Last year I picked up a Google Nexus 7 so I could try out Android. I really like my Nexus 7, and as used it I began to wonder if Android could actually become my Mobile OS of choice. The portability of the Nexus 7 remains a compelling feature, and there are features on Android which iOS simply doesn't have (why can't I command-tab to switch apps, Apple?).
For the first half of the year I threw myself into using the Nexus as a primary device. I used it to write my sermons. I got a usb-to-go cable and played games with an Xbox 360 controller. I even purchased a season pass for a TV show. It was a lot of fun.
Eventually, however, I moved back to using my iPad 2 more and more. The screen wasn't nearly as good, and the keyboard support wasn't a full-featured, but when I used the iPad I didn't feel as though I was fighting my device as much. Each app I was in was used for one task, and that was it. The iPad helped me focus.
So, after nearly a year with my Nexus I've now settled whether or not I want to use it as my Tablet OS. While I think it's certainly capable, it's just not what I want to be using. For me, a tablet is a more focused computing experience than the way Android is designed. Apps in iOS feel more polished and integrated – they get out of my way and allow me to “just work.” This month I upgraded my tablet to an iPad Air and couldn't be happier with the device. The screen is stunning, and the speed of the new processor is absurd. I continue to enjoy my Nexus, and have no problem recommending the second generation Nexus 7 for anyone looking at a 7 inch tablet (and who doesn't want an iPad).
While I don't think Android is good to be used as my tablet OS, however, I may have found another use for Android in my work-flow. My Nexus 7 experience as made me think I would probably be very happy with Android as a phone OS. Android is very polished, and I don't use a lot of apps on my phone. Android's eMail, contacts, and calendar apps are stellar – and the other apps I use on my phone have nice Android counterparts. Google Now is an incredible feature, and on-screen keyboard in Android is heads and tails above the iOS one. Additionally, as my near-vision weakens (my 40's are doing a number on my eye-sight) the larger screens available on an Android device are becoming compelling. I actually would consider either a Galaxy Note or Nexus 5 as it would merge my small tablet and phone into one device (probably the Nexus, stock Android is the way to go).
In fact, Android is so good at this moment I have only two points which give me pause. First is iMessage. My son still doesn't have a phone (though that will change this year) and it's nice that he can use his iDevices to message me at will. Second is the camera. Every since I got my first iPhone my point and shoot camera has been collecting dust in a cabinet. Every comparison I've seen between the cameras in the iPhone and Android devices has had iOS coming out on top. Also, photostream has been a wonderful way to get my images on to my mobile device. Even images I load into Aperture through my DSLR are uploaded into it – it's something I would truly miss in an Android switch.
So, in the next year I will have see if I take my Android experiment to the next phase. We shall have to see.