The iPad mini with Retina display is a fantastic tablet. So is the Nexus 9. Jon Rettinger has been using the former as his primary daily driver for a while, but ultimately announced on Twitter recently that he's switching to the Nexus 9. He filmed the video above, and I'll break it down for you here, too.
Jon has been a loyal iPad user since the first generation iPad and, while he's loved plenty of other tablets along the way, he's always used an iPad as his primary device for watching YouTube videos, replying to e-mails and social networking.
"For me, the iPad has just been a really good fit for everything I needed," Jon explained.
So where did things turn sour?
What went wrong?
It all started when iOS 8 started to roll out to tablets.
"Everything started to get very buggy," Jon said. "When iOS 8.0 hit, things started to get a little slower, apps started to crash a little bit more, both Apple apps and third party apps. Then when iOS 8.1.3 hit, things went from usable but annoying to very, very tough to use. The apps that I use all the time started to crash very, very regularly."
Jon decided to think about what mattered most to him while using a tablet. Did it matter that he had iMessage and Photos on the iPad but not on a competing device? Or was he more interested in using core apps?
Rethinking tablet usage
"I'm pretty ingrained in Google's ecosystem," Jon explained, noting that he uses Gmail as his primary client for work e-mail. "I'm starting to use the Google services more and more and, by intention or not, they're not working as good as they used to on iOS."
YouTube is another app that Jon uses regularly, but found that it crashed so much on the iPad that he started to use third-party options just to watch videos. Mail was also a pain point on the iPad. "It got to be very difficult to use, so I started to look at what my other options were," Jon explained.
"Smaller tablets have already been my preference, that's why I haven't used an iPad Air. Ever since Apple released the iPad mini I thought it was the perfect size." Since the iPad mini with Retina isn't cutting it, and since the new iPad mini 3 doesn't boost the processor, Jon looked to Android and settled on the Nexus 9.
Why the Nexus 9?
"Android for tablets is really, really good. Everything I need is here and works well," Jon said.
"People have been tough on the Nexus 9 for build quality, me included," he added, specifically referring to an earlier model we received that wasn't quite up to snuff. "This gray, whitish version has been absolutely awesome. It's light, it has good battery life and it has a high resolution screen. I can hold it very easily in one hand to reply. Videos look great. I'm looking forward to trying to use this as my everyday tablet and slowly ditching iOS, at least on the tablet front."
Jon said that, ultimately, while some folks might see difficulties between switching phones from one operating system to another, they're not as much of an issue when it comes to tablets.
"I think that HTC and Google had a really nice partnership here and put two things together and made a really good product. Now that I'm going to start using it for weeks and months, I think it's going to be really interesting."
Ultimately, Jon needs speed and power, and he thinks the Nexus 9 offers a perfect marriage of the two while his iPad mini no longer does.
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