Tablet decisions

I’ve had my LG G Pad 8.3 nearly 3 years and it’s beginning to show its age. Things seem to be slowing down and it’s still running on Lollipop. I’ve resisted using a custom ROM because some apps won’t work (such as Virgin Media’s TV apps) but there are a few things that annoy me such as the SD card always dismounting itself for no good reason.

I’ve borrowed my mum’s iPad 2 (she’s got herself a newer model) and despite the iPad 2 being older than the G Pad it’s still going reasonably well. The main reason I wanted it was for GarageBand, but I also use it for Readly (the screen dimensions make it easier to read magazines on). I am still not a massive fan of iOS but it still feels like there are not many great apps for Android tablets, whilst the iPad ecosystem is much more extensive.

I don’t think I could ever switch to an iPhone but I could be tempted by an iPad to replace my Android tablet. It just seems to work better for media consumption (which is all I would be doing anyway). The other alternative is a Surface which I’ve been lusting after ever since it was released. It looks great but unless I can get a good deal it’s just a bit too expensive to justify getting.

I’ll wait and see how my current devices fare and whether there’s any good deals in the Christmas sales. I have a feeling I’m going to need a new phone first anyway as I’m sure my Nexus 5X will bootloop again soon…

How is Android doing these days?

I am still very much a fan of Android and all smartphones and tablets in my house are Android-based. But am I perhaps a bit too biased towards Android? I can definitely see the advantages of Apple devices (limited range of hardware devices so apps are optimised, popularity means more apps are created, number of accessories, etc.) I found it interesting on a night out with some old friends from university recently. The previous Android owners have now switched to Apple, whilst the previous Apple owner has switched to Android (for his phone at least). There are still many things about Apple I’m not a fan of (still no widgets?) and I can’t really ever see myself owning an iPhone (never mind that the price probably counts me out unless I get a good deal on a contract).

Things are different however in the tablet market. I am still using my LG G Pad 8.3 whilst my wife has an Amazon Kindle Fire (which has had the Google Play store sideloaded). This is one arena where I can definitely see an advantage to having an iPad – the Android tablet market is so fragmented and not as popular as iPads so there are very few tablet-specific apps being made. I’d love to see something like GarageBand on an Android tablet but I think there are hardware reasons why something similar cannot be created.

My G Pad is nearly two years old and is starting to show signs of age – I have never really been able to successfully use it for productivity (e.g. coding, blog entries, simple things such as this) and have generally used it to consume media (comics, videos, games). I have been looking enviously at the Surface tablet – it seems perfect for what I’d like to use it for, but the cost is prohibitive as I probably wouldn’t use it enough to warrant the cost. I have seen similar cheap copies available from GearBest etc. but these always have an element of risk, but some of them are dual-boot with Android – this would be perfect for my needs, so I might take the risk and buy one soon. I’ll definitely have to do some research first.