Which Tablet Should You Buy: Apple or Android?

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria‘s (REIV) Digital Conference about Social Media Woes and Wows.  There were a lot of great questions and awesome engagement from the audience.  However, one of the most popular questions off-stage wasn’t about social media.  The REIV had graciously provided all the participants with new Apple iPad Airs to learn for the duration of the conference.  The question I was asked most was “Which tablet should I buy: an Apple or Android?”  I’ll explore some of the similarities and differences below to enable you to make the choice that’s right for your business.  Before you begin, however, the main questions you have to ask yourself are these: Will a tablet enhance my business?  Is this something I will learn about and effectively use?

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You’d have to be avoiding pretty much all media (TV, newspapers, radio, etc.) to not have heard of an Apple product before, especially the ubiquitous Apple iPad.  By 2014, there will be an estimated 61 million iPad users in the United States.  (Source)  As of this writing, there are several iterations of the iPad: the iPad 2, the iPad Air, the iPad Mini and the iPad Mini with Retina display.  Are  you meant to be an Apple?

apple iconFirst, the basic comparisons, which can be found on Apple’s website.  You’ll have to consider whether you can rely on just WiFi (if your phone has hotspot capability, WiFi may work fine for you), or whether you’re going to need something that works with your cellular network.  Next, you’ll have to think about size.  The iPad mini works well because it is easily carried and fits into some suit pockets as well as briefcases and purses.  The iPad 2 is a little larger, but there are  number of carrying cases (even with keyboards), that still weigh less than an average laptop.  The new iPad Air is quite the wonder – both in weight and in screen size, and although pricey, should definitely be considered.  Finally, you’ll have to think about the product itself.  Apple’s system is more restrictive than Google’s Android, in operating systems and in available apps.  However, many people appreciate the out-of-box experience that Apple provides, as well as its ability to work well within the “Apple ecosystem,” i.e. with other Apple products.  Therefore, if you have an iPhone or other Apple product, you should give an iPad serious consideration.  There are a number of apps that can help you work with .pdfs as well as Microsoft documents, and several mail and calendar apps that integrate well with Outlook, Gmail and other email server systems.

Android-logoHearing the word “android” used to evoke sci-fi images of shiny humanoid robots running around in movies like “Blade Runner” and “I, Robot.”  Now, we hear the word “Android” and we think of Google’s little Green Guy.  Unlike Apple, Android tablets aren’t relegated to any one brand.  You can find Android technology on Samsungs, Acers, Lenovos, Google’s own Nexus and more.  If you’d like a list of the 15 Best Android Tablets in the World (according to TechRadar), click here.  Again, think about whether you can work with only WiFi or whether you’ll require a tablet with cellular network capabilities – this will affect your decision and the pricing of whatever tablet you choose.  Due to the variety of companies that support Android technology, Android tablets come in all shapes and sizes.  If you like the look of the iPads, but don’t want Apple technology or the Apple price, there are several options out there, including the Samsung Galaxy Note, the Google Nexus 7 or 10 and the Asus Transformer.  Finally, there’s Google technology and all that an Android brings.  An Android tablet won’t be as “out-of-the-box” friendly as Apple; it’ll require a bit more setup and patience as you explore the many different options and opportunities Android products provide.  Then there’s the Google Play app store – you’ll be inundated with choices.  The best approach is to research each app and read the reviews before downloading.  Google crowdsources information about apps and app developers after they’ve entered the app store instead of putting them through a rigourous application process prior to being in an app store, a la Apple.  If you like to play around and have a tablet that is uniquely yours in look, feel and apps, an Android tablet may be for you.  (It’s also great for those who live and work in the Google-verse!)

So, in summation:

  • Go for Apple if: you have other Apple products, you want something that’s “plug-and-play,” you’re OK with the price and knowing a newer version will probably be released within a year.
  • Go for Android if: you use a lot of Google products (mail, calendar, etc.), you a customized experience, you’re not afraid of experimenting, you learn new technology easily

Have questions about anything above?  Please contact me at: Training@C21Redwood.com.

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