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For Seniors: Tablet Buying Decisions: Which Operating System?

When deciding which tablet to buy, you must consider the operating system it uses. Most tablets use a mobile operating system (OS) similar (or identical) to operating systems used on smartphones. The OS controls how you interact with your tablet, and which apps the tablet can run, so it’s an important buying decision.

Mobile operating systems don’t require as much processing power as a desktop or laptop computer operating system, but they perform pretty much the same tasks. There are several types of operating systems a tablet might employ:

  • iPad, the first of the recent generation of tablets, uses the Apple iOS that also drives the popular iPhone mobile phone and iPod Touch.

  • Android is the mobile OS promoted by Google. The Android 3.0 interface is optimized for tablets.

  • BlackBerry OS is the BlackBerry operating system, the same one used on BlackBerry phones for years.

  • The HP webOS was inherited with the company’s acquisition of Palm Computing, and is available on their TouchPad tablets.

  • Windows tablets also exist, and they run the same Windows found on other computers.

Whichever tablet you choose, you should play around with it and see how the interface provided by the operating system feels to you, and which apps it supports.

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