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Apple iPad VS. Android Tablet: At Work and at Home

Mar 14, 2012 9:37 AM, By Jason Bovberg

Tablet computing is the wave of the future. Which one is best for your connected environment?

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The tablet computer has been around for years, but it wasn’t until Apple’s iPad hit the market two years ago that the form factor exploded. Apple infused the notion of tablet computing with the company’s signature focus on hardware quality and beautifully smooth user engagement. Of course, the iPad’s snappy multi-touch capability bested the typical stylus approach of previous tablets, rendering them instantly obsolete. But now that the game has changed, a flurry of gorgeous and functional tablets is vying for a piece of the market—in homes, schools, and workplaces.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPad in their environments. Tablets in general are experiencing “the fastest uptake of any device in the enterprise ever,” according to Forrester analyst Ted Schadler.

There are essentially two viable options in the tablet market—at least until Microsoft’s promising Windows 8 tablets debut. The choice is between Apple’s proprietary iPad iOS and the open-source Google Android OS, which powers any number of tablet systems from various manufacturers. Similar to the way that Android-based smartphones are eating away at iPhone market share thanks to their openness and ubiquity across vendors, Android tablets are rising in prominence thanks to the same kind of open-source market freedom. Apple remains a force to be reckoned with thanks to its very different approach: The iPad’s closed architecture—although it can annoy users and developers alike—has produced a work of polished, snappy, user-friendly art. But what about how iPads and Androids function as professional tools, especially in situations where they integrate with pro AV?

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