Operating System Comparison: Buying Your First Tablet

Slim and lightweight, tablets are a new type of internet-enabled computer that work in a similar way to smartphones, with touchscreens and downloadable apps. Currently mass produced by Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon and more. They are mostly used for light entertainment, books, films, games etc alongside social networking and video calling.


When choosing the right tablet for you, one of the first things to consider is the different operating systems available. The operating system is the base software that the tablet and all your applications run on.

Each operating system (OS) has its own pros and your choice may be swayed by the smartphone or type of computer you already own.

Apple iOS

The Apple iPad uses Apple iOS that looks and operates in a similar way to Apple's iPhone. Like Apple's iPhone, it is extremely easy and intuitive to use and you can be up and running very quickly without any previous computer know-how.

You can purchase and download hundreds of thousands of apps on the App Store, and the newest models run the latest iOS, 8.


The most popular of other tablets run Google's Android operating system (OS). Where OS is open-source, you can alter the appearance of the device to suit you and enable widgets to display information like emails and calendar appointments on your home screen. This makes it more complex than iOS and for some harder to use, but much more flexible.

With most Android tablets, apps are found in their store, Google Play, which also has an extensive range of downloadable apps.

Different tablets run different versions of Android. They all have a dessert-themed name and a version number. The bigger the version number, the more recent it is and the more features it has.

Android 3.0 - 3.2 Honeycomb

The first Android OS to be truly optimised for tablets, Honeycomb has an intuitive copy/paste interface. Enables you to import settings, preferences and apps from your Android phone. Apps are downloaded from Androids app store, Google Play.

Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

The very latest versions, which build on the already successful Android OS, improving and adding features to make it even more powerful and effective. For example, facial recognition technology enables users to unlock their tablet by looking into the front-facing camera.

Blackberry OS

The Blackberry Playbooks run the Blackberry Tablet OS. This can work in unison with your Blackberry smartphone.

It is great for multi-tasking and is easy to use and to pick-up. Apps are downloaded from BlackBerry App World, though there are limited apps available compared to some other operating systems.


A smaller number of tablets run on a Windows operating system. The look and interface of this OS will be familiar to anyone with a desktop computer or laptop running Windows.

Windows 8 has broad software and hardware compatibility and can sync with your home computer to allow access to software like Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel and also Windows Media Player. Its only downside being its limited amount of apps available.

Further Questions?

For further queries or enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at support.uk@getpaidto.com

Where to find out more about buying a tablet for the first time and useful words to remember

Glossary of terms:

  • Display/resolution:
    The display resolution is the number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen.
  • PPI:
    The amount of pixels per inch on the screen of the tablet affects how sharp text or images appear.
  • Memory capacity:
    Eg 16GB, (the amount of data the unit can hold) although usable memory will be less after the operating system.
  • Operating System:
    The operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer. The operating system varies from brand to brand but basically it is a requirement of any computer device.
  • 3g/Wi-Fi:
    Do you need a data plan for use outside of Wi-Fi areas? Or do you only plan to use your tablet on your Wi-Fi at home? Look at all of your options before buying.
  • Battery Life:
    How long the unit will last for before powering down.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/best-tablets_round-up - For an up to date look at the best tablets on the market
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/tablets/3265725/38-best-tablets-of-2015-uk/ - Top tablets for the year

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