Although there are a number of different companies, utilising different operating systems ( OS ), now creating brilliant options for tablet computers, the chief tablet PC comparison for almost all consumers still boils down to the Apple iPad's iOS and different Google Android tablets. So which choice of these two systems is the correct one for your needs.
Look and feel: Most industry experts largely agree that Apple's iOS works extremely well both as a smartphone and a tablet PC operating system. The system works very intuitively on the iPad - particularly if you've used an iPhone before. The interface can be said to be iOS's best benefit, which no other tablet currently on the market could match.
Apps: In addition to the look and feel seniority, Apple also have a major marketing point with their App Store. There are currently over 350,000 apps available to download for free or buy for a small price from the Apple Store. It's a certainty that when a new app is created by a company or developer, the first version is for the App Store and after that it is ported to other platforms. However, Apple's store is not the sole player in the arena - the Android Market is rapidly growing, passing the 100,000 apps mark in early 2011.
Android has one major advantage on the competition when it comes to apps: it's far more open and has more of a laissez-faire policy to the Market, whereas the App Store exercises very tight controls on every application, particularly in regard to adult content. The Android market allows developers much more creativity and flexibility.
There have also been complaints from some developers about Apple's rigid marketeering, with Apple requiring developers to remove any links from inside apps to the developers own websites. (The benefit to Apple is that they keep 30% commission from every app sale, whereas previously customers may have upgraded from free to paid version from within the developer's own site.)
Hardware: One major difference between iOS and Android is that iOS is exclusive to the iPad, while Android is open source and is being used by a number of different companies. This effectively means that the iPad and iOS are joined at the hip - you can't run the iPad without iOS. The iPad therefore has much more restriction of choice than other tablets, and much tighter pricing. However, those choices that are on the market are all good quality, and the hardware and software do work together harmoniously - crashes are very rare on the iPad.
Android, by contrast, is used in many different tablets from a large number of makers. From Blackberry to Samsung, you have a much wider choice of tablet PC to suit your budget and particular needs. However, you do need to do your homework. Some companies have customised Android and improved it, but some may not work as well and might still be based on older Android releases.
Right now, the iPad is still the most well-known and iconic tablet PC on the market. However, popularity is growing with a number of other tablet PCs. The choice is certainly good news for customers, who now have much more availability to get their exact requirements from a tablet computer. A lot of people still favour the Apple iOS, particularly if they have used other Apple products, but in the end it comes down to doing a tablet PC comparison yourself, by researching, checking them out, testing some in store, and selecting the one that feels like a good match for you.
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