[sc:mobile-category ]In my spare time I write some code for various reasons. My next two projects I’m looking at both require some cross-platform support so it’s time to dive in to the big three tablet OS’s and take them for a spin.
First off is Windows 8.1, I’ve been using it for quite a while now and my current hardware is a Dell Venue Pro 8. It’s fast and runs everything I need without a complaint. I’ve written enough about Windows tablets I think so I’ll just say it works and works well.
For my Android tablet I figured I might as well go to the source and ordered a Nexus 7 from the Google Play store. It arrived exactly when Google said it would and overall the device is a nice little unit.
Android on the other hand is a mess, inconsistent design, many hold overs from the desktop metaphor and it’s almost as if touch was an after thought. I have to admit I actively avoid using the Nexus for any reason it’s that bad.
I’m still trying to get it to recognize my Exchange server, which I suspect is broken because my Google account and Exchange domain are the same so it looks like I’ve added the same e-mail address twice, even though I haven’t.
Android is a perfect example of a time where it doesn’t take the best technology to win, just to be in the right place at the right time.
Finally iOS, I have been dreading this for a long time. I haven’t owned an Apple product since the original Apple II. I have used them since then, I think the last time I did any serious work on an Apple product was probably the mid 90’s.
I decided on the Retina iPad Mini, completing my trifecta of 8″ or below devices. No one can argue with the build quality of the device. It feels solid and professional. I was a little surprised at how little difference there really was between the iPad Mini and the Venue Pro from a size and weight aspect.
However where the Venue is serviceable, the iPad feels much better made. Though I really do like the textured back of the Venue over the iPad.
But the big thing with the iPad is the software. Even with the recent visual update with iOS 7, it feels very much out of date in comparison to Windows 8. Many of the touch areas are (almost too) small and while not as bad as Android, there’s a lot of hold over from the desktop metaphor as well.
On a daily basis there no question for me the Venue Pro wins hands down. The iPad would probably be ok to work with but in does feel very limiting once you’ve gotten use to having the full Windows desktop available.
And Android? Only to be used in a last resort. A terrible experience from start to finish. I dread having to develop for it, I can only image what the tools are like.