Apple iPad 3 vs Google Nexus 7 head-to-head review

We take a look to see if the 7in sub-£200 Android tablet is capable of outperforming the all-conquering iPad.

SoftwareThe software experience is largely subjective and varies between users. Some may prefer Apple's controlled but intuitive iOS, whereas Android has more options in terms of customisation.

Both operating systems can be managed remotely - Apple using MDM software and Android using Google Device Policy. On-board security is also tight on both platforms with encryption available, although you have to manually activate this feature on Google devices.

The third-generation iPad comes with iOS 5.1 and Apple didn't change much when it came to the look. iOS fans will already be familiar with features such as iTunes, iBooks, Newsstand and the App Store. The firm added a notifications bar, integrated Twitter into the OS and debuted the iCloud.

iPad vs Nexus - Twitter integration into iOS

iOS 5.1 brings features such as native Twitter integration

From an end-user experience, users are going to have to put up with iTunes, which is a love-it or hate-it program and doesn't work too well on PCs. Plug and play functionality is also limited, as you can only transfer pictures and videos off the Apple device without using software.

Google's tablet, meanwhile, serves up Android's most up-to-date version 4.1 of the software, dubbed Jelly Bean. As well as feeling silky-smooth thanks to Project Butter, Google's own attempts to improve OS performance, there's plenty to like about Jelly Bean. There's a separate home page for media, tiles and home page widgets that can be dragged, moved and re-sized with a finger swipe. The superb Google Chrome browser is included as standard too.

iPad vs Nexus - Google Now

Google Now provides time sensitive information in bite-sized cards

Google Now is one of the stand-out software features. It collects information, from weather and appointments to nearby restaurants and attractions, flight details and public transport information, and it's all tied in to Google's voice search. There's no 3G, though, which limits its usefulness, but it's a brilliant expansion on Apple's Siri concept a feature that's not included on the latest iPad.

Being open source, Android is more flexible. You're not restricted when it comes to transferring files on the Nexus. The device can be plugged into a PC like any other portable hard drive, making it uber useful for business people on the move.

Winner: Nexus 7

Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, is a triumph. It runs smoother than any previous version of Android thanks to its Project Butter improvements, and the various new inclusions including Google Now work well and add far more functionality. Apple's iPad is close behind thanks to its own slick selection of apps, but the Google tablet is just as functional and more versatile.

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