In Part One of our two part series on tablets, we’ll explore the top tablets on the market in 2014 and what they have to offer both consumers and developers. Part Two will intensively explore the perks of cross-platform tablet application design and optimization.
The tablet market has experienced unprecedented growth with sales growing by over 50% in 2013. Although tablets have existed for over 20 years, the iPad revolutionized the industry when Steve Jobs suggested that a tablet was not simply a personal computer, but a game machine, music player and movie player as well. Rather than a laptop in a different shape, the iPad represented a portable media consumption device with a longer battery life and seemingly endless possibilities for applications. The top tablets for 2014 indicate the future of a business already in an upswing.
iPads are the gold standard when it comes to tablets. They represent the combination of mainstream consumer satisfaction with high-class IOS design and delivery. The top two iPads on the market are the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display. Retina display entails that the graphics on iPad Minis are so clear, one cannot decipher the pixels at a typical viewing distance. iPad Air has been widely praised as the best tablet on the market. It’s sleek and fast with a 1.4 GHz processor and Apple A7 chip, and while it is on the pricey side, you get what you pay for. IOS designed apps generally yield the most pleasant user experience, although, at Mystic Media, our experienced design team are highly capable of designing aesthetically impeccable cross-platform apps in IOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry.
The top Android tablets include the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Google Nexus. Android’s open-source programming code allows for a greater variety of devices, as well as a more crowded app store. Developers love the Android OS because their apps are more easily approved and reach a broader audience. Many hail Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 as the premier Android tablet on the market. With a 10.1 inch screen, 1.9 GHz processor speed, and 2560 x 1600 pixels, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is bigger, faster, and also more crisp than both iPads currently on the market. It’s also $100 cheaper than the iPad Air. Its main competitor within the Android tablet sphere is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has the fastest processor speed among mainstream tablets with 2.2 GHz. Its graphics are also on par with the Galaxy Note, and it offers 24/7 video tech support. What sets the Amazon Kindle Fire apart is its compatibility with Amazon, which led cnet.com to label it a must-have tablet for Amazon Prime members.
The Microsoft Windows 8.1 OS is the middle child of Operating Systems, ignored but gifted in its own right. Microsoft’s Surface 2 is generally regarded as THE Windows tablet. The Surface 2 sets itself apart by offering a full contractible keyboard, making it a practical device for getting work done. The Asus Transformer Book T100 also offers a contractible keyboard, along with a 10.1 inch screen and the longest battery life of a mainstream tablet with almost 11 hours. While Windows tablets have major processing power and practicality, they are much less popular, and thus have fewer applications, which also works to the advantage of developers who will have less competition in the App store.
In deciding upon your tablet, you must evaluate the size of the screen, the processor speed, screen resolution, operating system, storage capacity, and battery life. You must ask how you’re going to use it–is it for media consumption, or productivity? Where you’re going to take it, will it be around the house or are you bringing it to work? Will you listen to music on it, or make music? For the casual user, the iPad generally fits the bill, for the developer, Android tablets tend to take the cake, and for the workhorse, Windows offers the best processing power and functionality.
At Mystic Media, we’re experts in the application design field and are highly capable designers for both tablets and smartphones of all Operating Systems. Contact us today at www.mysticmediasoft.com or by phone at 801.994.6815
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our two part series on Tablet design focusing on cross-platform optimization.