Points to Jen-Hsun Huang
as the man says, it is a "why bother" problem.
To beat the market leader you need to be one or both of:
* twice as good
* half the price.
it isn't, and it isn't.
Quite unexpectedly I found myself in possession of some very hot, illegal property last week. Not a looted plasma TV but rather the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which thanks to legal injunctions is disappearing from channels all over Europe. Vodafone is the latest to cancel its orders. It is a beautifully designed piece of hardware …
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The iPad is a window on to your media ecosystem and gives you instant access to those movies, music, games and web sites that you want to view all the time.
Any other tablet that doesn't have the full media ecosystem behind it is mearly a netbook without a keyboard, hence they will fail until they can provide the services to support.
There is an iPad market, and a bunch of hopeful wannabes clustered around the outside. They cannot compete because they are not Apple.
The use cases for smartphones are pretty clear, but tablets in general are not a solution to a problem that everyone is desparate to solve. Not many people will find their lives noticably improving with the addition of a tablet.
I guess it doesn't help that samsung have screwed up their android implementation here. Seriously, landscape only? What were they thinking?
But the feel I got from the article was that everyone should stop making tablets because they'll only end up as inferior iPad clones. Is this really what we want? The iPod did a pretty good job of strangling diversity in the MP3 market, in no small part due to iTunes as well. If I asked you to name 3 prominent MP3/media players that weren't developed by Apple, you'd have to pause and think for a little bit.
Crap productss deserve to be consigned to the bargin bin of history but you shouldn't give up the race just because someone's in the lead.
I think the point is that a lot of the not-Apple tables are being built by companies who have no idea what they are for or why people buy them (or rather why people buy the iPad). As a result you get products that can feel a little half-baked or directionless.
Take the Playbook, for example, RIM is famous for BBM and push mail. So, what do they bring out? A device that does neither (unless you have a BlackBerry to pair it to).
Great, now I can buy a tablet that does Flash, but is useless for something somewhat more important unless I also change my phone. Remind me why I would want one? Oh yeah, it does Flash. I can see all of the internet. Except my mail. Maybe I'll just buy a netbook instead.
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There's quite a good niche market for it in music production and in home automation.
A use programmable MIDI controller can cost you about £250 and isn't wireless.
An iPad can do so much more and is wireless, battery powered (important for on-stage performances where mains glitches can crash computers) and there's even DJ-ing applications.
That's exactly the sort of stuff I use mine for. Quick jumps onto the internet, checking a few eBay auctions, checking email, reading books, etc.
In many ways I'm amazed the iPad has been so popular. I'm incredibly happy with my iPad and I use it constantly, but when asked exactly why it's so great, it's very hard to give an answer that matches my enthusiasm. At the end of the day, the iPad doesn't do anything a netbook or laptop couldn't do and is more than twice the price. So on paper it sounds crap.
I should just say now, I'm not the type to think it's great because it's got Steve Jobs' magic pixie dust sprinkled on it. In reality I think it's just the convenience of the device that I really like. It doesn't need charging all the time, it's instant-on, browsing in portrait mode is excellent and the various apps available make it great for books, films, TV shows, etc. The simplicity of it means it doesn't go wrong or need rebooting either. You see? I still can't properly explain why I like it so much...
Yep, that's what we use it for.
It's also easier to use while lounging in bed on a lazy Sunday morning; no need to fully sit up so you can use the keyboard of your laptop.
We live in NYC. In a <600sq ft apartment. Space is a premium. We don't have a "computer room", or even a "computer area", we have laptops that we use on the couch or the kitchen table or the kitchen counter. Because we also need to sit on the couch, eat meals, cook... laptops need to be tucked away, they can't always be sitting out in the open, can't always be plugged in and in sleep mode.
The tablet is much easier because it can sit on the coffee table and not get in the way. You can check IMDB, FB, then put it back on the table, and two minutes later look up something else, and then an hour later look up something else without having to dig the laptop out from its hiding place. It's way more convenient.
It's great for recipes. It can be propped up against the backsplash and you still have room on the counter (remember, small NYC kitchen). It can be easily moved without clearnig a huge space for it.
Coffee shops are getting stingy with their power and there are the laptop people who hog the tables all day. It's easy to sit and use a tablet (assuming you're just browsing the web and not trying to use the coffee shop as your office).
It's awesome for watching movies on road trips. Laptop was always a kludge, having to use an inverter to keep it powered. Even better on the plane, as seats are shoved so close together and the seat in front is reclined all the way, hard to fit your 15" laptop on those tiny little trays.
So for us, the tablet is very convenient. Nothing we couldn't do with a laptop, but it's just easier with a tablet. Maybe it doesn't matter which brand of tablet, but since we have iPhones as well, the iPad just integrates nicely.
"we have iPhones as well, the iPad just integrates nicely."
Can you ellaborate? From my understanding these are 2 separate products that don't integrate at all. In fact it seems that only tablets that integrate with phones are RIM's offerings. You can't even read your bloody email if you haven't "integrated" your blackberry with the playbook.
So please explain how the iPhone "integrate" with the iPad?
A bunch of people who realise what the point of the iPad is.
The whole point of the iPad was summed up in one line during Jobs' keynote (paraphrased):
'You pick up the iPad that just happens to lying around in your kitchen.'
It's a *consumer* device. It's meant for *consumption*. As such, it's brilliant - it does exactly what the label says! All these companies who're trying to make "computers" are missing the point.
Whilst the commentards here may want open/portable/programmable tablets (I'm the same), most people aren't commentards and have no technical background (first hand experience with the boyfriend here). As such they want something simple and easy to use. Mac OS X does it well. My iPod Touch does it well. (Both observations based on the non-techie boyfriend rating.)
I, personally, like GNU/Linux & BSD but most people don't give a rat's arse about this sort of thing, This is a *consumer* device - celebrate it for what it is or don't buy it!
The ipad is awesome for carrying large quantities of documents as PDFs. Tried a lot of alternatives - tablets (in the old Windows pen sense) are too bulky and too slow. Ebook readers are waaaay too slow with large scanned PDFs (my old irex took ^ 20 seconds to change pages).
ipad + goodreader + a good scanner = so much win it's incredible.
It looks to be a great device physically, but like all great computing devices, they're only as good as the OS they run.
Perhaps those who compete with Apple rested too many Laurels on Android? Sure HP have gone their own way with WebOS, but 18 months into the "Tablet Era" I would have expected Android to be driving the tablet bull by the horns.
Obviously and sadly this is not the case, so what exactly needs to be done to make Android based tablets jump out and shout loudly from the moment it's removed from the packaging and powered on for the very first time?
I don't have the answer, but hopefully someone out there does, but until then it seems that Android based tablets will have a better look than feel..
... and they need to be good ones. I mean they need to challenge Apple's flagship apps like Garageband and iMovie. But you're not going to get developers writing apps even close to that quality until there's a large customer base. And you're not going to get a large customer base until there's plenty of high quality apps.
See the paradox?
With phones, it wasn't a problem, as apps were considered (rightly or wrongly) to be secondary functionality and cheap Android phones sold in spite of the poor app-ecosystem. It was only once Android started gaining traction as a phone platform that an increasingly hungry market for apps led to developer interest. That's not happening with tablets and it's unlikely to change any time soon
Apple own this market now and, given their business nous and track-record for innovation, they're likely to maintain that ownership for the foreseeable future.
Am I the only one that knows that there are 1000's of apps for Android tablets? Keep in mind that we've only had Android tablets for a few months now, and developers need time to modify apps that make sense on a tablet in the first place. Also, keep in mind that a lot of developers are waiting for the Android 4.0 OS that is due out around the same time iOS 5, as it will unify the phone and tablet app development.
That said, most apps I ran on iPad were iphone apps that had a 2x button to enlarge it. The same is happening on android tablets right now. Most apps will scale to fit the screen, but don't quite use it right. As many pointed out, ipad is 4:3 portrait, where as android started off with 16:9 or 16:10 landscape. I am a bit baffled at the OP comment about this.. every app I've ever ran in Android can rotate to portrait as well. Almost every app on our ipad, we have to rotate the ipad to landscape to make use (games, music apps, video, etc). Seems like Android has it right..most apps and games are going to be landscape, not portrait.
The great thing about Android.. WAY more developers. The market growth on the phone side outpaced iphone this past year and is pulling away. With almost 250K apps now on the phone side, it will close in on the apple market in another year or so. Also, with a large number of developers giving up on apple due to their ridiculous ways with pulling apps, not allowing apps, hi barrier to entry (buy a mac and pay another $100 to develop iphone apps), and their Objective-C language which is more difficult to work with than Java and native C, you're starting to see many first-run apps on android now, and then ported to iphone.
Apple having iTunes and the iTunes/App store already built gave them a huge advantage here. I know that most Reg readers have a strong dislike of Apple's iTunes/App store, but for most consumers, having their music and phone apps right there ready to transfer is a huge bonus.
I thought "surfing the web from your couch" was the use case. Considering the way people use their home computer most of the time (or their laptop at home), that could be good enough.
Oh, yeah, maybe read an eBook, perhaps some games. And email. That's it... Few people want more (apart from Reg readers).
Shame... As soon as someone makes a tablet which /is/ a replacement for my netbook - ie: Runs Windows or Linux properly, not a hideously chopped down version, I'll be there. I was sort of hoping that this may be the device, but Android does still seem to be very phone orientated. I'm also none too happy with the links to Google, my partner's Android is very chatty with Google.
It uses an ATOM cpu. So the thing is dog slow for anything besides reading email.
There are various others like Medialine's tablets. Besides didn't HP brought out a couple of Wintendo tablets?
Who cares. Windows is too bulky for a tablet.
Even Ubuntu blows away Windows as a desktop experience these days.
Arguably a little bit niche (but a big niche!) but Garageband fairly killer app on ipad. Nothing remotely as good on other systems. If you're musically creative, ios only sensible way to currently go; touch format makes knocking out demo's very simple and fun. Smart drums on garageband a work of genius. At the end of the day its what you can do with the tablet that will dictate what its worth is to you.
Most tablets can do the basics well - browsing media email etc but apple have got better content, and a few niches (such as music creation) better covered. I think other OS's more technically superior - I'd be especially interested to see a webos or a meego tablet suceed, but as I say for a discretionary purchase like a tablet its the applications, simplicity of use and quick access to content that will appeal to joe public - not the potential of the operating system.
apple seem to have the consumer side sewn-up for now, perhaps room for a business orientated tablet/ecosytem to succeed, and somebody surely will get a 'grown-up' OS to run finger-friendly allowing both lightwieght content consumption/creation and proper full applications to run succesfully side by side...
RE: "Annoyingly, it continues a first-generation flaw: insisting on showing the mobile (typically iPhone-optimised) version of websites."
Don't blame Honeycomb, blame the browser detection scripts that haven't been adjusted to support Android tablets. By default (on the Asus Yorkshire Transformer at least) the browser's default mode is 'tablet', which does give you the crappy mobile version on most websites. However, changing the 'User Agent String' to Desktop via the browser settings makes everything look peachy again. Just a shame that setting is 4 clicks deep so most will assume that the browser is broken and go look elsewhere.
Why are we using browser detection at all? Hasn't CSS included notations for different formats for a while now?
Of course, many of the mobile and tablet browsers ignore it (because they generally look like crap where they exist at all), so many sites are resorting to UA detection to FORCE on us the crap-version.
Here's a thought, stop serving different pages to different browsers. Just serve everyone the same compliant page.
That would require people to learn stuff and understand it properly.
As opposed to just blindly copying stuff from elsewhere on the Internet, without making any attempt to understand what it does.
Just a shame that setting is 4 clicks deep so most will assume that the browser is broken and go look elsewhere... which is exactly the reason why ppl tend to look elsewhere.
Android isn't enough consumer oriented. They perceive ppl that they are iPad's equal but in reality it's just not as simple.
First Android tablet manufacturers ought to stop making craplets. Make quality products instead of cheap plastic garbage with cheap plastic screens. Ditch the ubercheap models and perhaps ditch generic consumers but look for higher profiled IT users. Secondly Apple created a market because they had Music and media-businesses in their pocket. Google doesn't have the same library of passive consumer content so its pointless to go after the same market.
If they don't see that then Android on tablets will fail.
Interestingly, I conducted an expirment with my own < 2 year old daughter.
My wife and I have "his and hers" xoom and ipad tablets. When handed to our < 2 year old, the following was noted:
- Neither were destroyed or broken, and both screens resistant to milk and slavers.
- The ipad was the preferred device if measuring hours-used
- The ipad had the the better games for 2 year olds
- It was easier to find the games on the ipad
- The UI screens were faster/smoother on the ipad (those with 2 years old will understand why this is important)
- The ipad was quicker to rotate
For its ruthless UI simplicity, the ipad is the preferred device, even if it sacrifices UI features to achieve it. It's proven to be successful. Simplicity is universally useful, from 2 year olds to Grandma.
Why test on a 2 year old? Because they bring no pre-conceptions about UI, and don't use problem-solving skills or brain power to compensate for any UI deficiencies.
So, tablets have no valid use cases? Yet Apple are making money hand over fist on the back of the iPad, whatever its intended use. And if Samsung's offering is so wide of the mark why are Apple doing their level best to sink it before it even makes it to market? I'll tell you why, Apple see it as the threat it really is. Android will inevitably catch up and overtake iOS given enough time. Apple are scrambling to buy time with these endless rounds of litigation.
...it wasn't too long ago when people said Android wouldn't succeed and iOS would become king.
Today, Android has the largest market share in the world.
You can argue against it all you want, the fact that Android succeeded despite the ios-toting naysayers' predictions will remain unchanged.
It's still early days for honeycomb. I can see the benefits and disadvantages of both the ios and honeycomb platforms, so it's game on!
cue explosive responses now...
I have an Android phone. My employer gives me a new 'voice' device every year to compliment the obligatory Blackberry data device. The voice devices tend to be low-end and bargain basement and this year the list included a number of Android devices. Away from that, my mother was eligible for upgrade earlier in the year and found herself the proud owner of another similarly low-end Android phone.
Both these phones count as "new Android activiations". I've downloaded a couple of free apps, whilst my mum doesn't have a data package, has no interest in one, and will never take her phone online.
Now to compare either of these Android phone sales to iPhone sales where someone has looked at the market and made a conscious decision to buy a relatively high-end product is wide of the mark. The low-end phone market is now flooded with Android devices and many punters with no interest in the functions of their phone will become Android owners. The default upgrade is likely to be Android. Realisitically, it is only really those customers who purchase high-end Android phones that are likely to embrace the Android Marketplace and only these sales that are genuinely like-for-like when comparing to iPhone sales. Market share is all well and good.
Now the iPad is different. Each tablet sale is a conscious decision. Very few employers hand them out. Joe Bloggs doesn't have an existing tablet that comes up for upgrade every few months. Therefore, I fear it is far from guaranteed that Android tablets are destined to overtake iOS tablets because very few people who decide to buy a tablet will entertain the possibility of anything but an iPad.
"...Now to compare either of these Android phone sales to iPhone sales where someone has looked at the market and made a conscious decision to buy a relatively high-end product is wide of the mark. ..."
You fail in this statement to point out that similar such tactics have been used to shove the various flavors of the iphone out there. How many people received offers of "Free iphone" from their mobile service provider, how many people were offered free upgrades to an iphone if they resigned their contract and handed over the battered old nokias and razrs. How many settled on that free phone when they discovered that their own phone of choice wasn't available, or just didn't care in the first place and went with what everybody else was getting.
I was a blackberry user for a year and a bit, after I got frustrated with the crappy featurephone that replaced my pure dumbphone (startac), but had intended to go with a nokia initially. I settled because the blackberry was free (contract notwithstanding). A year later and now I'm on android - because the phone was cheap and my idiot friend mashed the screen on the crackberry.
Though my research was leading me to a android clone of my blackberry anyhow :)
Eugene has it right. Android is way ahead on the phone side now.. as are the number of developers writing apps for android over iphone now. Apple will ultimately fail for the same reason their computers never take more than a few % points of total ownership. They are a closed platform. They want nothing to do with sharing anything they do. They want it their way, only their way and don't give a crap about anyone else. They are the same way with their money. They only care that you're paying 3x more for an apple machine that has less capabilities than a PC.. so really you're paying for an inferior machine to use OSX. If they were smart, they'd sell OSX for all pcs and dominate Microsoft's mainstay. Everybody is doing EXACTLY the same thing they did when android phones first came out. Shouting off their mouths about how great iPad is, how bad android is... same was said for their phones and that didn't last long. With $300 and below tablets coming out soon, and much more powerful capable tablets than any ipad out right now, Android 4 which will greatly advance the android platform in many areas, it's only a matter of another year or two before android tablets surpass ipads.
I'll say this though, some how, apple has a LOT of friends in the judicial courts. They are beating down any competitor in many markets, and they know they can because they know our patent system is ridiculously flawed. So if there is anything Apple is winning at right now, it's having the money to hire enough lawyers to look through all the loopholes of the patent systems around the world to knock down any competition. What I don't understand is how the hell this is not considered anti-competitive by apple? Samsung's device does NOT look like nor does it function like an ipad to me, yet they are banned in 40+ countries. That's just unreal to me. But besides that, it just proves as many have said that apple is scared shitless right now. They got crushed on the phone side assuming it wouldn't happen, and now that they are making billions on ipads, they don't want to lose in that race either. It's too bad. If apple was a better company in how they treat developers, offered more fair values for their hardware, and stopped acting like a bully by battling every possible competitor, they'd get a lot more business. Most people I know in tech sectors can't stand them for exactly the thing they are doing.. trying to sue everyone for everything because it might compete.
The most recent survey from IDC of mobile developers - published less than two weeks ago - showed 91% "very interested" in writing iPhone apps versus 87% "very interested" in writing Android phone apps. In both cases, tablets were explicitly counted separately.
From that you conclude that Android is "way ahead" on developers? That strongly suggests a bias that it's impossible to ignore when reading the rest of your comments.
Your correspondent shows a disturbing lack of knowledge when they say: "[it] insist[s] on showing the mobile (typically iPhone-optimised) version of websites." This is no insistence from the device, it merely shows what the sites serve up. Poorly designed and optimised websites can no more be blamed on a device than rough seas can be blamed on a boat.
Still, never attribute to malice that which can sufficiently be explained by incompetence...
That'd just be one more setting to further complicate the relevant screen and for your less technical friends to change and then claim the device is broken because everything suddenly looks different and that they have no recollection of changing anything.
Being as honest about the device as possible and expecting web site vendors not to drive away their customers sounds like a better idea to me.
I have an Android tablet that is fast, capacitive multi-touch, MicroSD, USB, HDMI, wifi and bluetooth, scyncs with email and gmail, not to mention my pictures, plays Youtube and flash content, defaults to normal web pages unles you choose "mobile", plays BBCiPlayer, decent keyboard, good screen brightness, skype and kindle on board too. £164.95. You think these will not sell?
Wow, from the article it must be that the Galaxy Tab 10 is far worse then the Tab 7, since I know several people using a Tab 7 in hardcore business AND private leisure and do things with it that a far more complicated to achieve on an iPad (if at all possible, we tried).
Imo the Tab 7 is easier and more flexible than the iPad. So what happened to the Tab 10 (if the article is right)?
Android market share = easy if you give the product away free.
Get manufacturers to take it on (free) - let them release products to market - buy Motorola and screw them all over.
It's the Nexus One all over again.
Google will (soon) care less for it's Android partners - they want a return on $12bn by selling Motorola Android (Motodroid) phones.
Since Motorola was the first (and I believe the only one) to complain against the Nexus one. And therefore the reason of it's demise. It's good to see Google getting back at them.
Perhaps we will finally see less diversification with all those stupid incompatible Android versions all around. Each with its own set of problems. But pure Android devices that equally get the Android upgrades whenever they're ready (and not a year after actual release).
Im posted before numerously, HTC, SE and Samsung should sell their UI-addons as a seperate product and make their Android phones as clean as possible. But now we're back at the old Windows Mobile situation, isn't it? No wonder iProducts sell like hot cakes.
If anybody were serious about getting non-Apple tablets out into users' hands they would have repeated what happened with PCs. They would have made something business-friendly, set an aggressive price-point, and then people would have them in their hands. The same thing as happened as with happened with Mac vs. PCs. Were Macs better than PCs in many respects? Sure (unless you wanted to multitask). But people stuck with what they used, and later what they carried home from work.
What would a business tablet look like?
1. Rugged, along the lines of a ThinkPad. Sleek and beautiful is good, but having a form factor and material that would stand up to actually being used outside of a sofa or coffee shop would be great.
2. Peripheral integration: Make it drop-dead easy to add on peripherals that have business value add, such as bar code scanners (not the camera that wastes time focusing) - and set up a physical form factor that one could clip-on such peripherals to or, as appropriate, just build it in.
3. If nobody can't fix Android battery life, add another few ounces on and put a bigger battery in
4. Set up a device management infrastructure that the enterprise (not Apple or Google) can control. "Borrow" liberally from Blackberry and, dare I say, Microsoft's Active Directory. Yes, AD has its warts, but it made PC's a lot more manageable. Make it drop-dead simple to set permissions, deploy applications, and communicate with corporate assets (i.e. VPN tunneling). There are hackish ways to do these things, but I haven't seen any integrated, easy-to-roll out ways. Enterprise support has to mean more than an Exchange connector.
It almost seems that the biggest challenge tablets have to overcome is that they are currently built to subsidize Apple and Google visions of what computing should be. Apple tables behave as if they're mostly a portal to Apple's media collateral, and Google's are they that are just a front end to Google's web application stack. I imagine that there are a number of business use cases that involve neither iTunes nor GMail.
the ipad works because the package is more than the hardware. it is the whole itunes/appstore/ipad experience with all its faults and fantastic features. it did not appear overnight and competitors had better hunker down for the long haul if they want to catch up.
i use my ipad as a media player and web browser/email station. i keep thousands of pdfs from work, my complete collection of scientific papers as scalable full colour pdfs, full colour text books as pdfs and if i need more i go online and download them directly into goodreader.
i have iwork apps for content creation and editing protocols.
i want my device to be on instantly and work all day. It is not a toy and i dont see the point of playing tunes on it, i have an ipod for that. i also dont want to have to use a rubbish app store that might be gone in two years where no one bothers to update their software because they cannot make any money on it.
i am not going to champion the apple app store as it is a nightmare to use but it is the only one that you can garantee will still be operating in 2013, that is the reality.
there are many excellent apps and more to come i am sure but the app store ecosystem is as important as the hardware for tablets and without an equivelent all the competitors are dead in the water
"Midway between a computer and a dumb screen, the iPad makes a difficult target for rivals to aim at. I cannot emphasise enough the fact that iPad appears to have no killer app or singularly compelling use case"
It's the ease-of-use touch screen that makes the IPad such a big seller, how you can describe it as `dumb screen' is beyond me. The User Interface is a work of pure genius, yes there were touch screens around before bit none done better - a dumb screen ?
Went kayaking for a week on the BC coast and took the Navionics charts with me.
$50, all of Canada's coast line. Coupled to to the onboard GPS. Put a waterproof case on it and you have the equivalent of a much more expensive navigation system at your fingertip. Complete with tide and current tables and zoom capability (very handy when you are crossing from one map zone to another).
Only problem was that I still had to buy the paper charts @ $15 a pop. Not daft enough to go out without a paper backup. And next time I'll have to sort out a solar charger.
I think a big part of the appeal of tablets is
a) the easy browsing they offer. When I am not writing command-line batches or the like, I prefer simplicity. Techies need to stop looking down at simplicity.
b) the specialized apps & media.
b is the item that is going to hurt iPad competitors, I think.
It would be best if one big competitor gained dominance, so that Apple doesn't win by default (a la Windows). Since I have great respect for QNX, I wouldn't mind that being RIM, but that is wishful thinking IMHO.
If Android is to be the other big dog, then they need to make sure app developers can reasonably expect to target most Android devices and make a profit along the way.
Didn't Android 3.0 only support one resolution and (thus) aspect ratio? Could've sworn I read that later versions remedied this, allowing more resolutions (or possibly different aspect ratios). If that's the case, Samsung didn't choose the aspect ratio, Google did. Either way, I'm not quite sure how it's "purposely " a landscape tablet, at least not of Samsung's doing - the Android Honeycomb Market (on the Transformer at least) only works in landscape. Not much Samsung can do about that...
Have briefly owned a Transformer which was really good, but had screen quality issues (both of them). Bought it mainly for reading technical PDF books (in portrait mode). I've had a quick go on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in PC World, but wasn't that impressed with holding it - I actually find the Xoom more comfortable to hold, so will either wait for the Toshiba Thrive (about the same weight and slightly thicker) or (despite how much I dislike Motorola hardware) may hang on for a super high-res Xoom 2, assuming the rumours are true about the screen. Note to designers: thinner is not the same as more comfortable in terms of holding a tablet!
"What are we building here? Is it a computer or just a fancy picture frame?"
Either, neither, both… It doesn't much matter. Samsung's clever gadget will fail for the same reason all the iPad's imitators will fail: even those few developers who understand that the product is a user experience to which hardware is incidental have likely caught on too late to catch up.
Geeks will tout the allegedly superiority of one device or another while the rest of the world will be motivated by the realization that the hardware is now so ephemeral that as to matter only to truly monomaniacal fetishists. The only computing product worth buying is an ongoing, evolving, useful, and pleasurable experience of an increasingly ubiquitous data flow culture. Developers who fail to provide that consistently over time will do just that: fail.
It seems to me that The Reg considers it so, the flagship of Android tablets, the one to fight the iPad. I don't think it is s :) I got a couple of weeks ago an Asus Transformer, with keyboard as well. The task is to replace my netbook/notebook (dual core CPU, 2 GB RAM, but only 12" screen).
What I needed: a decent email app that supports Exchange 2003. That's $10 extra for Improved Email. I can open and edit Office documents with the default installed app, but I cannot show them to anyone because I need a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. It's in the mail. When I get it, good bye notebook.
In the meantime, I use the Transformer at home as an ebook reader (in Landscape, by the way, I like it more than Portrait, and it's easier to hold that way - and I have no problem with that) and Internet access device. My PC gets started now only if I want to play something, for which I don't have a lot of time these days.
I did not even look at Apple. I don't "consume" media - heck, I have an 106" projector in the basement for movies, why would anyone watch movies at home on a small screen instead of a TV? And why watch movies on the go? I don't watch a lot of movies, but the ones I do, I want to have the whole experience, video and sound HD. I don't listen to music, only in the elevator and in the car :) The iPad is more expensive then my Transformer with keyboard and it does less: less battery time, no video output, no USB to move files fast, no easy access to the shared folder on my work PC, what else?
Blah blah Steve Jobs Blah Blah app store blah blah Google blah data mining blah blah pretentious twat on train playing iPad golf to show off blah more money than sense/several thousand born every minute.
£600 to look like an overpaid middle management retard on the train.
£165 to look like a cheapskate overpaid middle management retard on the train.
Being disowned in public by your wife/girlfriend/kids/stepkids... Priceless...
For everything else theres interacting with the rest of the human race and not looking like a social cripple with the emotional range of a teaspoon.
I was an early ipod touch buyer, and got screwed on the upgrades, twice, but it's a great music player. I have an iphone 3g, which was nice, but useless when I wanted to just do things. I now have a Desire HD and absolutely love it. You know what the best thing is? No itunes.
It's the single worst piece of software I have on my PC, and the ipod is so out of date to my music collection it's untrue. To say the best part of the ipad experience is itunes/app store is totally deranged. It's not particularly intuitive (the people I know who have no clue whatsoever how it all works), it's slow and it's incredibly restrictive.
The iphone/ipad is an easy to use device for people who are technically inept, no debate. But if you are competent the usability of android blows iOS away.
Garageband??? Yeah right, do a survey and see how many ipad users use garage band. Its a web browser and a music player, at a push it's a video device, but I'd give odds that after the novelty wears off few people will actually sit and watch movies on it. I'd suggest to you that generallythe most vocal people about apple products (oh I love my ipad its fantastic and I use it all the time) are the people with the least idea about technology, I know quite a few who love their iphones and ipads, and I wouldn't trust any of them with a screwdriver and a 13 amp plug.
Tablets are, as mentioned above, a convenient way to look info up on the web, and ipad or android doesnt make much difference, personally I would go android so I can plug it in and do what I want! And itunes, keep it the feck away from me please!!
The problem with iTunes is this.
iTunes (as the name implies) started as a music library/player application. As such it is brilliant.
Unfortunatly all the other stuff is bolted on. You simply can't drag and drop a divx-movie that you downloaded from a site into iTunes to sent to your iPod/Pad/Phone (or syncing in Apple's terminology). While you CAN drag and drop an MP3 music file into iTunes with ease.
That's the major problem and eventually the downfall of iTunes as a mediaplatform. Divx/xvid is the MP3-format of the movie-industry. So either Apple should (start to) build some iTunes replacement (with the same easy interaction for all sorts of Media including movies and apps) or should concentrate on using the onboard iStore app of all handheld iDevices.
It will probably use the latter (it's easer for them as they already have that) because they can shoehorn all media to their preferred format and enforce customers to buy stuff.
And since they're in it for the money...
> the hardware is now so ephemeral that as to matter only to truly monomaniacal fetishists.
...yeah, the fetish of actually being able to do something useful.
That's what tech is for. To do something useful. If it doesn't do that,then you need to try something else that does.
Android devices are that something else.
Let me explain, I don't want an Ipad, don't get me wrong, I have no inbuilt prejudice against Apple products but an Ipad however you dress it up is.........a tablet, and to me the tablet format is cumbersome and awkward, yes, in certain circumstances it is useful but as a stand alone format, no thankyou.
I have been allowed to play with Ipads by their proud owners, posing with their style icons, I have played with other tablets as well, and all of them exhibit this cumbersome awkward nature.
Maybe it is me but when I have shown, even 'dyed in the wool' Apple afficionados my Asus TF101 Transformer their little eyes have lit up and retrieving the gadget has been a problem, those little grasping fingers holding on to it 'til the last microsecond.
The Asus Transformer is a far superior solution, yes it has problems but I wouldn't swap it for any mere tablet, now, let go!, I won't tell you again.
I have a Tab bought last week in the US and I have to say I was very skeptical regarding the Tablets in general.
The reason I bought it: The Economist Android app - it works great and will allow me to leave my printed copies at home. (note I had to side load the app onto the Tab as it is currently not "available" for honeycomb.
It is a great product, weight is correct, feels good in the hand and is probably the first "non ipad" that does not feel like a computer screen. Note it is actually thinner than the ipad 2 AND has a better screen resolution.
All in all my phone apps all work on it - and I don't have to purchase them twice :) - (Sling player is great) and what I like is that I am not being told by Mr Jobs what I can and cannot run on MY hardware (Flash works great).
IMHO a better product than the IPAD (but only just as most apps are available for both).
Lets see what Cupertino can do for the IPAD 3!!
I do have to say that the article is another piece of Crass journalism - just opinion with no supporting arguments (apart from "I say it is so"). Why can't we go back to the time of real journalism where fact ruled the story and journalists showed integrity!!
I love reading the comments on here and rarely wade in on the above topic. The fact is there are those of us who are more technical, and I suspect most of us are of that type to post on here. Having worked with Windows workstations and server right up to Vista and 2003 for 10 years, I switched to Apple at home. OSX on my Dell Laptop, then I bought a mac mini.
Why? Because the OS is just so easy to use, it worked better on my Dell than on Windows, much faster! When I start it there is no grinding of the Hard disk. Updates dont make it slower. There are less malware and viruses out there, I know there are some, and we aren't invincible.The product is all in one, OS built to work with that specific hardware. Apple try to make things easier for me, and charge me and after messing about with Windows for years I just want it to work. I dont want to spend hours fixing it when it goes wrong. I dont care, I will pay for that!! My machine holds its price reasonably well too.
Now we have innovations like gestures. I love being able to swipe and pinch to do things on the OS. Apple know its a pain in the arse to have to go through 14 clicks to do something. On to the Ipad - I'm sick of picking up a laptop and have to switch it on. I want to just pick it up and use it, as light as a book and put it down, so IPad it is. Now learning about design, I can see how good they are at it.
I suspect there are a few people like me out there. So before all you fanboi bashers that just jump on the ban wagon - Ask yourself why have some people converted? They want simplicity, you might not, we are prepared to pay. We aren't stupid, we just cant be bothered with the hassle of windows.
I love my Dell with OSX, when I'd have chucked it out of the window with XP so many times. My closest family all have Macs after getting pissed off with calling me to come and fix windows. Now I get no calls. Stuff generally works out of the box and I dont have to watch most apps spend 15 mins installing.
Fanboi bashing is pointless as both camps are coming from totally different angles.
Ps. I am not convinced by the usefulness of Launchpad in Lion.
Andrew, for a technology writer I struggle to understand why you seem to find the concept difficult. The point of a tablet (to me at least) is the convenience of being able to quickly dip in and out of the internet or a bit of recreational app procrastination. The android ecosystem may have less apps than ipad but it's still early, look at how the android phone market has matured in the last couple of years. Were you questioning the point of android phones 2 years ago?
Tablets are a bit like switching from dial-up to broadband internet, it's a lot more than speed, it the convenience and always on capability that changes the way you use the internet. Firing up a laptop at home is often a faff and a tablet would get used a lot more often. I tend to use the internet on my phone more than on a laptop these days but the screen's too small.
If you think about a tablet as a convenient internet device then the galaxy tab (or other android tablet) is more compelling than an ipad because at least it gives a fully functional web browser which the ipad will never have until flash is enabled.
Maybe you should be encouraging the galaxy tab and it’s future decent rivals as driving competition into the sector, which is only good for everyone (except maybe apple) not bemoaning its existence.
most of these things still cost far too much for what they are to me (toys).
I got an Archos 70 250Gb for just under £180 and love it, it's not a cut down netbook, it's a PMP on steroids......which is just what I wanted.
E-mail I removed with Arctools (along with some other bloat), I was horrified at the idea of yet another bloody e-mail device, I've got so many already!
Doesnt anybody realize you can do the ABSOLUTELY same things with either tablets whether it has a fruit for a logo or not.
What i dont get is how anybody would say different. In fact, if you really knew either one you would know an Android tablet has more features and options.
Apples been around longer is more popular, more of a status symbol but in the end they BOTH do the same stuff.
Get over yourselves buy whatever one you want dont listen to the Bias.