iPod Touch vs. iPad Mini

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lcdrdata, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. lcdrdata

    lcdrdata Member

    I think my Palm Tungsten E has finally died, :( and I will need a new device for Pleco. I don't WANT a smart phone, or a full-size (10") tablet, so my choices would seem to be an iPod Touch, iPad mini, or (for Android vs. iOS) a smaller tablet such as the Google Nexus 7. Price-wise, for 16GB devices iPod touch is $190 vs iPad mini @ $480 and Nexus 7 @ $250; for 32GB, the respective prices are $280, $540, and $280. In terms of functionality, is there any difference between the two Apple devices? In particular, what (if anything) does the larger screen size "buy" you? Can you give another quick rundown (I know, sorry :oops: ) of the functionality and license differences between Pleco on iOS (I think v5 is the current release) and Android (v4.1 showing for the Nexus), and anything planned for the near term (say, the end of next year)? Thanks again so much.

    P.S. I would also be interested in others' experience/input regarding overall useability, pros & cons, etc. - especially comparing Apples to Apples :lol:
  2. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Where did you get those price quotes from? The 16GB iPad Mini costs $330 - it's $460 if you want the ability to connect to a cell network for data (rather than just WiFi), but the iPod and Nexus you mention don't support that, so $330 for 16GB (and $430 for 32GB) would be a fairer comparison.

    Anyway, I'd recommend against that $190 iPod Touch - its actually an old model (the newer one costs $300) and is, along with the original iPad, one of developers' two least favorite devices because it has a high-resolution screen but very little RAM. This isn't a huge problem for Pleco unless you're going to be OCRing a lot of enormous still images (about the only thing you can do in our app that uses enough RAM to cause problems), but it's a big problem for a lot of other apps - check the review of any recent high-powered game for example and you'll probably see a bunch of complaints about crashing from 4th-generation iPod Touch users. It also seems very unlikely that it'll be upgraded to iOS 7 when the time comes.

    So that leaves the iPad and the Nexus (unless you also want to consider the newer and much better iPod Touch). The Android version is a bit more up-to-date at the moment, and is actually about to get a big update that puts it temporarily even farther ahead, but that's largely due to a) some poor planning on our part regarding release spacing on iOS (built up our next update too much and now we're stuck waiting for some very slow third-party UI design stuff to be finished since it'll disappoint too many people if that's not included) and b) the fact that Android is a much better platform to release big, complicated updates on because you can patch any bugs you find instantly (upload a bug fix update and it's live an hour later) whereas on iOS every new update has to be reviewed / approved by Apple (which can take upwards of a week).

    But of our next update iOS should be fully caught up, and will actually have a few more features that Android (for the moment) lacks, like PDF and EPUB support, and thanks to Apple's designer-friendly approach to anti-aliasing will also have prettier looking typography. And in general, after that update most new features should show up on both platforms within a few weeks of each other - pretty much everything we're doing with flashcards, e.g., except for platform-specific stuff like iCloud sync. So there probably isn't sufficient justification to choose one platform or the other based on Pleco features alone.

    One other thing you might want to factor in is where you're going to be located - if you travel a lot and often spend extended periods of time in China or other countries outside of the US/Europe, you might be better off with Android, because Apple makes it exceedingly difficult to purchase stuff from iTunes if you're in China with a non-Chinese iTunes account; we lose tons of sales from people who want to buy our software but simply can't do so because Apple won't let them. We're forbidden from selling our iOS software outside of their store (much though we'd like to), so if Apple won't sell you a copy of Pleco for your device there's no other way to get it. However, if you don't mind doing all of your purchasing within your home country (you can still restore previous purchases outside of it) this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
  3. lcdrdata

    lcdrdata Member

    I pulled them from Amazon, as I figured I could get quotes for everything there. Going direct to Apple, though, you're correct on the iPad Mini prices for Wi-Fi only (which is what I'd want anyway). So, for a 32GB Wi-Fi device, the prices would seem to be $280 for either the 5th-Gen Touch or Nexus 7 and $430 for the iPad mini. Obviously, any of these are going to have a much larger screen than my Tungsten E, so I don't know how much weight to give the screen size delta between the Touch and the other two. For me, looking up an unfamiliar character via handwriting recognition was probably the single most-used feature in Pleco - would there be any substantive difference for that between any of these devices?

    I don't think travel is a huge concern; even if I were going to China I would just make sure my Pleco was up-to-date before I left.

    I seem to recall seeing somewhere on the site some differences in iOS vs. Android licensing when it came to adding/updating dictionaries, the base Pleco app, and/or transfering a current license to a 2nd (not to be used simultaneously) or different device, especially if the next device uses the other OS. Am I remembering correctly, and if so, what were those differences?

    Thanks again for your help!
  4. andria

    andria 秀才

    I like the comparison format at Gizmag. Here's the one for the Touch vs. Mini

    Technically, the advantages to the Touch are it's pocket-sized and it has 32gb. The tradeoffs are (1) can't use iPad only apps / books (e.g., the new ipad only Tao Te Ching recently mentioned here) (2) screen size.

    The options for platform transfers are explained on these pages:
    (I was also trying to understand this as I have an Android device, but eventually want something different.)
  5. Loriquero

    Loriquero 秀才

    if you don't mind the lack of camera for OCR purposes, go for the nexus 7.
  6. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Long-term no, but at the moment the iOS version actually has a handwriting recognizer that's a good bit more accurate than the one on Android - the Android one will almost certainly get that better recognizer eventually, but it's tied to our dropping support for ARMv6 processors so we can't make any promises about when it'll happen (basically at whatever point it becomes clear from our download logs that we no longer have a significant number of users with devices that old - we tried to drop them during the beta and were surprised at how many people were still on ARMv6).

    You can transfer from iOS to Android but not from Android to iOS, since Apple doesn't like us selling stuff outside of their store. The one versus many device thing is mainly an issue for copies of Pleco transferred over from Palm or Windows Mobile - device usage for iTunes and Google Play purchases is largely up to Google / Apple, purchases through our store are officially supposed to be used on no more than three devices at a time.

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