Originally Published: August 28, 2011 http://blogs.republicanherald.com/tech/?p=149
Yesterday on Akihabara News I posted about some leaked photos/news of a new Android Tablet coming from Toshiba that is expected to make its debut at IFA 2011 in Berlin in just a few days. After reading some of the comments at the bottom of the page, even though I’m guilty of doing it many times, just as other tech journalists/bloggers are, I got to thinking, why do we keep calling every tablet that is coming out an “iPad killer”?
Since I do own devices with both iOS and Android as the operating systems, I realized that maybe we shouldn’t be calling every Android tablet coming out with specs and design similar to that of Apple’s ‘magical’ iPad, a killer. I wouldn’t want the iPad to be killed. I understand that these companies want a piece of the tablet market, but without the iPad there wouldn’t be a standard to try to surpass. Since Apple was the first to the market with a game-changing tablet, many manufacturers have had to make leaps and bounds in their technology to even give reason for customers to purchase their products. At the same time, some of these tablets offer features the iPad will never match.
That being said, I think both can co-exist. Just as there are people that would never buy an iOS device, there are the same type of people that would never buy an Android device. And the reason why I believe they can both exist is that they both offer different features. In my eyes, iOS carries the philosophy of Apple from its very beginning, “a personal computer that anyone can use.” It’s simple enough that with little to no learning curve, someone can pick it up and start using it. That’s exactly what the iPad and iPhone have done.
While I’m not trying to say that Android is any more complicated to use, but it just seems to me that it was designed with the mindset of pushing innovation to the fullest with anyone being able to contribute to its betterment. This in a nutshell is exactly what Google was founded on, the freedom of information, also why Android is an open source platform. Just as you probably won’t have an Android tablet with the exact level of simplicity or as many apps as an iPad, you show me an iPad that does as great a job at making the best use of homescreen space or offers as many innovative hardware features as say that upcoming Toshiba slate or the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Again, I’m not trying to say that Apple isn’t innovative either, it just doesn’t move as quickly on some things as it once did. With Android, Google has allowed it to be open source so anyone can mess with the code and make their own distribution, look at all the innovative features that have come from Cyanogenmod and happen at such a fast rate. This does aim Android more towards people who love the ability to tinker and customize their devices though.
In conclusion, to say that anything should be an iPad killer or Android killer is just wrong. They both come from different philosophies, which are intertwined with similarities. I own an iPad 2 and my main phone is a Motorola Atrix. There isn’t a better tablet on the market that offers the same amount of apps and has the same build quality. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is as thin and light, but its back cover is plastic, making it feel extremely cheap. For my phone, it has some features that I think can’t be challenged especially by the iPhone 4. For starters, it’s more easily connected to the Google-verse, all of my Gmail accounts and docs from Google Docs are right there, I can video chat using Google Talk right from my phone using Wifi or 3G, plus everything is synced to the cloud for free, something Apple is still working on. If I had the money I would surely buy an Android tablet since I’m a huge Google power user.
All this being said, any other tech bloggers out there that happen to come across this post, let’s try to do a better job when writing about the tech we love. Although they are in the same tablet category, that new Toshiba slate is no more an iPad killer than it is a Samsung Galaxy Tab killer.