Tablets are being used more and more as portable devices for different purposes, like entertainment and work. A significant aspect to consider when selecting a tablet is the operating system (OS) it uses. Windows and Android are the primary competitors in the tablet OS market. This guide aims to give a balanced overview of — Windows vs. Android: Which is the better tablet OS — by comparing their features, functionality, app ecosystems, security measures, and update support.
Windows Tablet OS: Key Features and Limitations
Let’s explore the key aspects alongside the limitations of the Windows Tablet OS, which offers a variety of features and functionalities that make it an attractive choice for many users.
Features of Windows OS on Tablets
User Interface and Customization Options
Users who prefer a consistent experience across their devices find Windows tablets appealing because the user interface is similar to the Windows operating system on desktop computers. Moreover, Windows tablets offer a wide range of customization choices, such as changing backgrounds and themes, adding widgets, and rearranging tiles, giving users the flexibility to personalize their tablet interface to their liking.
Compatibility with Desktop Applications
Windows tablets are unique in that they can run full desktop applications, setting them apart from other mobile operating systems. This feature makes Windows tablets an ideal option for professionals and anyone who requires specific software for their work, as it allows for a wider range of tasks to be completed on the device.
Windows tablets are great for multitasking as they allow you to use multiple applications at once without any difficulty. You can easily switch between applications and work on different tasks simultaneously. Whether you want to work on a document while browsing the internet or divide the screen to work on two separate tasks, Windows tablets offer a smooth multitasking experience.
Microsoft Store and Its Offerings
The main place to find apps for Windows tablets is the Microsoft Store. Although it may not have as many apps as other platforms like Android, the Microsoft Store has many popular apps that work well on Windows tablets. This means users can enjoy their favorite apps on their Windows tablets with good performance and without compatibility issues.
Popular Apps and Their Performance
Windows tablets have many popular applications that have been optimized for the platform, like Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Creative Cloud, and others. These applications are designed to work smoothly and provide a familiar and feature-rich experience to users. They take advantage of the tablet’s capabilities, ensuring optimal performance and user experience.
Windows Security Measures
Windows tablets have built-in measures to protect user data and privacy. Windows Hello provides biometric authentication options like facial recognition or fingerprint scanning to enhance security. Furthermore, Windows tablets benefit from the inherent security features of the Windows operating system, such as Windows Defender, which defends against viruses, malware, and other threats in real-time.
Regular Updates and Support
Microsoft regularly updates and provides support for Windows tablets to improve their security, introduce new features, and enhance stability. Users can depend on Microsoft’s ongoing support to address vulnerabilities and maintain a secure and stable operating system. These updates also ensure compatibility with the latest hardware and software advancements.
Limitations of Windows OS on Tablets
The limitations may vary depending on the specific Windows tablet model and version of the operating system. It’s advisable to research and consider the device’s specifications and user reviews before making a purchase decision.
Limited App Selection
The app selection on the Microsoft Store is good but not as extensive as on other platforms, such as Android or iOS. Certain apps or games may not be available or work as well on Windows tablets.
Less Touch-Optimized Experience
The Windows operating system was primarily created for use on desktops and laptops. Therefore, using touch gestures on Windows tablets may not be as smooth as on tablet-specific operating systems. Certain features and applications may be more suitable for mouse and keyboard input rather than touch gestures.
If you want to use resource-intensive desktop applications on a tablet, you may need to buy a more expensive Windows tablet with powerful hardware. Alternatively, you can choose a Windows tablet with a larger form factor and potentially shorter battery life.
Update Dependency on Manufacturers
Manufacturers are responsible for providing timely updates for Windows OS tablets, which can cause delays or inconsistencies in receiving the latest features, security patches, and overall system updates.
Learning Curve for Non-Windows Users
If you haven’t used Windows before, it might take some time to get used to using a Windows tablet as the interface and navigation could be different from what you’re used to in other systems.
Also Read: 7 Best Windows Tablets
Android Tablet OS: Key Features and Limitations
The Android tablet operating system has specific benefits that make it a competitive option in the tablet market. Let’s explore the important features of the Android Tablet OS alongside some of its limitations.
Features of Android OS on Tablets
User-Friendly Interface and Customization Options
The Android tablets have a user-friendly interface and easy navigation, making it accessible to a wide range of users. Users can customize their devices using widgets, themes, and app arrangements. They can even choose different launchers and tweak notification settings to match their preferences.
Seamless Integration with Google Services
Android tablets offer a seamless user experience by integrating various Google services, including Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Drive. This integration enables users to conveniently access their emails, navigate maps, and retrieve their files saved on Google Drive, ultimately boosting productivity and convenience.
Google Assistant and Voice Commands
Google Assistant is a voice-activated virtual assistant that comes with Android tablets. By using voice commands, users can perform numerous tasks such as sending messages, setting reminders, checking the weather, and controlling smart home devices. This feature adds convenience and hands-free operation to Android tablets.
Google Play Store and Its Vast Selection of Applications
The Google Play Store is the main marketplace for Android tablets and offers a broad collection of apps in different categories. It features productivity tools, games, and other apps that meet users’ needs and preferences. By having a vast library, the Play Store guarantees that Android tablet users can access a diverse range of apps that can improve their tablet experience.
Popular Apps Optimized for Android Tablets
Popular apps like Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Netflix, and Spotify are optimized specifically for Android tablets. They offer a seamless experience and take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and features tailored for productivity, entertainment, and content consumption.
Android Security Measures
Android tablets have various measures in place to prioritize user data and privacy security. These measures include Google Play Protect, which scans apps for potential threats, and app sandboxing to isolate apps and their data. Moreover, Android tablets benefit from the wider Android ecosystem as it provides regular security updates to address vulnerabilities and protect users from emerging threats.
Timeliness of Updates and Support
Google provides regular updates and support for Android tablets. These updates improve security and introduce new features, improvements, and optimizations. With Google’s commitment to timely updates, users of Android tablets can stay protected against security risks and enjoy the latest advancements in the operating system.
Limitations of Android OS on Tablets
To make sure the Android tablet you choose meets your needs and preferences, take into account its limitations. You can research the tablet model, read user reviews, and check the manufacturer’s updated policies for more information on the tablet’s performance.
Different versions of the Android OS run on different devices, which is known as fragmentation. This can lead to differences in features, user interface, and app compatibility on various Android tablets. Older devices may not receive updates and could be vulnerable to security risks.
Although Google Play Store has various applications, some of them may not be suitable for tablet viewing. The reason is that these apps may not have a suitable interface or appear stretched on larger screens. This can lessen the overall user experience as compared to other tablet-optimized apps available on the store.
Device and Software Fragmentation
The hardware configurations and specifications of Android tablets vary, which may result in differences in performance and user experience. In comparison to high-end tablets, lower-end devices may have difficulty running demanding applications or may run slower.
Bloatware and Pre-installed Apps
Manufacturers and carriers sometimes install extra apps, also known as bloatware, on certain Android tablets. These apps could take up space, use up resources, and potentially slow down the tablet’s performance. While some of these apps can be removed, others cannot be deleted.
Although Android OS has implemented better security measures gradually, there is still a risk of malware and security threats. This is due to the open nature of the Android platform, which allows the installation of apps from unofficial sources. To avoid any problems, users need to be careful and watchful when downloading and installing apps.
Also Read: Best Android Tablets
Windows vs. Android: Which is the Better Tablet OS?
Let’s do a thorough comparison between Windows OS vs Android OS.
Performance and Productivity
Both Windows and Android tablets have their own strengths when it comes to performance and productivity. Windows tablets, because of their compatibility with desktop-class processors, often offer more processing power. This advantage translates to better performance, especially when running resource-intensive applications or multitasking. Performance benchmarks consistently show that Windows tablets are capable of efficiently handling demanding tasks.
The Windows tablet operating system is great for productivity. It can run desktop applications, making it easy to switch between desktop and tablet workflows. Microsoft Office, in particular, is a powerful set of productivity tools that work well on Windows tablets, creating a familiar and efficient work environment.
However, it’s worth noting that Android tablets have greatly improved in terms of performance and productivity in recent years. Android-based tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 lineup support Samsung DeX feature that allows them to be connected to an external monitor and perform as a PC.
The latest versions of Android tablets come with robust processors and sufficient RAM, guaranteeing seamless multitasking and responsive performance. Additionally, Android tablets have productivity tools, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which provide cloud-based substitutes to desktop applications.
App Selection and Availability
The availability and variety of apps are important factors that affect a tablet OS user’s experience. Android tablets have an advantage because the Google Play Store offers a vast range of apps. The store includes productivity tools, games, and entertainment options. The large selection of apps ensures that users can find apps that meet their needs and preferences.
Although the Microsoft Store for Windows tablets has a decent collection of apps, it is not as vast as the selection available on Android. Nonetheless, the Microsoft Store does offer well-known apps that are optimized for Windows tablets, delivering compatibility and high performance. Furthermore, Windows tablets provide access to various desktop applications, granting users a broader range of software choices.
When choosing a tablet OS, it’s important to think about exclusive apps and platform-specific features. For instance, Android tablets come with Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube that are integrated into the operating system. Meanwhile, Windows tablets have their own unique features like the ability to run desktop apps and integration with Microsoft services like OneDrive and Cortana.
User Experience and Interface
The usability and enjoyment of a tablet operating system are greatly influenced by user experience and interface. Windows tablets offer a customizable interface that resembles the traditional Windows operating system found on desktop computers. This familiarity is preferred by users who seek consistency across their devices.
In contrast, Android tablets are focused on being user-friendly and straightforward. They have an intuitive interface that allows for easy navigation and access to crucial functions. Additionally, Android tablets offer ample opportunities for customization, enabling users to add widgets, select themes, and arrange their apps as desired.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Between Windows OS vs Android OS on Tablets
Purpose and Use Case
To determine the best tablet operating system, consider the tablet’s main purpose. For professional work requiring desktop applications and productivity tools, choose Windows tablet OS. For casual browsing, media consumption, and integration with Google services, go for the Android tablet OS.
Device Compatibility and Ecosystem Integration
When choosing a tablet OS, check if it works well with your other devices and services. Take into account if it is compatible with your smartphone, smart home devices, and cloud services. If you prefer a cohesive ecosystem and mostly use Google services, go for an Android tablet OS. If you use other Windows devices and need it to integrate well with Microsoft services, then a Windows tablet OS may be a better fit.
Security and Privacy Considerations
It is important to consider security and privacy when choosing between Windows and Android tablets. While both operating systems prioritize user security, they have different approaches. You should research the security measures implemented by each OS and evaluate their track records in addressing vulnerabilities and providing timely updates. Pay attention to features such as biometric authentication and encryption options.
Long-Term Support and Updates
It is important to make sure that the tablet receives regular updates and long-term support to ensure its longevity and functionality. To determine which operating system is better in this regard, evaluate the update policies of both Windows and Android. Look into their track records for delivering timely updates, addressing security vulnerabilities, and adding new features. Additionally, check if the OS version is supported for an extended period of time and if major updates are available for older devices.
Budget and Pricing Considerations
Finally, think about your budget and pricing preferences. Take a look at the price ranges of Windows and Android tablets while considering the features, abilities, and quality of each operating system. Decide on how much you are willing to invest based on your priorities and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Though Android tablets and Windows PCs have different operating systems, it’s still possible to transfer files between them using USB connections or cloud storage services. Cross-platform applications and services such as Microsoft Office apps and Google Drive also provide compatibility between Android and Windows. Moreover, remote desktop applications can be utilized to access Windows software and files on an Android tablet.
Windows operating system is available on tablets that offer desktop application compatibility, multitasking, and customization options. Popular manufacturers like Microsoft, Dell, HP, and Lenovo offer Windows tablets.
The key distinction between Android and Windows is in their operating systems and the ecosystems they provide. Google created Android as a mobile operating system. It’s recognized for being easy to navigate, having lots of apps available through the Google Play Store, and working seamlessly with Google services. In contrast to Android, Windows is originally designed as a desktop operating system but has been modified to work on tablets. One of its advantages is that it supports desktop applications, allows multitasking, and provides many customization features. When deciding between Android and Windows, consider factors such as personal preferences, the necessity for desktop compatibility, and the integration with particular software or services.
Comparing the overall safety of Android and Windows operating systems is difficult due to various security factors involved. Nevertheless, both systems prioritize security and regularly provide updates to address vulnerabilities and protect users. Although Android’s open nature has made it a target for malware, Google has implemented security measures, including Google Play Protect, to minimize risks. In contrast, Microsoft’s security measures and ongoing support make Windows a safer option. However, ensuring the safety of the operating system also depends on user behavior, updates to the device, and adherence to security best practices.
Deciding on whether to use Windows or Android as the operating system for a tablet ultimately depends on individual preferences, specific usage needs, and requirements. Windows tablets are known for their high performance, compatibility with desktop applications, and productivity tools. On the other hand, Android tablets have a wide range of app choices, integrated access to Google services, and a simple interface.
To make the best choice between Android OS vs Windows OS on tablets, users should evaluate various factors such as performance, app availability, user experience, security, long-term support, and budget. They should conduct further research, consider hands-on testing, and prioritize their individual preferences to make an informed decision.
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