Here at BT Business Direct, we’re fans of any technology that can help a business become more efficient, cut costs and boost staff happiness. Which is why, in the great iPad vs Android tablet debate, we don’t believe there will ever be a clear winner. Depending on the needs of the business, either platform could be the most appropriate.
As a general gadget, tablets can provide employees with a wealth of benefits, with their portability, ease of use and battery life. However, when seriously considering whether an iPad or Android tablet will better meet your business needs, there are a few things to take into account:
Bring Your Own Device
Many businesses are embracing the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ model of computing, which involves allowing employees to use their own personal devices for work purposes. While there may be some security and compatibility concerns, employers should try and embrace this approach. If an employee wants to bring their iPad or Android tablet to work to carry out their job, this can take the strain off stretched IT resources, as well as boosting productivity and employee job satisfaction.
The right accessory can turn a consumer device into a business powerhouse, as demonstrated in this article, or even a portable graphic design tool. There are lots of accessories available for both Android tablets and the iPad. However, as there are only a few versions of the iPad, one accessory can be shared with a group of iPad users in a business, rather than having to buy a similar accessory for each type of Android tablet a user might bring into the office. However, keyboards are available for both the main Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Asus Eee Pad, as well as for the iPad. Keep in mind that having a single type of device makes it much easier to share accessories, including simple things like chargers.
One area in which the iPad falls down is its interoperability with other devices and programmes. iPad users face a limited choice of software that the iPad is compatible with, making it difficult to use other programmes, especially those on Windows operating systems. While this isn’t a problem for casual or non-technical users, those looking to do what they want with their tablet, especially using it with a range of operating systems and programmes, might be better off using an Android-based device.
Ultimately, tablet devices provide workers with the flexibility of a laptop and the portability of a mobile phone. As the technology becomes more mature, the things that can be done with a tablet will grow, and they’ll start to become a greater part of the working environment. Just take a look at how Ubuntu, the Linux-based OS, is planning to use Android-powered devices as a replacement for traditional desktop PCs. Cloud-based services and virtualisation will also make tablets an even more attractive proposition for businesses, allowing users to run whatever programmes they need directly on the tablet, no matter what type of tablet is being used.
If you’re using tablets in your business, why not let us know how you’re using them, and what platform you’re using? Get in touch in the comments below, or drop us a line on Twitter (@BTBizDirect).