There must be a lot of folks trying to decide on a tablet, based on the regular correspondence I receive from them. The question often centers around which is a better fit, the iPad or an Android tablet. While there's no easy answer to that question, getting an iPad is a safer choice for most.
There’s nothing wrong with Android tablets, far from it. They are capable devices that many are happy to own. They’re not for everybody, however, and it’s important to realize that when first shopping for a tablet.
People who enjoy fiddling with their mobile gadgets will love Android. It can be customized in many ways and adapted to fit individual preferences. That can be a daunting process for many, though, so that’s not always a good thing.
People who just want to take the tablet out of the box and use it without worrying about all the customization stuff will find that to be an advantage of the iPad over Android.
Android enthusiasts will argue that the locked down nature of iOS is a major flaw of the iPad. The inability to customize the UI on Apple’s tablet is a big limitation to these folks, and they’re right. But people who just want to take the tablet out of the box and use it without worrying about all the customization stuff will find that to be an advantage of the iPad over Android. Not everybody likes to play around with the tablet UI to get it just right.
Then there are the apps. Both the iPad and Android have lots of apps available to owners. Chances are if you are looking for a particular app it can be found on both platforms. That’s not always the case, however, as many app developers release an iPad version before they make one for Android. That makes the iPad the lower risk choice between the two platforms when it comes to app availability.
Having a lot of hands-on time with Android and iPads, it’s clear the better user experience (UX) is provided by the latter. The iPad works smoother, faster, and with fewer issues than most Android tablets. That’s not to say the Android UX is horrible, it’s just not quite as good. This could make the iPad the better choice for some who find that important.
There is a huge third-party accessory ecosystem for the iPad compared to that of Android tablets. Finding a good case or other accessory is virtually guaranteed with the iPad, which is not always true for Android tablets. That’s improving though, and depending on which Android tablet is chosen may not be an issue.
That last sentence points to another problem with Android tablets confronting shoppers. There are a lot of them out there so deciding which one is best can be a big task. The iPad selection on the other hand basically comes down to size.
Choosing a tablet can be a daunting task for many unfamiliar with the ins and outs of them. Android tablets and iPads are solid choices, and many buyers would be well served by any of them. Those unsure of what would best fit their needs will likely find the iPad to be less of a risk than any Android tablet. Over time some would find Android to be a better choice, but for the short term the iPad is often the way to go.
Those with a definite platform preference should go with that platform. That group is not addressed by this article because the decision is already clear. This is especially true for those needing or wanting Windows. If that’s the case then a Windows tablet is the obvious choice.