Last time we looked at the de-facto king of the tablets, the iPad. However, in recent times there is a new kid on the block, a new open source mobile Operating System (OS) called Android. One of the key success factors of the iPhone and iPad is the accessibility of apps or tiny software programs that run on the touchscreen devices and bring them to life!
The Android OS, which was acquired by Google in 2005, has grown to become the most widely used smartphone platform. In October 2012, the number of apps available on Android reached 700,000 – finally catching up with Apple’s iOS, according to tech website www.tomsguide.com. Many tablet makers are now using Android on their tablets. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
What is Android?
The Android Operating System (OS) is the engine that drives the touchscreen device. The Apple OS used on the iPad is called ‘iOS’. Each release of the OS brings new features and the releases have funky names like ‘Gingerbread’ and ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’; the latest release is called ‘Jellybean’.
Google Nexus 7
This year Google entered the tablet market with the Google Nexus 7. This is the first tablet PC to feature the newest Android release, Jellybean. It’s also a possible game-changing device, as it packs in heaps of technology for an unbelievable price of just €249. It has built-in Wifi, Bluetooth and GPS, a beautiful, responsive touch screen with a higher resolution than the 7” iPad and excellent sound. Google has deliberately kept the price down to fend off unwanted competition from Amazon’s Kindle Fire (unfortunately the superb and even cheaper Kindle Fire is not available in Ireland as yet). The Nexus 7 has a very fast quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB flash memory in the base model. You won’t get a better tablet for the money!
At the top end of the Android market are devices like the Samsung 10.1” Galaxy Note featuring the S-Pen – a “real feel” pressure sensitive stylus that enables a wonderful experience for note taking, sketching etc. This tablet comes with the Ice Cream Sandwich Android release, Wifi, Bluetooth and 16GB flash memory for €489. The Asus 10.1” Transformer pad is also worth a mention. It has the exact same spec as the Samsung device without the stylus for €359. It’s a very nice tablet.
Great value tablets
If you are looking for a cheaper tablet, there are loads to choose from and it’s best to shop around. Check out the Vida IT Maia 7” tablet featuring Android Ice Cream Sandwich and 4GB flash memory. At just €93.99, it’s a lovely device for not a lot of money. It’s available from www.memorycards.ie with free next day delivery anywhere in Ireland!
Eamon is a Senior IT Professional with PaqIT, an IT Service Provider with offices in Limerick and Galway. See www.paqit.com.