I love my Android-powered HTC ThunderBolt. I even lined up at my local Verizon store before they opened, just to get this first 4G LTE device (Verizon's first).
But when I needed a tablet, I bought an iPad.
Here are some observations after using my new iPad every day for 30 days, alongside my Android smartphone.
The retina display is great, but I have little to compare it to since I haven't regularly used an iPad before. Sure, text looks crisp and smooth, but the only time I can tell when something might be non-retina, it looks really bad with visible pixelation (like Feedly's splash screen).
Sounds are rebellious. No matter where I set my system volume, some apps will still play a notification or action sound. The only solution for notifications seems to be turning off each one through the settings. But even after that, some apps still make action noises when my iPad is muted.
I love the rotation lock. This makes it easy to move my iPad wherever I want to, and the screen remain as I set it.
Sharing anything is a pain. Android has a wonderful “Share to…” menu that apps can hook into. So from almost any app, I can share to SpringPad, TweetDeck, Buffer, Gmail, Facebook, Google Plus, WordPress, or any other app I install. On iOS, most programs offer Twitter, Facebook, and email. That's it.
Gmail is frustrating. I get that Google is now putting their best work into Android. But their Gmail app is terrible on iPad, and it's not all Google's fault. I can't undo actions, receive notifications, send from a different address, or default to priority inbox. And Gmail can't be set as a default email application, so “share to email” is useless to me because my Gmail is too complicated to setup in Apple's email program.
Notification Center is wonderful. Yes, Apple copied Android's notifications, but I like how Apple has improved on it, and made receiving notifications in full-screen apps easy. However, these notifications are oddly CPU or GPU intense, because they'll cause the framerate of a game to stutter.
Apple wants my Apple ID password far too often. Upon setup, I had to enter my Apple ID password a dozen times in different areas of the settings. If the whole iPad is tied to my Apple ID, then why re-enter the same credentials? Even once setup, I have to re-enter my Apple ID password just to update apps or install paid or free apps. Considering that I make secure passwords with LastPass, this is even a further pain.
I hate “slide to unlock.” There's no way to disable it unless the iPad never turns off.
Typing is error-prone. Something about touch-screen keys, or maybe a sensitivity issue, makes it hard to type much on the iPad. But even with successful typing, there is so little screen real estate left to see what I'm doing.
Battery life is great, even outlasting my ThunderBolt. This is understandable because the ThunderBolt does more in the background and has a data connection when it's awake.
The camera is great, but I don't want to look like a dweeb by actually using the camera in public. Instagram works, but it's 2x'd for being an iPhone app (or would that be 8x'd with Retina display?).
Reading is a lot easier. I frequently take my iPad whenever I want to read. The bigger screen and crisper text make reading ebooks or RSS subscriptions (via Feedly) a breeze. The iPad will display twice as many news items as my smartphone.
I have to buy my apps all over again. I have a lot of premium apps on my Android phone. Important things like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Where's My Water?. I would have to repurchase these for the iPad, and I would still lose my progress from the Android smartphone.
No disk access. On my smartphone, I can upload or download a file to it and access that file however I want later. On iPad, I have to sync with a specific app, if that's available. Otherwise, the file is worthless on my iPad (like syncing a file with Dropbox).
Voice dictation is great, but there's no Siri.
Yes, stuff just works. I lose a lot of customization, but it does just work.
That's it for now. I'll probably blog more about my iPad as I feel like it.
Have you mixed an iOS and Android device in your regular day? How did that work for you? What did you like or dislike about the experience?
Jeremy Miller says
Fantastic review of the facts, very unbiased. now if only we could get you a job with Gizmodo.
Daniel J. Lewis says
Ha ha! Yeah, that would be interesting.
was required to get an ipad for work about 5 days ago. I have been with android
since 2008 and have owned a galaxy tab for about 6 months, so I was kind of
looking forward to seeing what all the hype was all about with the ipad. I
should have known but it has ended up being a disappointment. So far I feel apple
has done the same thing they did with the old ipods, striped down mp3 players
with no features but costing almost twice as much, same story here. I will give
apple credit though for restricting access to the memory on the ipad without
using their application(itunes) which I found out has more to do with selling
you moving and music downloads than it does giving you access to your device. I
personally don’t want to own a device simply to have someone try to sell me something.
There are many more examples but what I want to know is when will google hire
apples PR firm they are the real genius here getting people on mass to continue
to buy overpriced tech gadgets that are stripped down on features.
Apple invented this new stuff I am glad google is around to continue to push
the technology forward.
Daniel J. Lewis says
It is possible to still upload media to the iPad for a different program, like VLC or another media player. Yes, you do it through iTunes, but it opens the doors to media that your iPad might not otherwise play.
Sure, there are things I don’t like about the iOS system. But for a tablet, I think the iPad really is the best and has the most tablet-optimized apps.
JC Gibbs says
I got my IPad yesterday and I’m struggling on gmail options, I work with over 6 different gmail accounts and this is really not friendly.
I have the same phone you have and I love it no complains but like you mentioned the sharing part is way friendlier through droid and with more options.
Hopefully I won’t regret this decision and this new iPad shall work for me.
Thanks for this review it really made me feel I’m not alone lol. Cheers!
Daniel J. Lewis says
Seems like I may try the regular email option, but I still wonder how it will work with my multiple send-from accounts using a separate SMTP server so my Gmail address isn’t shown.