Tablets

The iPad vs. the Kindle Fire debate, Donovan-ified

Donovan Colbert shares his opinion about the iPad vs. Kindle Fire debate. Find out why he thinks the only people buying an iPad now are blinded by the fruit logo on the back of the case.

Jason Hiner recently engaged in a debate that pitted the Kindle Fire with the iPad. In his post, he said:

"Still, the ____________ is not the tablet for technologists or business professionals. It is the tablet for your grandma, Uncle Ted, or your 12 year old. It's good at two things - consuming content from A_____ (books, videos, and music) and purchasing products from A_____. "

Fill in the blanks however you want, and in either case, it works. Both the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Apple iPad are functionally crippled devices that keep users safely playing inside a gated and well-monitored playground. Both set limits on the scope of what the device can do, as much for the economic benefit of the manufacturer as for the experience of the end user.

Is the Kindle Fire selling at a loss? Probably -- at least for now. Amazon can afford to do this, because selling the device isn't where they're going to make money. Apple, on the other hand, could employ the same loss-leader tactics, but Apple users are willing to pay a premium in order to be locked into a walled garden that limits their experience significantly. So, why wouldn't Apple shake down their users when those users actually seem to enjoy it?

What other arguments are going to come to the table? The Amazon AppStore is almost as robust as and frequently out-competes the Android Market on price in an apples-to-apples, head-to-head comparison. Beyond that, nobody cares anymore about the difference in numbers between the Android Market and the Apple App Store, because all of the important titles are in both marketplaces. Android delivers most of the significant apps (with a few notable exceptions) as well. Apps don't matter, because the ones that do matter are available, one way or the other, regardless of your choice.

As for those apps that aren't available -- because the Kindle Fire is Android-based, and because Amazon did not limit side-loading, you still have the basic freedom to open the gate and walk out of the safe playground if you want, no rooting or jail-breaking required. You're given the respect to use your device to the limits of its capabilities, as long as you're willing to live with the consequences (and benefits) of your actions.

Ultimately, for what the majority of Christmas shoppers are going to end up doing with a tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire or the iPad 2 are functionally nearly identical and interchangeable, except that the Fire is $300 less. That seems to be a no-brainer to me. For only $100 more, I could buy three people Kindle Fires for Christmas. If I bought a SINGLE person an iPad 2 and "saved" $100, that user would probably do the same things as the three Kindle Fire recipients: light surfing, updating social media sites, watching Netflix, and playing Angry Birds.

Once you start arguing that the iPad 2 is better suited for more technical tasks -- well, why wouldn't you just purchase a full-fledged Android tablet that still costs less than the iPad 2 and is better at that aspect, as well?

If you're interested in being a power user, you're not interested in fighting with iOS -- rather, you're interested in being empowered with Android. That includes dealing with the warts, certainly. But the advantages that come with dealing with those warts are clearly superior for a true power user. That's why propeller heads like myself overwhelming prefer Android tablets to iOS devices, after all. Everyone points this out when trying to illustrate why Android tablets aren't ready for prime time and aren't suitable to mainstream users -- users who primarily just want to consume content.

Prior to the arrival of the Kindle Fire - the powerhouse ASUS Transformer tablet/convertible was the 2nd best selling tablet and the #1 selling Android tablet. All of those power users who wanted a tablet but wouldn't settle for Apple's imposed limits opted for this device. The next generation will arrive before Christmas, and it will feature a quad-core CPU and an upgrade to the pending release of Ice Cream Sandwich. I can say from experience, the Transformer 1 was a competent replacement for a notebook, but it still had flaws. I suspect the Transformer 2 will go a long way toward addressing those issues. If you're going to focus on tablets that are notebook replacements, there are stronger and less expensive choices than an iPad 2.

The Kindle competes with the iPad on its home turf, and true Android tablets compete better at technical features, content creation, and flexibility as relatively powerful laptop replacements.

If the Kindle Fire is successful, there's no reason why we shouldn't see a Kindle Fire DX in the near future, priced a little more expensively, yet still below the iPad 2 or 3.

The only people who should be buying an iPad now are people who are blinded by the fruit logo on the back of the case. It leaves iOS devices in a kind of netherworld. iOS is not the best platform for content consumption as a value proposition. That title now belongs to the Kindle Fire. iOS is not the best platform for delivering a power user experience for content creation and file manipulation -- Android Honeycomb is (and ICS promises to be even better).

Fortunately for Apple, I don't think there is any shortage of people who are willing to pay more for less as long as it has the Apple logo somewhere on it. Prestige matters, and the truth is that there's a tremendous base of consumers for whom the mediocrity of the iPad is an advantage. It's the middle of the road, like a passenger sedan or a mini-van that finds a conservative balance that makes it a run away success. The problem with being a Ford Taurus is that everyone else wants to make a Civic or Camry or Maxima to compete with you -- and they all end up looking and acting pretty much the same. Welcome to the era of soccer mom computing devices.

About

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...

37 comments
Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Following Donovan's argument I agree with his conclusions that are centered around ecosystem. However his extended commentary wrt iOS and hardware capabilities of android 7 inch devices lead me to the Nook device ( much better hw & io for the extra 50 bucks) I really wanted the TF101 but at the time couldn't find one for love or money so picked up an IPad. Took a look at Honeycomb on the Xoom and it just didn't work as well as iOS but I'm really excited about ICS and the quad core ASUS! Anyway wrt price you can pick up first gen iPads at the same price point as android based 10 inch tablets. Unfortunately getting older has decreased my vision wrt contrast and for that reason alone 7 inch tablets won't work for me. How does android compare to iOS wrt visual aid tweaking?

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

What I did was to make three partitions on my WD USB hard drive.I the extracted the Active Boot Disk ISO to the first partition.The other partitions were for my computers as a restore.I labeled the folders and so on.The WD is 300 gig so I didn't need to compress.The WD boots to ABD just fine and their defragmenting utility is the greatest.With some computers the USB port is finicky so find the correct one.At the OS install I made the partition size to my liking.In Win 7 you can increase the partition size while running.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

You would always be able to have a computer in it's brand new state with a restore.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

When you install Win 7 it does stuff different at first boot up than with subsequent boots.When you first power up a new computer it looks like the first time install boot up.There are a couple of different interpretations for this.The OS file is made and copied to the hard drive.This copy has all of the software already installed but looks like the first boot of an OS at first power up.If you wanted to make a back up of this you could try pen drive Active Boot Disk Norton Ghost.My favorite scenario is that the OS resides in the computer's electronics someplace (Chipset) and is copied to the hard drive at first switch on.If you want to copy this virgin you need to set up your boot sequence in the BIOS for USB first or you'll miss it.

Photog7
Photog7

This is the dumbest argument I've seen in a long time. The Fire is so hardware-crippled that a much more valid question would be "Kindle Fire or B&N Nook?" Those two devices are similarly priced and have similar sized screens. It's interesting that you make the car comparison at the end, but you still missed the obvious. If it were SUVs, this article would be more like, "The Toyota Land Cruiser vs. the Suzuki SX-4 debate, Donovan-ified". These are both very high quality vehicles, but made for very different consumers. I've now owned the iPad 1, the iPad 2, and more recently two Android tablets--one 10" and one 7". I agree with the majority of tablet consumers, and not because of any affection for Apple. I'd take an iPad 2 over a Kindle Fire any day. The only reason people are buying the Fire is because it's cheap. I support more than 100 employees, and the folks who are telling me they just bought a Kindle Fire for Christmas are not people who would have ever bought a $500 iPad. They bought the Fire because of the low price. People aren't "willing to pay more for less as long as it has the Apple logo somewhere on it." They buy the iPad because it's easy to use, works very well with iTunes, has great support, holds its value, and seems immune to the infections. Comparing the Kindle Fire to the iPad 2 is pointless.

jfuller05
jfuller05

"Fortunately for Apple, I don???t think there is any shortage of people who are willing to pay more for less as long as it has the Apple logo somewhere on it. Prestige matters, and the truth is that there???s a tremendous base of consumers for whom the mediocrity of the iPad is an advantage. It???s the middle of the road, like a passenger sedan or a mini-van that finds a conservative balance that makes it a run away success. The problem with being a Ford Taurus is that everyone else wants to make a Civic or Camry or Maxima to compete with you ??? and they all end up looking and acting pretty much the same. Welcome to the era of soccer mom computing devices." *claps* Well said.

explorer737
explorer737

Every time I have to work with Apple I am frustrated by the Apple straight jacket. If they haven't thought of it you don't need it. I use Ubuntu, I have an iTouch for music etc. The functionality is nice for the size but managing it is a pain in the a_ _

techjitsu
techjitsu

Exactly what do you mean by that? Because I am easily able to do my 'power user' functions on my iPad as a SysAdmin for both Mac and Windows, blogger/writer, and DJ. So... what is it that you are doing that is more 'powerful' on an Android tablet? BTW- I am not fanboy-flaming you; I just want to know, from your perspective, the specific 'mediocrity' that I am totally unaware of with my iPad...

dcolbert
dcolbert

I haven't weighed in on the Nook because I don't know as much about it - so any omission is based on ignorance. I don't have the kind of unfettered access to as broad of a range of technology as a top-tier blogger or tech journalist and I can't buy *everything* I'd like to play with out-of-pocket, so... sometimes I just have to stick with what I know. The Nook is interesting... but my understanding is that the Nook Color is distinctly different than the Nook Tablet - and the thing is with the B&N solution you lose that comprehensive marketing support from a giant like Amazon that has the entire ecosystem in place to support Kindle. The Nook line seems better oriented to people who are willing to do some hack and bend or break some rules to fully leverage their device. Again - it gets OUTSIDE of the scope we've defined here with a Kindle Fire vs. iPad argument. Not that I disagree with your choice. If it came down to a Nook versus a Kindle Fire, I think I'd research them both, and for $50 more, I think the Nook has some serious advantages for someone willing to root, add market, side-load, and otherwise step outside of the consumer comfort zone. My vision is also getting much worse as I leave my 30s behind me. In general, I think that the iOS platform is fairly non-configurable and not really easily customized without jail-breaking. I'd *think* that this would have a significant impact on "ease-of-access" features. On the other hand, Apple seems generally oriented to features for the "impaired". I would expect this would be limited mostly to "text to speech" readers and not unified font and icon readability enhancement. That is - layout and desktop size seems pretty fixed in iOS. I don't think Android is much better. There is an Accessibility feature in settings in Honeycomb. When I access it, a pop-up appears - "No accessibility related applications found - You do not have any accessibility-related applications installed. You can download a screen reader for your device from Android Market. Click OK to install the screen reader". So, not much going on here on Android, either. The sub menu for Accessibility also allows "Download accessibility scripts - Allow applications to download accessibility scripts from Google" and "Touch and Hold Delay (Delay until a touch is interpreted as a touch & hold)." So more or less, I think both platforms are kind of "meh" on visual aid tweaking.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

The content ecosystem. I do agree that we start veering off into the weeds wrt hardware and OS because there is no 7 inch iPad device :)

dcolbert
dcolbert

You just didn't understand what you were reading. Yes. Exactly. The Kindle Fire does most of what MOST people want and it is CHEAP. Better than a typical "cheap" tablet (Like a Coby Kyros), EASIER and better suited to a CONSUMER and not a hacker/tinkerer - better suited to delivering the big ticket apps and features that would make those consumers WANT an iPad - but at a price that TONS more people will be willing to choke down. The Kindle Fire is likely to deliver all of the criteria you outline. "It is easy to use, works well with Amazon's HUGE and POWERFUL market system, has great support, and, if used like Amazon intends, will probably be pretty immune from infections". They *didn't* just buy it because of the low price, or the Coby Kyros or the Augen or any of a dozen other low end, inexpensive Android tablets would have been huge successes in the market. Heck - there are even some pretty big names like Viewsonic who had inexpensive tablets that didn't make a dent. No... the alignment with some fairly decent yet inexpensive and affordable hardware with the overall "experience" that Amazon can deliver for the consumer end user is what Kindle buyers are buying. As for "people "willing to pay more for less as long as it has the Apple logo on it" - no, not ALL the people... only the APPLE people. Re-read the original blog. Only the Apple people. But there are enough of them that Apple isn't going to be HURTING because of the Kindle Fire - I don't think. There are ENOUGH people willing to pay the premium for the Apple experience. Really... you agree with me (waving my hand in front of your field of vision)... it isn't some Jedi Mind trick or something. You just didn't understand the article. We *are* on the same page. Well, except for that "I'd take an iPad over a Kindle any day" part. I mean, I guess you technically have me there. I would too, honestly. But I'm pretty well off, and well... I actually own an iPad. I gave it to my wife when I got tired of it and bought an Android tablet. So... that is the kind of disposable income I have for gadgets. Which isn't bragging - it is illustrating that the barriers aren't there for me. If they WERE, it might change my evaluation. The iPad is a *better* device than the Kindle Fire, no doubt about it if money is no object, then, sure... why not. But as a VALUE proposition, does the iPad justify the extra cost for what you get, for what it delivers, compared to the SIMILAR (if not *exact*) experience that the Kindle delivers for so much less money?!? If you're making $45,000 a year, your wife brings in $35,000, you got a kid (and because you both work, you gotta pay for child care) and you're under water on your mortgage - you know, a kind of average American... but you WANT a tablet... then yeah... the Kindle offers a WAY better value proposition than the iPad. (speaking of which... on "holding value"... my 64GB Wifi only 1st Gen iPad cost $899 new. I could have TWO Transformers or a Transformer Prime *and* a Kindle Fire for what I paid originally for my iPad. How much of its original value do you think my iPad holds? A more than 50% depreciation in less than two years doesn't really seem to be stellar "value" holding, to me... but that isn't really why you should buy gadgets, IMHO).

escher7
escher7

Hey guy. If you can afford 4 tablets, you aren't going to buy a Kindle. For those of us living on a budget, we are interested in $200 tablets. BB Playbook on sale at $199 (over?), Kindle Fire, Le Pan Android 2.2, Kobo etc. It is nice to hear someone say the Kindle does all the basics as well as IPad. We have laptops for power user stuff.

dcolbert
dcolbert

SOMEONE liked that paragraph. :) (I mean... other than me. I *loved* it, myself).

dcolbert
dcolbert

And a couple of netbooks for good measure. But specifically, the 10" versus 7" isn't THAT big of a deal. I know it was always an issue to Steve Jobs - but there were a lot of things about the 7" form-factor I really liked - and it delivered almost everything else nearly interchangeably with the experience on a 10" device. I guess I'd say that the advantage/disadvantage of a 7" vs. a 10" device are 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. I don't think the size difference makes the two devices necessarily incomparable at this point. When I had the Coby and an iPad, I compared the two devices - they actually had more in common than they had apart from one another. The differences were generally relatively superficial. Which doesn't mean they weren't important. But the basic device, the basic paradigm of interface, the basic utilization and experience of a $150 Coby Kyros is nearly identical to a $899 iPad. The shape, size, method of input and interaction and the goals and desires of using the device - they're in a relative ball-park. The 7" to 10" difference in that case is perhaps one of the MOST superficial differences. Still superficial, but more important were - the battery life and standby time, the stability, the capacitive versus resistive touch screen. Those things are critical to the overall experience - but they're still superficial to the actual similarities between the two devices in purpose and application. I see that the 7" versus 10" is something a lot of readers are getting hung up on, both here and in Jason's original article. Based on personal, hands-on experience, I don't think it is as big of a deal as a lot of readers seem to think it is. I wonder if other readers who have experience with both size formats agree or disagree with my assessment.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I don't know that the the Fire does the basics as GOOD as the iPad. But my gut tells me that the Kindle does the basics good *enough* that most people won't care if it isn't as GOOD, and that is what probably matters. My rough guide for that is the Coby Kyros MID 7015 - which was, outside of a few very major stumbling points, an awesome tablet for the sub $200 range LAST black friday - if you were willing to hack the device. A Kindle Fire seems like a Coby Kyros on steroids. Better hardware, better battery life, better core processor, and a stronger vendor standing behind the product and supporting it with app-store, bookstore, music-store. That is what the B&N Nook lacks - the partnership and bargaining power of Amazon and a comprehensive suite of outlets that are well positioned to meet end user/consumer desires. But I could be wrong. Check them all out and make the right decision for yourself. I hear that Kindle Fire browsing is still disappointing many Fire owners. That could be a significant problem. But it might improve, too. There are still a lot of things up in the air with this whole deal. My gut feeling is that MOST people will be satisfied ENOUGH with the Fire and very happy with the difference in cost they will save over the competition. It isn't the BEST. It is simply probably GOOD enough.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

What kind of budget buster is $50? And last gen nook color IS under 200. :)

jfuller05
jfuller05

Paying more for less is something people will do wanting to be "cool." Teens started using the iphone, the "old folks" wanted to be "hip" and "cool" so they bought iphones.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

My favorite, however, was the mental picture of a Taurus (SHO) lined up with an Elise Sport 190 (and, in front of them, the respective tablets; if it were an ad it would require no text.......). Get em, Donovan!

Blaxxeven
Blaxxeven

Flash has been abandoned for Mobile and probably will be completely in favor of HTML5

dcolbert
dcolbert

File system manipulation of portable storage devices without limitations? I can hook up my 64GB USB thumbdrive, my 32gb SD card, and my 32gb MicroSD card to my ASUS TF101 and access any level, depth, or folder on any of these devices. On my iPad, not the case. I need a dongle, and then I need to move anything I want into the /DCIM folder - OR - jailbreak the device. My ASUS TF101 has a built in HDMI port. On my iPad... I need a dongle. Really? These elegant, clean lines, this simplistic, minimalist design - and Apple insists in ruining it with dongles and attachments... and even those are limited? Why do Apple guys always insist on arguing this? Because the reality is that it is clear that iOS is crippled and limited in these aspects. Android runs CIRCLES around this kind of FLEXIBILITY and USER EMPOWERMENT. No one reasonable is ever going to deny this. If you want to argue these points, focus on how this introduces complexity and instability into the Android platform. That is valid. But saying, "Apple can do anything that Android can do"... is not TRUE. iOS is limited. It is limited on purpose - it is unapologetic about those limitations and why they exist and why they are unlikely to change. You know what you're buying into when you pick iOS, as certainly as you should know what you're buying into when you buy into the Android ecosystem. Don't try to be coy and pretend this doesn't exist. EVERYONE who is being honest knows the truth. Late edit: Add - Side-loading apps and the ability to access, backup, move and modify apps through the file system directly. (So I can backup Facebook to Facebook .apk, and copy it, say via Bump, Dropbox, or by SD card, from one Android device to another, and install it there - even if that other device doesn't have access to the Android Market). Now, if you want to argue that this is MORE than most people want from a tablet - I don't think I have any argument there. But Jason's original post made the point that iOS was BETTER than the Kindle Fire at these kind of things. Sure, it might be... but an ANDROID tablet is better than the iPad at those kind of things, so why mess around with half-way? If you're going to be doing "power user" tasks, get yourself a power user device. That isn't the iPad. On the other hand, if you're NOT interested in power-user features, why pay the $300 premium for the iPad when the Kindle Fire will cover all the basics and do a pretty good job of it? It just doesn't make sense.

dcolbert
dcolbert

There are a lot of things that don't work with the analogy. Just ignore those, and go with the parts that do work, and you'll be happier. ;)

Slayer_
Slayer_

Should I be concerned? If it means anything, I bought the Taurus because it was the biggest I could get for the cheapest (2005 for $5500).

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

writers (yourself included) have the editorial knack for saving a choice riff or two back from their article's body, to use in 'supplemental comments' once the discussion's started; it's certainly not 'awkward composition' where it ended up. Remember, though: the fact that I didn't read your mind there doesn't mean you're not necessarily still going nuts (we're each the last to know, aren't we, when it happens?)....

dcolbert
dcolbert

I *did* write a paragraph that used this analogy (Apple is to Ford Taurus as Transformer is to Lotus Elise). I just read the whole article several times, and checked my original copy too, and I can't find that comparison anywhere - and I think I remember cutting it because it was an awkward composition. I'm puzzled, now. Am I missing the obvious, or did you just infer something I wrote and then cut? Ahh.... it was a comment... above. Heh. I thought I was going nuts for a minute there. :)

oNutz
oNutz

((most of us operate our devices in *today*, not in tomorrow, right?)) Yes but if everyone adhered to that mode of thinking, we'd still be using floppy drives. Apple always pushes us into the future kicking and screaming. It's difficult for a lot of people to adapt.

dcolbert
dcolbert

The fact that Adobe Flash mobile has been abandoned and HTML5 is the future direction will probably matter significantly *someday*. But for today, having the ability to leverage Flash websites is still relatively important - and most of us operate our devices in *today*, not in tomorrow, right?

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Except for the people who view so many movies on these things. HTML5 works for that but the crowds supplying the movies don't always support it. ;) Col

camcost
camcost

I really can't argue your points. But the bottom line is how good is the overall experience on either device platform? I've owned three Android tablets and one ipad. Though I enjoyed having expandable memory on the Androids, none offered the smooth user experience I receive from the iPad. I wish Apple offered a little more flexibility... but NOT at the expense of usability! Also, it is definitely true that iOS also offers a much more stable OS than Android. Android offers more flexibility, but at the expense of a 'no brainer' experience which operates the way you expect it to. Three tablets and three Android phones back-up what I'm saying. (not all mine, but within our family)

oNutz
oNutz

((if they want to do general "laptop replacement" content creation productivity tasks, there are Android tablets that are a better choice than iOS.)) As a graphic illustrator, I find Pages to be one of the most amazing productivity apps ever devised for the laptop, and it's even "easier" to use on iPad's and iPhones. It's one of the reasons that I stick with Apple, but I might actually consider Android if it truly had a comparable app. Is there a specific app that could take on Pages?

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Except maybe wrt to the lucky dog having an ASUS transformer early on! I do think there are too many degrees of freedom in the comparison. E.g. 7 vs 10 in disp, io capability, content ecosystem, OS, content creation, and so forth.

dcolbert
dcolbert

You have to understand Jason's original argument. He found the iPad 2 a better device than the Kindle Fire, because of content creation and power user orientation. On the other hand, I think Jason is one of the first who would say, "Android tablets have failed BECAUSE they're not consumer friendly like iOS" (at least in part). So my argument here is... If you JUST want content consumption, mobile device gaming, light browsing and email, the Kindle Fire is $300 less and can do all that. Winner. IF you want to argue that the Kindle Fire is crippled and that this makes the iPad a better machine because it delivers a more powerful experience - then a TRUE Android tablet is actually the BEST machine in this space. So yes, I absolutely agree. The Fire, like the iPad, is a GREAT Android tablet for the masses who have very simple, narrow desires and just want things to work smoothly. Except it is $300 less than the iPad. But if you want to do real things... why waste time with a Kindle Fire... OR an iPad (2)? If you want to do real things, step up to an Android tablet, and DO them. Other than DJing... and maybe some things involved with health-care. Techjitsu makes some good points - there are some specific niches that have leveraged the iPad to do things that are very cool - that Android just doesn't compete with. Not because it can't, but because those niche industries have focused SOLELY on iOS development at this point... probably by virtue of being NICHE industries. Regardless - we need to make certain we're clear... when I say "power user", I'm talking in the general sense of using a tablet as some sort of average laptop replacement device. If you have a specific need that iOS caters directly to - that might be your best bet.

dcolbert
dcolbert

So... DJ-ing... is hardly representative of a typical user application for an iPad. This might as well be the old Mac argument about Desktop Publishing. Does Apple have a niche in certain narrow, well-defined fields right now on iOS? Absolutely. Is that in any way relevant to this discussion? Hardly. You're trying desperately to steer this off track, from my perspective, to fulfill your OWN bias. This article stands in relation to Jason's original compro between the Kindle Fire and the iPad (2). His arguments were based on broad appeal - not niche attractiveness to DJs. If you want to discuss that, then we've got to throw both of these articles out and deal with the issue from the specific way you're framing your argument. If you're a DJ, you should buy an iPad. Thanks for weighing in on that. Our other readers who are also DJs will now have your insight in this matter. They should NOT buy a Kindle 2, *or* an Android tablet. But the fact remains, if a user only wants to consume CONTENT, the Kindle Fire is cheaper and will deliver the same basic experience as an iOS device, and if they want to do general "laptop replacement" content creation productivity tasks, there are Android tablets that are a better choice than iOS. Can we try to keep the focus there, because otherwise, you're absolutely right, my argument makes no sense. You're trying to argue something that was never a point I was trying to make. I'm not shy about disclosing my personal bias toward Android products - in particular compared to iOS platforms. At the same time, I'm pretty fair and forthcoming about the strengths of iOS over Android, where they exist, and the WEAKNESSES of Android compared to iOS, where those exist as well. This is probably because I do most of my work on a Mac, I've got an iPod in my car, and I own an iPad 64gb WiFi and a 32gb Touch. It seems like you probably haven't read a lot of my posts before, so I'm going to give you a pass for not realizing this. But here... for the sake of argument - here are some examples of my Anti-Apple, pro Android bias: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-out-loud/eight-ways-googles-droid-fails-to-impress/1782 http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tablets/android-tablets-could-still-transform-the-market/183?tag=content;siu-container http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/androids-apps-are-comparatively-ugly-is-linux-to-blame/3601?tag=mantle_skin;content http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/juice-up-the-battery-life-of-your-android-device/3497?tag=mantle_skin;content http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/update-google-knows-where-youve-been-and-they-might-be-holding-your-encryption-keys/5642 and my favorite pro-Android article title: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/android-device-power-management-sucks/3451 (If you didn't click on each of those links, I'll give you the TL:DNR version here - they're all pretty harshly critical of the Android platform. They attack battery life, and security, and one of them reached all the way to Google for comment, who I do not believe was very happy with me for what I wrote. If I'm an Android fanboy or shill, I seem to be doing it wrong.) Here: mediocre/mdkr/ Adjective: Of only moderate quality; not very good: "a mediocre actor". Synonyms: middling - moderate - indifferent - ordinary - mean I'm mostly interested in the synonyms, here. Moderate, ordinary, mean. That doesn't imply the "not very good" sense of the word, it applies the, "middle of the road and inoffensive" sense of the word. The Ford Taurus was a mediocre car. The Lotus Elise is an AWESOME performance car. For most of the world, they need a mediocre Taurus, not an AWESOME Lotus Elise. But the fact is that the Lotus is ABSOLUTELY awesome, and the Taurus is absolutely... not. As for the cult of Apple - the usual characterization of Apple buyers fits because it WORKS - usually. You may be the exception. Celebrate that fact if it is so. Congratulations for being one of the few members of the "Think Differently" crowd who actually do so. All analysis here is OPINION, as is your counterpoint in the rebuttal. Neither of us are wrong or right about this - we're exchanging our unique opinions. I'm glad to hear yours here and let our readers compare your opinion to mine and decide which one they agree with more. That is what the forum is about - and I'm glad you've chosen to participate and you haven't held back on expressing your opinions. I dig that. Honestly. I wish there were more people willing to roll up their sleeves, jump into the pit, and say, "Listen, Donovan, I think you're dead wrong, and here is why". My analysis is opinionated and passionate and frequently controversial and contested. If you're not interested in that, if you want dull, boring, routine analysis that is completely impartial and devoid of passion, there are other bloggers who can deliver that. That isn't my gig. But once you understand better where I am coming from, you might enjoy reading my blogs a little bit more. I may be ticking you off at the moment, but at some point I can almost guarantee you I'll be ticking off someone YOU disagree with in a way where you'll be going, "Wow, Donovan TOTALLY nailed THIS one! I can't believe he was such a moron about the iPad but got this so spot on". (Remote access to servers from either iPad or Android tablets has challenges. I don't like to do it unless I absolutely have to on either platform). One last thing... about your subject - what does "Jailbreaking isn't like rooting" have to do with it? My point was that the things I mention can all be done WITHOUT rooting an Android phone. There really isn't a LOT of benefit in rooting Android as far as what it opens up that is locked down otherwise. I mean, Jailbreaking opens up a WORLD of difference in what your iOS device can do. Rooting... um... allows you to tether without paying, and to take screen-shots with Android 2.2 and you know, get into the actual ROOT file system as SU. Jailbreaking makes an iOS device act more like an Android device. Rooting makes an Android device more like an actual Linux PC.

mkottman
mkottman

What biased garbage this article and response is. If I were your boss you'd be looking for a different job. This is the MOST unprofessional article that I've ever read in a technical publication.

rexorient
rexorient

Donovan, Isn't the title of your post iPad vs Kindle Fire? I understand that your response is anti-Android-bashing, but when we stick to the Fire, these arguments don't fly. It has WIFI and USB. Want anything new, you need a dongle that plugs into the USB port. IMHO, Android has always been better at the power-user stuff. What made it fail was the lack of regular-user support. Easy of use, access to vast content libraries, good support, etc. Amazon addressed these issues, but physically the Fire is less suited for power users than other Android tablets.

techjitsu
techjitsu

I don't know why I feel the need to defend myself, but I am going to try and do this with a little professionalism. I am coming from MY world, where I am more than happy with everything I do with my iPad2 and sick of all the instability of EVERY Android device I have ever owned- that is even without the 'fragmentation' debate... I don't "insist on arguing" anything. I specifically asked what it is that you feel is so much more 'power user' friendly on Android as compared to iPad. I think that is a valid question, especially considering the way you couched your argument. And to suggest I am not being 'honest' with regards to my support of iOS over Android further expresses your particular bias on the topic. You're free to be biased, but be prepared for people to ask for a detailed explanation of your position WITHOUT giving them even more 'attitude'. I use my iPad2 for 3 things (listed in order of frequency): 1] content consumption (3 years worth of iTunes content), 2] remote access to my work machines (servers, desktops, network files), 3] backup/enhanced DJing 3-5 hour sets (weddings, high school events). Android may be just as capable for the first 2, but #3 is the dealbreaker for me. Android simply doesn't compete there. The reliable, professional grade apps for DJing don't exist. The industry leaders in the profession don't make them, so that tells me there must be a reason behind their decision. Even if they did, the history of the issues with stability and fragmentation would make me scared to invest in buying the app for whatever specific Android tablet I would own, then having the device fall out of the upgrade cycle 6 months down the line when the NEXT OS comes out. So, after ICS- I am assuming the next one will be "JAM" or "JELLY" and will leave a large number of current tablets in the cold. To me, THAT is 'mediocrity' in regards to my needs as a user. I know the vast majority of users aren't like me- that is fine. To say the iPad is MEDIOCRE is YOUR personal opinion, understandably- but that is the rub for me. I look to TechRepublic for professional, insightful, and unbiased analysis. You could have made your point without resorting to the 'usual' characterization of Apple-buyers as willing to pay more simply for the brand name and not truly interested in or knowledgable about capabilities/functionality. Some of us ACTUALLY think and do research before we buy...

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