iPad mini Long Time Android User's Foray into iOS with the iPad Mini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Stuntman06, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #1
    I've been an Android user for almost 4 years now. My first Android phone was an HTC Desire Z. I then got an ASUS Eee Pad Tranformer and now am using a Samsung Galaxy S3. In the past few months, I started actually using some iOS devices. My work phone go upgraded from a BlackBerry to an iPhone 5S and recently, I decided to start using my wife's iPad Mini (which she doesn't use because she prefers using her iPhone).

    I've already did a post on my experience with the iPhone 5S. This post will focus more on the iPad Mini. When doing comparisons with Android, I will primarily compare it with the Samsung Galaxy S3. My usage on these two devices are most similar to each other. (My iPhone 5S is primarily for work and my usage is different on that.) Also, these two devices were released within months of each other. Even though they have different form factors, I think that they are the best devices I have at my disposal for a good comparison of iOS and Android. Occasionally, I will make comparisons between other devices.

    First of all, I really like the size of the iPad Mini. I have the Transformer tablet and got it mainly for its keyboard dock. When not using the dock, I found it to be rather big and heavy to comfortably use. As long as it was docked, it was fine resting on a table or on my lap. When I didn't want to use the dock or can't (because the stupid app does not support landscape), it felt rather heavy after a while. The iPad Mini was nice and light and I never felt my hands got tired holding it. It had a larger display than my phone and was easier on eye to read and view when mobility was not required. Even without a keyboard dock, typing on the iPad Mini was rather pleasant. I use the split keyboard. Even though I don't like the iOS keyboard on the iPhone, the keyboard was pretty good on the iPad both in landscape and portrait.

    The one thing that I found the iPad Mini blows away my Galaxy S3 is in web browsing. When viewing complex web pages, the iPad Mini was more responsive when I wanted to zoom or scroll down. On the Galaxy S3, more complex web pages had a longer load time. Before it finished loading, I could not scroll down. Watching videos on web pages on the iPad Mini was a much better experience than on the Galaxy S3. On the iPad Mini, it was easy to just pinch zoom to view the video in full screen mode. On the GS3, I had to hit the little full screen button on the corner of the video. There is one thing that I found a little annoying when web browsing that happens not very often, but more so on iOS.

    There are other places where the iPad is noticeably smoother and more respoinsive than the GS3. When downloading and installing an app from the App Store, it is rather smooth when I start to browse other apps within the App Store. On the GS3, downloading and installing an app makes navigating Google Play slow and stuttery. For all of the multitasking capabilities that Android touts, this is one case where the overall experience does not match that of iOS. My understanding of the design of iOS is that it seems to place a high emphasis on the UI experience. The web browsing and situation where an app is installing in the background highlights this.

    Other than web browsing and while an app is installing in the background, I found both the iPad and GS3 to be just as smooth. Both are not smooth all the time. I have experienced the odd jerkiness in on both the iPad and the GS3 from time to time. Overall, both are about as smooth when scrolling most of the time.

    Both iOS and Android have most of the apps I use. There are a few where the selection of apps don't overlap. I've found that some apps on Android (not counting widget only apps) are not available on the Apple App Store and some I use on iOS not on Google Play. Of the apps I use on both platforms, both perform more or less just as well. Some apps look better than others and that is the case on both platforms. Consistency between apps isn't always there either. It is more so on Android because I find that there are still some Android apps that feel like a lazy port from its iOS version. I couldn't figure out why the Android app behaved in such an unusual manner until I started using iOS more. Then I realised it was behaving like the iOS app instead of an Android app.

    I have noticed that some apps have features on one platform, but not the other. I found this to be rather frustrating. There doesn't seem to be any reason for many of these features to appear on one platform and not on the other. For instance, GasBuddy has a favourites list on Android, but not on iOS. Yahoo! Weather has a time lapse of the radar map on iOS, but only a still image on Android. I just cannot see why these and other features are not available on both platforms.

    The one thing that I still haven't gotten used to is how iOS apps go back to the previous screen. On Android, there is the back button. The lack of a back button I find is really annoying. iOS apps do have a button to go back to the previous screen only, it isn't called the back button. It's called something different every time and it's in a different location depending on the app. Most of the time it is on the upper left which is pretty much the most difficult part of the screen to reach with my right thumb. Some iOS apps have a swipe in from the left edge to go back. I find this gesture to be difficult to use as I sometimes don't swipe horizontally enough. If my swipe is at too much of an angle, the screen scrolls up or down instead of going back to the previous screen. Of all the Android features I don't have on iOS, this is actually the one feature I miss the most.

    The battery life on the iPad Mini is excellent. It takes me a few heavy days of use before I need to charge it. My Transformer tablet had a good battery life as well, but the difference between the iPad and Transformer is that the iPad battery doesn't drain much when not used. My Transformer drains a lot faster when not used and I have to recharge it after a few days of not using it. The iPad Mini has lasted weeks while not used. My wife last used her iPad Mini on a cruise we were on. When we came back she never used it. Even weeks after she last used it, I still heard the chimes when it gets an email.

    Both the iPad Mini and GS3 are just as stable. I have had the odd crash/hang on both devices. These are very rare occurrences. I think it only happened once or twice in the past few months from what I can remember.

    Overally, I am very happy with my iPad Mini. I use it exclusively at home. While I'm out, I use my GS3 as the iPad Mini is still too bulky to carry around and my GS3 still functionally does pretty much everything my iPad Mini can and more. I do use the iPad Mini more than the GS3 at home because of the larger screen and strong battery life. I also have some games on it that isn't available on Android. As my iPad Mini is WiFi only, I still use my GS3 for much of my messaging use. There are some things I'd rather do on my GS3 or PC instead of the iPad Mini due to the lack of functionality in certain iOS apps or the app is not available on iOS.

    I do find that the combo of the iPad Mini and a GS3 to work quite well for me. After using both devices, I do appreciate the strenghts of each platform. iOS had the edge in the web browsing user experience. Android has the edge in overall functionality.
     
  2. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    #2
    Nice writeup. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts after iOS 8 is released, especially with regard to using the iPad mini alongside your GS3. iOS 8 has a ton of cool new features that require an all-Apple setup.
     
  3. smooth macrumors 6502

    smooth

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    Nice post! I have never used Android for myself. However, for work I have to help customers set up an app on both iOS and Android. I will say that about half of the Android users don't know what the Google Play store is and/or don't know how to get their. They usually hand me their phone or tablet and I have the hardest time navigating around on them. Even after doing this for a couple years now, I just don't like it - though part of that is because I don't have Android devices of my own.

    Just today I had to help a couple. They each had a new tablet, pretty sure it was an off-brand, but it did have Android and holy crap were slow. My friend's iPad 1 moves a heckuva a lot faster than these things. I asked them how old they were and they said just a few months old. What pieces of junk.

    On the other hand, I rarely have to help customer with iOS devices. I tell them to go to their App store and search for the app and most of them can do it themselves with ease.

    I have been tempted to try out a Note for my next phone, solely based on size and battery life, but then I have to use an Android device at a customer's house and I am reminded why I like iOS.
     
  4. AlphaHel1X macrumors newbie

    AlphaHel1X

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    #4
    The gs3 is a good phone. But it is a bit dated IMO. I have a rooted note 3, and while it is great at most things, I love the IPS screen on my air.

    Sorry if I have missed it, but have you rooted your gs3 and slapped on a custom ROM/kernel? My note 3 is 10x faster than stock samsung touchwiz; and is necessary IMO.

    Keep us updated when ios8 comes out. Both OS's are great, and keep getting better with each update
     
  5. Tsepz macrumors 68000

    Tsepz

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #5
    +1 Your findings and usage are pretty much the same as mine. Thanks for such a well detailed write-up, it should help a lot of people. :)

    I use a combo of a Galaxy S4 and iPad 4 LTE, but I agree with the majority of what you said, and I am also very happy with the Android phone + iOS tablet combo, it gives a nice balance :)

    Battery life on these iPads is incredible, I had a Samsung Galaxy Tab10.1 before my iPad 4, my Tab10.1 pretty much exhibited the same power usage as your Transformer, while my iPad lasts forever if not used. The only time I don't use my iPad is weekends when I'm out and about, I'll leave it at home on a Friday night at about 50%, stay at a friends place until Sunday night or Monday morning, and by the time I get back it's at like 48%, and that's with apps like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, WSJ, Bloomberg etc... Pushing notifications to it, amazing.
     
  6. AlphaHel1X macrumors newbie

    AlphaHel1X

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    #6
    Greenify is a requirement if you use an android.

    Were you rooted tsepz?
     
  7. Tsepz macrumors 68000

    Tsepz

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #7
    Nope, I prefer not to be Rooted, even my GS4 is not rooted currently, I do root now and then, I did it to my GS4 so as to try out Wanam's Xpose Framework and all the mods, but reverted back to stock when things got a little errrmm...hairy? Lol.

    I use Greenify in my GS4, it is indeed a must have, never installed it on the Galaxy Tab10.1, but maybe I'll give it a go one of these days, the tab is old now though, it's the 1st of the 10.1s from 2011, it's running that crappy NVidia dual-core CPU that many phones and tablets had in 2011, which is part of its problem, as that chip was rubbish.
     
  8. Stuntman06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #8
    I've been following the iOS 8 news and have perused the iOS 8 forums. I do like a number of the new features. The one I am most interested in for my iPhone 5S work phone is the ability to use alternate keyboards. I currently use SwiftKey on my GS3. I don't like the iOS keyboard on the iP5, although I am OK with it on the iPad Mini.

    I'd be interested in widgets. I use several on my GS3. The iOS 8 widgets seem to have a more specific purpose for displaying information. Android widgets seem to be more flexible as I do have widget that don't display info, but control phone settings.

    Well, my wife and mother-in-law have iPhones and they don't seem to be familiar with the App Store. I don't think they ever installed any app on their own. They have a hard time remembering their Apple password. I always have to install apps for them.

    I've had the GS3 for 2 years now. It's still working well for me. I've been tempted twice (Nexus 5 and OnePlus One) to upgrade, but held back because the GS3 was just still working so well for me. I couldn't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a new phone when my existing one is still working very well. I have just recently bought an extended battery for it and I do plan to keeping it for another year.

    I've only ever rooted my GS3 once and that is to get it to switch keyboards automatically when it changes orientation. At the time, I used Kii in landscape and Swype in portrait. The only way I could get this feature at the time was to root. Then later, there was a way to do it without root, so I unrooted it (to get the official OS updates). I no longer use that feature anymore.

    I don't mind TouchWiz. I like some of the TW features. The voice actions I use every day. I use my phone as an alarm clock. When it goes off, I can just say, "stop" to stop the alarm or "snooze" to snooze for half an hour.

    I do replace the TW launcher with Nova Prime. I just can't stand that dock on the bottom and how TW doesn't make good use of screen real estate. I have it configured so that each home screen can have 6 rows of objects with no dock.
     
  9. vmaniqui macrumors 6502a

    vmaniqui

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #9
    nice write up. to me this is how it boils down to - apple is an US company, samsung is an asian company. ask yourself - which one will you use/buy?
     
  10. Stuntman06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #10
    I generally don't consider the nationality of the company for products that I buy. Large companies tend to be multi-national and partners with companies from all over the world. The end product may have parts and materials from many different countries. The building and assembly may have been done in other countries as well.

    What matters to me is how the product works for me and fulfills my needs.
     
  11. patorioto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #11

    This is such an idiotic statement. Apple and Samsung are enormous multinational corporations with offices and employees all over the world.

    In 2014 are we still resorting to this kind of ancient post-WWII mentality?
     
  12. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    If you are using non - branded or low end android devices then they are bound to be slow and laggy.

    To be honest besides preference there isn't really any difference in terms of performance between an iPhone and a flagship android device.
     

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