iPads or Android Tablets – what’s your flavour?
There’s an old adage to never discuss religion or politics. They should probably add “operating systems” to the list. When a school is set on the idea of buying tablets, often the next question that’s asked is which type of tablet should they get. Usually, the choice I’m given when recommending is: Android or iPad.
Despite the fact that I’m not that keen on the idea of tablets as really good learning devices, I always have to mention that there two other options for those wanting to buy tablets. First there is Microsoft Surface, a Windows-based tablet. Lately, Google are coming in with their own ChromeOS tablet.
However, I can see why I’m asked this question because iPads and Android tablets are very similar in price and generally do the same thing as each other, (certainly if they are an equivalent price.) Decent Surfaces are just too expensive for primary schools and Chrome tablets are too new to the market to have made any mark as yet, (though they do look interesting.)
For me, if I had to make a choice between Android and iPad, I think iPad would edge it. This is mostly to do with its simpler interface, its movie-making abilities and the fact it is the market leader internationally for educational apps. However, Android does do well in a Google environment so it is worth considering if you are a G Suite enabled school. Whatever tablet one chooses, one has to factor in lots of other items. You’re going to need some sort of protection when (not if) they are dropped on the ground; you may need something to link your tablet up to a projector (Apple TV or Chromecast); you may need to buy a device to get them syncing. Finally, you might need storage. All of this comes at a significant cost too.