iPad mini vs. Nexus 7: The debate

By Christopher Breen and Melissa J. Perenson, Macworld |  Consumerization of IT, Google Nexus 7, ipad mini

MP: I echo that. Micro-USB is heaven-sent. Having Micro-USB means that you don't have to give up universality -- just grab a cable and go. I'm surprised that the iPad mini has no native HDMI-out; even the inexpensive Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has that (though you can add HDMI-output capability to an iPad mini with Apple's $49 adapter).

The software environment

CB: Here's where the iPad totally rules the roost. Google is trying with Google Play, but a lot of Android apps Ive looked at are pretty subpar. Ive yet to find an Android Twitter client that gets anywhere near Tweetbot. The built-in ebook reader is okay, but you cant sideload ePub files from your Mac and read them on the Nexus; you have to download those files from within the app. I found the ePub-compatible ebook readers for Android that Ive tried (Moon Reader and Aldiko) to be clumsy.

Apples head start in the app arena continues to show. Additionally, some of Apples apps -- GarageBand and iPhoto in particular -- are remarkable. (The iWork apps are pretty good, too.) Google has done really well with information-specific apps that use Google's services, but in terms of creation versus consumption, the iPad wins.

The Nexus's interface seems goofy to me. For example, I'm working on what I believe should be my home screen. I shut down the device and restart it. Now I'm on a different home screen, one that's cluttered with huge images. When I swipe to the left, Google is pushing recommendations at me. Leave me alone. Let me see a predictable home screen.

And moving files around seems clumsier than with iOS. Apple was on to something when it hid the file system from users. File management is clumsy enough with a mouse, but nested folders on a touch device seems like a step backward. Mostly it doesn't seem to be through-composed -- that there's no single thought about how users will interact with the thing but rather gimmicks piled on top of a hierarchical file structure. Again, it may be because I'm used to the iTunes/iOS device ecosystem, but the Nexus and Android don't seem to be as thoroughly cemented.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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