The Difference Between an Apple iPad & the Android

By Emma Nichols

Two of the most popular mobile devices on the market as of August 2011 are Apple's iPad and the Android. Although the two have many similar features, such as fast Web browsing, watching and recording videos, and listening to music, the differences are numerous -- including the type of device itself. The iPad is a tablet and the Android is a smartphone. The two devices also differ in operating systems, flash capabilities, video capabilities.

Tablet and Cellphone

The iPad is a tablet computer created by Apple. A tablet is type of mobile computer that is smaller, lighter and used by touching the screen with your fingers or a special pen, rather than using a physical keyboard and touch pad/mouse. The Android, developed by Google, on the other hand, is an operating system used on Android cellphones. Although the iPad resembles a larger version of Apple's iPhone, it does not have the ability to make and receive phone calls. Calling is the Android's primary function, however.

Operating System

The iPad runs on Apple's iOS operating system. All iOS operating systems, including the iOS 4, the current system as of August 2011, only run on Apple's iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. The system's primary Internet browser is Safari and has the ability to share information wirelessly among other Apple devices on the same operating system on the same network. It looks similar to the OS X operating system found on Apple computers. The Android's operating system is based on Linux kernel, a free and open source software that powers the 10 fastest computers in the world. The operating system as of August 2011, Honeycomb, features an Internet browser based on WebKit's layout engine with Chrome's JavaScript engine, making it one of the top browsers.

Flash Capabilities

The iPad is notorious for not being able to run Flash, a platform that adds movement and interactivity to websites. Flash is used on most websites to watch videos, play games and navigate through content. Although many websites have made mobile versions accessible on iPads that do not use Flash, it is still difficult to navigate without. The Android, on the other hand, has full Flash capabilities.

Video Capabilities

The Android and iPad are able to watch and record videos. As mentioned, iPads cannot watch any Flash videos, but YouTube is a preinstalled application. The iPad also features two cameras -- one on the back of the device for recording video, and one on the front of the device to use for video chatting using Apple's FaceTime. Although the Android does not have a video chatting feature, it does have the ability to record video in 3D quality.