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Google's Android Tablets: The Achilles Heel

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Want to use your tablet as a phone? I'm sorry, Google (GOOG), but this is one area where Apple's (AAPL) iPad nails Android to the wall. Let me tell you why.

Android tablets have some obvious advantages over Apple's iPad. For starters, they're cheaper. Let's say you want a 32 gig 7-something inch tablet with LTE, so that you can use it as a cellphone for data access as you're walking down the street, never having to think about connecting to a WiFi network.

In this case, an iPad Mini will cost you $559. In contrast, Google's Asus Nexus 7 costs only $349. That's a $210 difference -- almost enough to buy you an additional 16 gig WiFi-only Nexus 7 for the money you saved.

For all of Android's advantages over iOS, however, Android falls short in a critical area which makes it impossible for me to use an Android tablet as my primary tablet. This area is apps.

On the smartphone, Android doesn't suffer an "app-gap" vis-a-vis the iPhone. Basically, the two are on par with each other. I can't think of a single app that I use, that's not available on both.

On the tablet, however, this isn't so. With the LTE-enabled iPad, I can use it just like an iPhone or Android smartphone, walking down the street and using all of my apps.

As much as I would like to avoid purchasing a future iPad, in favor of an Android tablet, I will be unable to do so, unless something changes. There are many critical apps I would be missing, if today's situation remains unchanged.

When I get up in the morning, I first head to Starbucks (SBUX). With an Android tablet, the Starbucks app isn't available, so I can't pay with it.

When I sit down at Starbucks, I'd like to view my American Express (AXP) charges for the last 24 hours, so I can see if there are any incorrect charges. With an Android tablet, the American Express app isn't available, so I can't check my AmEx account without having to use the actual Web site.

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