When the iPad was announced on January 27, 2010, by Steve Jobs at an Apple press conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the concept of a huge display in your hands for “ultimate media consumption,” was nothing new for the market.
However, it was still a fresh concept. With Apple entering the competition using the iPad, it’s safe to say it changed the game forever. Since then, Apple has come a long way with the iPad; to the point where I am now confident it’s the best tablet to buy.
But first, why do you need a tablet?
If you don’t understand the need for a tablet when there are phones in your hands that get the job done just fine, then let me tell you why you need a tablet in the first place.
Initially, the tablets available for consumers were intended to be used as media consumption devices. When it comes to media consumption, bigger is better. Today the basic need for a tablet remains the same, you can use it for watching movies on a bigger screen but still take it anywhere along with you.
You can use a tablet for drawing and other forms of digital art, taking notes or you may need it for your kids so that they can play games on it and not run after your phones. Even with all these possibilities, a tablet doesn’t need to be a powerhouse it just needs to do the basics smoothly and as quickly as possible, which should not be tough for a tablet, right?
Not really. Here’s why.
iPadOS vs Android
Keeping the hardware aside the main decision is to choose the right Operating Systems(OS). The Operating System is the system that you interact with to operate the tablet. The OSes available for a tablet are mainly iPadOS, Android, Windows for the Microsoft Surface, and FireOS.
But the main decision has always between iPadOS and Android.
With the 7th gen iPad, Apple launched the iPadOS, which shows they have identified the difference between the phone and the tablet. A tablet should not be simply a stretched-out version of a phone, which Android definitely fails to address by using the same Android operating system for both smartphones and tablets.
It doesn’t sound as bad, but it is; Android on tablets feel half-baked as the apps on Android are not optimized for bigger screens. They’re all of different sizes and ratios which makes the whole tablet using experience very weird and unpleasant.
A tablet should not be simply a stretched out version of a phone
Another thing worth pointing out is Android tablets are very bad when it comes to software updates as they arrive quite late, and that is why the Android tablets date quicker than they should. This although is not that big of a deal for the more premium and expensive Android tablets like the Samsung Tab S6 but now these are in the same price range as the iPad.
However, you will get an advantage if you are heavily invested in the Android ecosystem with Android phones and Android TV as it will be easier to share files and don’t want to learn a new system that is the same case for the iPad and other ecosystems as well.
The iPadOS, on the other hand, is comparatively very smooth and seamless even for the base 7th Gen iPad which was announced last year. With support for advanced multitasking, iPadOS is dedicated to making the user experience better compared to its Android counterparts.
The price factor
Apple products, in general, get a lot of conflicting opinions from the market mainly because of their high price tags. What makes the iPad any different?
The answer to that question is the 7th gen iPad announced in September 2019.
The Base iPad 2019 is now cheaper (starting at Rs 29,900) which is great, but it also made it better by adding the magnetic keyboard port and support for Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), so it now has almost everything it’s more expensive brothers have.
If you are unsure whether you need a tablet or not, don’t buy one
Well, Rs 29,900 is still not cheap, considering the low prices of most of the Android tablets. This is a classic case of price to performance ratio; you can get an Android tablet like the Samsung A-Series for much lower than what you will pay for the iPad, but if you want to get some work done on your tablet you will quickly feel the need for a more premium tablet at which point you are better off with the iPad.
If you are not sure whether you need a tablet or not, don’t buy one as it will just end up collecting dust. But if you can think of some uses for a tablet, with the support for Apple Pencil and the keyboard case with the base iPad it seems to be the tablet you should consider over any Android tablet.
What about the other tablets?
The tablet world is more than just iPadOS vs Android. What about the other tablets? So apart from an iPad or an Android tablet, you have two options to look at – Fire tablet and Microsoft Surface and they both have their own place suiting to your needs when you are looking for a new tablet.
Microsoft Surface Go Series – The Microsoft Surface Go is less of a tablet, and more of a laptop or a 2 in 1 and the same can be said looking at its price, costing at Rs 54,000. Under the hood, it is powered by Intel’s custom processors and runs Windows. It’s essentially a mini-computer that Microsoft passes off as a tablet.
Fire Tablet – The Fire tablet is a tablet by Amazon, and they are as cheap as tablets come. The good thing about Fire Tablet is that they are straightforward and carry no endless customization options as you will get in an Android Tablet.
I would recommend a Fire Tablet if you need a very basic tablet mainly for a toddler to stay busy probably learn somethings on. If you are very tight on your budget, then get a Fire Tablet
The future of tablets…
The future of tablets can go various ways, but it is very much visible in the marketing strategies opted by companies, for example, Apple is really pushing their new iPads as the perfect laptop replacement with the “Your next computer is not a computer” and at the same time all the hardware becoming slim and lightweight making tablets more portable.
All the points I have stacked against Android tablets are related to software which iPadOS seems to be getting right for now.
If the companies start focusing more on the optimization of Android for their tablets and provide timely software updates or if there comes an Android-specific to Android tablets (something like Tablet OS) then there will be a proper competition in the industry. Until then if you can, buy the iPad.
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