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iPad, Kindle & Android – 3 Very Different Things

Saturday, October 10th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Android, Hardware & Peripherals, I've Always Wanted To Know..., iOS

In response to our article about Malware attacking iPhones and iPads, we got this question: “How do I protect the Android  tablet I recently purchased from you from this kind of problem? I did not find any answers in your download on Android devices which I also purchased.”

First, if you’re interested in security measures for your tablet and you already have our Android 101 Guide, check out the chapter entitled “Android Security.”   Or you can also click here to check out this article: Anti-Virus For Android: A Look At Your Security Options.

But the malware talked about in this particular article wouldn’t be an issue for your Android tablet, since it affects only iPads and iPhones – devices running Apple’s iOS operating system.

Also yesterday, a friend’s mom called me and asked for some help doing something on her Kindle tablet. I tried giving her instructions, but they didn’t seem to work and she ended up bringing the device over to my house. Turns out she had a Samsung Galaxy Android tablet and not a Kindle – so the instructions would be completely different.

While all of these devices are tablets, they are very different things. Just as trucks, vans and cars are all vehicles, but a recall notice for a Chevy truck doesn’t affect a Ford sedan. The instructions for fixing an engine problem in an electric car is not the same for a diesel truck. So it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.


An iPad is a device that is only manufactured by Apple. It is most often sold through Apple, though they do have a few retail partners.  iPads run the iOS operating system. (An operating system is the program that makes the tablet go.)


You can’t change the operating system on an iPad – except when Apple offers an upgrade to a newer version of iOS.  iPads will always have an Apple logo on them. They are usually more expensive than other tablets, starting at $329 for an iPad mini and running all the way to $829 for the larger iPads.

Apps for these devices are purchased from the Apple App Store.  If you want to learn more about an iPad, we do have an iPhone and iPad Guide available.


Android is the most popular tablet OS. Google is the company behind the operating system, but anyone can manufacture an Android tablet. While all iPads look and act pretty much the same, you can find quite a bit of difference in the way the homepage for tablets will look.



You cannot change the operating system for your tablet, other than to upgrade to a newer version of Android, if one is offered by our manufacturer.

Among popular Android tablet makers are Samsung, Nexus, Lenovo and Sony. But the most popular Android tablets are generic unbranded ones.

You might find a basic Android tablet for just a bit over $50 or you could pay up to $1000 for a high-end model, depending on the features.

Apps for Android Tablets are found in the Google Play Store.  If you’d like to learn a little more about Android, you can check out our Android 101 Guide.


A Kindle Fire Tablet (not to be confused with a Kindle eReader) is an interesting beast. While it runs the Android operating system, it is heavily modified to turn it into a device for accessing your Amazon account.  Kindles are available only through Amazon.


The Fire line is customized to make is super-easy to pull up eBooks purchased from Amazon. It works best if you purchase a$99-per-year Amazon Prime subscription and use it to view videos and movies and for listening to Amazon streaming music. Your Kindle Tablet will usually say Kindle or Amazon somewhere on the body of the tablet.  A top-of-the line Fire tablet could run close to $400.

It plays games and runs other programs, but you are limited to the selection in the Amazon App store, which is much smaller than the millions of apps available to iPad and Android tablet users.

Still, they are quality tablets and, if you have a Prime subscription, a very handy device for enjoying your entertainment.

So, tablet owners, what kind of tablet do you have?

~ Cynthia

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15 Responses to “iPad, Kindle & Android – 3 Very Different Things”

  1. Shanker says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    For the first time, your write up is not so useful to me! I had expected functional differences among these devices, apart from saying what type of Users should go for any of them.

    • cynthia says:

      What type of functional differences are you interested in? When it comes down to it, they all perform the same functions. If you’re getting into tech specs, that’s a different article because there are an almost limitless number of Android tablets with wildly different specs and several options for Kindles as well.

      • Shanker says:

        Thanks for responding Cynthia!

        I wasn’t looking for tech specs. All I look for is the information about the situations/needs where one of the three is best/ill suited. Because, only such information is helpful for laymen like me.You’d earlier answered my question about Kindle’s suitability for e-books.
        I also hear that Amazon tablets do not encourage apps/e-book reader of others. I’m not sure whether this is true or not. In short, I always want pros and cons of devices/solutions and potential problems in those solutions.

  2. denise smith says:

    i have kindle fire and it does fine for me. i will never be out of books as long as io have my kindle. of course i have the app on my computer so i will still have the books i have bought!!!

  3. Roger Hart says:

    I have the Kindle Fire HD (8.9″)and really enjoy using it. I use it for reading books, playing games and browsing the internet. Plus quite a few apps for various functions (weather, sports scores, etc.). I especially like it when I go on trips to keep up with my email (both domestic and foreign trips). Beats carrying my laptop around.

  4. Gloria says:

    I appreciated the article because it addressed the basic differences between the three types of tablets in an easy-to-understand format. I have not yet purchased a tablet so it helps to know the differences between the three. Thank you. I was looking for the differences between Android and Kindle, primarily and your article addressed that.

    • Martha says:

      I so agree with you about the answer above from the techno-guru named Cynthia. I had always wondered, yet was afraid to ask(!), about the relationship/differences among the three notables: Apple-Google-Amazon. I wasn’t ever certain whether or not I even owned an Android!! Now I know. My Kindle is an Android using altered Google technology, and compatible almost singularly with Amazon. Now if I can only keep the Kindle working as it should, I will be a happy camper!

  5. ANJ says:

    I have a Samsung tab Nook. It is fine for me. I can go to the B&N store if I need help I would like you to mention Nook in your information pieces.
    I have wanted to order from Kindle but can’t seem to figure out how to transfer it to my Nook. Kindle says it is possible.
    Thanks for your news lettrs.

    • cynthia says:

      A Nook is basically just an Android tablet. To read Kindle books, just download the Kindle app from the Google Play store.

  6. bg mcqueen says:

    love my kindle e-reader, kindle fire, and kindle fire hd!

  7. Martha says:

    Oh, dear! Was I wrong in my above synopsis of my Kindle? So, I have a Kindle, not an Android, only it uses modified Android technology for its own purposes at Amazon. I cannot call it an Android? It is a tablet, though, right? Now I am more confused, and I thought Cynthia had done so well in her explanation. I suppose my brain did not download the info as well as I thought. Maybe I need a refresh key!!

    • cynthia says:

      A Kindle Fire tablet is a modified Android Tablet. Not to be confused with a Kindle eReader, which a different kind of device.

  8. Donna says:

    I have a mini IPAD and keep losing my email it just disapears, it started this about 7 or 8 months ago after working fine since purchase. I have taken it to get looked at 4 times and they couldn’t help.
    Is there any one who can help ?

  9. Ilene Falley says:

    I own a old kindle fire. A generation 2 I pad. An android that I never use because I use the I pad more. . Then my hubby has a nook which I had to learn to teach him how to use it, which he doesn’t.. I use the I pad thr most. .

  10. […] response to my article about Kindles, Androids and iPads a reader asked:  I wasn’t looking for tech specs. All I look for is the information about the […]

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