Shortly after its introduction in April 2010, I began to see articles on how one might replace his desktop computer with an iPad. Since then the proliferation of apps has made that possible. Well, not entirely possible on an iPad but it can be done with an Android tablet. In my previous post I pointed out that with their two year head start, iPad apps tend to be more polished than their Android counterparts. This situation is quickly changing. Let’s look at a few things that are easily done on Android that iOS has difficulty with.
First of all there’s the brilliant Android keyboards with word predictions. Entering text with either the SwiftKey or Swype virtual keyboards is nearly as fast as using a physical keyboard. There is no choice of keyboards with iOS. However, a new app called TouchPal provides a similar capability. After entering text within the app, the user copies the text to the iPad’s clipboard. Following this he launches the app where the text is needed and pastes. Clumsy, but it works.
Android has bittorrent apps. You will never see one in the Apple app store.
While you can root your Android tablet there are far fewer advantages than jailbreaking an iPad. An uprooted Android tablet already has access to a complete file system not unlike a desktop machine. There are folders for documents, apps, media, and etc. A desktop user will feel very much at home here. The Android desktop allows widgets some of which extend the capabilities of the operating system.
A desktop Mac has a nice feature called the spotlight that quickly locates and launches apps. Windows users have a similar ability starting with Vista or by using a third party utility like Launchy. iOS has this too but only on the first home screen. It’s annoying to have to return there frequently. Android has an app/widget called Conjure that does the job nicely. Put it anywhere you want. Or put a shortcut to it in the dock.
The dock is another iOS issue. Without installing a jailbreak app, the dock is limited to six shortcuts. The number will vary depending upon which Android launches you choose but in most it’s fair more than six and in some it’s unlimited.
At home I prefer to read news on my iPad. I like Zite and the iOS version is better than the Android one. However, when traveling, I’ll grab the Nexus 7. My laptop sees little use anymore. This post was entered and uploaded from my Nexus 7 using WordPress. The keyboard used was SwiftKey.