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Are You Getting Or Giving A Tablet For Christmas?

If you are like most people this christmas you are either getting or giving a tablet of some kind.

David Pogue, Tech writer for the NY Times says,  "No wonder people are confused. The market has gone tablet crazy. There’s practically a different model for every man, woman and child." David's article in the NY Times Tech section does a nice job sorting out the alternatives.

From a real estate photography stand point there is probably no must have application that makes a tablet necessary. It's more an issue of staying in touch with the huge technology transition to tablets that's going on. You want to aware of tablets and know what your site and tours look like on tablets and how your agent clients use tablets. Every day I run across photographers or agents that are using tours or marketing that doesn't work well on tablets. Hello, earth to business people, the world in moving to tablets! It's business suicide to not have a tablet compatible site and marketing these days.

The following is my take on what the most important tablets are right now. I've been paying close attention to this because I want my ebooks to work well on all these tablets:

  1. iPad 4th generation: The tablet with the best all around ecosystem. That is good specs, good software and plenty of innovative apps.
  2. iPad mini: Does everything the big iPad does but just smaller and lighter. Be ware the iPad mini doesn't have a retina screen yet... it may get on next year.
  3. Kindle Fire HD: Both of the Kindles are focused on media consumption. Ebooks, music, audiobooks, movies and work like a dream for those purposes but are much weaker than the iPad and Nexus 10 when it comes to general purpose activities.
  4. Kindle Paper White: For just reading Kindle books this is pretty cool for just $69. A fantastic way to read ebooks.
  5. Google Nexus 10: The tablet with the best all around specs but has fewer apps.
The two best choices right now for photographers are #1, 2 and #5. Chris Parillo goes through a detail comparison of the iPad  4th generation and Nexus 10.
I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of tablets and mobile devices PFRE blog readers are already using so I looked at the mobile device stats on google analytics. Here are the results:
  1. As of the beginning of December 2012, 16% of  PFRE blog visitors are using mobile devices.
  2. iPads are 47% of monthly mobile traffic.
  3. iPhones are 36% of monthly mobile traffic.
  4. Other types of mobile devices are 18% of monthly mobile traffic. This other category consists of 220 different device types.
  5. Before 2010 the PFRE blog didn't have mobile traffic... I think that's because google analytics wasn't tracking it separately.
  6. Through out 2010 and 2011 mobile traffic on the blog has increased steadily. During 2012 it appears to have increased slower than 2010 and 2011.


20 comments on “Are You Getting Or Giving A Tablet For Christmas?”

  1. Larry I really like you and I really like your blog and have a deep respect for you but this whole apple publicity is making me nuts. Everyone knowns that macs are a piece of crap. Anything closed source is. The ecosystem is extremely limited. Also they are extremely overpriced. I can get an android with better screen and better specs for less then $300.
    I find this post ridiculous. There are thousands of android tablet models. yet only a few with ios and you only compare 4 tablets that aren't even great anyway. For the price of an ipad you can even buy a windows tablet that works as any normal notebook. or you can even multiboot with linux and android. But for a photography point of view I think the screen is the most important thing. So I'll point out much better models with same or better screens then icraps and much cheaper. just models rather then links just to avoid publicity. N90FHD, U9GT5, CHUWI V99

  2. I think Pedro needs to read David Pouge's article as well and look at these things with an open mind. I am sooooooooo tired of Apple haters and for that matter Apple fanboys too.......I am neither and tend to look at the products for what they are and what they do. Apple products are no longer overpriced when comparing "apples to apples" (couldnt resist 🙂 ). I think this article is spot on, my wife is a real estate agent and does not have a tablet yet but has been keeping an eye on what is happening. She would love to dump her laptop and get a tablet but cannot quite do that yet.

    Thanks for this post it was very informative!

  3. We have a real estate photography company. Based on our analytics more than 50% of our Realtor customers use iOS devices. Fewer than 10% have Android. I've never been able to explain this.

    We have 9 devices of various flavors we test on, and are constantly being surprised by the results.

  4. I have the original Ipad and am not impressed. Safari crashes constantly, even when cookies and history are clean and all other apps are shut off and after shutting down. The apple cult-ure attitude seems to be 'well you need to upgrade'. So why would I ever buy another apple product if the answer is to upgrade if there is a problem.

  5. I initially saw Pedro's comment on my PC but inconvenient to reply. Now out with my iPad. The web site useage statistics presumably from Google Analytics tells all with Apple swamping other devices accessing the web site. that is reality. Overpriced? Absolutely. But a very very successful product with good marketing. No problem with success. I am no fanboy, and I use an android phone and first Apple product since my original Apple II. Firmly in the PC camp but my 3 y/o laptop is dying, and the Mac historically would not be in the picture. However, my experience with the iPad and personal view of the Windows 8 interface flat out ugly with those big blocks may push me to a Mac. Already have traveled solely with the iPad, leaving the laptop home, with no problems.

    Michael... IPad is like a DSLR in that it retains an insane high margin on resale, particularly one or two generations back. Selling and purchasing new not only I ionizes the cost, but updates the technology and rolls you into a new warranty. I recently did that with my iPad2, Craigslist for $300, and bought the iPad Retina on Black Friday sale for $435. IPhones retain similar margin, contrast to when I bought my android phone, they offered $3 trade in on my 2 y/o Blackberry Tour.

  6. I use a Samsung TAB 2 10" and so far I have really enjoyed it. I originally bought it to use with the DSLR controller app (Android) and although the app is unstable, it works really well when it doesn't crash. This, of course, isnt the tablets fault as it works flawlessly with everything else. For the price this is a hard set-up to be if you do elevated shots or like to position the camera in an otherwise hard to reach spot.

    On a side note, the whole idea of remote view/control of the camera via a tablet or smartphone has me fascinated. I would love to be able to have a larger size smartphone in one hand controlling the camera, and my strobe in the other, running around the scene making on the fly adjustments and getting a little more precise with my main strobe. I think this will be a reality by this time next year...

  7. I don't like this post for some reason. I think it is because this site is about photographing real estate and not about tablet computers. I appreciate the effort, but at the same time I really don't find that I agree with the statements or conclusions.

    Nexus 10 may not come installed with a lot of apps, but you certainly can get a LOT more from the Google Play store. I would like some clarification on this point. It really just takes all of the credibility out of the post.

    The kindle devices don't even belong in the list, IMO. They are for media consumption, and not much else. Also, no mention of the Surface line? Odd.

    Regarding the traffic stats - Apple has done a good job of marketing their products to the creative community, so it makes perfect sense to me that people visiting a photography related site would use Apple devices. Having worked in a commercial photo studio for the past 5 years, it was interesting to watch as everyone slowly got their cherished iPhone. It was also interesting to see people wishing that their iPhone could do what my low-end Android device was doing. Yes, Apple products are great. They are also expensive. They are not the only game in town. Personally I don't ever care to have an Apple product. Cost and inability to upgrade many of them is extremely distasteful to me. I've been using a PC to do my creative work all the way through college and my professional career, and have never felt the need to own an Apple product. Having used them (Apple) exclusively at my workplace, I never once thought that any part of the experience was better because of a Mac. /Rant.

  8. @Marvin- I was going to add a comment about the Surface at the end but it was late and I forgot. I explicitly didn't include it in this because the jury is still out as to whether it's a success or failure. Even David Pogue, who follows tech for a living hasn't figured it out yet.

  9. A few comments regarding this article.....

    Larry basically opened up a can of worms here with a silly statement like "The two best choices right now for photographers", after listing 5 measly being a ebook reader that isnt even in the same class or ballpark as the others.

    A little more research quickly shows many additional options that are provide great features and would also be great for photographers (or anyone for that matter) :

    - Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700: The 1.6GHz Tegra 3 and DDR3 RAM make this the fastest Android tablet available. Drop in an incredible camera, beautiful high-res screen, and the flexibility of a full Android environment

    - Google Nexus 7: not sure why this is not on the list when the ipad mini is? Still the best small tablet, the Nexus 7's smooth interface, fast performance, and low price makes it the best in its class. This is basically why the iPad mini was made to compete with (along with the other 7 inch tablets).

    - Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

    - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

    - Microsoft Surface - sounds like its not doing well, but im sure it has features that some people would want.

    A blog like this is pointless unless you provide all (or almost all) the options out there. Each tablet has its pros and cons and what is best is different from person to person, depending on their needs and also what they feel comfortable using......specs are not always the deciding factor.

    I personally love the apple mobile products for basically one, non business related reason....iTunes....nothing comes remotely close to iTunes in my opinion, I have always used the iphone (have the iPhone 5) because I dont need all the extra crap an android can do....i use it for business, checking emails, scheduling, etc and non business for music.. I got the Ipad because I already had so many apps, music etc from my 3 years with my iPhone, it made sense to have something that I could also use the apps on. But to be honest, I came very close to getting the Samsung S3 as it was an amazing phone, but again, the poor music option was the deciding factor for me personally and I found the build quality very poor with the androids.

    3-4 months ago all the tech nerds (probably including David Pogue) were saying the Windows Surface tablet would be the next big thing and change everything. News this week is that WindowsTablet Sales are “Almost Nonexistent” and Microsoft cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million. I guess the Windows Tablet isnt the "best" as some were

    At the end of the day these are just tools and you pick the best tool for YOU and/or YOUR business....there is no universal best.

  10. Sorry, my apologies to David Pogue, he was actually spot on with his Windows Surface opinion/article back in June:

    "So I mean no disrespect to Microsoft when I predict that the Surface will have a tough climb ahead. But this is a week for celebration, not doomsday analysis. Because whether the Surface tablet sinks or swims, it represents competition, choice and some fresh ideas. For those contributions, we should wish it well."

  11. I appreciate this post, and have my own observations.
    I;m a newbie, here...but....
    I had lunch today with a new client. Showed him my website on my ipad...He looked it up on his ipad....and the other agent at the table looked it up on his ipad.
    It is a remarkable product for photo viewing.
    As a realtor, I can have a contract signed, and emailed, and all the needed paperwork completed ....You guessed it...from my iPad.
    I'm happy to own one.
    Attended a team meeting today at the office....70+percent of those agents, have ipads.
    Just like a lot of's a personal choice.
    Canon /Nikon
    But from my observation...the ipad has a large market share for a reason. Awesome device.
    Just sayin'

  12. @Ken, dont get me wrong, I have apple products and obviously like them.....but:

    Actually Apple doesnt have as large percent of the market as you think:

    "Apple Inc's iPad and iPad mini tablets would lose some market share to devices running on Google Inc's Android platform for the full year, research firm International Data Corp (IDC) said. Apple's worldwide tablet market share would slip to 53.8 per cent in 2012 from 56.3 per cent in 2011, while Android products would increase their share to 42.7 per cent from 39.8 per cent, IDC said."

    53.8 to 42.7 and closing......

  13. The iPad was the first and it is a good stable product. The other manufacturers are catching up fast. They will get better and force Apple to come out with better iPads faster too. I will be gettinga tablet, but still to expensive to get one this year. 🙁

  14. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill!
    The article, while mentioning Apple products (and others) was about keeping up with what our clients are using (the numbers speak for themselves).
    It's not about what we personally like, as Larry stated,
    "It’s more an issue of staying in touch with the huge technology transition to tablets that’s going on"

    While your busy being distracted by arguing over products, those clients that cant access your website properly as they sit on the lounge/bus/train/whatever, are going somewhere else.

  15. Just not a very useful article. All it seems to be designed to do is create controvery, a basic marketing technique designed to fire up two different camps in order to drive more traffic to a blog or web site.

  16. @Nick

    You somehow managed to get half the article correct. Yes, the first part is about "staying in touch with the huge technology transition to tablets that’s going on" and that "You want to aware of tablets and know what your site and tours look like on tablets and how your agent clients use tablets". Which no doubt is 100% true and a great point.

    I think where some people got sidetracked was in the second part that goes on to talk about what "the most important tablets are right now" and then goes on to state "The two best choices right now for photographers are #1, 2 and #5". I think both statements are odd when so many tablets, many of which are better than those listed were not even presented. Im still wondering what exactly makes a tablet "good for photographers" specifically?

    Its kinda like talking about what camera is best but leaving out 50% of the options out there.

    I know Larry is doing the best he can, and to be honest....when you start talking about apple vs android it almost certainly starts a war. Go to Cnet sometime and read any apple or android related article....even when it doesnt even mention the other, the comments somehow still always turn into a one vs the other war.

  17. Just to address my earlier post.
    I wasn't suggesting one tablet or the other was better.
    I was pointing out, that in the circle that I travel in as a realtor and now a photog the tablet of choice is the iPad, but a substantial margin.
    Everyone's circle will be different.
    Not trying to be in a spitting contest.
    Lots of great choices.
    Thanks for the post Larry.

  18. @David Saul- Actually posts on controversial subjects like this that draw a lot of comments rarely draw more traffic than posts that are on core subjects related to real estate photography. This post got 250 pageviews less than the post the day before that was not particularly controversial.

    @Chris - Yea, you are right on... this subject is a huge can of worms, right up there with religion and politics. I should have known better. I had no intention of writing a definitive exposition on what the best choice of tablets is for photographers. I just wanted to raise the point that there is a huge worldwide transition in process to mobile devices and yet there are large numbers people oblivious to it and/or in denial that it is happening.

  19. KEVIN ! "apples to apples" LOL

    When my PC was finally completely taken over by my daughter I switched myself to a MacBook Pro..... I have never looked back. It just works, always! As far as tablets are concerned, my daughter wants the iPad mini for christmas, so I'll get to play with it at least and then maybe wait for it to come out with the retina display for myself.

    On that note, Happy holidays to you Larry and all other PFRE readers !

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