Originally Posted by addabox
I posted this in a different (wrong) thread, but this is much more apropos:
It all comes down to what you can do with your device, and how well it does it. Open or closed, most users are going to care about the experience first and the politics second.
Android on phones has done well because most people use their phones as communication devices first. Mobile email, texting, voice, maps, browser and some web enabled services. Makes sense for a device that you keep on your person at all times, and plays to Google's strengths as a web first company.
Tablets are another matter. They bode to be the next big personal computing paradigm. As such, they will be expected to deliver engaging computing experiences, not just scaled up phone type web services. There's no huge advantage to checking your email or texting or getting showtimes on a tablet over a phone, yet Google seems to think that will do.
It's ironic, because the smug dismissal of the iPad early on was always about how it was "just a consumption device." Real computing would happen elsewhere, we were told, so if you were content to lay back and stare at stuff go ahead and enjoy your toy computer.
Flash forward to the arrival of Android tablets. All of a sudden applications don't matter. Widgets matter, OS cruft matters, being able to access web services matter.
Meanwhile, the iPad continues to add robust productivity apps, and the they make whats available for Honeycomb look pathetic. No doubt applications will be added in time, but of what quality? Where are the really serious, carefully engineered full on applications going to come from?
For instance: here is screen shot of the current Honeycomb specific drum machine available form the Android Store:
And here is one of a dozen high end drum apps for the iPad:
Yes, I know, drum machines aren't the be all and end all of computer use, but there are actually so few apps specifically available for Honeycomb at the moment it difficult to find head to head comparisons.
But more generally, the delta is so huge it's almost comical. Outside of replicating what their phone can do, Android tablets seem to offer a computing experience from the mid-90s. If Google can't get their act together pretty soon, all those iPads with all those apps are going to start making a real impression on the general public. A great many people will have seen or used an iPad running some kind of extremely polished, powerful application, and when they go to look at buying a tablet for themselves and see the primitive state of Honeycomb apps, they're not going to be impressed. And the last thing they're going to think is "Yeah, it might not do much, but by God it's open