While Apple's mobile operating system has plenty of strengths, an Android tablet such as the Tab could have an advantage in numerous areas.
Apps Apple's App Store may have more items, but Android lets you install what you like. With no pre-approval, there's no censorship of content. ■ Tethering Android opens up the potential to hook up your laptop to a 3G tablet and use its interne connection without having to pay extra.
Flash Love it or hate it, Flash is a big part of the web. iPad can't display it.
Direct access Android devices can act like hard drives: you can drag and drop files from your PC, and browse your device like a computer. Apple insists you use iTunes to transfer files.
Battery replacement Most Android device makers use removable batteries When the battery fails (they don't last as long as the device is designed to) you can order a new one and install it yourself. Apple requires an engineer.
contacts, messaging, music and video apps. Email, for example, has an iPad-esque dual-pane view in landscape mode that shows the open message and your inboxes.
The Android Desktop has been tweaked too. A sliding tray of icons (browser, apps, email and the like) sits at the bottom, while widgets occupy the middle. An enhanced status bar resides near the top; above it is the Android-standard notifications bar. The ability to pinch to view your multiple home screens - a feature not offered on the Galaxy phones - is available here.
Three e-reader apps (PressDisplay for news, Kobo for e-books and Zinio for magazines) are preinstalled. Of course, you can also download and use any Android e-reader app; the only question is whether it's been designed to work with tablets.
Samsung says all the apps in the Android Market will run on the Tab, although just a small number are optimised for this size of screen. The iPad, similarly, can run almost any app designed for the iPhone (or iPod touch), and a large number have already been optimised for the tablet, or designed for it from scratch, including magazines from many well-known publishers. Standard Android apps appear on the Tab at 800x400 size in the centre of the screen and look better than iPhone apps do on the iPad.
For work, the Tab has Microsoft's Document Viewer and Editor preinstalled, allowing you to work on Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents. There's no equivalent for the iPad, although you can view many file formats, and business apps available include Apple's ¡Work suite.
Getting to know Android
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