Tablet Tips

How to Decide What Tablet Operating System to Use

Check out these strengths and weaknesses of each tablet operating system so you can choose the right OS for your next tablet purchase.

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So you are in the market for a new tablet, but after a quick look at your local technology store and you are already overwhelmed. There are hundreds of options out there running different operating systems. This can make it tough to make a decision when you are in the market for a new tablet.

There are three main players out there when it comes to the operating system. They are:

  • Apple iOS
  • Google Android
  • Microsoft Windows

All three of these operating systems have been designed to provide a unique and fun touch experience when you use them as a tablet. But despite their similarities, they are all different. So how do you make your decision?

Tablet OS Options

First, let’s take a few minutes to look at some of the main strengths and weaknesses of all the major players in the tablet operating system market. By knowing and understanding these, you should be able to make the right decision for your next tablet.

Apple iOS Tablets

The one that is responsible for it all, iOS was an innovation that was never before seen in the world. It truly changed the face of technology as we know it.

What You Get

The early leader in the field, iOS features all of Apple’s superior design philosophies all wrapped into one easy to use package. With just a few taps and virtually no knowledge you can still use these devices. There are tons of apps available for both work and play and the design of the tablets themselves are always impressive. If you want a tablet that just works, this is definitely the choice for you.

What It Lacks

As good as iOS is, it is also very limiting. There is almost no room for customization on this tablet and their walled garden prevents any apps that don’t meet their “approval” from ever reaching the tablet. This can leave many users out in the cold if there is a certain type of app that they want. iPads are also more expensive than many of their rivals, so you have to be prepared to spend a little more for this type of experience.

Android Tablets

The biggest player in the tablet market, Google’s Android operating system is powerful and found all over the world today and the majority of the best tablets on the market run Android aside from Apple tablets.

What You Get

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world and it is installed on billions of devices. Designed by Google, you get tight integration with the search engine giant featuring all of their apps and software. The app store is giant, giving you great choices in apps for both work and play. Android is open source as well, meaning you are free to customize your experience however you want as there are very few limitations.

What It Lacks

With freedom comes responsibility, and Android makes you have a lot of that. It is easy to mess up your Android tablet while fiddling with it and if you don’t know what you are doing you could end up in a world of trouble. Viruses and other malware are also more common on this platform and compared to Apple’s iOS it is a little more complicated to use. You will also find many different version of Android out in the wild as well, meaning you could run into apps that don’t work with your particular device.

Windows Tablets

While Microsoft was late to the tablet game, they have managed to come with up some pretty ingenious solutions to tablet life.

What You Get

Hands down one of the best parts of using a Windows Tablet is its seamless integration with Windows desktops and laptops. With one Microsoft account, all your apps and even data if you use OneDrive can easily be viewed and edited on your tablet and your computer. Their designs have come a long way as well, given you unique tablets that really shine if you want to use a tablet for work.

What It Lacks

While usability is on par with Windows operating systems and the transition between the two is pretty much seamless, one area that is lacking is apps. The Microsoft Store has still been unable to catch up to Android and iOS in terms of apps available on the platform. Viruses are also more of a concern than on other platforms so be careful what sites you visit on your Windows tablet.

So How Do You Choose?

So how do you make your choice? First, look at how you plan on using it and what you want to do. Take a closer look at your experience with operating systems. Do you prefer to tinker with your system or do you want it to just work so you don’t have to worry about it? Do you need full Windows compatibility across all your devices or can you stick with the apps available on each platform to get what you need done. Do you want to work or play or maybe both? All of these questions can lead you to the right choice in your tablet experience.

Final Thoughts

All three major players in the tablet operating system market bring both their strengths and weaknesses to the table. They are all fun to use, in my opinion, but they really cater to different types of users. If you want something that just works, go with iOS. If you prefer something that you can tinker with and customize, Android is probably your best choice. If you want seamless Microsoft integration, a Windows tablet is the way to go. Ask yourself what you need most before you make your decision.

When you do that, you should be able to narrow down your choices to at least one platform. From there you can decide which model of tablet you believe you should get based on your needs and, of course, your budget.

What do you think? Do you have a preference on what tablet operating system you use? Let me know in the comments below.