The iPad and the Android tablet are two of the most popular tablet computers currently out there. While they may have a lot in common, they also have a lot of differences. These differences should help users decide which one suits them the most.
iPad – iPad is a tablet computer developed and designed by Apple Inc. It is an iOS-based tablet that was first released on April 3, 2010. Just like any other tablet computer, the user interface of the iPad is built around its multi-touch screen and virtual keyboard. In terms of its connectivity, the iPad has a built-in Wi-Fi and other cellular connectivity on select models. Again, like many other tablet computers, the iPad can take photos, play music, shoot videos, browse the web, and check emails. Other functions like GPS navigation, social networking, games, etc., are available for download through its built-in app, the App Store.
- Performance – While the first iPad started with only 256 MB of DDR RAMs and a 1 GHz single core processor, current models now come with 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAMs and a 1.5 GHz tri-core processor.
- Screen and input – The first two generations of iPad used to have a touchscreen display of 7.75 x 5.82 inches, but since Apple stated that a 7-inch screen was too small to express the features of an iPad, they buffed it up to a minimum of 10 inches. There are four physical switches/buttons on an iPad, and these are your Home, wake/sleep, and the +/- volume controls.
- Battery – iPad uses an internal rechargeable LiPo (Lithium-ion Polymer) battery. It is claimed that it can provide up to 140 hours of audio, 10 hours of video, and one month on standby. Like any other rechargeable battery, it loses capacity over time. While it is as good as it sounds, it is not user-replaceable, meaning you have to stick to customer support for replacement.
- Storage – Usually, the iPad comes with different storage options such as 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB of internal flash memory. Sadly, there is currently no option to expand its storage.
- Cellular Connectivity – iPad used to only have two basic variants, the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular support. Today, there are many other connections included such as CDMA support, LTE, quad-band GSM, and quad-band UMTS.
- Audio and output – an iPad has two internal speakers, both located on the bottom-right of the unit. An audio-out jack is also available, located on the top-left corner of the device.
- Interface – The interface is focused on the center of the home screen, with a graphical list of applications installed. Most applications can be accessed through multi-touch (technology that enables a surface to recognize one or more points of contact) that understands complex gestures.
- Multimedia – Audio-wise, the music library layout is similar to that of an iPod which can sort its songs, artists, albums, videos, genres, playlists, podcasts, composers, and compilations. Also, the display can be rotated for the landscape mode to access Cover Flow (Animated, 3D graphical UI). Video-wise, the iPad can pay digital videos.
- Applications – There are several pre-installed applications such as Safari, iPod, iTunes, App Store, iBooks, Photos, Video, Maps, Notes, Calendar, and Contacts. You can download and install other applications from the App Store.
Android Tablet – The Android tablet is a computer tablet that uses a Linux-based operating system called Android. It was developed by Google, and is offered as an open source (source code is available to the general public). It is supported by low-cost ARM systems and others (responsible for the processor’s architecture). Many systems were announced in 2010 including smartphones that used Android. Since 2013, Android has already been the best-selling operating system on tablets as it was offered by many companies including Motorola, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba. To put it simply, the Android tablet isn’t actually a brand, but a number of tablets that use the same operating system, namely Android.
Features of an Android Tablet
- The appearance of the tablet has the capability to be customized.
- While ‘Google Play’ has taken a lot of criticism over the years (insufficient apps available), it has now made progress. Today, it now has a huge number of apps and is constantly increasing. Android tablets also come with more choices in terms of features, size, and price.
- One of the most praised features of an Android Tablet is that it has true multi-tasking (other applications run in the background).
- Last but not least, the cost. As mentioned earlier, it is supported by low-cost ARM systems, and thus is significantly cheaper than its top competitor, the iPad tablets.
- It comes with a memory of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, but can be expanded through Micro SD cards (not an available option for all Android tablets).
Note: Since Android Tablets are developed by various companies, Hardware information also varies.
As you may already have learned, the major difference between them is their operating system. But if you’re looking for more, there are actually a few other notable differences that can change your perspective on one or the other.
Starting with prices, iPad is more expensive than its counterpart in Android tablets (except for well-known brands like Samsung). Take for example HTC’s Google Nexus 9 tablet 32GB at around $300 (Android), Amazon’s Fire HDX 8.9” 16GB at around $380 (Android), and Apple’s iPad Air 2 9.7” 16GB at around $450. Looking at it this way, Nexus 9 has a 2.3 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM, Fire HDX has a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM, and iPad Air 2 has only a 1.5 GHz processor, and 1 GB DDR2. While it may seem that iPad falls on the hardware specifications, it doesn’t totally mean that it’s slower. In fact, it is said that iPad Air 2 is faster than both.
In terms of its features, iPad contains more features than the Android tablets, but depending on what features one desires, it is debatable as to which one has the advantage. iPad may have a lot of applications that are helpful, but the iPad lacks the ‘multi-tasking’ capability and the ‘Flash player’ of the Android. Also, one should also take note that iPad still holds the most useful applications up to now (Tablet-wise).
In terms of availability, you can choose among many different Android tablets compared to the iPad’s generation of tablets.
|Costs more||Generally costs less|
|Uses iOS operating system (Apple)||Uses Android operating system (Google)|
|Manufactured by Apple Inc.||Manufactured by many companies|
|Most are not capable of multi-tasking (not until iOS 4 with a tweaked version of multi-tasking)||Capable of multi-tasking|
|Lacks ‘Flash’ (video player)||Can run ‘Flash’|
|Faster than most Android tablet’s despite its lower specifications||Most are slower than iPad|
|Fixed storage at 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB||Storage of 16GB, 32GB, and 64 GB but is expandable through Micro SD cards (not all)|