I have finally sold my android tablet. I quite enjoyed using it, but I did not like it as much as my iPad. I want to get an iPad mini, because the size of the android tablet was the thing that I liked most about it. The one thing that I really didn't like was the gmail ecosystem that I had to use. In the end it really annoyed me, and it would not let me log into some websites with out using my gmail address. While I loved the size, I didn't like the keyboard, I could never get used it. The problem for me was the home button was always near the space bar on the keyboard, meaning that every time I missed the space bar I would end up back at home. I really missed the hardware home button.
Last Christmas I had an argument with my brother about android vs iOS. He believes that the closed system of iOS is bad, and the open system of Android is better. I don't believe it's as simple as saying one is an open system therefore it's good, the other is a closed system therefore it's bad. I think the answer is much deeper than that.
The closed Apple system allows Apple to control the user experience from start to finish. Apple haven't just created the hardware, the also created the operating system and the program language that goes with it. They also inspect every application that gets submitted and only approve the acceptable apps. So does this mean that it's difficult to get your applications approved? I don't believe so. I've seen some applications that are very rudimentary and some written by acquaintances. These applications have been approved. The people are afraid of having their applications approved may be wanting to do something that Apple has already repeated, or something unsuitable. It's tempting to say that Apple would deny somebody submitting an application for a product they really have on the iPhone. But if you look up maps, you'll see many maps that compete with the standard Apple mapping app. Because the apps are checked by Apple, the approval process takes longer.
The argument for the open system is that any application can be approved and it's not censored by anybody, like the Apple apps are. So does a totally open system protect you from unscrupulous app developers? It kind of does, because the system is not totally open. So for example if a developer posts an application that steals information from you, it can easily be removed by Google. So while the Google Play store looks like a completely open system there are some controls, but only after there are complaints. Because of this system, approval for applications is very short.
I don't think those are the only differences. I also believe there's a difference in user experience. Apple believes that the user experience should be very easy, seamless, enjoyable, and they go out of their way to ensure this. Android on the other hand believes that there should be huge flexibility, unrestricted applications, and a huge range of devices.
In terms of hardware, Apple has at the moment its largest range of devices, with three types of phones and three iPads. Android on the other hand has a huge number of phone types, and a huge range of tablets. For a programmer writing for an iPhone is easy, there are only three screen sizes. For an android device, there are a huge number of screen sizes, from 2.5 inches to 5 inches. The challenge with such a range of screen sizes is that the user experience may not be the same on each screen size.
There are lots of differences, and a lot of similarities. But the one thing that makes me want to have an Apple device over an android device is the operating system updates. Generally with an android device is made to use a certain android operating system. It isn't easy to update that operating system to a new type. For example I have an android phone with version 2.3 operating system. This phone is less than a year old but it's unable to be updated to a new operating system which is currently 4.2. I have an Apple iPhone 3gs which I recently updated to the latest Apple operating system. I also have an older iPad, which I recently updated to the latest operating system. These kinds of updates seem unavailable on an android device. To me this is a major problem. If you buy the latest Nexus 7 tablet today, and the next android operating system comes out in three months time, you then have to buy another tablet to get in the new operating system. To me this is a huge waste.