So I got my cheapo Android tablet from Deal Extreme. It’s no Archos 70, but it certainly is worth the under $200 you can get it for. Seriously, I’m sure that if you know about these things it has some deal-breaking shortcomings, but it has a capacitative (Iphone-style) touchscreen, not a shitty resistive one, a fast-ish processor, and is super cute. Come on!
So no quibbles with the device. How does Android (2.2 in this case) stack up to using the Ipod Touch (last release, haven’t updated it to 4.2.3 or whatever it is now)?
– The Android is Flash-capable. THANK YOU. Ipod Touch is not. Advantage: Android. Majorly.
– No autocorrect. On the one hand, no one is turning “samurais” into “zealots” for me. On the other, I have to remember about capitals and apostrophes. On the mutant third hand, I bought a case with a keyboard in it, so I can actually type pretty much as normal on it instead of the two-thumbs Iphone method. Which I’m pretty good at, don’t get me wrong, but nowhere near as smoking as I am at touch-typing. Advantage: neither.
– Screenshots. On an Iphone/Ipod Touch you take a screenshot by pressing the power and home buttons simultaneously. On the Android you take a screenshot by…rooting your device then installing third-party software. I’m not taking the risk of rooting a device I just got, even if it is a cheap one from Shanghai. Advantage: Iphone.
– Video. You can use Youtube properly on the Android. You watch multiple formats. You can download directly onto the device (though I haven’t done it yet). Advantage: Android.
– Getting files from a computer onto device: You don’t “sync” the Android, you plug it into a computer and it acts as a volume. Advantage: Android, especially if you are sharing a computer and can’t log your partner out but you’re going to the dentist and want to watch some Dr. Who in the waiting room. *ahem*
– Getting files off the device onto a computer: You can use the Android as a USB key or eject your micro SD card and stick that into your micro SD reader (that sounds dirty. Why does that sound dirty?) and transfer files that way. Ipod/Iphone you’re stuck with email or FTP, and even then you can’t transfer media files that way. Advantage: Android.
– Apps: Meh. Lots of the same ones. Some (like Skype) bafflingly unavailable either for this device or for Android 2.2. But then you can’t use Skype on an Iphone either, and Skype just broke up with Fring, so Advantage: Neither.
– Webcam: This one has one. Iphones have always had them, as do the latest Ipod Touches (Ipods Touch?). But I have a 2nd gen Ipod Touch. Advantage: Android.
– Web browsing: So far I have used this little device for a) email, Twitter and Facebook, b) web browsing, c) watching videos and d) blogging. In about that order. The web browser is about par with the Iphone one, and there are multiple other available browsers. I like browsing on the Android better, but that might be the bigger screen talking. Also, when you open multiple windows on the Android, if you switch away then back your original window doesn’t reload. It usually does on the Iphone. Advantage: Android, though it would be probably par if I were comparing two 7″ devices.
So overall I think I like Android better. When the Ipod dies I probably won’t buy another one – I might just use the Droid on its own or get an Android smartphone and use it for music/audiobooks. If you live in the US and can afford an Archos 70, go for that because it has way more memory and is probably higher quality and will last longer, but if you don’t/are poorish or cheap, you could do a lot worse than the $184 Dropad.