On our sister site, TeleRead, Chris Meadows has long lamented the lack of an iPod Touch alternative on Android. He’d speculated earlier this year that a cheap Android phone might be the way to go, and recently he took the plunge and bought one. He also got rid of his iPad and is now a straight Android user.
I’m sure you Android fans are saying, “Well, duh!” at the moment, but I thought Chris brought up some good points in his series of articles. The iPod Touch has been marketed to a particular audience (people who want apps but not the cost of a smart phone). It’s not immediately obvious to the non-tech user that an inexpensive Android phone could serve much the same purpose. And if you do like Chris did and go with a pay-as-you go plan, it can be done cheaply.
I do think we’ve gotten to the point where Android vs iOS is largely a matter of personal preference. I haven’t found a 10″ Android device that I like as much as my iPad 4. However, in the smaller device arena, I love my Nexus 7 (2012 version). A couple of weeks ago, I played with a new iPad Mini, and while it’s a nice device, I found it to be too wide to be a good ereader for me. The 7″ form factor is ideal, and as long as 7″ devices exist, I’ll buy them.
Chris also makes some good points about Android’s advantages. I also appreciate the universality of the Share function. iOS 7 seems to be better about it than previous versions, but I always know where to look on my Android apps.
Mobile devices have come a long way from the first smartphones and portable music players. Apple did a good job defining much of the industry, but if they want to keep their superior position (assuming they still have it), they’re going to have to do something. I’m still an Apple user, for now. But if something better comes along, I’ll make like Chris and switch too.