With the next version of the iPad being announced later today, I was thinking about the way some in leadership positions here in the overly-large school district talk about using “tablets”, using the generic term when it’s pretty clear that most others are hearing iPads.
They try very hard not to lean toward a specific product since the system has also blessed the purchase of the Xoom device by Motorola and running Android. In effect, they want schools and offices to think of the two operating systems as equal and to make a choice based on needs. Or something like that.
Early in the school year when we started working with tablets in the system, I tried to be balanced when discussing which device someone should consider, with a collection of plusses and minuses for each. Now, after spending some time with the Xoom and watching others struggling with it, I’ve pretty much given up on being “fair”.
The big problem is that iOS and Android are not equal, not even close, especially when implemented on tablets.
I could go into my long list of reasons why, but instead read what Fraser Speirs, who has a whole lot more experience using mobile devices in a classroom, has to say on the matter.
His conclusion is that Android represents solid engineering on the part of Google. However, the way manufacturers deploy it – with multiple versions, confusing upgrade policies, inconsistent user interfaces and hardware integration – is a “deal breaker”.
Read the whole post which is a great analysis of Android’s problems. Speirs is focusing on a school environment but many of the points he makes will be relevant to anyone considering purchasing any mobile device.
Other than the rumors being passed around, I have no idea what Apple will show in their presentation. But I do know that whatever the products, the hardware and software involved will be tightly integrated, producing a user experience that’s just not available on any Android device.
You may not like Apple or iPads or stuff with i names. But the company’s recent successes (computers sales are also growing fast) shows that there are plenty of us who like our technology to just work smoothly without a lot of fuss.
And, of course, when it comes to tablets you do have plenty of choices. Just not good ones.