I’ve been a happy first generation Nexus 7 user for a couple of years. I have no major complaints about it, but enough time has passed, hardware is getting tired, battery doesn’t keep up as before and time has finally come to upgrade.
A few weeks ago, I got an iPad mini and I’ve been using it for a few weeks. But since Randy also wants to upgrade his Nexus 7 (and I know for sure he wants an iPad mini), I get to decide if I keep the iPad and get another one for him, or give him the iPad and get a new Android.
My tablet is mostly a home device. I use it to read, browse, write and socialise most of the time.
First, the OS
I have to say that I’ve been enjoying iOS7 in general. It looks great, and it’s very fast and smooth to use. The gestures to navigate between apps are quite nice. Another good thing is the quality of the apps, really good quality from both Apple apps and third party apps. It is nice detail that most iPad apps will open links with the in-app browser, which is quicker and more useful than a separate browser window.
The problem for me is, coming from Android I’m missing a few very important features. The first one is the ability to share anything from any app, to any app, and iOS doesn’t have that. The second is the ability to set default apps to open things like mailto links or search. If I have set Chrome as my default browser, I want every link to open in Chrome. The last one is the keyboard (I know it’s coming to iOS, but I already have it on Android) mostly because I write in two languages and don’t want to have to switch between the two, SwiftKey lets me write in both at the same time (also emojis are a feature of any keyboard).
I also like that all app settings are part of the app itself, not as a separate process like iOS settings.
This comparison is based on my use and how my everyday apps look and work.
Both Android and iPad apps have been renovated not too long ago, and they both work well. I give an small edge to the Android version as it feels a bit more responsive when performing many of the actions.
On Android I use the official Twitter app, which works well for my needs. on iPad I went ahead and got Tweetbot, very nice app, but doesn’t necessarily a massive improvement from the official app. this is a draw.
I have to give this to Android as the reading experience is nearly identical, but the iOS version does not include the store to buy new books in-app.
iA Writer from Information Architects is a great app, I use it on OSX, and love it on iPad too. I don’t have an app with the same quality on Android (but probably JotterPad is a good option).
Instagram & Flickr
Point for Android, as there aren’t any official dedicated iPad apps for either one of these services.
Another draw. great on both devices even though a little different experience.
In general they have a good quality in both platforms and similar features. The user experience in Gmail for iPad is not as good as Android, but Hangouts looks nicer on iPad. Docs/Drive and Google+ are quite similar.
Equally good in both. The in-app browser gives a bit of an edge to the iPad version.
There are tons of weather apps for both platforms, but after trying many different ones I think Yahoo Weather for iPad is the nicest one.
I like the Android version better because even though the reading experience is similar, the way to save any content into pocket is easier on Android due to its app to app communication.
Most of the other apps I use have a similar experience or not enough improvements to make a significant difference, these include Trello, IMDb, Photos/Gallery, Youtube, Dropbox, Snapseed and others.
The hardware side, iPad is clearly a higher end device, with better feel to it. Thinner, lighter, and very solid. I don’t have the retina version so both screens feel low res compared to other devices, being the iPad a bit brighter and with better colours and contrast.
With all this being said, I was almost convinced to keep the iPad because there wasn’t an interesting Android option at the moment (the last Nexus 7 is from 2013) and I was willing to get used to not having all features and enjoy the snappier interface, but there may be a new option that looks interesting, so I will hold on to the iPad for now and possibly go back to Android when the new Dell Venue 8 7000 comes out.
I’ve been also thinking about getting a new iPhone, so this would ensure I keep in touch with the Android world.