At risk of being involved in said wwIII, it seems to me that the advantages of Android are price
and the ability to run openCPN
(and since it’s available, it would be bonkers to use anything else). However, the android version is not identical to the PC/Mac version but you’d need someone else to explain the differences.
The big advantage of an iPad
is that they can be had more easily with bigger high-res screens. The 10.7 and 12” iPad
pros have superb displays, and for those of us who like only raster charts
they are just as good as using the paper (if not better, because of the great zooming/quilting). Also, you don’t have to shop around because you know you’re getting a high quality product. The downsides of course are price
, and that you will need either to buy a professional app that displays government-supplied and commercial
maps (e.g. SeaIQ) or use a free-to-download app that requires you to buy its own maps, usually vector-only.
I wouldn’t concern yourself too much with stores, as over here in nz we don’t have a single
apple store but still the service
is excellent for those rare occasions you need warranty (or non-warranty) work
done. They courier you a box and pick up, then ship it back fixed, or you can take it to a local agent.
Your comment that you “might as well get the best” doesn’t fit well with being concerned about expense. If you are on a tight budget
and don’t mind smaller less clear screens, that’s great, but you can’t get “the best” pretty much anywhere in life without forking out the folding stuff.
Don’t forget that you can usually recoup a significant proportion of your purchase
price on resale with an iPad, which changes the economics somewhat. I upgraded my original iPad Pro after three years and got well over 50% of the cost back, not something you can do with an android tablet.