Tablets Compared by Operating System

Android Tablets Compared

Windows Tablets Compared

Tablet PCs are powered by different operating systems. The two used on the widest range of tablets are Android (a Google product) and Microsoft’s Windows. A handful of companies use their own proprietary OS.

The most famous is Apple, whose iOS software helped create the whole industry. Few other manufacturers have the resources to develop their own operating system, but there are a handful, such as Amazon’s Fire OS.


Apple iOS

If you’ve ever used an iPhone, an iPod Touch or an iPad, you’ve experienced the slick wonder that is iOS.

Since the debut of the original iPhone several years ago, iOS has steadily improved and added to its feature set and improved its performance. The iOS platform is best known for its stability and responsiveness, and shows no signs of slipping any time soon.


Android OS

Android is by far the most common OS in tablet computers. It can be found on various tablets, especially on slates. The operating system was initially developed by Android Inc. before the company was sold to Google in 2005.

The Android operating system is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel, and it makes use of the Java programming language. A vast base of developers writes applications for this operating system and due to its popularity and number of developers, new functionalities are added to Android devices every day.

Initially, it was developed as a cellphone operating system but soon became widely used in tablet PC computers.

The first commercial version released was 1.0, and came equipped with many of the main features seen today: the Android Market, Google synchronization, Youtube, etc. Since that time, there have been numerous updates.

The versions have been named for food, in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice cream, Jellybean etc.


  • The Android OS is more flexible than iOS, allowing for more customization (as mentioned before, Android OS is open-source; iOS is not.)
  • Price – Android tablets are usually cheaper than their rivals.


  • The size of the app store is a disappointment to many, since the Android lacks the quantity of applications that the iPad possesses.
  • It’s easier to break something on an Android because of its great customization.

Open Handset Alliance

Project Android started on Nov. 2007 along with the creation of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). The Open Handset Alliance was the name given to a consortium of software and hardware companies. Google created the OHA in an effort to develop open standards for mobile devices.

The goal was to create a cheaper and better mobile experience for customers – a goal they have more than delivered on.

Android is normally used as the Samsung tablet operating system, along with other brands like LG and Sony.

Pro tip – if you want to know what Android OS your tablet is using, simply use it to visit this website:


Dual OS Tablets

It’s the tablet industry’s best-kept secret. Instead of joining in on internet forums that bitterly debate which is the best tablet OS, why not buy a tablet that runs both Windows and Android?

The main reason is that file sharing between the two operating systems is impossible or impractical. It’s a problem that could be solved with an external hard drive or USB stick, so customers who want the best of both OS worlds might be willing to put up with some minor hassles.

Asus is the biggest brand willing to experiment with the dual boot format, with the rest of the niche being filled by obscure Chinese companies.


Windows OS

Previous versions of the Windows OS met with little enthusiasm in the market. A fork of Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT), specially designed for the ubiquitous ARM CPUs, was released in 2012. It mimicked the controversial user interface of the desktop PC version.

In 2015 released Windows 10, said to be the final version. In future, upgrades will be released continuously over time, ending the marketing cycle that made Microsoft so rich in the 1990s. The new OS was met with widespread acclaim. Microsoft tried to integrate the smartphone, tablet, and desktop experience, hoping customers would be enticed by picking up their phone and continuing to read an article they had started on their PC.

Is Windows 10 Good for Tablets?

Microsoft is changing their official stance when it comes to updating and releasing software. A few days ago, they celebrated the Windows 10 anniversary with an updated version of this operating system. The newest update brings a wide variety of changes and improvements, which we will talk about in this article.

Before we do, lets reflect on how exactly Microsoft changed their approach. We’re used to completely new versions of the Windows operating system getting released periodically, but it seems like the software giant is now going to stick to tweaking and improving the Windows 10 operating system.

This anniversary update will affect everyone, but what can tablet users expect from this update? We tested the newest version of Windows and you can read our concise first impression below.

The New Workspace

The new Windows Ink workspace includes a few features: Sticky Notes, a sketchpad and screen sketch. The Ink workspace is very easy to use and even the most inexperienced of users should grasp the basic concept quickly. A simple tap launches a tool that allows the user to select one of these new features.

Creating a sticky note is easy and requires a simple tap of the “+” icon. Notes can be moved around the screen and resized. It is possible to draw and write on these notes and drawings can be made with fingers, while written notes are meant to be made with the tablet’s pen.

The sketchpad application includes pencils and marker tools. 30 different ink colours are available, which makes this app pretty much perfect for simple drawings, but it is definitely not suitable for creating art and this software is, obviously, meant to be used with an active pen. Arguably the strongest point of this application is the straightedge, which is another nice addition that makes it easy to draw straight lines and angles.

Screen sketch is another useful app that makes working with screenshots and drawing on webpages very simple. This tool is the perfect example of where Microsoft is headed with their new update – they want to make things as easy and as user-friendly as possible.

Start Menu, Task Bar, Lock Screen and Notifications

When it comes to the Start Menu, which can be viewed in tablet and in desktop mode, Microsoft has certainly made significant improvements. It is a lot easier to view and browse the apps now and tapping on app icons is a lot more convenient.

The Taskbar is also slightly different and it can be hidden in laptop and tablet mode both, which is another nice addition that can potentially improve the user experience.

The Lock Screen has also been changed and improved. For example, tablet users can now control background music, without having to log in. Cortana digital assistant can also be used from the lock screen itself.

Notifications can be viewed by tapping on the right edge of the taskbar. This launches the convenient action centre, which shows alerts and notifies the user about updates and such.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge deserves to be discussed separately from all the other updates, since this app has been more improved than anything else. The average tablet user certainly won’t mind using Edge as their primary browser – it is fast, easy to use and has a lot of useful extensions.

The best thing about the new Edge, however, is significantly lowered power consumption.

Our tests have shown that Microsoft Edge uses about half the RAM Chrome uses and naturally draws a lot less power. Battery life and performance is what it’s all about for tablet users and the new improved Edge will certainly help prologue the battery life of most tablets.

There is still room for improvement, but it’s safe to say that the new version of Microsoft Edge is a pleasant surprise.


Microsoft’s new approach seems to be working great for them and this reflects on tablet users and on Windows 10 performance on these mobile devices. Their efforts to bring the familiarity of the Windows 10 desktop interface to the average, casual tablet user is a great step forward and the updated version of Windows certainly proves that Microsoft knows what they’re doing.

They’ve done a great job improving their operating system that it is no wonder others are starting to fall behind.

Windows 10 : The Tablet Experience


Proprietary OS

Two famous brands that created tablets with a custom operating system were BlackBerry (the PlayBook range) and HP (TouchPad). One found a niche for a time but both were ultimately crushed by the brutal pressure in the industry. The TouchPad was discontinued after a paltry 49 days, which is both hilarious and tragic.

Apple, of course, has the resources and inclination to pursue its proprietary iOS software. It has its fans and its haters, but given that it is specifically designed for a very limited range of hardware it is always competitive as one of the best tablet operating systems.

Other proprietary operating systems come from brands little known even in the tech world. Often coming out of Asia, they are found on low-end tablets that sometimes perform – and sell – surprisingly well.

Blackberry QNX

Research In Motion has been relying on their BlackBerry OS 7 for awhile now, and the top brass at Canada’s biggest technology firm realize it’s time for a change.

Their pan-mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, is a completely revamped take on the mobile OS based on QNX. If you’re not familiar with the underlying software, QNX is an operating system already used in routers, switches and other network infrastructure components throughout the Enterprise world.

It can already be seen in action in RIM’s Playbook OS, available on tablets like the Playbook and the Playbook 2.0. You can expect the QNX-based BlackBerry 10 to roll out en masse later on in 2012.


Originally developed by the now defunct Palm, Inc., WebOS is a mobile operating system based on Linux which is maintained by HP. Not too long ago, HP had big plans to enter the mobile market by rolling out tablets and phones that ran their own operating system.

While they’ve since switched their focus to supporting Windows 7 and Windows 8, WebOS remains in active development. The most recent version, HP WebOS 2.0, offers a snappy and capable tablet experience for users and runs on devices like the HP Touchpad.

Though it lacks the name recognition of Android or iOS, HP’s WebOS remains a viable candidate for those who want to get the most out of their mobile hardware.