Wall tablet - Android or iOS? (2022)

I’m contemplating what I should use as a wall tablet. There are many threads in forums with some very neat solutions. There also seems to be a bias towards android tablets. Anyone else who stood in the choice between android and iOS? Was cost the primary motivator or anything else?

The major considerations I’ve read seems to be:

Cost of tablet

  • Considering price, the difference between an old iPad vs Android isn’t significant. Especially if you start looking at tablets with equivalent screens. So if I’m about to drill holes and get wiring setup, I’m leaning to get the smoother solution than the cheaper solution.

Use frontal cam as a motion sensor

  • As I’ve understood, some have set up a motion sensor in the room and wake their tablet up without a frontal cam. Those who’ve chosen such solution also seem to favour it compared to use of the frontal cam.

Software limitations
From what I’ve read, it seems both android and iOS can be used in Kiosk modes, without having to jailbreak/root any device. The only limitation I can think of is the frontal cam?

Any other major differences that have been missed?

You mean aside from the fact that apple sucks? (KIDDING - sort of)

Either one can be had with a front cam. But saying “android tablet” is disingenuous. Android is an operating system - it’s software. iPad is hardware.

So, really what you’re saying is more akin to “is there any difference between windows and a macbook pro with 64GB of RAM?” Well, without knowing the specs (or even the version) of the windows computer, the only thing that can be answered with any certainty is “you mean aside from the fact that one runs windows and one runs macos?”

Now that we have THAT out of the way… Depending on what you want to do with it, there are TONS of Android tablets that “will work” - some better than others. Basically, it depends on how tech savvy you are, and how complex your dashboards are. When I first got started, I got some fire 10 tablets and followed the instructions on some blogs to get Play store installed and install FullyKiosk and get them all set up - and they worked GREAT. As my dashboards got bigger and more complex, I found them to be lacking horsepower, so I upgraded to some refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab A7s that were only $160 each. Much more horsepower, and flawless performance.

Then there’s the not-so-trivial matter of the additional flexibility of Android vs iOS. I may be being a bit presumptive here, but it seems to me that most people who are into HA at more than a casual level would appreciate that flexibility and ability to customize and write their own apps (if necessary).

Last but not least, with the vast array of hardware manufacturers out there that produce Android devices, there is much more competition in terms of price, so you don’t have to pay the “apple tax”. In fact, you could likely get a new Android tablet for what you’d pay for a refurbished iPad.

I don’t bother with the waking it up or any of that. Set the theme to dark, and leave the screen on all the time. If it dies, I’ll buy another one. They are cheap.

One thing you SHOULD do, though, is figure out how you want to charge it - and don’t just leave it in a “perpetually charging” state. That is horrible for the battery, and in some circumstances, can cause fires. I put a recessed outlet with USB ports behind the mounting plate. Then I control that outlet via a KASA smart switch. I monitor the battery level of the tablet using the HA app, and turn the outlet on and off to keep the battery level within the window I specified. Works great.

So, from what I read above, you don’t really see any practical differences going the iOS route or the Android route?

For most average users, likely not. Cost of hardware would be the primary concern. Barring you wanting to do any customization or development, the underlying OS will largely be transparent if the tablet is dedicated to HA only.

1.) I was also recently faced with the choice between ipad and android tablet and decided to go with ipad for the following reason: you have a much larger selection of matching wall mount frames.

2.) You might put hundreds of hours of work into a beautiful interface and then save on the cost of hardware. certainly not! :wink:

3.) The power consumption of an iPad with the display on is definitely negligible. If I remember correctly I measured 2 watts. Therefore, I have also discarded the issue of switching on when moving in front of it and now have the Ipad always on.
It also has the advantage that you can see certain information like popups, the clock or whatever from a distance.

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