Are you ready to discern the tablet market to pick a suitable device? Despite being one of the more underrated aspects of evaluating a tablet, the operating system might just be the most vital cog in the tablet purchasing wheel. Similar to Macs and PCs, even tablets rely a lot on operating systems. For instance, Apple iPads have iPadOS whereas Samsung tablets feature Android as the choice of the operating platform.
But that’s not what the OS-specific tablet market offers. You can even pick a Windows-powered tablet or one running Chrome or Fire OS, depending on the specificities you seek. Tablet operating system, therefore, is the soul of your tablet that lets you specialize in a certain area or manage a select set of applications without hassles.
However, with so many OS-specific choices around, it is obvious for you to get confused. Therefore, I shall now talk about each tablet operating system at length, to make you better equipped in making informed tablet buying decisions.
Tablet Operating Systems: What are the Available Options?
In the subsequent sections, you will come across the advantages, core competencies, and even the loopholes of tablet operating systems, which would then allow you to align them with your diverse personal and professional needs, to finally make a decision.
1. Android from Google
- Ecosystem and Integration: Excellent
- App Compatibility: Excellent
- Suitable for: Anyone
Absolutely nothing beats the utility and cost-effectiveness displayed by Android as a tablet ecosystem. But that’s not even the fun part. Google Android is easily the most flexible OS around when it comes to software and app compatibility. And as an open-source platform, it allows tablet manufacturers to tweak the UI a bit to suit consumer demands and requirements.
Coming to the overall functionality, an android tablet is meant for every individual across the globe. However, more than the professional compatibility, which it also excels in, Android tablets make multipurpose devices that allow users to get the most in terms of UX.
Some of the best attributes associated with the android OS is customizability, support for multiple widgets, and the ability to pair almost every application there is, courtesy of the sizable play store.
Suggested Read: Best Android Tablets
- Allows you to sideload applications from third-party sources
- Wide-range of selections depending on professional and personal preferences
- Excellent collection of widgets
- Certain tablets come with a lot of bloatware
- Patchy updates
2. iPadOS from Apple
- Ecosystem and Integration: Great
- App Compatibility: Great
- Suitable for: Anyone
Developed by Apple for its iPad lineup, iPadOS is a pleasure to work with and allows you to be a bit more adventurous with the device in hand. While android spoils you for choices, the iPadOS lets you be more clinical with the professional and personal performances by making a more seasoned app store available.
And the best part about the iPadOS is that it performs even better if you have iPhones and MacBooks to pair it with. For the sake of relevance, I even reviewed the new iPadOS 16.6 and was impressed by its support for multitasking, Maps, widgets, quality of updates, FaceTime improvements, and more.
Without overwhelming you anymore with the features, I would like to mention that the iPadOS is a great tablet or rather an iPad ecosystem that performs even better when surrounded by other Apple devices.
Suggested Read: Differences between iPad and Tablet
- Beautiful yet minimalistic interface
- App organization is top-notch
- Built-in gesture support
- Improved Safari browser
- Multitasking functionality is still a bit out of place
- Top features are only relevant to the newest line of iPads
3. Windows from Microsoft
- Ecosystem and Integration: Great
- App Compatibility: Good
- Suitable for: Professionals
If you want a tablet that works as an extension to your professional laptop, nothing beats the functionality of the Windows-powered tablets. Windows 10 operating system is a great tool for the professionals and content creators who prefer working on excel spreadsheets and get access to the entire Microsoft Suite while being on the move.
Despite Windows tablets being less in number, the current corp of devices is loaded with several exquisite and nifty additions, including Windows Hello integration and TPM security on select devices. While the app store is not as expansive as Android or Apple, Windows 10 OS still manages to deliver an excellent user experience, courtesy of its eye towards productivity.
To sum it up, Windows tablets are perfect choices for corporate stalwarts, IT geeks, and executives, who prefer devices with dockable functionality and desktop-like experience.
- Support for peripherals
- Laptop-like experience
- Compatibility with Microsoft Office apps
- Low-cost tablets come with patchy experience
- Update frequency is an issue
- Most apps aren’t touch responsive
4. Chrome OS from Google
- Ecosystem and Integration: Good
- App Compatibility: Average to Good
- Suitable for: Students
Despite being one of the more underrated tablet operating systems, Chrome OS does make it to the list courtesy of the reliability and tablet-like experience. While Chrome tablets do prioritize the chrome browser and online tasks, they do offer access to the Play Store and the relevant android applications.
When it comes to the overall functionality, Chrome OS boasts a desktop-friendly interface, allowing you to access websites without any lags or stutters. Plus, there is an excellent collection of Chrome widgets to work with.
And most importantly, the updates install silently and hardly interfere with the existing workflow.
Suggested Read: Chromebooks vs Tablets: The Differences
- No noisy app notifications
- Faster online experience
- Quick and frequent updates
- Not much for offline functionality
- Smallish product line
If you are one of the more conventional users who prefer using Kindles for reading eBooks, you might have come across the Fire OS, which has its roots in the Android kernel. In case you are into specifics, the OS comes equipped with a massive carousel followed by a responsive interface, minimal app screen, and a surprisingly good UX.
And yes, if you own a Fire tablet and looking to access a wide range of apps, there is a restricted yet useful Amazon App store to rely on. Also, if you are strict regarding the functionalities, Fire OS is best-suited for reading comics and eBooks.
As mentioned, you can choose tablets running Android, Windows 10, Chrome, Fire, and the iPadOS operating systems. But it is important to know more about the operating systems, in general, to decide better.
Each operating system has its own set of perks and pitfalls to consider. However, the final selection is yours and I would advise you to first consider the OS before delving deeper into other specifications.
Also, if you are a creative artist, engineering student, standard college goer, or just a streaming fanatic, each tablet OS allows you to explore the apps and relevant possibilities in a particular way. This is why being sure about the operating system is the most important part of getting a new tablet.