Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why I think iPad is better than Android Tablets

Face Time
To start with lets recap the smartphone use case.
  • You are on the road looking for some place, you pull out your phone to search for it on the map and find how to get there.
  • During an ad hoc heated conversation in the cafeteria, you quickly search for the thing you are arguing about on wikipedia and prove your point.
  • You want to send out an email on the move and its impossible to type as you have lot of thing in hand, you speak into the phone and it types for you and send the mail.
  • See a potential news material on the road, you take a pic, put a quote on it and upload to CNN/Twitter
  • Book a movie ticket as part of you last minute plan
  • Catch up with the latest news when waiting in traffic signal
  • Pay shopping bills
  • Reminder for important meetings and events
  • Your friend seems to be lost his way and needs to get to you and you share your location with him
  • Get offers when you are at some mall
  • You are visiting some new place and wants to know more about it; you point your phone's camera to it and you get all the details
  • You want to do some quick office work when you are in a cinema, and its all synced on your phone and ready to work with
  • Facebook, Twitter, Email, Chat and Games on the go

In the above use cases, the most popular would be the last one. All the other ones are perfectly valid but will be mostly used by a geek. A geek's need of a smartphone is to help him in all possible ways when he is on the road. Anything less is not going excite him. A real smartphone is the for the geek and his needs. And most of the time a user who uses his smartphone on the road will be in his geek self. At the end of the day its the availability, features, reliability and price that matter the most than the eye candy aspect of it for a geek. And thats why i believe Android is a better smartphone than Apple iPhone. Android has its shortcomings now, but i will come to that a bit later.

Tablets are for relaxed mobility. Its not in your pocket but in your bag. Its for your living room couch, hotel bed, airport lounge, on air/train use cases. In this use case you are far from your geek self. You will be reading books, watching movies, playing games, catching up with yours friends on Facebook, browse some web etc. iPad is the device for this use case. No you are not going to walk on road with a tablet.

Apple already has your media requirements basics in place by iTunes, Airplay, Home Sharing, Apple TV, an ecosystem of Apple compatible music docks and other services and it will only grow. Soon it will all talk through the cloud too. Not to forget its book store and reader app. Google is also trying to get there but has nothing in place yet and i think they have a long way to get there.

Also Android has a lot of problems which I can forgive when i'm in my geek self. I understand road maps, features, bugs, priorities and frustrating QA cycles when i'm in my geek self. But not when i'm in my relaxed self. Apple products also have shortcomings but at any given point of time their product versions look complete and polished. Also they have a lot of basic stuff working well.

I rest my case!

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