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Doubling Down [Opinion]

Recently Andy Rubin said that Google is going to double down on tablets in 2012. While Rubin failed to elaborate on what he meant by double down, we can only assume that Rubin recognizes the truth: Android tablets have failed in the market. According to Google’s own numbers there are 12 million Android tablets in the market to date, versus Apple selling 3 million iPads over the launch weekend of the new iPad.

The reasons for Android’s failure (compared to Apple) in the tablet space is twofold: operating system and applications. I’ve written about this before, but I’ll say it again: Android is a mess on tablets. It is definitely faster on Ice Cream Sandwich compared to Honeycomb, but that doesn’t change the fact that the whole homescreen UI is jumbled and fragmented. Having the app drawer, search, navigation, and notifications/quick settings in four different corners is much less accessible than it could be. Sure, a tablet offers more real estate than a phone, but that doesn’t mean that the UI should be spread all over the screen. 

Apps are a whole different mess. For some reason Google has been unable to draw major developers over to ICS. That’s an even more massive problem than a sub par UI. Part of the problem is undoubtedly that Google has not paved the way for app developers by demonstrating what Android is capable of with their own apps. It took a year for Google to release a tablet optimized version of Docs. Google Listen still isn’t optimized. If Google doesn’t show app developers what Android can do, they won’t be as motivated to create daring, compelling apps. Apple has done this for years. They make their own applications to set the standard of what an iOS app should be like and developers follow their example. Without the apps that users want, users will be far more likely to get an iPad or settle for a Kindle Fire.

Perhaps a $200 Nexus tablet will destroy the argument to get a Fire, but it won’t deal with the argument to get an iPad. Let’s be clear: Google doesn’t need to worry about Amazon (at least not yet). Amazon is losing money on every Fire sold and trying to make up for it in services. Google could pursue the same strategy and make up for it in advertisements on their services, but there is no way Google could make a tablet that matches the Fire in price and the iPad in specs. Besides, business and power users (or people who spend money) are choosing the iPad far more often than they are choosing the Fire. 

Recently we asked you, our readers, why you would choose an ASUS Transformer Prime over a new iPad. I saw a few good comments (for example, some people like ASUS’ hardware options more than Apple’s, especially the keyboard dock), but overall the comments were either people saying that they simply don’t like Apple products or that Apple’s ecosystem is closed and therefore inferior. I don’t mind if someone says that they don’t like Apple’s products; I can understand that. It does bother me, however, when someone says that Apple’s ecosystem is inferior because it isn’t open like Google’s. Real world experience demonstrates the exact opposite: despite being closed, Apple’s ecosystem is far superior to Android. iOS not only has more apps, in most cases it has superior tablet apps. Being open may mean that you potentially have more choice in terms of what you can and cannot install, but when you compare iOS and Android in terms of tablet apps, iOS dominates.

People often ask me why I write for Droid Life. They read my articles that are critical of Google and assume that I must not like Android. They’re right, I don’t like Android on tablets. I’d love to recommend an Android tablet to someone, but right now the OS and the apps are not competitive with the iPad. I’m critical of Google and their strategy because I don’t want a monopoly. I want to see competition and innovation. The only way for Google to enter a market dominated by Apple and truly compete with them is to offer a superior product. That means a better OS and better apps.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire may pose a threat in the lower end of the market, but that is not where true innovation happens and that’s not where anyone is making money. Success for Google doesn’t mean taking out the Fire, it means competing with the iPad. For better or worse, tablets are a part of the future. If Google wants to be in that future, they need to make a better product and ensure that their ecosystem has the best apps available. I don’t know what Google’s plans are, but if doubling down means anything other than take down the iPad, Google should change their plans.

  • Tyler_McFerson

    This was a fantastic article.

  • Jon Amireh

    Google’s I/O 2012 better set a massive standard for Android apps, especially, as the author has pointed out, in the tablet arena. In general, UI’s are inconsistent and hard to maneuver. I know Tim Cook sounded like an a** when he said the Yelp app on the Tab 10.1 was a “sized up phone app” but he was right. App quality from iOS developers is generally higher than that of Android developers and I blame Google for this.

    Google needs to make really simple, like batshit simple, for devs to improve their UI with consistent standards. 

    Also two thoughts:

    Google should release a nice audio editor/mixer to compete with GarageBand, it’s going to have be pretty slick

    Google should also attempt Picasa for Android to compete with iPhoto. 

    The difference between these apps and Apple’s? They’ll be free in the Play Store.

    Proud to be Droid Bionic user running 4.0.3 ICS btw.

  • Vladimir Putin

    Good article.  Google will lose the tablet war if they don’t step up their game by the end of the year when Win8 tablets start launching just in time for Xmas.   All my friends & family have either 1 & done’d an Android phone or are planning on it when their contract is up – and all are moving to an iPhone.  These are not geek power users, they all look at one another’s phones with their custom skins and don’t feel a shared experience like iPhone users do. 

    They’ve all started asking me about tablets, and frankly, I’ve been underwhelmed by anything offered on the Android platform so far.  I’ve told them to wait until the possible NexusTab is released in June, and if not, then asking them to hold out until Christmas to see Win8 or just grab the new iPad. 

    Off topic, but you Android fans are not doing any service to this platform that you so love by being the pretentious d-bags most of you come off as:  “Just root it” is NOT what the average Android user wants to hear, and the way you dismiss these people as “dumb users” only serves to reinforce the perception, marketing-based or not, of Apple that “It just works”.  When your argument falls back to root – you lose.  Every time.  And you only serve to alienate folks that you should otherwise be attempting to either convert or stay on the Android platform.  If you have to root, then your beloved platform is not open.  Carriers take the blame or not, the platform is not open if you have to tell the average consumer they have to void their warranty on a $600 device in order to take advantage of all the “openness” of the platform.

    Google’s model worked to gain market share, if they don’t tighten up, they’ll be an afterthought once M$ comes back full throttle later this year.  A year from now, the landscape will be markedly different, with Apple & Microsoft as the dominant tablet players, and Microsoft surprising everyone with their gains in the phone space.  Tablets will allow Microsoft to become dominant in the phone space.

  • socalrailroader

    I’m happy with my Acer Iconia Tab A200 Tablet running ICS 4.0.3, it works for me and I love it, and in the end that’s all that counts. 🙂

  • google should start making its own game apps

  • Androidandwp7equalsPower

    I own both the ipad and transformer, though outside of gaming, my ipad just sits there even with its superior apps, the UI of just square icons bores me. I just cant understand the thrill with tablets at all, in if fact since buying the transformer, I’ve used it more as a laptop then a tablet.

  • Droid-Life hired someone from TechCrunch?
    Rename the article title to:
    We won’t care about the Nexus Tablet, iPad will still be far more superior.

  • You mentioned ICS on tablets in this post.  Any idea when the Xoom 3G is getting ICS?  It’s been long enough.

  • bakdroid

    You sir….are a tool.  Why do they still let you write on this site?  You have no clue…

    • Fantastic counter argument.

      • bakdroid

        Well you missed 2 big points. Marketing campaigns and low end tablets. There are no good marketing campaigns for the android tablets vs. the iPad ones. I have yet to see a commercial showing an android tablet in action. There are also too many POS tablets out there in the wild running GB and having horrible specs. There is no way a $60 tablet is going to compete with an iPad. 
        So everyone thinks the android tablet are junk.

        • The Galaxy Tab 10.1 commercials seem to have been somewhat successful. I had people asking me about them and according to the numbers Samsung did the best out of all the Android partners. The question is whether or not the advertising that happened was successful. Every time I go into Best Buy I see people playing with Android tablets, but I’ve never seen anyone walk out with one. I think people who are interested in tablets are looking at Android and walking away disappointed. As for the cheaper tablets, there are very few actually on sale in stores. You can find them, but they’re rare. Finally, I would appreciate it if in the future you would actually respond in detail about the article instead of calling me a tool and saying that I have no clue. That’s not helpful to anyone.

          • bakdroid

            Your articles rarely deserve my time to explain things in detail to you. And I have only seen a Tab commercial once since they have been released. Hell I have seen the Razr/XyBoard commercial more times than a Tab commercial.

          • If you don’t think my articles are worth taking time to respond to with respect, then do me a favor and don’t respond at all. Like I said before, I don’t think it’s an issue with advertising. I think people are aware of Android tablets, but they don’t like them when they try them. It’s possible that more/better advertising would help, but the core problem isn’t that people don’t know these tablets exist; it’s that these tablets don’t compare to the iPad in terms of OS or apps.

          • bakdroid

            Well someone needs to call you out for your opinionated, non-fact based conclusions.  Your negativity towards android as a whole is not welcome here.  Go write for BGR or some other site that will print whatever anyone wants to post.  Or if you dislike android so much, go write for your iOS brethren.  We don’t want or need you here.

          • If you can demonstrate factual inaccuracies, please do. Also, of course these articles are opinionated; they’re labeled opinion. Some readers actually like my articles. Maybe instead of calling me names in the comments, you could just not read my articles. If my articles aren’t worth your time to respond, please don’t read them.

  • jdrch

    I’ve played with both Android tables and the iPad, and I just don’t see what the selling point of either is compared to my #GalaxyNexus *shrugs*.

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  • I’ll admit iOS apps are more polished, and I’ll admit that if you want to edit photos, movies or music, you should definitely buy an iPad and not an Android tablet.

    I don’t do those things, though, so I don’t care. I’ll trade polish for a lower price, open apps and ROMs, and freedom from iTunes. 

    iTunes is a major sticking point for me. I run Linux Mint at home. I don’t have (or want) iTunes. I can’t sync with iTunes and I can’t use iTunes to update software, so an iPad is not an option for me. 

    • Mustagme

      Get a real OS. Get iOS to be exact. It is what Linux should be.

    • You don’t need iTunes for updates anymore. As for music, I personally use rdio, so no iTunes needed for that either.

      • I was at an Apple iPad conference recently (I work for a school and we have several iPads) and I was told even though you can now update wirelessly, you still need a machine running iTunes on your network to run that update. So it’s basically the old process minus the wire. Seemed a little silly to me. 

        • That’s not true. You can absolutely update iOS devices without a wired or wireless connection to iTunes. I’ve done it myself .

  • Me and my wife bought our tablets together @ Best Buy. I bought a Asus Slider and she bought the Ipad2 and i can honestly say that if it wasnt for the ability to install after market apps i would have sold my tablet and bought me an Ipad. I love android and have been there since the beginning as i owned the G1 when it first came out and have fought thru the worst and best of every OS build, and i can say that there first attempt at a tablet OS remindes me of my G1 and all the complains i had and the way i would compare it to the iphone and say “its not better yet, but im going to wait”. The fact that Im able to customize my tablet to the way i like, be able to go to the real internet because of flash, and download paid apps on the internet free and install them on my tablet is not enough to persuade my wife away from the ipad because she see’s how frustrated i get as my tablet freezes and apps crash while her ipad has never froze or crashed an app in the middle of her playing. I will stick with Android because i know that soon they will have a Tablet OS that i will be able to get rid of my laptop and forget Apple even exist.     

  • Jer85008

    There is a reason I have owned several Android phones over the last few years but have not yet purchased a tabled despite the desire and ability to do so. Whenever I get close to getting one, I go take a good look in the Android Market…ahem….Play Store (ugh) to see what kinds of new tablet apps are available. The vast majority of the time, it’s a bit fat “none”. Anyone who claims otherwise is not being honest, or only uses their tablet to browse the internet and watch videos on Netflix. If Google really wants to compete for the tablet market, they better figure out how to provide incentives for developers to make dedicated tablet apps.

    And by the way, I had this very discussion about a year ago. Same issues, same complaints.
    Step it up Google, or my Rezound and a new iPad will have to find a way to get along on the nitestand.

  • ddevito

    NO one hates Apple more than me, but when it was time to buy the family a tablet I bought an iPad 2 (last year). And you know what? I don’t regret it one bit. 

    The apps, ease of use, and especially the APPS make it a great tablet. It’s been a boon for my daughter and my wife. Sure, I love my GNex, but I can’t get myself to use an Android tablet. The UIs differ, apps suck, accessories are sparse.

    I’ll always use an android phone, but until something dramatic happens in the next year or so, the tablet market will still be dominated by Apple.

    From a sheer engineering perspective, you have to fully appreciate the iPad.

  • Eazy E Dlf

    If by superior UI you mean dumbed down, then yes. There is no way that the Ipad has a better UI than ICS.

    • EdubE24

      So simple, but works amazingly. Trying to find your point….

  • wastry

    Sad, but author is right; when it comes to tablets, Apple has the superior UI.  Better hardware is great in Android, but unless you take the time search around for the right tools, it’s far more unwieldly.  Most users want their tablets to “just work” – they don’t wanna fiddle with it.

    Android could be a great OS if it becomes more user-friendly and keeps the ability to tinker; but as it is, it’s just too newbie unfriendly

  • Turdbogls

    Whats with all this android/apple bashing.  no one is forcing you to buy one product over the other.  get the one YOU want and dont even read into what is better…because it is all subjective.
    I had an iPad2 for a year while i used my mulitple android phones.  at the time i didn’t think android was even close to iOS in terms of apps, smoothness, and usability.  fast forward a year.  Just gave my iPad to my dad, and bought HP’s touchpad and threw ICS on there.  yeah i has a custom ROM on there but that is why i chose android…customization.  I cannot stand to use the ipad any more.  yeah it is fast, and smooth…but thats about it.
    my AOKP touchpad is just as fast…gets slightly worse battery life, has wifi,bt, airplane mode, and volume toggles and brightness adjustments in the touch of a finger.  has my 15,000 google music songs a tap away.  has my Gmail, twitter,facebook, weather, and music controls right on the home screen through widgets.
    app developement is coming along for tablets.  always finding new stuff (yeah iOS still has the edge here but everything i use mostly is tablet optimized) chrome beta is leaps ahead of safari, i still have flash support when i need it, chrome to phone works flawlessly, it still plays games like a champ (not that i play many) there arent seperate downloads for phone and tablet like some iOS apps.

    i have an android phone and tablet becasue it is what suites ME…not because i say it is the superior OS…but because it is the superior OS FOR ME.

  • Eric

    Forget about this article cuz Microsoft is going to crush Android and seriously hurt Apple when it enters the tablet world.

    • Really?  The same company that let Windows Mobile languish and couldn’t sell even a good OS like Windows Phone afterwards?  The company that let tablets fail as a niche for eight years and saw its lifetime tablet PC sales eclipsed in nine months by Apple?  That one?

      It might hurt Android, but don’t be surprised if we’re here a year later and it’s Windows Phone redux — that is, Windows tablets are still an insignificant corner of the market.

      • Eric

        Yeah the same company that saved Apple too.  Come talk to me at the end of the year.

    • wastry

      Who let the retard near a computer?

      • Eric

        Ur mom

    • How much is Microsoft paying you guys to go to every blog out there and astroturf for Windows 8 tablets?

      • Eric

        I wish they were. Then i would quit my real job.

  • PSU_DI

    Overall I truly enjoy my experience with my Asus TF101 running ICS.  I think that UI layout is actually pretty good and makes sense.  The only thing to me that is lacking is the amount of good quality usable widgets.  The UI feels very familiar to my Galaxy Nexus but it’s different enough to make me feel like it’s worth while to own a tablet.  If the UI was the same on both the TF101 and my Nexus, I would feel that the tablet wasn’t really needed.  I just like the way things work on the tablet and vice versa things on my Nexus are great for a screen that size.  I think Google knocked it out of the park with ICS, but the only way they are going to succeed is they lay down the rules for the OEMs.  

    My suggestions are:1. Android phones must be kept up to date when it comes to software releases.  Google should offer the Nexus line as preview devices. They should get all the software updates first..  Once the bugs are worked out Google officially releases the OS to the masses.  This way anyone that is buying a Nexus knows what they are getting into and gets to live on the bleading edge of tech.   Once Google officially launches an OS update.  All devices should receive the update within 30-60 days.  The only exception is made if the hardware doesn’t meet the minimum spec of the OS.  2. All OEMs must discontinue making “skins” on there phones.  All phones running pure Android.  OEMs are allowed to develop and pre-install customer launchers & apps to give there devices a unique look and feel, but under the hood it’s still truely Google’s OS and users can always remove the defaults if they so choose to do so.3. In future OS versions Google needs to work on the shared experience between two devices.  If I am in the middle of playing a game on my Nexus, I should be able to pick up the game at the same point on my Tablet, maybe via Android Beam?  This needs to be seamless between the two.  Too many times am I stuck using my phone because X,Y,&Z aren’t on my tablet or if I have the same game installed they are too completely different spots4.  Google needs to make a $499.00 tablet that blows the pants off of the iPad.  This needs to be a flagship device that Google makes themselves or tasks an OEM, but Google needs to be included in the development of it to ensure that Google’s vision for the Tablet is met.5. NFC and inductive charging both needs to be included all hardware going forward.  Google needs to start creating minimum hardware requirements for each version of the OS.6. Google needs to work harder with hardware vendors to come up with a better way to handle drivers.  It’s pretty stupid that every OEM makes all there own drivers and that nothing is shared between Google and the OEMs.  We need some sort of resource library where all approved drivers live.  To help speed up the optimization of hardware for each version of the OS.Google must remain an open platform to succeed, but it needs also learn to be more stringent on what they are willing to put the names Google & Android onto.  If too many bad devices all taught the Google name it will hurt the brand as a whole.

    • Thickey85

      Some good arguments, but one key thing is that google will never demand OEM’s do anything.  This is the whole point of their open source.  I agree there has to be much better integration between tablet and phone, but before they even get to that point I think they need to first improve the quality of their apps.  

      I am personally a huge Android fan, and a current Galaxy Nexus user.  While the overall iOS on the iPad isn’t really all that impressive to me, other than its smoothness, I have to admit that the applications and games that are available are superior.  As much as any Android lover wants to argue that we have the same apps, it just simply isn’t true.  Unfortunately, the open source that makes Android what it is, is the same thing that is slowing its progress.  The best developers in the world go where the money’s at, and at this point iOS users are much more likely to buy apps than Android users.  In my opinion, Google needs to spend less resources on google+. and create a team whose duty is to create high quality Android applications and games for tablets and smartphones.  

      Lastly, just like another user mentioned, Windows 8 will make a huge push when it arrives.  The thing that both Apple and Windows are looking to do is replace the need for a laptop.  Offer applications that allow you to run your tablet as you would your laptop.  I think Windows 8 will be the initial frontrunner for this as Windows 8 is an excellent integration between laptop and tablet.  Apple is also working with this model, and I have no doubt that you will soon start to see a blend of OSx and iOS on their future tablets.  The big problem is that Google does not yet have an OS that it can blend with its mobile operating systems(besides Chrome OS, which unless there is some secretive development happening).  As an Android user, I hope Google puts a focus on this as I would hate to see Android fall too much further behind in the tablet space.

    • Raven

      Have you tried both HD Widgets and Wizz Widgets?  Those combined with good old Beautiful Widgets, Folder Organizer, and some app specific ones meat all of my widget needs on both of my tablets.

  • One thing I have learned about the people on DroidLife.com is that no matter what the argument is … No matter what the facts are, sales, customers satisfaction etc. people are still going to say android for tablets is better no matter what … This argument is useless … Why cant people just face the facts, give props where props is due and demand better from Google. If Google demanded better they would get better…. Think about it, If people are just going to bash Apple all day and not focus on the main issue at hand this problem will never get fixed. 

    • Google

      Yes but you have to realize this isn’t about facts for lots of android users. It’s almost a religion for them. It makes them who they are in relation to the iOS users who they consider cheap. Most of the hardcores are nerds and since the “cool kids” use apple this helps define them and gives them a perceived superiority. That’s why most of their arguments are based on the words open and apple sucks

      • Nathan Buth

        It is very funny that you say this.  Fanboys will be fanboys no matter what side of the rope they are on.  Where you are criticizing all people that use android as ignorant you have repeatedly been just as ignorant.  First in your statements above, who are you to determine if a person is a developer or not? Second why would somebody comparing apps that are on both be wrong when you were comparing a few apps that are only on ios?  Third how can you even begin to generalize such a large group of people?  Calling them all “nerds” and saying they don’t listen to facts. Look at all sides of it man.  Based off of your statements you could easily be called an iFan that has never touched an android device in their life.  You come across as a troll who may know a few things here and there but only the parts of ios.  I don’t want to think that of you.  So lets put something to rest here…

        1.The iPad does have more tablet exclusives than what are on Android tablets.
        2.Some of them are complete exclusives (this part can be said for Android as well)
        3.Android has a more advanced UI that has more built in functionalities.
        4.Android tablets seem better for business based off of my experience while the iPad is more for social networking and games.
        5.Android tablets will need to have more sales before they will have more tablet exclusives on them.

        These five arguments can pretty much be agreed on by everybody.  They don’t point to one as being better or worse, they just are a list of some advantage and disadvantages both platforms have compared to one another.

  • Guest

    I completely agree and it way past time someone made a post like this. Starting with the sloppy launch of the Xoom up to the sloppy launch of the Prime, Android tablet makers have not come with a strategy to compete. Android tablets are better in fuctionality than the ipad, but the software must be stepped up. You never see Android tablets on TV movies or anywhere. They are never updated in a timely fashion. Thats why we are losing in the market place. And the only people that can begin to change this is Google. Its not that the Apple ipad is unbeatable, its that Google and Android won’t compete.

  • AlexKCMO

    My understanding of app disparity comes from a combination of Google’s attitude about Apps and developer resources. 

    Google’s Problem
    Google is out for the consumer.  They want you to be able to download an App, and have it work everywhere.  They want the developer to program all sorts of “If / Thens” in the app to figure out if it’s a tablet or phone and set the screen appropriately.  This makes for a great experience because my app works flawlessly on all platforms as on single App.  It would be much easier for them if they could make a tablet app, and have it flagged as a tablet app. 

    App developers hate this because this means if I purchase the app, I’m only purchasing it once instead of twice.  This locks them into the free model of revenue from ads, which are only profitable if you make a killer app.  It becomes a risk / reward problem.

    Developer Problems
    First, the big problem is multiple devices.  An app might work fine on a device A, but not work fine on device B.  This happens all the time, just view the comments of 99% of the apps.  “Doesn’t work on Droid Eris.” “Works fine on my wife’s Droid Charge, not on my Droid X.”  It becomes a nightmare to find all the bugs.  I don’t know if this is because of skins or different hardware.

    This problem doesn’t exist on Apple.  They have 6 devices to support right now:
    iPhone 3GS
    iPhone 4
    iPhone 4S
    iPad 2
    New iPad

    Even if you include active iPods; that’s what, 10 devices?

    It’s a smaller risk to create apps for iDevices because it should always work across the board.  On Android, you have no idea how many devices it won’t work on, and that’s the risk.

    It’s a huge cluster for Android.  Google wants to be open and not step in but they should.  Whether it’s closing off the Play market to devices only with an AOSP experience or putting stricter limitations on carrier skins, or outlining hardware specifications that can be called a Google device and access the market, it’s hard to tell. 

    Android won’t be appealing until Android use is over iOS use by a large number for a long time.

    • darkseider

      Ummm… nope.  Sorry again.  A lot of apps on iOS are version dependent and there are multiple versions of iOS running on these devices.  You know that whole fragmentation issue that people barked about with Android?  Yeah well Apple has it in spades now and Android is finally unifying under ICS and future versions.  Now as for the new iPad that is a whole other problem.  With its’ new higher resolution display apps that are optimized to take advantage of it have a much larger storage footprint, approx. 2.0x to 3.0x the size of the same app prior to optimization.  Which means that owners of the iPad and iPad2 will suffer the storage penalty without gaining any benefit.  

      Example for those that are mathematically impaired.

      16 Gig iPad2 has approx. 14 Gig usable storage.
      7 gig media + 7 gig apps + data (for easy numbers lets assume 14 apps @ 512 meg each)

      16 Gig New iPad has approx. 14 Gig usable storage

      7 Gig media + 7 gig of “Optimized Apps” would equal 7 apps @ 1 Gig each due to the requirements.

      For those still doubting here’s the article straight from a few sources.  One being Macworld.



      Those are just two examples.  Now if it were a Transformer Prime or any number of other Android tablets that would be a non issue due to the ability to use removable microSD storage.

      • AlexKCMO

        That’s a good point I haven’t thought of, but fact and perception aren’t always the same thing.  Apps made for the old resolution and new resolution should scale fine, just not be optimized.

        The hardware fragmentation I think is a bigger issue than software fragmentation.  I mean, phones are STILL being released with GB.  Why?

        A big Android problems is carriers and OEMs not updating their devices; like the Droid X 2 being obsolete and less than 1 year old.  Why should a developer develop for ICS when most devices are STILL on 2.3?

        Developers have a perception about Android, hence the developer who recently stopped developing citing fragmentation as an issue.  Big time developers don’t have an issue with it.  Small time 2 – 3 man shop developers do.

  • darkseider

    How can anyone say that the Home screen on an ICS tablet is jumbled and fragmented?  It has FUNCTIONALITY you that thing you don’t have on the glorified app drawer known as iOS 5.x?  Search, whether typed or spoken in the upper left, Application drawer and market access in the upper right, soft buttons on the lower left and status bar in the lower right.  Hmmm… this being jumbled and cluttered as opposed to some freaking app icons on iOS?  Then let us customize the home screen with a nice widget for time and weather (WOOT HD WIDGETS!!), your gmail inbox and calendar widget and a shortcut to your browser.  Yes I can see where someone coming from iOS would see this as clutter and jumble as opposed to real function.

    • Totally agree, there are people who see extra features and adding more functionality to some as making it “jumbled and fragmented and confusing” 

      these people spend no time to learn anything so thats why they love IOS there’s nothing to it.

      There are complicated things in this life, an android tablet UI isn’t one of them. If it is then im a rocket scientist cause i know how to use Win7’s UI

    • There’s a major problem with this argument: tablets are app machines.  You’re not waking your tablet for a quick second to check the weather like you are on your phone.  You intend to sit down and do something.

      Ironically, you’re trying to paint iOS as all surface and no function — but in tablets, it’s Android which has that problem.  Underneath all those widgets is… nothing.  There’s maybe a few thousand native Android tablet apps, and a lot of them are pretty unconvincing.  Where’s the Flipboard?  (Coming, eventually, maybe.)  Where’s Djay, where’s all the apps that iPad users are running that have no Android equivalent?

      The best analogy to me is of running away to the desert because you’re being “oppressed” by living in a city.  Sure, you theoretically have total freedom in the desert, but there’s nothing to actually do.  And Andy Rubin’s completely dismissive attitude towards Android tablet apps means you won’t even get so much as a seesaw in that desert.

      • Google

        Your third paragraph is absolute gold

      • Raven

        I disagree, tablets are far more than just “app machines”.  I have my tablet on all of the time on my coffee table at home and my desk at work so I can glance at the weather, email, etc.  Then sure when I want to use the web browser or an office app to edit something I then open it full screen.  “maybe a few thousand native Android tablet apps”?  How many do you need?  I have around 500 apps on my tablets and most people think I am crazy for having that many, but I have them all easily organized in folders so I can launch what I need in an instant.

        What more do I need that I don’t currently have on my Android tablet?  Please someone name and describe some life changing apps that an iPad has and an Android tablet doesn’t so that I can finally learn what all I am missing out on.

        • The point is not that you get every app out there, but that there are whole categories of apps that aren’t served at all on an Android tablet, or are served only by a stretched-out smartphone app.  And some of the native apps aren’t as good as their iPad equivalents.

          Let’s see, for genuinely tablet-native apps (I’m including a few games for those that like them):

          Facebook (official)
          Twitter (official)
          Crimson: Steam Pirates
          Infinity Blade II
          Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
          Rage HD

          And that’s just off-hand.  Yes, there are photo organizers and music/movie editors for Android, but I wouldn’t put them in the same class as iPhoto/GarageBand/iMovie, normally, since they’re either too narrow-purpose or pretty rough.

          Quantity isn’t everything, but you need to have quality if you’re going to compensate, and Android isn’t entirely there either.  Google can fix this, but right now Rubin genuinely doesn’t understand.

  • Kierra

    I went tablet searching this weekend . My boo wanted to buy me one as a gift. I love android but the user experience of an Ipad cannot be compared to the android tablets. I tried to I really did try to justify getting an android tablet(xyboard, asus prime, sony tab) but when I played with them the Ipad2 won out. 

    I still love android but they need to improve their tabs. For now I’m with the Ipad2

  • I agree 100% … Google has the power and the personnel to make a better tablet, they are just trying to do the quick fix and its not working at all.   Well written article props !!!

  • kfath1978

    You know why Apple is kicking the pants off of Android?  Because it just works and you dont have 25 different phone manufactures pumping out a new phone every day.  They put out a top notch product every few years and it sells it self.  I have been on the Android team since it came out.  I have had several phones, a tab and google tv.  I use to think that rooting was the way to go but in the past 6 months or so frankly I dont care or have the time.  I just want it to work….  Apple appeals to people on both fronts…people that are tech savvy and people that are not.  It just works and is top of the line on specs…  I think there was are article on here awhile ago about how phone companies need google not the other way around.  I dont think google has got that message…I think we will continue to see a over saturated device market which I think hurts the overall Android platform.  Google needs to grow a pair.
    -sorry for the rant!   

    • LarryMao

       I guess I must have missed the memo where the iPhone overtook Android in marketshare (at least on phones). You fail to specify so I have to assume you mean overall iOS v Android.

      That said, your argument is stupid. It just works isn’t an argument, it’s a marketing phrase that was thrown around by Steve Jobs, and the fact that you repeat it shows how much of a tool you are.

      I have a Droid X, and despite some f’ups from Motorola, I’ve been able to troubleshoot every single problem I had. Moreover, I own an HP Touchpad with CM9 installed on it. ICS is awesome, and can do so much. It’s light years ahead of my Droid X, but both perform very well for my needs. My Touchpad on ICS gives me access to the Tablet Kindle app, G Reader, G mail, Docs, Onlive, tons of games from Gameloft to Konami to Glu, Madfinger, etc. I have 25 installed on my Tablet, from Shadow Gun to Riptide to ROC, Monopoly, Modern Combat 3, BackStab HD, Asphalt HD, Galaxy on Fire, etc. I don’t think I need much more, and my kid frankly has too many games to play already. Though some are not “optimized” for Tablets they render perfectly and work flawlessly on my Touchpad. Moreover, Netflix, Chrome and flash player  & the stock browser give me access to anything I want online in terms of entertainment. I also use QuickOffice Pro HD for tablets/ Splashtop HD for my document needs.  They work, and if something doesn’t, all you have to do is Google it, and boom, a solution at your fingertips. The people who use the “it just works” argument, are basically whiny who are constantly asking you to do things they would be able to do themselves with a quick google search.

      So, if my ICS Touchpad doesn’t work, then what exactly is it doing when I use it 24/7? The iPad is nice sure, and I can see why some people would like to own one, but to say “it just works” as an argument, is the height of stupidity and idiocy.

      • kfath1978

        Do you think the average android user has any idea wtf CM9 is?  Do you think they care?  Look obviously there is something wrong or we wouldent be reading articles like this one….  Dont get me wrong I want Android to succeed!  

        • LarryMao

           I wasn’t arguing anything about ICS, but rather Android, and I never claimed that there was no problem with Android on Tablets either. I was merely objecting to the foolish argument you made that Apple products “just work,” which is nothing more than a marketing buzz phrase thrown around by tools and fanboys.

          • LarryMao

            Typed too fast, meant CM9, but rather ICS. 

  • 10″ full featured tab at cost would put it under $300. Google could give em away at that price for even steven and then soak up the ad clicks and services and everything that makes google google and free. 

    Since that is how Google makes money, give it away, put the hurt on the very expensive not expandable iPad and lets move on past the iPad’s ridiculousness markup and entry level pricing.

    Sorry, anyone that defends $5-800 tabs just doesn’t get it in my book. 

    • wastry

      The only reason Android has the dominance it does is because it’s free, not because it’s a better OS.  That speaks volumes to the work that Google needs to put in to optimize and smooth it over.

      • Gee, really! the only reason? ok then, move along iSheep, move along

        An open system capable of running on phones, tablets, refrigerators, watches, ski googles, you name it.. and it has no innovations, when compared to the simplistic, closed, boring iOS.. you still reading I said move along, lines are forming for iPone 5

  • JaySee08

    : I definitely agree with that.

  • rockstar323

    I think it all comes down to price. I love Android and prefer it over iOS but if it comes down to me dropping $500 on a tablet I would purchase the iPad. Mostly because I would be using a tablet for movies and web so for $500 why not see what the iPad can do? I can’t however justify spending $500 on something my laptop and my phone can do though. I will probably ended up getting a nexus tablet when it drops because $150-$250 is a price range I’m good with.

  • Kernschatten

    First, I think the slew of cheap, under-specced tablets running some open version of Android without any Google Apps integration is hurting Googles chances of being successful in the tablet market. People see that little green Android on a box in a drugstore, shell out $69, and then find out they have a POS. Are they going to turn around and spend $600 on a Samsung Tab after a bad experience.

    Second, this reminds me a lot of Palm vs. WinCE/Pocket PC/WinMob. The windows devices were technically superior, but the Palms just worked better. Palm Apps outnumbered PocketPC apps 100 to 1. An entire accessory industry developed around Palm PDAs. In the end, Palm did not keep pace with what the consumer wanted, but they were on top for years.

  • mjsalinger

    I find the arguments here to be somewhat flawed.  I disagree completely on the home screen being a mess.  I like the layout, it makes a lot of sense.  If you look at typical Apple apps for the iPad, they are also often fragmented.  Back button at the top left, menu buttons at the bottom, and other random buttons at the top.  iOS’s UI is far more fragmented than a proper ICS Tablet app that makes use of published Android design styles of using the action bar.  In fact, ICS provides a very consistent user experience while allowing developers the freedom to create innovative, great apps, and do so for both the phone and tablet within one app using fragments.  

    On the OS side, Android on tablets is far more powerful than iOS in the iPad.  Android’s Intent system allows applications to interact in a way that is not really possible on iOS.  Same goes for Google services and cloud services, as well as the ability to create any application at the OS level that has the same API access as any Google services.  Same goes for multi-tasking – Android supports true multi-tasking where iOS does not really allow for background processes except in very specific cases (i.e. Audio).  These are things iOS cannot do or cannot do well.  On the other hand, there are no things that can be done in iOS that can’t be done in Android.  So Android is a more powerful OS and has far more potential on the tablet side of things.  

    Where I do agree with this article is that developers and development houses don’t know this.  Google needs to do a better job of promoting and pushing for developers to create good, quality apps that make use of all the APIs the Android team has put together.  This is where I think Google could improve things on the app side.  They should push Twitter and Facebook to create tablet-optimized apps, or do it themselves.  They should make all of their marquee apps utilize fragments and the action bar, and create beautiful tablet apps themselves.  

    It’s not that Android tablets lack functionality that the iPad does.  It’s that the apps on iPad look a little better.  Given time and the right push by Google, as  well as a concerted effort to promote the Google ecosystem (a la Google Play), Android tablets could become a real competitor to the iPad.  

  • Amen to that!

  • MrEnglish

    I use my iPad every day for business and fun, mostly business. My Xoom now belongs to my friend in the box, without a scratch. It was used for one month. I simply could not do the writing, speed essential services, coordination and organization activities as well on it as I can my iPad. Pure and simple. It’s sluggish, jittery, has suck apps for handwriting, which FOR ME is essential in my daily work. I agree with this opinion post and it is one of the more intelligent pieces on this site. I, and my colleagues, prefer the UI, software, overall effectiveness and feel of the iOS on the iPad vs anything  Android. In contrast, I have a Galaxy Nexus phone which is my lifeline until Apple builds a better phone for MY needs.

    • mjsalinger

      The Xoom had a lot of sluggishness out of the gate.  However, with ICS it has improved substantially and I don’t really see that as an issue anymore.  I use my Xoom as a daily driver at this point for all my portal computing needs, both at work and home.  

      • I agree ICS On my Xoom has made it a lot better. i have ipad2(from work)

         and a Xoom.
        i use both daily but when i lost my xoom for 1 week let me tell you it felt like i lost my phone.

        The only thing i wish the Xoom had was more tablet apps. And i Do love the Bottom notication bar for tablets.

      • EdubE24

        So it’s working right a year after release? This is what makes the iPad argument stronger…

        • mjsalinger

          I don’t deny that Google botched the launch of tablets.  Honeycomb was beta, and it should have been what ICS is now.  But I’m not comparing last year to today.  I’m comparing today to today, and other than a high resolution screen (which is quite nice), Apple hasn’t done anything innovative as far as its OS software since the original iPad.  

          • EdubE24

            And how many apps are made to work on Android tablets compared to the iPad? And making upgrades to a great product seems to work, something maybe we could all hope for, instead of feeling like our phones and tablets aren’t worthy three or four months after we purchase them!

          • MikeBytes

            This I agree with.  I’m just arguing against people who say that the iPad is superior in every way to Android tablets.  It isn’t.  It is right now in a lot of ways, but Android tablets, because of the way the OS is designed, has the potential to be so much better than the iPad and a much more powerful tablet OS.  It isn’t because there aren’t enough apps yet.  That’s a problem that has to be solved.

            As far as the update mess, it is just that.  A mess.  But at least Android updates have innovative new features.  The last several iOS updates have had no real innovation, only copying of other OS’s features.  

  • dang1

    I think tablets are not as useful, so not as widely appealing to most people as phones, and desktops and laptops. Phones are conveniently mobile, easily fitting in the pocket. Desktops and laptops can do a lot, more than tablets. People with money are choosing the iPad because to them it’s money to burn. Most people just have what works for them, and won’t bother with an extra, mostly useless device. Tablets just seems to be the hype device of the moment.

  • “Amazon’s Kindle Fire may pose a threat in the lower end of the market, but that is not where true innovation happens and that’s not where anyone is making money.”

    Decent observation as a generic statement, but I question the applicability to the Fire example.  I don’t believe that Amazon is attempting to compete directly with Apple, Samsung, ASUS, or any other “real” tablet manufacturer for the tablet crown.  Rather, I think Amazon is taking advantage of tablet-mania to put a low cost tablet into the hands of cheap, tablet-hungry people that doesn’t perform like an iPad, but doesn’t hit your personal financial bottom line like one, either.

    But again, Amazon is a smart company.  They must have known before the Fire was released that it would never be a suitable competitor to an iPad or Galaxy Tab 10.1.  I mean, come on, how could they honestly believe that?

    The Kindle Fire exists for one reason — to drive more customers into a relationship with Amazon, create more prime members, increase customer loyalty to shopping for items on Amazon first, push more consumers to music, video, publications, books, apps, etc. — all via Amazon.  I think of it a lot like the experience of going to Orlando and staying “on property” at a Disney resort.  Disney picks you up at the airport (“Don’t need to rent a car!”), drives you to your hotel, drives you (for free) to their resorts, downtown Disney, etc., effectively keeping all of your dollars within their controlled ecosystem.  

    By the way, I have a Kindle Fire (I won it — didn’t purchase it) and I’ve been to Disney 3 times in the last 3 years (twice stayed at Disney resorts).  🙂

  • zepfloyd

    As if it wasn’t bad enough, wait till Microsoft makes a comeback in the tablet space with Windows 8, and make no mistake, they will. 

    • ddevito

      I agree. Not only have they adopted the Apple model of designing tablets from head to toe, they’re going to own the enterprise market.

      I personally hate the Metro UI on a desktop but on a tablet opens up a whole new game.

  • Jon

    One thing I love about my Asus tablet is that I can plug in my Xbox 360 USB controller, and use it to play Grand Theft Auto III and other games. It works great and particularly in GTA III, it makes driving bearable and makes playing games so much more fun. I didn’t even have to do any controller mapping or anything, I just plugged it in, and it just works! 

    My point is that it’s more fun to play games on my Android tablet. I went from Android to iPad and then back to Android for many reasons 🙂

  • Jon

    On a slightly related note…the new Windows 8 also has it’s UI spread all over the four corners of the screen.

  • I personally think Android is just now catching up with (and surpassing) iOS in the phone department. (fluidity, polish, apps, etc..) I believe the same will be true for tablets. give it a year and we’ll see where we’re at.

  • BrianWenger

    Well said. On a slightly related note, did I win the Prime from the constest?

  • As much as i hate to say it, Google needs to adopt an Apple-like attitude with alot of its software and hardware. OEM’s are really trashing the android ecosystem. And once one consumer buys one and finds out that they dont like it then they tell their friends that it sucks then the word begins to get around really fast, thus helping the decline of android tablets.

    • MekoSuka

      Why has this not occurred in the smartphone space? 

      • wastry

        Because Apple phones are too expensive for most people to afford, so they buy Android.  The problem with this model is that it’s allowed Android to grow to the dominant phone OS because it’s the cheapest, not the most user friendly, which is another reason why OEM skins keep getting bigger.

        Simply put, Android needs to become more user friendly while retaining it’s open source pro’s

      • Google

        Because of phone subsidies. I don’t have figures but I’m assuming based on eBay research that the number of people who pay full price for a phone pick apple by a substantial number.

  • It’s all about perceived bran value. As soon as there is a marquee Android tablet that is _perceived_ to be as good as the iPad, we’ll have true competition.

    I met a developer at SXSW that was showing off some really cool music apps on iOS, and when I asked him if they’d be coming to Android anytime soon he said “no, because of OS limitations.” I asked him what he meant and he didn’t have an answer… Because the iPad is seen as superior (whether it is or isn’t), it will see the top-shelf apps first (or exclusively). 

    Apple doesn’t produce these top level apps, and Google won’t produce them either. It’s the developer community that ultimately decides the fate of competing OSs when the hardware is relatively equal. Now, who will the developers listen to?

    • Jon

      Even if the iPad has a few choice apps that are really amazing that are only on that platform, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Android has most of the same apps, games, etc. The iPad app experience may be the best in some ways, but it does not mean that Android doesn’t have an excellent array of apps as well. 

      I personally hate that iOS apps all have their own UI implementation that varies so much from app to app. With Android and the back, home, menu, search buttons, there is a feel of cohesiveness in how apps respond to those buttons. It’s far more consistent. And yet, somehow Apple is known to have a more consistent experience. Baffling to me. 

      • perfectalpha

        Then you’d like Windows Phone cause Android isn’t as cohesively put together. Apps, is everything function the same and the Interface is smooth and the same everywhere.

      • Jer85008

        What? Go look at the top 50 iPad apps and try and find a suitable alternative in the Play Store (same level of quality/dev support). Good luck, but I guarantee you won’t make it out of the teens.

  • EJ McCarty

    To save me from rambling on for about 30 minutes. Let’s just say that this is a very stupid argument. The points made are irrelevant and most of all. Apple sucks. Plain and simple. My mom got an IPad and i played with it for a while. Sure it’s smooth and nice looking, but so are whores and look how many diseases they have underneath their skin. I couldn’t do nearly the amount of things on the IPad that i can on my nexus. Hell my girlfriend has an Iphone and i jailbroke it but it still fails in comparison to what my phone can do. Even stock. The android tablets will get better. Just like the OS has. Stop putting down android. No one wants to come onto this site and read this BS. Trust me, i was getting mad while i was reading it. So do us all a favor and stop making this site about rumors and Android Bashing, I miss the old days when it was all about customization and righteousenss. 

    • Apple’s products definitely do not suck, and this is coming from somebody rocking a GNex & HP Touchpad and having never owned an iPhone. You may prefer AOSP to stock iOS, but you’re in the minority there. I prefer taking AOSP and tweaking the hell out of it, but if you want something that ‘just works’ out of the box, then iOS is a great smart phone platform for the average dumb user.

      • saaltonen

        Not to mention, the intention of this article isn’t to “Android bash” but rather to find a better direction for the OS. They have made great strides with ICS, but there is absolutely NO doubt that there is room for improvement. Apple makes a great product for the average user, also no doubt, but I believe with some work the Android OS can be the best of both worlds. It can be simple to those who are just your average user (apple simple, simpler than simple) while at the same time holding the openness that I am so fond of. I like to tinker and tweak, and while I would like a phone I would have to do that less to, I still want options.

      • EJ McCarty

        lol ive had an iphone. how do you think my girlfriend got it. I couldnt take it anymore. the fact that i can’t even download a song from the internet without jailbreaking and installing 10 dollar apps is ridiculous. Apple is too inclusive for the smarter consumer (me) android far outshines IOS and plus i do tweak the hell out of my phone. i flash something almost everyday. You can’t tell me that cyanogen mod 9, while it may not be as customizable as AOKP, beats the hell out of it in terms of battery life, stability, and overall quality. once c9 is done it will be amazing, more amazing than anything apple releases. dick head. 

        • EdubE24

          I don’t care what rom you put on your galaxy nexus, the battery life will never match that of the iPhone. And it’s a shame that apple makes you jailbreak your phone to get(steal) free music.

          • Burghschred

            You can put a fresh battery in your galaxy nexus though… they’re only 20 bucks. You could rotate batteries on a desk charger and NEVER have to plug in your nexus. I love me a good old fashioned battery swap… one major reason I stayed away from the Razr (and iPhone)

          • EdubE24

            Having to charge and carry around extra batteries is so much better then having great battery life…

          • LionStone

            Its so hard to plug in a charger for an extra battery I can’t tell you…and they are so heavy too!

          • EJ McCarty

            It’s not about which one, but the fact that I CAN. it really is a shame.  i wish there was a way of having the best of both worlds. and i have an extended battery and it suits my needs.

          • Chimera

            There are plenty of places to download music online that are completely free and legal. Just because something doesn’t come from iTunes doesn’t mean it was stolen.

          • Droidzilla

            iPhone 4S has some pretty poor battery life (though I think they patched that). The Maxx is better when on 4G, and the RAZR at least on par when on 3G (which is all the iPhone 4S can muster).

          • EdubE24

            I just sold my 4S and purchased the MAXX. The 4S had great battery life, would last all day with heavy use with about twenty percent to spare. The MAXX is just insane, the other night still had over fifty percent left at the end of the day running 4G the whole time. It is just amazing, feels good to be home on Android!!!

          • KniteLyf

            The poor battery life comes from the 4G LTE antenna that the iPhone does not have. Switch off the 4G antenna and battery life is good

    • Dropmaki0

      Your an ass hat .

      • Test


        • EJ McCarty

          you both are**

    • Google

      You say his argument is irrelevant and you counter with “apple sucks” haha. You are a clown. He laid out his rationale and you just troll.

      • EJ McCarty

        Compared to android, in my opinion it does. ass face. so listen. im a mechanical engineering student and trust me android has helped me a great deal. and you sir, i am sure look like a troll. the last time you got pussy was when your cat rubbed against your leg. so i hope you’re having fun sitting at home with your mom while she makes your breakfast and tucks you into bed everyday. once im done with school i’ll have enough money to buy an ipad and pay homage to tosh and hit the fucker with a golf club. sincerely, suck my balls.

  • Not a single person has been able to show me what they are able to do on an iPad that I cannot do on my Xoom.
    I’ve not downloaded a new app on my tablet in months tbh.  It does everything I need it to do already – plus the only thing seemingly being released these days are stupid stupid STUPID games that I couldn’t care less about.

    • xcodybx


    • ragnarok180

      I agree. Aside from having access to iTunes on a mobile platform (which I really don’t care for) there really isn’t a draw back when comparing Android to iOS. Personally the reason I jumped over from iOS to Android after 3 years of use was because I had to jump through so many hoops just to get it to do what Android does out of the box (at least back then)

    • Garage Band is pretty advanced on the iPad. I’d love to have the same functionality in an Android tablet.

      • darkseider

        The “functionality” is not a question of the hardware but WHEN someone will write an application similar to Garage Band for Android.

        • Butters619

          That is part of the problem.  There are just a lot of good apps out there for iOS and specifically for the iPad that you can not find for Android.  Devs don’t see the value in making an Android version.

        • Right. And I addressed this in another comment here. We won’t get first-run apps of that caliber until there’s hardware that is PERCEIVED (i.e. successfully marketed) to be equal to or better than the iPad.

    • Get all of your app data (game saves and any other data) to automatically back up to the cloud.  When you restore your tablet or upgrade I want the tablet to automatically restore all of your data so your tablet has all of your old information.

      This must work for every app regardless of whether the developer baked it in.

      This functionality also must be built in to the system, the use of external apps should not be needed.

    • Google

      It’s because you don’t have an iPad. It’s like someone with a Mercedes trying to explain to a Honda driver why his car is superior. You both can drive, listen to music, roll the windows down and turn on the AC. Until you actually own an iPad and not use one for a few minutes or hours you will never understand. But to try to put it in words the entire experience is better on the iPad. The UI is better on every app, the high quality developers are superior, the battery life is better, the actual real world speed is better and the available apps are no comparison. Now I can list an app that is great like say instapaper, Omnifocus, Evernote, the Daily, Garage Band, iMovie, Snapseed or Pages and you will simply say we have the same or equal. However, the truth is they are not the same or equal. Every major aspect of these apps are not only superior but a level or two beyond anything on Android tablets. Of course you own a Xoom so you likely will never admit it too yourself.

      • mjsalinger

        That is a dumb statement.  I’ve used an iPad on plenty of occasions.  There are more apps that are tablet-optimized on the iPad, but the apps that are optimized for ICS tablets are better than the iPad equivalents.  GMail on ICS is far superior to the iPad email app, for example.  

        To say one has to own an iPad to understand smacks of elitism.  I have used iPads extensively in my work (I am a developer).  I prefer my Xoom, thank you very much.  

        • Google

          Your example is gmail. Haha. Please name another that isn’t made by google who releases the shittiest iOS apps. By the way you are not a developer. Nice try though.

          • C0ruptiv3

            You used “Garage Band, iMovies, Pages”   in your argument. All of which are made by Apple. So there is no reason he cant say Gmail made by Google on their device is better/good. Also hes comparing Gmail on android tablets to the MAIL app on iOS you know that default thing, with the mail icon made by apple. So hes basically comparing the Default mail application of both devices. Which apparently is forbidden in your mind. Someone just likes to troll it up huh.  Also. How would you know if he is or is not a developer, ARE YOU A WIZARD?

          • mjsalinger

            Thank you.  

          • Google

            I used those apps as examples of apps for which there are not equals on android. He used gmail as an example of an app on both platforms which is superior on android. Two totally different lines do reasoning. Of course the one made by google is better on android. Just like iTunes is better on macs than windows. That is a ridiculous comparison in an attempt to prove his point. And the way I know he isn’t a developer is because he said “I’m a developer”. Developers would never say that in an attempt to gain credibility on a comment section. Also developers rarely say developer, it’s usually programmer or coder. Saying I’m a developer is something android trolls say because they changed the build.prop once

          • mjsalinger

            Where I come from Developers say they are developers or Software Engineers.  I said that to point out that I use both OSs in my line of work.  I’m not talking about my own personal hobbies but the fact that I work for a software company as a software engineer and development manager.  

            And you’re still missing my point.   I agree with yours on Garage Band, etc.  My point is not to compare GMail on Android with GMail on iOS, it is to compare GMail on Android with the Apple Mail client made by Apple and included as part of the OS.  I was attempting to point out that not everything is automatically better in iOS like you said “The UI is better on every app.”

          • Google

            So you are using an email app to prove that some apps having better Uis? Besides that is debatable. I think mail.app is better than gmail on android. Trying to say which “looks” better seems silly because neither look great. It’s kind of like comparing the way the browsers look, there isn’t much there to be passionate about either way. I don’t use mail.app anyway I use Sparrow which crushes the android gmail app, as far as email apps can crush one another.

          • mjsalinger

            Except Sparrow doesn’t do push.  Non-starter for me.  I disagree, Gmail on the Xoom looks clean and is as functional as any mobile email app I’ve ever used.  

            Look, there are differences in opinion.  And iOS clearly has the advantage over Android as far as apps.  But to say that “The UI is better on every app” is an overly broad statement and smacks of trolling rather than genuine discussion and debate.  

            I want Android tablets to be better.  I think competition is good for the industry.  But the way to do that is to recognize the true strengths and flaws of android tablets, not just trash them for the sake of trashing them like some Apple fanboy.  

          • Google

            It speaks of trolling yet your only example is email app vs email app. Try again and give me an example and we can have a discussion.

          • MFG

            The Flixster app is great, Dropbox looks beautiful, IMDB is very nice, Pulse works well, too. There’s a bunch of great looking ICS/Tablet apps on Android. But, iOS does have more. I’m thinking I may need to get an iPad for tablet and Nexus for phone. My Galaxy Tab 10.1 is getting long in the tooth.

          • mjsalinger

            I don’t argue with Trolls.  You have no idea who I am or what I do, so you shouldn’t make idiotic statements like that.    

        • I work in IT and i have both a ipad2 from work, and my Xoom. when i lost my xoom for 1 week i felt i lost my child.

          with all my widgets i can turn on the screen and in 5 seconds be updated on everything i need to know.

          Google should adjust the Market(play store Sigh) for tablets and there apps. i do agree they should be updating there apps to set the standard. Heck make a game/anything but make it the app that devs try to be.

          • ddevito

            widgets are great but are completely broken in ICS. They don’t update automatically. It’s such a disappointment. Issue# 23279 is still open.


          • Raven

            That is a very broad statement based on one aspect of one widget. It sounds like ActiveSync updating doesn’t work for the stock Email widget.  My Gmail and EnhancedEmail as well as every other widget that I use still works perfectly after updating my Transformer to ICS.

        • iNfAMOUS70702

          Gmail?? C’mon everyone knows that all the GOOGLE apps suck on iOS…you gotta pick a better example than that

          • mjsalinger

            You’re missing my point. I’m saying that Gmail is better that stock iOS mail app, not iOS Gmail app.

      • EdubE24

        Google you are dead on. It’s not elitism, it’s the truth. When your only comparison is the gmail app, of course its better. But the iPad as a whole is far superior to any tablet experience android has ever put out. Sometimes even fanboys must admit defeat!!

      • LarryMao

         So who’s lifting TechCrunch reviews verbatim?

      • Droidzilla

        This isn’t the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day, but that’s only because I’ve been on the internet for a while today.

        So, for those of us who have extensively used an iPad and an Android tablet and vastly prefer the Android UI, what do you have to say? I’ll admit that iPad has more tablet apps, but I straight up use less apps on my Android slate because the base UI does so much more. I used an iPad and an Android tab and got an Android because it’s better in my eyes.

        Of course, some people will always believe that having the UI of a 2002 Nokia dumbphone on your 9.7″ tablet computer is “smooth” and “intuitive.” Ridiculous.

        • ddevito

          I also prefer Android for use as a desktop replacement (or) more traditional OS, but please don’t say Android makes up for better iOS apps. That doesn’t make any sense. 

          • Droidzilla

            For my personal usage, Android UI makes up for the lack of tablet apps when compared to iOS. There: I said it.

          • ddevito

            Okay but HOW exactly? You didn’t answer my question.

            How does the Android OS make up for lack of apps compared to iOS?

        • Google

          Hey to each his own but I use apps not the OS. The same on my phone and the same on my desktop. If you like widgets and don’t care about apps then who am I too argue.

      • Butters619

        I use an Android phone and I love it, but I have to agree with this. When it comes to the OS and apps, Apple wins hands down.

      • ddevito

        Don’t leave out iPhoto – I’ll never edit a pic on a desktop computer ever again.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      Its not the iPad thats better than the XOOM or any other Android tablet. It’s the applications and how they are implemented on it. If you just looked at an iPad it looks like a giant iPod touch but what really sets it apart is that most of the applications available to it have been optimized and customized to give you an experience made for tablets. That really is a huge problem for Google and Android. I love my XOOM its fun to play with but it lacks the applications to make it a real replacement for my computer. You can really use you iPad in place of your computer if you want. It has 80% of the functionality of a Mac. I am by no means an Apple fan. I live and breath Android but you have to take a step back and look at its shortcomings. Android as a whole needs work but the real weak link is there tablet division.

      • Google

        It doesn’t help when Andy Rubin claims you don’t need optimized apps

    • ddevito

      Does your Xoom have something similar to Airplay?? If so, how? Which apps? Which devices?

    • angermeans

      To start i want to say that i prefer android to ios and more than likely always will, but when it comes to tablets Google’s Android is completely inferior to Apples iOS running on the iPad.I had a xoom for a year (got it on launch day) and I felt the same way, but after owning the new iPad for almost a week I have to say that I 100% disagree with your post. For months I defended every little comment made about my google experience Xoom and ultimately I felt that it met my needs. I didn’t see the reason people was so hard on honeycomb and to be honest I really enjoyed the experience. The sole reason that I left for the iPad was not for the apps or hardware (although I think apple makes the best hardware around and it is evident in every thing they do from the specs to the packaging they scream top of the line and android OEMs cannot compete) what ultimately got me was the rumored and now reality retina display. I’m a huge pixel density geek and for years I’ve been awaiting the day that we had high pixel per inch screens available at low enough prices. It is the sole reason I left the iPhone I search of something better and I even paid 529 for the nexus one (still my all time favorite phone and the only phone that comes close to that in my mind is my now current galaxy nexus ($529 is still the most I’ve spent even today and I’ve owned over a dozen android phones and devices since then).

      Anyways back to today. In anticipation to the iPad launch I sold my Xoom and transformer prime and pre ordered my first iPad. I have to say that I might not have even known what I was missing as I really thought that android was a great tablet OS but now after having the iPad for less than a week I have a completely different opinion and I see that Android OEMs have been going at this all wrong in the tablet space. When the iPad first came out my opinion was why would anyone want a giant iPod touch? The new iPad is a lot of things, but it is not a giant iPod touch and what makes it different is the wide selection of apps and the way that apple presents the tablet experience. I’ve been reading Walter isacsons book on Steve jobs and like I said the iPad is a completely different beast than what android is.

      You said, “not a single person has been able to show me what they are able to do with an iPad that I cannot do on my Xoom” well this is what I am responding too. Apple is paying attention to things that google and their OEMs are not. The idea for the iPad has been in the works for years at apple but ultimately jobs didn’t want to release a multimedia consumption device. This is what android tablets are is multimedia consumption devices. Sure they may be able to do some other things, but at the end of the day that is what they are for. The iPad does it as well, but has the iTunes Eco system which will never be surpasses no matter how many google music (or play), movie rental, or books are released. Why do you think that android is struggling? The iPad was created for many different reasons and yes it does consume media and does it well, but it is a gateway to all things digital. It is a platform that was built for the ground up to deliver an experience that you cannot receive anywhere else. Apple has attempted since day one and back when the iPad was just an idea to be a device that is between a phone and laptop that you get an experience you cannot get anywhere else. What I mean by this is that they have concentrated on things android hasn’t. Things like education and text books, things like iWork, iMovie, and now even iPhoto. It is not just a device to co exist with laptops it is the next logical step that will take the place of laptops and apple is merely making its first moves to get it that way. I believe that as we move along ios will open up much like Mac OS x, but apples closed Eco system has opened many doors and made a ecosysystem where great devs can protect their creations and make money doing it. You said there is not one thing you cannot do on your xoom that the iPad can. I beg to differ. The iPad does magazines, iTunes (which is much better than google music plus offers tv, movies, books, text books, and even college courses through iTunes u), it is a desktop replacement with its iWork apps where you can actually do real work like writing papers, spread sheets, and keynotes, it is as app power house that offers a much better experience than android does. I can go on, but I won’t. The point is if you love android (and believe me I do), but love technology more then give the iPad a chance as I really missed out on a lot and believe me there is no tablet on the market that looks, performs, and is prepared the way the iPad is. Google and it’s OEMs have completely missed the mark and now have Microsoft and windows 8 breathing down its neck. This is the reason rubin is “doubling down” as they see it, now. You cannot compete by merely releasing a low end and I feel that is the direction that android is heading and although I will buy a nexus branded sub $200 tablet and so will a lot of people but they are moving in a lower direction and shooting for the wrong goals. Apple has created quite the product with high end specs (don’t argue the specs like quad core processor as I’ve owned one in the prime and it performs no where near what the new iPad does and at much less the pixel density and processors bottle neck out) apple was right to up the GPU as they have been right about everything else. They have a plan and google and their OEMs are chasing what they think apple and the iPad is, but not what apple is planning to make it. You can really see that and this new iPad not only keeps android at bay in the tablet space for at least the next year, but has even furthered the gap. Android cannot catch up.