Why purchase an iPad (4th generation) instead of a different tablet like the Google Nexus 10? I have researched and answered this question for many, other than myself, over the past year. As a computer technology enthusiast (i.e., the geek in the family), I often am asked these sorts of technical questions; which I thoroughly enjoy researching and answering. Honest.
So now it’s my turn. Which one is right for me? I have an Android phone (my second one) and love it. I don’t own a Mac, an iPod, or other Apple product. I am a heavy Google user, all my data and ‘stuff’ is in the Google cloud. It doesn’t sound right that I chose the iPad over the Nexus 10, but I did. Here’s why…
When you pick up an iPad, you know it’s there. It’s not heavy, but it’s not cheap feeling. You can feel the craftsmanship. I have felt and seen this with other Apple products. Their not all plastic. The aluminum case on the iPods, iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks add considerably to the quality of the products ‘feel’. Jony Ive has done a tremendous job at Apple over the years. True genius.
My son has a Nexus 7 and I’ve held a Nexus 10. The have a plastic back, and don’t feel cheap or flimsy, but when compared to the iPad, you just know there is something special about the iPad. The iPad was the clear winner for me in this category.
Apple was the first with the ‘App Store’ concept. There is no doubting the success of the App Store. Google has done an equally successful job in creating Google Play and integrating their Android products, but Apple is still the clear winner here. The fact is that there are many more apps available in the App Store that are designed for the iPad and not just iOS in general. These applications are optimized for the screen size and hardware available on the iPad. The App Store clearly categorizes applications as iPad Apps or iPhone Apps. You can still run the iPhone applications if there is no iPad specific version, but at least you know.
Google Play on the other hand doesn’t make this distinction. Because Android is an open system, and there are so many device manufacturers, you only know that the application will run on your device, but it’s not clear if it is optimized for the tablet screen size or not. It’s more trial and error instead of just knowing.
I am sure that developers will be churning out many more applications optimized for Android tablets, but right now Apple and the iOS development community has this nailed.
Accessories and Case
An issue I had when purchasing my son’s Nexus 7 was finding a good quality case that looked and worked like the Smart Cover or Smart Case available for iPad. I wanted the case to be able to protect the device; be able to fold and act as a stand; have a magnet in the cover to automatically turn on/off the screen when closed; and not add bulk to the handling of the tablet. I spent a few days going through review after review of over a dozen products, and still did not have the confidence that the case was going to satisfy all of my requirements. I looked at the cover offered by Google that was specifically designed for the Nexus 7, but it doesn’t fold into a stand and it doesn’t have a magnet in the cover to auto activate the device. In the end I chose the Blurex Ultra-Slim Case which I purchased through Amazon. The case does everything except that you have to remove the case from the left side of the tablet in order to fold it into a stand. It’s a minor distraction but the case works well.
I did not want to have to go through this same process with my tablet. I wanted the case decision to be an easy one. I chose the Smart Case over the Smart Cover because I wanted the back protected. All I had to chose was the color. It took only two seconds to settle on green. The case is superb, does everything I want, and I was confident in my purchase before it ever arrived on my doorstep.
Like most people, I have many computer devices. I have a laptop, a smart phone, and now a tablet. I like having all my data and information with me and don’t want to worry or deal with the hassle of copying or syncing things to many devices. Because of this, I make use of the best cloud applications available. Those applications run on all my devices regardless of operating system. Since I have a Windows laptop, an Android phone, and a iOS tablet, I use applications and services that are available in my heterogeneous computing environment.
I use Dropbox and Google Drive for documents; Google for e-mail, calendar, and contacts; Google Chrome for web browsing and bookmarks; Twitter, Facebook, Flipboard, Instagram, and Google+ for social networking; WordPress for my blog; Amazon Kindle for ebooks; Picasa and Flickr for photos; and Evernote, Trello, and Do It Tomorrow for productivity.
All these applications are available for all my devices. Life is so simple. This flexibility allowed me to have a choice in device and not be forced into the Android or Apple camp. Google choosing to make its applications and services available on iOS, and Apple choosing to not force the consumer into having to rely on iCloud for e-mail, contacts, and calendar results in the consumer having the ability to make a personal choice. Mine was to use an Apple device while still utilizing my Google-based services. Installation of the applications and integration with Google services was painless on the iPad. Both companies deserve credit here, with a secondary thank you to the developers that make the products listed above.
I am extremely happy with my iPad. In the limited time I have used it, I think it is wonderful. I can do 75% of what I need to do with my computer on it. I still prefer to create on the computer and view on the iPad, but I think the convenience and portability of the tablet is exceptional, and in the future, I may consider purchasing the iWork suite on the iPad to see how creating content on the tablet compares. Now I think I will go play some poker or watch a movie on Netflix.