iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

Summary: Ten top apps on each tablet platform are shown running side-by-side to compare design, functionality, and usability. The Android apps are running on a tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android just rolling out. Seeing the apps together shows the differences in design philosophy between the two platforms. The use of a wide format display for Android also plays a role in how much information can be displayed vertically compared to the iPad.

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  • I use Google Reader to follow thousands of RSS feeds every day, and rely heavily on these two apps to do that on the tablet.

    gReader Pro for Android left vs. Reeder for iPad on the right

    Reeder is much more visually appealing of the two and operates more smoothly than the Android app.

  • Skitch is a simple image tool that is available on both the iPad and Android. Both apps are very similar, but the interface controls on the Android app (left) are split between the left and right margins on the screen. The iPad app (right) has all of the controls on the left margin, making them easier to operate by touch.

  • These two news apps use a magazine layout approach.

    Feedly Android (left) vs. Zite iPad (right)

    Zite is in a league by itself as it is one of the best apps on my platform. It produces a solid magazine from my preferred news sources and is outstanding in both function and design.

    Feedly is a close second, but not as visually appealing as Zite.

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

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126 comments
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  • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

    lol

    I could have predicted from the beginning that a ZDNet article would be pro-Apple, and you didn't disappoint.
    unbound55
    • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

      @unbound55 The pictures tell the tale.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick

        I agree.

        Like the first one where you actively pick one of the worst Android Twitter Applications...
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick Why don't you just prefix every article by stating how much love your iPad... Then, nobody will call you on it because they will know which way you are leaning to begin with.
        slickjim
      • Cut the the chase Peter....

        @Peter Perry... Do you disagree with his assessment of the visual aspects of these two formats? If not what are you complaining about? Better put what is your complaint that the Android format style is poorly represented or that it does not matter? To which I disagree of course it matters these devices depend on the visual experience of the user. <br><br>Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Preference, James Quinn

        @James Quinn
        I find some of the Android versions more appealing on a few of the apps, while others I prefer the iPad app.

        There is no difinative "winner" as both have apps that are better on their counterparts.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • Everyone is different to be sure... So fair enough.

        @Mister Spock ... Still I am curious tell me which Android apps in this comparison did you find the visual experience better in your opinion?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Does it matter? I think the point is Apple's guidelines

        @Michael Alen Goff... Will give the end user a more usable, consistent, and generally pleasant work/play environment:). Say the article writer took the time and effort to find what you consider the best Andoud App in this case? What might be said about it? It's very Apple like:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @James Quinn

        Wrong.

        Using the space properly didn't become an "Apple" quality, but a design quality issue. The standards do help, yes, but the premise he is setting up is that Android Applications are worse.

        It would probably mean more if his premise for anything vs Android Tablets wasn't "Option 2 is better".

        As for him saying it is "Apple-like"? He probably would. When it comes to tablets, he really doesn't know what "unbiased journalism" is.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick Yeah, but what tale are they telling?
        Cerrainly not that all Apple apps are better than Android apps.
        Nor that equivalent Apple apps are better than Android apps.
        Just that some Apple apps are better than some Android apps in your opinion.
        Btw. Didn't I just read that you just installed ICS to test Chrome? Extensively used?
        radleym
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick The problem with your article, yet again, is your underlining bias towards Apple. And your comment that, "the pictures tell the tale", is indicative of your shallow reporting.

        The pictures don't tell the tale if you're making a comprehensive comparison between apps on two very different platforms. Let's take the Youtube app as an example. You say the Android version is more attractive, but harder to read. Really? That's a subjective statement because I find it easier to read as well as being more attractive than the iPad version. Also, there is the issue of the Youtube widget that is available on the Android tablet that you don't have on the iPad. That widget is an integrated feature that expands the functionality of the app on the Android platform. Again, making it that much better than the iPad version.

        Why not mention the widget feature for the apps on the Android side? I run the youtube widget on my Android tablet home screen and that's how I access the youtube app many times. I love it.

        And of course I can find a list of 10 Android apps that are "better" on an Android tablet beginning with Google Maps.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick yup, it is probably because you are not really aware or interested in Android apps at all, since you compared Flipboard to Taptu instead of Google Currents...
        AmediaN
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick As a long-time graphic designer I admit the Apple apps are move visually appealing on the whole. That said, I prefer the 16:9 aspect of the Android to Apple's older 4:3 style. I believe that most Android developers try to make use of the wider format and generally cram more information on the screen than is necessary. That can change, however, and I believe will change once Android is standardized on ISC. I don't mind giving Apple kudo's on design, that is their strong point. But consuming HD video content on an Android is a far better experience. Video apps, sadly, were not a part of this review. I'd also like to have heard more about the power of the applications, not just the visual appeal, but that's asking too much of an article about the "polish" of applications. In the end, I think I'll stick with my Android device.
        CasualAdventurer
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick Hmm, no you tell the tale - fortunately we had pictures to see as well. lmao
        stone-cutter
    • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

      @unbound55 I think the KISS principle says it all. Sometimes, simpler is just better.
      stubucks
    • If you have a counter please present it....

      @unbound55... it seems to me what you are saying is that he is bias because what he said and showed is true. Are you arguing that visual does not matter? That you disagree with his opinion and what you saw was a good example of the superiority of Androids visual superiority? Do your eye's lie? Exactly how was he biased?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @James Quinn

        The visuals do matter.

        There are some Android applications that are better, and some Apple. Some of the pictures he used to show how Apple was better were some that I thought "But the Android one is better..."
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @James Quinn My opinion may not match that of Goff, so apparently that makes me biased. While I, OTOH, respect his opinion and the right to have it. I don't believe that makes him biased, though.
        JamesKendrick
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @James Quinn I think what he was saying is that he compared great IPad apps to some of the more mediocre Android apps, so logically, the IPad apps are going to be better.
        sroth@...
      • RE: iPad vs. Android tablet apps compared side-by-side

        @JamesKendrick

        The reason I say you're biased has very little to do with my opinion vs yours. I see Android Tablets as having some good and some bad. I see iPads as being better in some ways and worse in others.

        I have not read a single article of yours without the tag line "iPads are better".
        Michael Alan Goff