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

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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Topic: Developer
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1 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Tweetcomb (Android) left vs. Tweetbot right

The Tweetbot design philosophy reflects the clean Apple design influence while the Tweetcomb interface, while showing far more information, seems very busy.

See full mobile tech coverage with James Kendrick on ZDNet Mobile News

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2 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Chrome Beta (Android) left vs. Mobile Safari right

Chrome is the best mobile browser on any platform, and while it is not particularly attractive neither is Safari on the iPad. Chrome brings full desktop quality browsing to the mobile platform, an important feature for tablets.

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3 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Evernote is the most heavily used app on both my iPad and Galaxy Tab, and this screen shows the differences in the versions on both platforms.

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4 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Android Gmail left vs. Mail iPad app right

Both apps use my Gmail account and are similar in function. The iPad Mail app looks a little more polished.

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5 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Pocket Informant is a good calendaring/task manager app for both platforms. As evidenced in the comparison screen, the iPad verson on the right has more functionaility than the Android version. The display on the iPad app is more visually appealing than the Android version on the left.

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6 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

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.

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7 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

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.

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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.

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9 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

I do a lot of web research on the tablets, and these two apps take a different approach to present my news in an easy format for reference.

Taptu Android (left) vs. FlipBoard iPad (right)

FlipBoard is similar to Zite, and builds a magazine layout that is not only informative but is very easy to read at a glance.

Taptu uses a multi-line approach to do the same thing, and is harder to use than FlipBoard due to the staggering amount of information on the screen at one time.

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10 of 10 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Everybody is familiar with YouTube, so it is a good demonstration of the different design philosophies in use by both Android and Apple.

The Android YouTube app on the left is attractive, but is harder to read at a glance compared to the crisp design of the iPad app on the right.

For full mobile tech coverage head to ZDNet Mobile News

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