Out of the mouths of babes…
At Christmas, we bought our daughters (twins, then aged two), a pair of cheap Android tablets. The spec was pretty good given the price – 1.5Ghz processors, Ice Cream Sandwich as standard and 8Gb of RAM and for £50 apiece is seemed a reasonable way to keep them entertained and away from my iPad3.
My wife and I were really quite excited to see how the kids would react to the units and we put a good couple of hours into installing a bunch of apps they would probably like prior to the big day (for any kids reading this, we put the apps on then shipped it to the North Pole for delivery *cough*).
So it came as something of a surprise when the pair of them showed no little interest in them. Was it that they weren’t ready for their own portable electronics? No. It turns out the user interface was too tricky to negotiate and the amount of in-app advertising and horrendous self-promotion from the developers resulted in tap-throughs to content they didn’t want and couldn’t get out of.
I sat with them one day just after Christmas and watched them try to work their way around the Android interface. At one point, one of the pads was thrown to the floor in frustration as yet another “Give me five stars” screen popped up, taking focus away from Hello Kitty.
In the end, I think it was little Emily who summed it up best when she handed me her 7″ tablet and asked:”Can I have a proper iPad please Daddy?” I handed her mine with dire warnings about what would happen it was thrown, drooled on or had biscuit stuffed into it. For the next 30 minutes there was total silence.
We’ve learned our lesson and bought them second-hand first-gen iPads for their birthday – it’s just easier, whichever way you look at it!