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Why Android Still Has a Chance Against the iPad

Steven Blum
7

The new iPad has been getting very solid reviews from all sorts of reputable websites. The Verge even proclaimed the device to be "the most functional, usable, and beautiful tablet that any company has ever produced." So...where does this leave Android?

Certainly the new iPad will be a formidable competitor to the onslaught of new Android tablets coming out over the next few months, including the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the ASUS Transformer Infinity. But will it slay the competiton or just ruffle Android's feathers? That's the real question. There's no doubt that tons of people are going to buy the new iPad, but that doesn't neccesarily mean Android will be left high and dry. After all, there are a few tricks Android tablets can pull off that the iPad cannot. 

A Range of Prices

Being open-source has its advantages. For one, it creates an ecosystem with lots of different price points for different consumer groups. If you're strapped for cash, you can buy an Andypad for just $100. Other cheap Android tablets include the Kindle Fire ($200) or the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet (also $200). An Indian company even has plans to release the world's first $30 tablet. Meanwhile, the newest iPad plus a smart cover will set you back $550 – around the same price as an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with a keyboard. That's not a competitive price, even if the iPad 2 is available for $100 less.

All Kinds of Sizes

From the pocketable to the big-screened, Android tablets come in a range of different sizes. You can snag a 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, or a 7" Galaxy Tab, all the way up to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Whatever your size preference, Android delivers. The iPad, in contrast, only comes in one size with dimensions at 9.56x7.47x.5 inches. 

More Versatile

The Padfone is an example of Android manufacturers re-defining what a tablet can be. The device is a smartphone, tablet and netbook all-in-one. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 10.1 allows users to edit, write, doodle and draw using a stylus, as well as cut and paste content between two apps side by side. The iPad can't do that. The point is that for certain niches, an iPad won't suffice – and while sharper screens and faster processors are great, they are just two components of what makes a compelling tablet. 

USB, Keyboards and Better Compatibility

Anyone who's played around with an Eee Pad Transformer has seen the wonder of the detachable keyboard. Yes, you can transform this device into a netbook, something the iPad cannot pull off. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Android also offers

  • USB ports
  • SD card readers
  • HDMI
  • Support for game controllers

The iPad doesn't support any of these things. 

True Multitasking

One of the biggest bummers about the iPad is that it doesn't offer the true multitasking abilities Android Ice Cream Sandwich can provide. You can quickly become bored by the limitations of iOS, especially when it comes to multitasking. The latest build of Android allows you a true multasking panel where you can access recently used applications. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 even offers users the ability to view two apps at once so you can check your calendar while reading about the latest concerts in your area. 

Wrap-Up

The newest iPad sounds like a great device, but there are certain niches that will never be happy with it. For those who want a smaller tablet, or one that can be transformed into a netbook, or used with game controllers, the iPad will never suffice. Newer tablets like the PadFone have the potential to completely alter the tablet industry. Windows will be a formidable component, and the iPad will certainly sell well, but it ain't over yet for Android. 

(Photos: T3.com, BGR.com)

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Comments

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  • Alex M. Mar 18, 2012 Link

    New iPad is the same s*** as iPad 2 only with better screen and processor and finish. And I hate when someone wraps all products into same design by years (ALL iPads look the SAME) with only difference in price and productivity. I would rather buy some crappy $30 tablet on Android than iPad!

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  • PatPion Mar 19, 2012 Link

    Haha Alex! I have worked a lot with both iPads and Android Tablets, and for me, Android just kills it. The incompatibility of Apple with EVERYTHING else out there really is a stupid gimmick. Android FTW!

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  • Andre Roberts Mar 22, 2012 Link

    Yo u guys like seriously I dont even understand what "the new iPad" is all about. I went to the launch at Regent Street in London, and I swear, it was as if Apple hadn't launched the tablet and just left the iPad 2's out on the table.

    It begs the question, are we looking at the end of Apple and the rise of Android?

    Cintamani.co.uk

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  • Steven Blum Mar 22, 2012 Link

    I agree. I think the tablet is a total let down and is indicative of a larger lack of imagination over at Apple HQ. But the fact is that it's still getting solid reviews and will sell well, and is therefore a threat that Android should be tackling head-on. They need to be marketing their biggest selling-points more compellingly!

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    Barry Fruitman Mar 22, 2012 Link

    Android shouldn't be afraid of the iPad. It should be afraid of the Win8 tablets!!!

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  • Terry Mair Mar 22, 2012 Link

    I just don't see what all the hype is about, they are big, but I do see people standing in line at McDonald's using them like you would a real tablet, and the price, you know they are getting them from China for under $100.00 each.
    I will stick with my Fire thank you very much!
    Terry

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  • TL Koontz Mar 22, 2012 Link

    I have always used an android phone, and have no intentions of going to an iPhone. however, when it comes to tablets you will not pry my iPad 3 out of my hands. And, as a replacement for my iPad 2 it is absolutely stunning. Believe me, the retina display is totally worth the upgrade!
    Don't get me wrong, however, I think android tablets are awesome. In fact, hardware wise Asus is almost hard to beat. But the problem with android tablets is not hardware. . . It is the almost complete lack of decent apps. And, Until an ecosystem is built up that somewhat rivals iPads', I will never switch to an android tablet! Someone needs to light a fire underneath the asses of Android developers to get them making apps for android tablets. Because until that happens the iPad will always reign as king

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