light years away, and until then I’m stuck in a contract with Verizon, and I want a tablet, not a smartphone.
Google’s second problem is that developers get paid less on Android OS than iOS. We all hate getting stiffed for our work, and there are plenty of “get your apps for free” websites. I advocate purchasing your apps rather than pirating them, because it’s good sense all around. Good developers deserve payment for their service, and more quality paid apps means fewer sub-par apps that rely on advertising.
Finally, though I have my doubts, Google may abandon Android altogether. Google isn’t in the Android game. Its bread-and-butter is advertising search. Google seeks a bazillion methods for delivering its advertising to the world. Android is one platform, not the platform. If its platform isn’t working, it’s easy to cut off. Not to mention the ordeal or monetary nightmare that could exist if it starts losing its patent wars, especially to Apple. As much as I love you Android, I think you’re sunk if that happens.
In truth, Apple did it right. Instead of letting its minions run about like masochistic marauders, Apple kept its beast in hand. Apple developed a product that doesn’t take tweaking to enjoy, appeals to the masses, and can accomplish a number of different functions without much effort. So, what’s wrong with owning an Android phone and an Apple tablet? Looks like I’m going to need a bigger app pocketbook.