iPad Android user considering iPad...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Saturn1217, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I hope that I can get some advice from people who have actually used the full sized iPad.

    I am an Android user, a happy android user. I have a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7 and I really like both devices. In general for me personally iOS has always seemed very limiting (not trying to bash anyone else's choice).


    I am a grad student and I have to read scientific articles as pdfs all the time and I was thinking that it would be really nice if this were an activity I could do on my tablet except the nexus 7 is not ideal for this (too small, aspect ratio all wrong) and I use Papers by mekentosj to organize my articles on my mac and they have an iPad app but I don't think there is any chance they will ever develop for android. Nor do I know of a pdf organizing app that will work as well for android.

    I also wouldn't mind having access to better games that didn't try to sell you on the freemium model. Is this any better on iOS? It is awful on Android.

    Main question: is an iPad as good as it sounds at reading pdf articles, particularly research articles that come usually in two columns with lots of figures in between (so reflowing text is not an option).

    & for anyone who actively uses Android and likes it, does iOS get frustrating to the point that I would regret buying the iPad. I don't really care about widgets but I am concerned about the lack of access to the file system.

    I hope to make it clear I'm not trying to criticize any OS. I just wanted a little input to help me make a decision on what will work for me. Thanks!
  2. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    The file system access may be a big problem. Have you thought about a nexus 10.
  3. BrewCityGirl macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2005
    I also recommend the Nexus 10. My boyfriend is an Engineering major and owns the Nexus 10. It suits his needs for all of that stuff.
  4. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    I'd also add the the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 but I own various android and iOS tablets and the iPad is all it's cracked up to be. It's a refined OS that works well and the hardware is solid.

    If you want to stay in the Android family I'd look at the Note 10.1 or as the previous poster suggested the Nexus 10.
  5. Infinite Jest macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2011
    Harrisonburg, Va
    So, I'm an undergrad (in my fifth year after 3 major switches, it's a long story ;) ) but work with a professor and a few grad students in her lab, so naturally that in conjunction with my curriculum (biotechnology) translates to consuming a lot of academic literature. I currently own an iPad 3 and am somewhat satisfied with it for this purpose. I'll give you a little background on my tablet ownership history:

    The first tablet I owned was an HP TouchPad I had purchased back in August of 2011 during the firesale. I didn't get much use out of it until a somewhat stable ICS ROM (alpha 2) was released for it early last year and more-or-less used the hell out of it until November of last year when I got the itch for an upgrade. I owned a used transformer prime for a while, but the hardware issues were just too much of a neusance to justify keeping over the TP. I was going to stick it out using the TP to read both papers and textbooks, but I stumbled upon a very good deal on an iPad on CL when I was creating an ad for something unrelated. After using it for a few months, here is my read:

    -Having the high res screen is great for reading, but not that much more functional than the 768x1024 panel in my TP (which btw I sold after I used my lunch money to snatch up the iPad; gotta eat! :p )
    -iOS file management is abysmal because it basically doesn't exist. Juggling PDFs is a nightmare as compared to android or windows. Possibly the biggest drawback to me. Unless Apple addresses this in the future, I won't be buying another tablet running iOS.
    -Because there is no file management, it becomes very hard to manage files downloaded using the iPad's browser
    -Email app is barebones and managing attachments is horrible
    -The aspect ratio is definitely much better than 16:9 for most reading related activities

    As per the gaming, I mostly stick to the real thing (i.e. not on a tablet) but always enjoyed firing up the occasional game and of course emulators on android. A big drawback game-wise for me is the lack of an n64 emulator, but I can't really fault the tablet for that. Gaming is definitely better optimized in general, but freemium is alive and kicking on iOS, even in paid games and apps, so you wouldn't be leaving that behind.

    Take all of that for what you will (including any typos; I'm not going back through it!), just my 2 pennies.
  6. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Stay with the Android. You will eventually hate how closed in Apple is. With the recent jailbreak though, things are more open, but it is a constant fight with Apple locking everything down every update.
  7. Roger Strummer, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013

    Roger Strummer macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009
    Hi, as a fellow papers user, the iPad is just awesome for reading papers (single and two column ones) in pdf format. The iPad papers app is very good, the 4:3 aspect ratio is excellent for reading (much better than 16:9 IMO), so for that intended use I've found the iPad to exceed my expectatives.

    Additionally, given that you already use papers, the lack of filesystem access is a non factor, and with dropbox even less so (personally I find it to be a non issue at all, even though I'm a "power" user :p ).

    PS: I already used it during my Master's, and I plan to use it in my PhD whenever I commence it :p, just giving context to my answer.
  8. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I'm long graduated so I don't worry about academic aspects of reading. I do read a lot of PDFs on my iPad 3 and am very satisfied. It is great to zoom in and see details in figures and diagrams. I find that the iPad 3 is a tad slow at redrawing the screen after a page turn or stretch when viewing very dense PDFs. I tried this on an iPad 4 and found it to be much faster. I think you'll find this very satisfying. I will add that I just read, I don't have to annotate very much.

    If you live near an Apple store you can go try one out. The demo ipadsmare online so you can download some PDFs and see how they look.

    Apple doesn't do much in the way of file organization but you won't use their apps anyway. Third party apps deal with this.

    I've never used an Androis device so I can't offer any contrast. I've only tried one game, Cro-Mag , because my kids liked it. I thought the graphics was amazing.
  9. hamlin macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I have the nexus 7 and read PDF's perfectly fine.

    Maybe you need glasses?
  10. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I use Dropbox and multiple apps to access the data within it. (In other words, not just the Dropbox app but aso other file-storage apps that log into Dropbox too.) Some of these apps offer local storage so I can move stuff to local memory from the cloud should I need to. I can even save stuff from the web to my local storage or to Dropbox from within one app that has a built-in web browser.

    All the complaining over the "lack of a file system" is overblown. There are options.
  11. Saturn1217 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for all the replies!

    I am still undecided but I kind of want to wait for the iPad 5 anyway so that is ok.

    As for buying a larger Android tablet. I have considered this but to be honest I think I would still need some kind of program to sync and organize pdfs (doesn't necessarily have to be Papers). I have a library of hundreds of pdfs and keeping them organized and being able to annotate them is part of the goal. Nothing on android appears to be able to do this seamlessly (as far as I know). I also kind of hate that all the larger Android tablets are designed to be used mainly in landscape. I like things in portrait most of the time.

    Will keep thinking on this. The other possibility is that I just continue reading on my MBA which isn't that bad.
  12. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    An app called GoodReader can solve all your problems. You basically can use it as a "file system". There is also a Windows and Mac app that enables drag and drop file transfer to and from the app via USB. Or you can use WiFi. You can annotate and organize PDF files all the way you want. It also supports Dropbox, E-mail attachments, iCloud and download from the web.

  13. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    I have used GoodReader for a year. Its a proprietary alternative. But it doesn't solve all you're problems. Just those of an iOS user. Apple only approves proprietary apps.


    What I enjoy about reading PDF's on my Nexus 7 is the speed & lack of having to employ other apps as workarounds.
  14. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    As a Nexus 7, Xoom, iPad 3 owner I use the iPad 3 the least out of the three. Why?

    - You can customize android the way you want, forget customizing the keyboard in Apple apparently everyone has the same hands..you're either getting a split keyboard (too small) or a large keyboard (too big). On android I can customize every aspect of the keyboard with 3rd party software.
    - No file system. Totally inexcusable in my opinion but hey what would be the selling point of the Mac if they did this right? No file system means you'll be depending on cloud services to get your items off to other devices and files will ONLY show up under the application it was created in, you can't cross it aboard multiple apps.
    - Apple is still the king of the app competition but Google Play has improved considerably since the introduction of the Nexus it seems that most apps are available on both platforms. I've personally haven't ran across a "must-have" app that wasn't available on both platforms. Apple does have better organization of apps in my opinion.
    - Apple has just as terrible ads-in-your-face apps as android does, especially in the games department.

    I bought the 3rd gen when it was fairly new and quite frankly I wish I would have never bought it. Overpriced and such a closed off toy.

    Surely you can find a PDF viewing app that views to your liking under android? Or is it the retina screen that you're talking about?

    I certainly can't recommend you paying at least $500 for a tablet to only read PDF files. I mean a basic Kindle can do this. Since the Nexus 7 isn't large enough I would recommend the Galaxy Note 10.1....if and only if you can find an app in android to your liking.
  15. Roger Strummer macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009
    Even though I agree with you for most people, from a pg student stand point I feel that paper reading in a tablet can justify easily its cost, not necessarily from an economic point of view (500 usd would give you a ton of printed papers), but more so in the convenience and usefulness, particularly given how good Papers (the app) is.

    At least for me the rest of a tablet functionalities are just added candy (although being awesome in transatlantic trips is just as awesome in those horrible situations).

    BTW to the OP, I haven't seen any statement from Mekentos about an Android port, but given that they finally released a Windows version I don't think it is unfeasible, but I wouldn't hold my breathe either (unless they have said something I'm not aware of).

    But if you are OK with using the MB air for that I wouldn't consider any tablet at all. If I had a retina MBP I would have thought harder about getting the iPad (taking traveling out of the equation), but for me personally text is so much easier on the eyes on hi res displays that I wouldn't use lesser (resolution wise) displays for extended reading.
  16. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    iBooks can import and read PDF's, however do not have the wealth of tools and file system GoodReader has.

    DropBox, SkyDrive, Drive (google) (who needs micro SD's?)

    iTunes U

    Try EverNote?

    Perhaps the iPad mini is better for you?

    Interestingly, Google offers most (all?) of its Android apps on iPad, so does Amazon, and Microsoft is releasing Office on iPad this year.
    Yes, Android has greatly improved, but is still training well behind iPad's.

    Watch Apples education initiative. school books on iPad.

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