I love a good Android tablet – it’s a tech enthusiast’s dream device. You can either use it as most people do – for watching videos, web browsing, social media… Or go above and beyond – get a keyboard and a mouse, use Samsung DeX (if available) for a PC-like desktop experience, tinker with different launchers, heck, even run Linux if you want to.Android is so open and freeing to use if you’re the type of person who wants to make the most out of their tablet.
And then there’s the iPad. On it, you’re pretty much forced to only use it for the basics. Very restricting, especially for people like me, yet after using tens of Android tablets and iPads, I’m currently sticking with an iPad. Why?
Android gives you full control and that’s a niche plus for some, but iPadOS provides stability and security that’s important to all
As mentioned, flagship and mid-range Android tablets provide you with more than just the basics, but a passion project, if you’re looking for one.
While the iPad – now that’s a tablet that’s just about the basics, but it always does them well, it will never lag, crash, or as is the case with some of the cheaper Android tablets, just stop working inexplicably one day. The iPad is a reliable, focused machine that does what it does perfectly, instead of trying to do everything with varying degrees of success.
And ultimately, most people want that from their tablet, and as it turns out – I do too. Plus, the iPad has one more trick up its sleeve that makes it a better choice over an Android tablet, especially for professionals – more powerful, polished, and super optimized apps. Photoshop, LumaFusion, Procreate, GarageBand – those apps are only on iPad, not available to Android tablet users.
And that’s not because Android is bad, not at all, but because it’s very difficult for developers to make reliable professional apps that will run on all of the different Android tablets available out there, with their different specs (screen sizes, processors and so on).
While at the same time there are very few iPad models, so making an app work perfectly on those is much more manageable. And the iPad dominates the tablet market, so of course there’s an extra incentive for developers to make apps for it.
One of the biggest iPad downsides for me is actually what many people love about it – it’s more secure than Android by restricting what you can do on it, so you can’t just accidentally install a malicious app, for example. Only apps that Apple has pre-approved, many of which are also upfront about their privacy conditions, and all of which forced to ask you whether they can track you or not – a matter you don’t have a choice on with Android apps.
Cheap Android tablets can’t compare with cheap iPads, at all
There was a time when I couldn’t afford a flagship Android tablet or a flagship iPad, and some of you may be able to relate. So I was looking for a reasonably powerful and reliable cheap tablet instead. Maybe that was wishful thinking a decade ago, but it’s not anymore.Apple’s budget iPad is basically crushing the competition in the sub-$330 tablet market, in reliability, performance, battery life, apps and support from Apple in the form of regular software updates for years.
So I’m more than fine with using the budget iPad, yet none of the cheap Samsung tablets I’ve used were even mildly acceptable, in my opinion. Without exaggeration, I’ve had mostly bad experiences with those, from things like lagging and apps like Netflix even crashing, because those Android tablets are that underpowered, to lack of software updates.
With some of the cheaper Android tablets, and occasionally even the mid-rangers you can barely “do the basics”, let alone tinker with them and do more. So that Android freedom I mentioned earlier is mostly out the window. Maybe still possible, but it’s going to be a terrible experience. So all in all, the budget iPad is the best option for those looking to spend less and get more.
In all fairness
Maybe I’ve had bad luck with Android tablets, maybe the ones I used were defective, who knows? Unfortunately, even if that was the case, it changes nothing about my experience. I’ve never had a defective iPad, yet I’ve used well over 10 different models over the last decade, from cheap, used ones to the newest flagship Pro models. iPads have always been reliable tablets for me; in fact, the most reliable devices I’ve ever used.
And I’m not saying everything Apple makes is flawless. A brand new MacBook I once bought had its battery defect just 5 months later, for example – that was disappointing. But when it comes to tablets, I’ll always prefer and recommend iPads over the competition, and hopefully now you know why – consistent reliability.