The tablet world really heated up this summer as Google released the Nexus 7 Tablet running Android’s newest operating system, Jelly Bean. Apple released their new iPad in March and it sold a bunch. Amazon will likely release new versions of their once popular Kindle Fire, which found its way under a lot of Christmas trees last year. So, what’s the best tablet to use in the church world these days?
My first tablet ran Windows XP, sported a tiny screen and little keys on either side of it and gave me about two hours of battery life if I was lucky. Samsung made the thing and I loved it, except that I couldn’t get online because no one offered free Wi-Fi in those days.
When Apple released the iPad and the updated it with a built-in 3G radio and included a battery lasting 10 hours, I was sold. The day Apple launched it I believed it would cost $1,200 or $1,500 because all Apple products cost more than a grand and the ones people really wanted cost more. As the $500 characters showed up on the screen, I ran to my computer ready to preorder. I’ve not looked back since. Until this summer!
In May, I posted an article stating that no one sold a tablet that worked better in the church world than Apple. I cited using the iPad to do remote login with LogMeIn. This works better on iPad than Android. I also cited the stellar iOS software for controlling worship presentations from Logos as well as a derth of Bible software available on the iPad.
Users can buy expensive suites that hold thousands of high-quality Bible study tools like Logos, Olive Tree, WORDsearch, PocketBible and Mantis Bible to name a few. At the other end, the YouVersion Bible HD app does a great job of letting users read, search and track Bible reading in a number of popular translations.
Since writing my article, Logos updated their Android app and it offers closer feature parity. Olive Tree’s Android app is catching up and Laridian is currently working on PocketBible. YouVersion’s Android app works just like the iOS version. Now Logos offers their Proclaim Remote app for Android too. It works well and controls their worship software running on Apple OS X or Windows.
If you can get great hardware, Android came of age and now meets all of the standards. So can users get great tablet hardware running Android? Thanks to Google and ASUS, the answer is a resounding Yes!
I received my Google Nexus 7 Tablet, manufactured by ASUS, just a few days after it dropped. After opening it on Tuesday, I plugged my iPad in and left it on my nightstand where it sat for 6 days straight. I never even opened the Apple Smart Cover. Finally a couple of days ago I wanted to read a magazine that I subscribed to using the Apple Magazine app, Newstand. Today I preached a funeral and used my iPad because I’m still new to the Nexus 7 and couldn’t afford a mess up. I use my tablet to hold my speaking notes. As I used the iPad to preach the funeral, I knew I could have used the Nexus 7 without issue.
If I wrote that article today, I certainly would write it differently. Thanks to the Google Nexus 7 Tablet, go with whichever platform you prefer. If you’re running OS X on your church computers, get the iPad. If you’re running Windows, then the Nexus 7 will work fine. If money’s the primary concern obviously get the Nexus 7, which costs $200 or $250 for a 16GB model.