iPad versus the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet

This is a comparison of the iPad and the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. I am going to compare the tablets, their operating systems and the apps available to run on them.

I have owned an iPad 2 for almost two years and use it a lot. I owned a Google Nexus 7 tablet for a few months. I didn't use it much and have sold it.  Recently I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. My iPad isn't the most recent but the latest ones do not seem to be much different. I paid £380 for the Samsung. It was slightly cheaper than the current iPad.

Hardware - iPad v Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

The Galaxy Note 10.1 hardware is vastly superior to the iPad.  The iPad looks old and overpriced  in comparison. The Galaxy Note 10.1 processor is better and can do useful multitasking. It has a stylus so you can operate it with your fingers or use the stylus. This allows more precise work and keeps the screen clear of greasy fingermarks.

You can install a micro SD card of up to 64gb capacity so you can have the Galaxy Note 10.1 16gb plus another 64gb on the  card, giving a total of 82gb. [BTW - The price difference between a 16gb and a 64gb iPad is £150.  No wonder that the iPad does not have a Micro SD slot]. The screen resolution of the Samsung is better than that of the iPad2.

Operating System and User interface - Apple's IOS versus Samsung's version of Android

I find Apple's IOS well designed, stable and easy to use. I have no real problems with it. Samsung have taken Google's Android operating system and improved it. I used Google's version of Android on my Nexus 7 and it was clearly inferior to IOS. However, Samsung have done an excellent job of tuning the Android interface and I think it is now slightly better than the iPad's.  If you are not used to Android do not worry. It is easy to learn and use.

Apps - iTunes apps store v Google play [plus others]

Unless you jailbreak your iPad you have to get your apps from the iTunes store.  They have a huge selection and the prices are very reasonable.

You can download Android apps from Google Play [the Android app store and why not call it that], from Samsung, from Amazon and from sundry other sources.

You do not need to jailbreak  the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. You can install apps from

Google Play - The store contains Google and 3rd party apps. Some good Google apps are already installed on the Galaxy Note 10.1 and others are available in Google Play. There are also 3rd party apps. The range of apps is significantly inferior to those available for the iPad.

Samsung App Store - The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with some  Samsung apps ready installed and most of these are very good, particularly the ones that exploit the stylus. You can use the stylus and these apps to draw, clip parts of web pages, annotate photographs, have handwriting converted to text etc.

I can see that the Galaxy Note 10.1 would be very handy in some work situations. For example, if you were off site you could take photographs and annotate them, add diagrams and hand write explanatory notes. That could be valuable to engineers, architects, builders etc.

I have not found anything else I would care to download from the Samsung App Store. There is a lot of  children's games but not much that is actually useful.

Amazon - They have an android app store but you cannot see it with your browser. You have to download an Amazon app and sign in before they will let you see what they have. I assumed that means they have nothing of value and did not bother.

Other places - other sites offer android apps which you download at your peril.

Of the six or so apps that I use the most on my iPad only one is available for the Galaxy Note 10.1[and user reviews warn that it does not work properly on that tablet]. There is no podcasting app as good as Downcast, no calculator/converter as good as pCalc, no video player as good as AVPlayer, no Scrabble and Night Sky does not appear to work on the Galaxy Note 10.1.

Apps make a tablet and Apple  wins this part of the comparison.


Hardware - The Galaxy Note 10.1 is clearly superior to any of the iPads. When you use it you see how inferior the iPad is.

Operating system and user interface - I think Samsungs version of Android is slightly better but both are ok.

Apps - Apple is clearly better. If Google and Samsung want to get anywhere with their tablets they need to  motivate developers to write Android versions of some of the better apps.  However, the app factor would be more important if so many apps were not too dodgy to download. 

I paid £380 for the Note 10.1. The iPad would have to be priced at about £240 to be a serious competitor.  Only a mug would buy the iPad at its present price.

Dodgy Apps

Many of the apps for both tablets are little more than spyware.  They covertly collect information from you and sell it to advertisers, analytics companies and spammers. IOS apps [iPhone and iPad] are claimed to be significantly worse.

If you have apps on either your smart phone or tablet I suggest you read the report cited in this post.

Not to mention that some apps want to be able to turn on your camera and microphone whenever they like and without your permission.  See this post.

To their great credit Google Play lists the permissions [bloody liberties] that an app will take if you install it.  I have rejected many apps after seeing the list of things they want to do.  Apple does not provide comparable information though the report cited above claims there is more of a problem with IOS apps [though both are bad].

The present app security situation needs to be improved.  Both Apple and Android need to clean up their stores and stop selling malware.

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