Throughout the 1990’s there was an ongoing battle between the geoscientists and IT departments of oil companies: Best of breed or single platform? The options were simple; did you choose the best tool for each job in the geoscience workflow or did you choose all applications from a single vendor so that communication between the disciplines became simpler. The argument often divided along the lines of the IT department wanted the single solution because it meant lower support costs, the geoscientists wanted the latest toy to play with. Sorry, best tool for the job.
Well, it seems to me that the question is being played out again, this time across the consumer technology space. The amount of money and effort that the major players are putting in to get you to buy your hardware, apps,and services from the same source is vast. So if you buy an iPhone, you will buy an iPad and all your apps, bought from the iTunes store will be available on both devices. If you (possibly foolishly) buy a Windows Phone, then the pressure to buy a Microsoft Surface just increased and the same with an Android phone and accompanying tablet getting all the applications from GooglePlay or Amazon.
But this is ignoring the question of what is the single best device for what you want to use each of them for? The current PC Pro A-list devices show that the best phone is an HTC One and the best tablet is an iPad. What cost the inter connectivity? I can’t comment on that exact cross breed conundrum, but I am currently experimenting with it: As previously documented I went down the Windows Phone route. Yes, I do feel burned by the decision to not offer an upgrade path from WindowsPhone 7 to WP8,but at least I had entered the whole situation with my eyes open to the risks. So, when I decided that I did actually want to have a content consumption device I faced the decision; stick with the Microsoft ecosystem and by a Surface tablet (or AN Other Windows RT device) or go and find the best tablet out there. Guess what, I chose the path less well trod. And even less well trod than that, after a bit of Bat research and knowing what use I primarily wanted to put it to (watching movies and the like whilst on a train) I picked a Google Nexus 10.
Is it nicer than an iPad? From a pure hardware perspective, yes it probably is. Is the app store as good? Honestly, no it isn’t. Apps that allow you to download content on an iPad only allow streaming on the Android device. How about the price of not having seamless integration? I’m just not the right person to ask about that. I’ve enjoyed playing with a new toy, I mean best tool for the job. But would I recommend this approach to my wife, mum or children? No- honestly, stick with the iPhone, iPod, iPad. You may have paid more for it, but it will just work.