Downsides of Android?

Hi there!

Just stumble upon this amazing forum as I’m ready to get into Nomad after so much time lurking at its possibilities.

I’m in the process of getting a proper tablet to develop and hopefully forge my sculpting skills but after reading too many threads about the iOS/Android topic I feel a bit lost.

I’d be mainly hesitating between:
-Samsung Galaxy tab S8 Ultra (256gb/12gb of Ram)
-iPad Pro 12.9 M1 (128 or 256/8gb of ram)

In order to help me figuring out what would be the best option to get me started I’d like to ask simple questions:

  1. What are the biggest downsides of using Nomad on Android?
  2. What are the biggest downsides of using Nomad on iOS?
  3. Would the S8 Ultra 12gb of Ram allow similar performance to a M1 8gb iPad Pro? If not, would you assume the gap is huge?

I thank you all!

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Either device would handle nomad superbly. Most people probably only have experience of iPad or android, but not both. I’ve got the 8gb M1 iPad Pro 12.9, but if the s8 ultra had been available at the time I may well have got that one. The only downside to iPad Pro as far as I can see is price. I’d be curious if @stephomi , the creator of nomad sculpt, has a view on 12gb Samsung vs 8gb iPad in terms of nomad performance. I suspect it would be pretty similar.
The bigger s8 ultra screen would be very tempting, but basically either device would be superb for nomad. It may come down to what else you want to do on the tablet, apps that may be android only or iPad only etc.
If you got really into digital sculpting you might want to use Cozy blanket retopolgy app, which I think is only on iPad, but it’s not essential, especially not when you are beginning.
Good luck, have fun!

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Having said that, check out this thread, where people are having a few issues with Samsung tablet Worse performance in android on newer versions?

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I use the S8 ultra and it is absolutely perfect

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I would personally not want a wider screen ratio than the iPad.

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Thanks for the non-biased feedback! I saw the topic you mentioned about the recent issues with newer versions, looks like it had to do with enabling/disabling multicore.

I think S8 Ultra has one major advantage in its size and possibilities it can offer paired to Super Display and also enjoy desktop software such asBlender/Zbrush/ Adobe suite with all of the touchscreen and pen possibilities.

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I’ve had the iPad pro for 2 years, mainly because of nomad, but iPad OS and it’s cumbersome anything but “Pro” file management made it impossible for me to really love using it. Switched to the Samsung S8 ultra ( and now S9 ultra) and couldn’t be more happy with it.
I’m also thrilled that I don’t need any sort of paper imitating screen protector that ultimately dulls the screen, because the Samsung pen and other Wacom EMR pens I use aren’t as slippery and provide just the right amount of friction anyway.
As an added plus, I also own a 2in1 laptop with the same Wacom tech and I can use my pens on both devices and my Samsung pen enabled phone. Cross Hardware platform rocks !
Not to mention that multi the tasking support options ( Dex) on the galaxy tab are as close as you can get to a full blown laptop OS experience, which also comes in very handy.
The S8/S9 Ultra is an amazing device, so much fun to use and Nomad runs like a dream on it.

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If quad remesher will finally be part of nomad it will be only on IOS.
If you using IOS you can buy Cosy blanquet for manual remesh too and use Procreate for 3d painting. Memory is more better used on IOS than on Android.
I personally use android smartphone

I’ve got an 8gb M1 Pro, but in future will definitely be looking at s8/9 galaxy. Do you notice any difference in performance between iPad and the Samsung’s? (Obviously this will depend on which go iPad Pro you have)

Thank you for such a feedback! Didn’t expect to hear from someone with the experience of both. It sure does allow me to seriously consider the S8 Ultra as it would also allow me to fill the lack of app such as Cosy Blanket by using Super Display with Blender.

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I had both the M1 and M2 iPad pro. I didn’t experience any performance downgrade with the S8 Ultra.

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You’re welcome.
In all honesty, I’m not a huge apple fan , but I really have the iPad pro a full 2 year long thorough try. I was so willing to love it but in the end the love just never kicked in .
The Hardware is great, no doubt, but the OS is really tiresome, joyless and anything but user friendly, at least for me.
At the end of the day it’s all personal preference of course. I get that for some people the restrictive nature of the iPad is actually a plus.
For me, all the things Samsung enables you to do, all the very customizable options it offers, Dex, the choice of a few other none Samsung artist pens that work great, the option of adding a mini SD card etc… is not juts practical but also really fun and gives me that satisfying feeling that as expensive as that tablet is, at least I get a truck load of options in that one device.

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OK - so what the point of your post? Just wondering…

Just a technical comparison that the M1 of the iPad Pro is superior to that of the Samsung S8 ultra which was the question of the original post. 3D on a mobile device relies on these specifications because the more processing available is paramount.

Personally I would recommend ipad because I’m invested in the full apple ecosystem and plan on upgrading my M1 Pro to M3 when it is launched next year. On the m1 16gb ram I’ve worked in Nomad on model with 40m polys and post processing with no slow down (no experience of how Samsung would compare though)

My 2 cents

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In general: it’s really depends on your preferences. Both devices will handle Nomad quite well. Don’t let you be confused by the Benchmark-kiddies and Marketing-victims. The Apple-M series have sure it’s benefits - but: a render on iPad? Honestly…

The benefit of iPad Pro: better tablet optimization of OS and wider (but expensive) ecosystem. There is Procreate (-> Texture Painting), a Retopology-option (which you have to pay for monthly - but frankly: even Blender is more convenient), and many other apps not existing for Android. A well integration in the Apple-ecosystem (so if you have an iPhone, Mac, etc. …).

The benefit of Android-Tablets: In general cheaper, far less restrictive (file explorer, freely use of additional HW, etc.), but you should be aware of the fact, that quality cost money. I would never go with any other tablet than Samsung’s tablet s-series (but: almost the same price point as Apple).

I have both here, but Nomad I use on Android only - simply because:

  • file handling on device/scriptable folder-sync and transfer to my desktop
  • screen ratio (references are on the second multi window - pulled out from the left)
  • the EMR-Pen (I use the Wacom One) - far better than sPen or Apple Pencil
  • sd-card up to 1 TB
  • the Android OS in general (sync to Linux, Windows)

But that’s only me - no IT-expert but I have to script a lot due to my profession. And therefor Android is just far better for me. Same for drawing/paining: I love Infinite Painter but hate Procreate.

And: btw. most times I carry the s7 with me as I take all my notes on it.

My verdict: Consider your preference and your need. Make a list of all the stuff you want to use your tablet for - and choose it to what suits you better. I still regret my iPad Pro purchase - but not because it is bad. Simply because it was horribly expensive - and I use it rarely. My s7 is my daily driver. But for you: it could be the other way around.

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well - don’t get me wrong but you compare apples with oranges. Especially, the link you posted: it’s not even an AI-enhanced article of any use. It does not even provide benchmark results employing new features of both processors, some are even not working at all!

The best would be to provide benchmarks specific for Nomad, both OSs and many Android-devices - it’s a shame there is none available. Distinct by several use-case scenarios - like e.g. Blender offers. I never use post-processing while I sculpt - so where is the benefit of Apple’s M-Processor?
And frankly, why should I use any Quadremesher, if I have a desktop for real work and retopology? It’s a nice feature (yes I want it, too) - but would I pay for it? Monthly? Stay low poly and switch to DynTopo (if required, but stay low) for the details. Never ran into any issues. And thereafter: do a correct retopology.

The biggest benefit of Nomad is: I (can) use it during vacation, on a trip, in the train, on my sofa, etc. Always with me - but here I prefer my s7. Smaller device, better multimedia support (-> Samsung Notes, Screen Share onto almost all devices, works with my Switch controller, bigger references in gallery (2nd app), Wacom One pen, and no black top and bottom border if I watch movies). But that’s me: If I really sculpt: I use my desktop. With two external monitors, a keyboard - and modeling tool-options - with a mouse and keyboard.

By compute performance: it’s not a surprise a Notebook processor (Apples M-series) offers better over all computation performance than a cell phone processor. But: do you use it? I never use Excel, my math programs (I’m an IT-physicist), compilers, etc. on it. The Apple pencil requires battery, feels horrible in my hand, no OLED-screen, less RAM, iOS sucks (sorry, I hate it), the storage limitations, … There are tons of arguments against iPads - but also many speaking for it. For some it is better, for others not.

Coming back to Nomad: It depends on the use-case: I personally never render on my tablet (post processing). But need a lot of RAM - the s8 Ultra has 4 GB more (ok: required mainly for my many layers in infinite painter - I know: shame on me) - so my next device must have at least 8 GB. For Nomad: I never, run into any issues on my s7 (6 GB, btw.).

Texture drawing in Procreate: honestly, as long the UVs created by Nomad is a nightmare - why should I use it? UV-editing I do on my desktop - so why not stay on it for texture drawing? There exists far better PC-programs, saving a hell of life-time. You want to do it on your tablet - OK: No way on Android - here the iPad wins. But: have you ever made a full retopology of an human body in CozyBlanket? Some choose ZBrush/Nomad for hard-surfaces - I never understood why. But that’s just me.
Btw - I would never buy a s8/9 Ultra - it’s far too big, expensive and heavy. But again: that’s just for me.

Don’t get me wrong: Other will fully disagree with my arguments, but age taught me: when it comes to choices, the intention for what you decide, mostly depend on the use-case you want to choose it for. And most of the time you’ll regret - but not because you heard on the wrong ones, but because you did not know what you have to choose for in advance.

The OP’s question was so unspecific, the best would be first: he describes the full use-case he wants his tablet (it’s a tool - nothing more) for. And no: there never will be one-device-fits-all solution.

I would guess: he is not sure about what he wants. Then, I would recommend he goes with an iPad. It’s expensive, has good support, but is easy to use. However, comes with a lot of restrictions - and in total (long term) will be far more expensive.

Btw: English is not my first language - excuse my mistakes.

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Don’t get me wrong, as soon as Nomad is available on desktop I will only use my iPad for more leisurely sculpting but I am looking for a full replacement to zbrush. That being said I have used nomad on iPad to do work for film and high end tv (not renders but modelling) purely because it is quicker and easier than zbrush for my needs.

As to which is the more capable device I believe the dev (Stephane) is best placed to answer that… personally money is not a factor for me but historical experience of non-apple devices/OSes has galvanised my personal opinions.

Again just my 2 cents

@Steve: by Benchmark-kiddies: it was not intended towards you. But: more in general. I deeply excuse if you feel offended. It really was just a general statement against all the Tik-Tok/Youtube community, always spreading non-sense arguments just to get attention and collect revenue. And yes: the programmer is the best to give recommendations on which platform his/her program runs best!

In general, I would attest: The question, what tablet to choose, really depends on what you want to choose it for (in the whole picture). But never forget: it’s a tool. You would never choose a driller for hammering a nail into the wall.

I just wanted to point out: By my experience it doesn’t matter if you go with a quality Android tablet or an iPad Pro (what’s quality by definition). At least for Nomad.

For the OP: Please, be more specific:

  • with iPad Pros: you can do nothing wrong, same holds for the recent Galaxy s series.
  • By performance: rendering (post processing) is better/faster on iPad Pros → computation power
  • by amount of polygons/layers: that’s more dependent on RAM - however: 8GB should really be enough - but do not expect results like on a desktop with tons of RAM, nvidia, ZBrush, and far more computation power! And specific rendering engines (just look at Cycles/Blender)
  • if you want an all-in-one solution (what I can understand): there is none
  • And: a better and far(?) more consistent tablet ecosystem you’ll find on iPads - but Android is catching up quickly, is more open (if you use it) and cheaper (and yes: I’m biased)

To make it short:

  • a pro will make a horrible impressive work on a cheap and crappy android tablet - even phone.
  • a beginner will always create rubbish - even with the most expensive and potential tool

That’s why it is called: art

As a beginner: if you run into problems (crashing, etc.): it’s more about your workflow than the amount of RAM/processing power. There’s a reason why all tutors try to teach you: stay as low as possible on the poly-count. First: master the basics, learn your tools.

But: cheap Android tablets provide crappy pens (mostly not exchangeable) - not a real problem for Nomad, but for note-taking and drawing. In addition: software support is a nightmare - if you are not into rooting (open-OSs) and fixing bugs: stay away. On the high-end side - for Nomad - it really doesn’t matter (up to now): I prefer Samsung other do Apple.

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The issue with Android, using Snapdragon at least, are programmers that have no interest in learning how to code and push its full potential. For instance, AMDs GPU architecture is seriously gimped outisise of UE5 (DirectX12) because most programers are only familar with CUDAs dated/traditional architecture (DX11).

I guess the same can be said about Apples M-Series, as in they just throw code at it with no intention to actually utilize it on a native level even if the API has advanced features to do so.

Benchmarks almost always favor NVIDIA with code designed for its GPU architecture.

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