iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

Summary: Ten top tablet apps for both the iPad and Android tablets are shown running side-by-side to demonstrate the differences in design philosophy between the two platforms.


A comment frequently heard about iPad apps is how they are more polished than similar Android apps. I have made the same observation as I use both platforms regularly. A lot of that polish has to do with iPad developers using a more consistent interface design than the helter-skelter approach often used on the Android side.

I regularly use an iPad 2 and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Ice Cream Sandwich (custom ROM), and have a stable of regular apps I use heavily. The best way to show how the two platforms compare with app design is to display them side-by-side, and that's what you'll find in the following gallery.

iPad vs. Android tablet apps go head-to-head

Image Gallery: Screen shots compare top apps for Android tablets with similar iPad apps Image Gallery: Charge Image Gallery: Charge

Four of the ten apps compared have versions on both platforms, so the comparison is a direct one in design by the same developers. It is a bit odd why developers would release the same app on each platform with a different design. The other six apps compared are similar in function with its compared app, and paint a good picture of the differences in both functionality and design.

Of interest:

Topics: Laptops, Android, Hardware, iPad, Mobility, Tablets

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  • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

    There's something to be said about controlling the user's experience. Even though I'm very involved and like the Apple way, we're all different, and both iOS and Android are important parts in the smartphone ecosystem.
  • This same exact thing can be said of ios/android apps vs their WP counter

    parts. The WP metro versions are almost always stunningly better. I'm looking forward to seeing if this plays out the same with the W8 tablets versions too.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

      @Johnny Vegas WP apps may be "stunningly better' than the equivalent Blackberry apps, but they often still tend to lag their iOS/Android equivalents (if they even bother to do a WP app at all).
  • Stunningly awful

    The only thing "stunning" about WP Metro is its total failure in the market. Nothing Microsft has ever done has ever been remotely stunning except in it's kludgy and clumsy execution.
  • Looks aren't everything

    Especially in non-game apps.
    The flexibility of where I store, where I pull from, what I can use them for is more flexible on Android vs iOS.
    Good example: I was using Pages on my iPad2. With the install of iOS5 I no longer have the option of saving a new document to Dropbox or other cloud spots. Using Polaris on my Transformer (or QOHDPro) I can save just about anywhere.

    It goes beyond just looks.
  • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

    MS will kill Apple in tablets and laptops with Windows 8 and Android will kill the iPhone ...
    • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

      @AdnanPirota <br>What planet are you living on?<br>The tablet game is over. Apple has won. Don't believe? Of course not, nor did you ever believe that iPods would garner 99% of the music market either.<br>Windows 8, like everything else MS is putting out, is a Yugo. MS is a dying company. They are the next RIM.<br>if you weren't certifiably living in la la land, you'd take a look at the worldwide iPad & iPhone numbers. They continue to explode while even Android phone sales are falling in relation to iPhones. In the last qtr os 2011' Sprint sales were 73% iPhones and try and buy an Android tablet at Best Buy. It's like trying to buy yesterday's papers.<br>People do NOT like anything about MS products. Androids OK, I owned a XOOM for a very short time and it's a fine tablet BUT, it's very openness means NO STANDARDIZATION...which means virus world, OS crashes, viper & vapor ware and phishing. Apple has none of these problems and last time I looked 99.999% of women hate techie stuff. They want EASY, which is another way of spelling APPLE.
      • Wow


        Rant much? :O
  • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

    I'll trade "looks" any day for performance.
  • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

    I took a look at these gallery photos and wasn't impressed with any stunning visual differences. However, I not only own an android tablet and an android phone, but have friends who have Ipad and android tabs. I can tell you right now, for instance that the Bible Study apps may not look as pretty on the android, but are far more efficient and practical than on the ipad.

    In fact, I've looked pretty closely at both platforms, and with the exception of battery life, where the ipad clearly blows the. competition out of the water (10 hrs for the ipad vs 3-5 for the android), input goes to android with T-Swipe Pro, external sd card storage goes to android, usb access goes to android, ad infinitum. There are many and very clear areas where the android is far superior to the ipad.

    Frankly. it's not about esthetics, and consumer loyalty, it's about performance. My money's on Android
    I am The Kingsman
    • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

      @I am The Kingsman <br>

      King Man, you are a guy and 1/2 of the planet don't agree with you which is why women love fu fu fancy restaurants where 'cool looks' and food you can't pronounce the name of rock.<br>We have 6 daughters and ALL of them have iPhones , as do their husbands. All of them have iPads.<br>Apples marketing has mirrored car development, with them 'dribbling' out new stuff with every upgrade so SD cards, which are of ZERO importance to any woman, may eventually hit the iPad but why, since it's so 'old technology' or maybe you have not yet heard the word 'cloud' which obviates the very need for ANY storage internally beyond ram and neither MS or any Android is in the same universe as Apple's cloud capabilities.<br><br>In every area that Apple is moving, it is leaving all, ALL of the competition further and further and irretrievably behind. Want proof?
      I have an EVO 4g which I love, but it's not in the same millennium as SIRI with either Vlingo or speak asst. and, SIRI is ONLY. A BETA. ONE OF OUR DAUGHTERS DROPPED HER EVO and wanted to go back to a Blackberry since she couldn't text her husband easily on the EVO but when the iPhone 4s came out, I told her, DO NOT buy a Blackberry or another EVO until you try the 4S. Within two days she called me and said dad, WOW!, I no longer have to text at all, SIRI does it dor me and since she has two little kids, she does EVERYTHING via SIRI.<br>again, I love my EVO but it's voice capabilities suck and Vlingo is like calling 1-800-UFO it's so bad.
      • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

        @tommylaws1 You're the kind of person that makes it such fun for women in the IT world. What a guy... FWIW, lots of women like/enjoy/play with technology. And guess what - my two male children don't.

        Please take another look at your biased view of your fellow humans - you can't just make assumptions like that!
    • Couple of my points

      @I am The Kingsman <br><br>Not sure what tablet you have. I have both the iPad2 and ASUS Transformer and the battery life in both is comparable. Six months later, still comparable.<br><br><br>@tommylaws1<br>Experiences differ. To counter yours, we were an iphone family (4kids, wife, me). Two years later after stopping and taking a look at what phones really do what and what we wanted (all kinda different) we are an Android family. The iphones are now itouch's and used for games. A way to sum it up best was voiced by my youngest daughter ( now in college ) "lame assed small screen phone that doesnt let me do what I want!". She is a social ?(FB, TWTR) addict.<br><br>Apple is being out engineered. App availability is no longer an issue. With larger more vibrant screens, LTE and great battery life, the plusses the iphone had are long gone.<br><br>Tablets are tbd but I expect they will go the same way. Eventually. I'm just not sure if Android or MS or a combo will drive it.<br><br>You like Apple, enjoy it. Opinions differ, thankfully.<br><br>All hail choice. ;)
      • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

        @rhonin O C'mon, rhonin, Tommy boy is Toddy-bottom is todd-bottom, is Would die for Apple, is NZ, etc, etc. Just read his posts, that says it all.

        Don't get suckered in to his crap, you're way smarter than that.
    • I actually have that app on both Android and IOS. On tablets and phone.

      I can tell you that it (Bible Study App by olive tree) works best on IOS iPad. Android is not nearly as smooth with that app as the iPad is. It's also not nearly as stable as the iPad version.
      Edwin Combs
  • RE: iPad apps vs. Android tablet apps: Side-by-side comparison

    "A lot of that polish has to do with iPad developers using a more consistent interface design"
    This should actually say "A lot of that polish has to do with iPad developers having their hands tied and their creativity squashed by the draconian requirements that Apple places on the intellectual property that people want to bring to the iOS platform"
    • Oof!!


      A bit harsh but basically.... True. :O
  • What is the point of consistency?

    Everytime the Android app has more information, you view it as cluttered and messy.
    Consistency is nice, but when it compromises efficiency of information or operation, I'm afraid consistency shackles the UI to a lower common denominator.
    A lot of people like consistency, probably because they can't get their brain around having more. I don't want consistency from phone to tablet, I don't use my tablet like a 10" phone with 12" hands. Likewise, I'm not after consistency from one app to another, I want each app to be as efficient as possible for THAT APP's PURPOSE. I can LEARN the inconsistencies. I am not a braindead user.
    A lot of people say consistency = ease of use.
    I disagree. IMO, consistency = easier to learn.
    Ease of use to me is how efficient the program is at doing what I need, not how quickly I can learn to use it. If I can customise an app to work for me, that's ease of use. I really don't care about the learning curve. All I care about is operational efficiency.