When the ipad 2 released I decided to put myself on the waiting list for one (well, ok the other half did, but it counts!) having never owned a tablet before. I do own an ipod touch (3rd Gen) and I’ve used it every single day for about two years now (I got it for a fantastic price on EBay) and we do own an iphone 3GS in the house (I think that’s the name of it, I may be remembering wrong). The point is I’ve got a pretty established Apple account with apps that I’ve purchased (as well as free ones) itunes, etc.
But I’m always interested in the Android market, especially since a lot of my friends on twitter are split between iOS users and Android users. A trip to Best Buy told me they were out of the ipad 2 (surprise) but they had three more Xoom tablets in stock. The other half and I talked back and forth about the benefits to one or the other and in the end we decided that we would REALLY like to use flash on our tablet, so we bought the 32g Xoom.
That same day, we returned it and sheepishly put ourselves back on the mailing list for an ipad. There were a few reasons for this and I wanted to talk about them just in case others are also trying to make these decisions. Number one, yes, flash worked – but on the Xoom tablet it was INCREDIBLY slow. Because it was so slow swiping the screen at all while using flash was next to impossible, you ended up on the next page or were zoomed in too much or too little. The camera was beautiful and the design was sleek, but it’s also very heavy. The android store is not for the faint of heart. In the Apple store at least I know exactly what I’m getting. Browsing is easy, and I can wander through the different apps and at least know what I’m looking at. The android market on the other hand is really not for beginners like myself. I’m sure with persistence I could have found what I wanted in the form of an app but it was incredibly difficult for me and I just got annoyed.
Netflix is a no-go on the Xoom (or any android) at this point in time. We tried a work around or two and none of them worked. This is due to the lack of protection on the android marketplace, Netflix afraid of people stealing material. There’s talk of an app in the future but it could be some time off (later this year) and one of my main reasons for wanting a tablet at all was to watch Netflix. Being in Canada I don’t have a lot of other movie / tv show streaming options so to me personally it was a big deal.
Not only was Netflix a no-go but I couldn’t find apps for a lot of things I had wanted to use. Things I already had apps for from Apple. I realize this is hardly the Xoom’s fault, for example ShutterCal only has an iOS version. It was just one more reason that I wanted to go back to the safety of what I already knew. My frustrations mounted as I tried to get comfortable with the device and after fiddling around with it for a few hours it just wasn’t clicking for me. Back into the box and back to the store.
The ipad gets here May 10th, and yes, I’m excited. Even more so now that I’ve played with my Fathers (he waited in line at the Apple store on release day for 15 hours to get his). My Mom gets hers tomorrow. In some ways, it almost feels like a comparison of WoW vs. Other Games to me. You hate to use it, but you always go back because it’s just so simple and easy.
Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.