Is Google Tablet a Worthy iPad Contender?

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As the attention surrounding Apple's iPad shifts to the development of the technology and away from the release itself, it is worth considering whether Android-powered tablets are worthy contenders in the space. While Apple iOS can deliver impressive performance on various device sizes, there is room for competitor for an operating system that extends beyond the capabilities of the iPhone-driven system.

Although a number of potential Windows-based tablets have emerged, the technology behind Android offers both developers and consumers a distinct advantage when it comes to identifying better opportunities in the space. To compare the technology behind a potential Google Tablet, it is important to consider how Android can interact with a variety of mobile computing devices.

In fact, Android itself is not limited to just phones and can be viewed as next generating operating system built on Linux. While Google is moving forward with its browser based Chrome OS as well, one can envision a future where the two operating systems merge, since they share a common Linux code base. Similarly, Apple may move to make iOS the next iteration of its Mac OS as the platform matures. While Android and iOS remain nascent technologies, they show potential of emerging as complete platforms for development in the medium term. Given this potential then, how close is the Google tablet to competing with iPad in the near future?

While the exact details of the Google branded tablet are unknown, a number of details on the potential tablet have emerged. Recently, Google has confirmed development of Tabloids through various partners including Dell (with a focus on WiFi) and Verizon (which will be powered by wireless as well as the cellular data network.) A content driven device, the tablet could offer access to the broader Android marketplace, along with content delivery in the form of books, videos and various other media. While Android has a ways to catch up to the Apple Store and iTunes, its recent strategy seems to put it in line with this broader trend. The increasing competition with Apple bodes well for consumers who are seeking better alternatives to the somewhat restrictive iOS.

So, what can we expect from the table that offers advantages over Apple? For one, Android is more developer friendly, opening up a full range of Tablet-based development options for developers on a wide range of devices. One can envision a series of gaming-enhanced tablets with accelerated hardware, focused e-Readers and even cloud-based portable net books which are powered by Google technology. With complete multi-tasking and an active development community, we can expect the various best of Google to power the device, including web-based applications, integrated logins and simplified navigation, even as 3rd party developers explore new opportunities in the space.

Since Google supports Flash as well as a variety of customizations for hardware providers, developers can find a more robust ecosystem for potential development. Whether you are seeking to code a native Android app, a web-based Flash system or content directly onto the device, the potential for Android is much greater than a single form factor tabloid.

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