Is it the case, as was said last time we discussed this, that V3 has no bulk storage mode over USB? can one drag-n-drop files from Linux on these? or, come to that, from Windows?
With Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich upon us, it's a good time to take stock of the impact - or lack of it - of Android 3 Honeycomb and Nvidia's Tegra 2, the chipset and release of Google’s mobile OS that were hoped would knock the iPad of its perch. They've done no such thing. At the most generous counting, Android tablets …
In mass storage mode only the tablet *or* the connected PC can see the storage. Obviously this is a problem if the tablet's OS is running from that storage.
So, honeycomb uses Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol to allow the tablet and the connected machine to see the storage at the same time.
The downside is that MTP is really quite shit. It is horribly slow, does not work very well on Linux (or older versions of windows), and only the gods know what sort of patent nastiness it is encumbered with.
Penguintards should probably be looking for an SSH server for their Android devices. No wires, no mess, no problems.
Not having a pop Mr Vomit but why do some people wail and gnash their teeth when Apple bring out an updated/new product? No one has a go at Ford for changing the shape of the Fiesta or when they add more features with a facelift. I don't moan about Sony bringinging out new TVs since I bought mine three years ago.
It seems to me to be a ludicrous complaint made by the more irrational end of the Apple hating spectrum. But then the whole 'my phone/tablet/PC/whatever is better than yours' argument is childish beyond belief anyway.
I should add that apart from a work issued 3GS I own no Apple products. Or ones of an Android flavour for that matter.
And yet your poor friend's iPad 1 can still use all the same software as an iPad 2 (except FaceTime), is still getting all software updates on day of release (if you're happy to trust Apple's QA), and is still one of the best tablets around even at 18 months old.
How many Android tablets are going to get Android 4 - without having to hack them? Which, remember, is kit that's mostly less than 6 months old. HTC are still selling their Flyer with 2.3, which was out of date when they launched the product! They've not even upgraded it to Android 3 yet...
Equally we can contrast my HTC Wildfire with an iPhone 3GS. Both phones are about the same age (admittedly the Wildfire was never top of the range). The iPhone 3GS is still getting updates and still on sale. HTC were still selling the Wildfire up to a couple of months ago, so they've no excuse for saying it's 'out of support'. The Wildfire got an update from 2.1 to 2.2 (about 6 months late), and that's it. The 3GS has been updated from iOS3, to iOS4 and now iOS5.
And it's not as if I'm cherry picking. Android kit getting timely updates is very unusual. Even Google only seem to update their reference phones once, then dump them.
This is the reason my next tablet will probably be Apple - well that and the Android tablet makers' obsession with widescreen. It's also why I recommend iPhone/iPad to non-geeks.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to going Android. But my experience with the phone OS has been poor, and their first attempt at tablets has been a mess. My only hope to avoid the clutches of Apple seems to be Microsoft. Windows Phone is looking interesting, and Windows 8 on tablets could be quite nice too.
"And yet your poor friend's iPad 1 can still use all the same software as an iPad 2 (except FaceTime),..."
Not true. There are plenty of Apps that are iPad 2 only, iMovie is one well-known example.
Funny how this 'isn't that big of a deal' when it's Apple, but when it's Android the iTards are first to point fingers and mock the "Fragmentation".
I'd prefer the ability to bluetooth (wifi drains power too quickly) tether to my phone.
Fortunately Honeycomb supports it, although my Gingerbread-based Android phone doesn't.
Still, you could always buy a 3G dumbphone with bluetooth and slot your SIM into it for bluetooth tethering if you like; it would cost a lot less than an additional data contract.
Tegra2 looked good on paper prior to the launch. However, it was quickly revealed that it is woefully inadequate wrt decoding of many common video formats. It's inability to handle H.264-high-profile video is a pain. All tablets in this test are based on the same chipset and are thus IMHO equally useless. Androids main problem so far has been inadequate hardware.
... I have an Asus TF101 and not had any trouble playing any video from media NAS box over WiFi, from films to short episodes. Have even used apps like Skifta to push media through the TF101 to the TV (that was down to being lazy and just sheer convenience).
Prehaps it's just Asus implementation of the Tegra2 that stops it from suffering from this issue.
I mean comments like"
" At the most generous counting, Android tablets account for around a quarter of all tablets sold"
when the reality is, it's actually much higher than this number, as Google only count market enabled Android tablets, and there are a vast number of cheap and cheerful non-approved Android tablets that never get counted).
"No support for Micro SD expansion or USB peripherals"
My Asus Transformer shipped with Honeycomb 3.0 and had both of these...
May I sugggest the writer doesn't use the iPad forums as his source of (mis)information.
It probably is no more than about a quarter at the moment. However I would point out that going from 2 - 3% of the market at around about this point in 2010 to somewhere about 25% now in 2011 is a fairly remarkable jump. How it is going to pan out in the next year or so and what effect Win8 may or may not have in tablet space is of course another matter - my crystal ball needs a firmware upgrade.
"The problems have been many. Honeycomb 3.0 was frankly a bit half-baked at the time of release. Example? No support for Micro SD expansion or USB peripherals"
And how exactly is that a problem compared to your ipad is an ipad is a walled garden with no expansion possibe and propietary connector?
Hackers care about Micro SD and full USB support, ordinary punters do not. Ditto the 'walled garden'. Honeycomb, primarily aimed at the techies, should have had this technology; the iPad, aimed at the latter group, does not. As we clearly state in the next line, Android 3.1 fixes those 3.0 failings.
For $30 Apple will sell you their Camera Connector kit, which adds a full-size USB and SD card slots to the iPad.
Out of the box and with a virgin iPad, this will enable you to connect up your digital cameras, some USB sticks and even some hard disks for transfer of photos and videos.
There are also countless apps on the App Store for transferring pics/vids/content via WiFi or Bluetooth. Most are free, and arguably far more convenient than carrying a cable around given that every laptop has Wifi these days.
If you jailbreak your iPad, the options are even more numerous- the Camera Connector kit loses the restrictions on voltage and becomes able to support all portable hard drives, memory sticks and so on, together with being able to transfer all content over from your iPad.
And don't complain that "Ah but you have to jailbreak it" because Android users consider this is par for the course. "All you have to do is run Cyanogen/reflash the firmware/sudo:root to $home and change permissions to +R+S+H and you too can change the screen resolution" etc.
"There are also countless apps on the App Store for transferring pics/vids/content via WiFi or Bluetooth. Most are free, and arguably far more convenient than carrying a cable around given that every laptop has Wifi these days."
So, if you *don't* want to stump-up $30 to Apple (on top of the $499+ you paid for the iPad), you have the alternative of lugging a laptop around just to transfer photos from a camera? Also, please explain to us exactly how carrying a laptop is more convenient than carrying a cable?
"So, if you *don't* want to stump-up $30 to Apple (on top of the $499+ you paid for the iPad), you have the alternative of lugging a laptop around just to transfer photos from a camera? Also, please explain to us exactly how carrying a laptop is more convenient than carrying a cable?"
Don't be so patronising.
The complaint was that the iPad doesn't have full-size USB for connecting digital cameras or for transferring stuff. I was saying you can add USB (and SD) to iPad for $30 (or use WiFi/Bluetooth for free if your camera supports it). The programs for sending/receiving from a laptop are for sending your content back and forward between your iDevice(s) and your laptop.
If you don't want to pay $30 for the connector, then don't; there are other options available. And complaining that Apple charge $30 for a USB connector is like complaining that you have to buy a 32GB MicroSD card to upgrade your Android tablet to iPad 64GB spec. If you don't need it, don't buy it. Some things will always be an optional purchase, because the company that makes it has done a careful calculation of the market return value attached to including/omitting a particular feature. On iPad, it may be the USB connector. On Android, it's maybe the 'missing' 32GB of storage space. All depends what floats your boat/fits your particular use case.
you seem to have a cable fetish. be honest with yourself and think - do you really want to have cables? Put a wifi enabled sd card in your camera and you can instantly see the pictures from the card on your ipad. Why should there be a laptop around? Gee think outside your square box.
"you seem to have a cable fetish. be honest with yourself and think - do you really want to have cables? Put a wifi enabled sd card in your camera and you can instantly see the pictures from the card on your ipad."
My camera doesnt have a SD card slot but it came with a USB cable included in the price.
You appear to be suggesting here, that the iPad is so inherently wonderful that I only need to spend even more money to make it do the things a droid tablet can do out of the box.
I am not sure how that makes sense.
I don't consider rooting, remodding and flashing to be "par for the course" when it comes to transferring files from an external source. So, it's just as well that Android devices generally don't need these things to be done to achieve that.
However, Apple charging $30 to deliver basic functionality that every other manufacturer provides for free is most definitely par for the course.
I've had a play with a few of the tested tablets on the high street and the one thing that astonished me about most of them (HTC Flyer and Asus Transformer aside) was the lack of rigidity in them, especially compared to an iPad. Hand on each side, there's a good deal of twist in most of them, which on a £300+ product doesn't inspire confidence at all.
Pretty good round up of the tablets on the market today even if, due to the brevity of the mini reviews, some features of the tablets are missed out, such as the industry leading screen on the galaxy or the inclusion of a battery, full SD port and full usb ports on the transformer keyboard to name two. The thing i miss most with tablet reviews is information about the individual power supplies. One of the main reasons I ended up choosing a transformer over the Toshiba was that it didn't require a charger brick. for a portable device that can be a real deal breaker.
I got one of these and I am pretty happy with it, less than £350 for a 32GB model with 1GB RAM. They don't all come with this. Yes its not as sexy as a Galaxy but it does have the extra ports and micro SD card, certainly worth more than the 75% review score.
One thing to notice is that its not a HDMI connector its a micro HDMI connector.
Its a shame that google have not specified a common connector, that would be a big win, so I can buy a stand or whatever from anyone. Its also a shame that you cannot charge over the micro USB port as that would be one less cable to take on holiday.
This whole comments thread reminds me on an advertising campaign for the Cortina back in the late 70's.
The Cortina sure had Market share, number one seller year in year out and more or less every car ad in the press or on TV used the "More leg room than a Cortina", "Bigger boot than a Cortina" or similar lines.
Ford just took a one page press ad with a photo of the car and the copy "They can all make comparisons, but they can't make Cortinas".
I bought a tablet for my wife for her birthday back in August. Toddled along to try them out, liked the iPad, also liked the Eee Pad Transformer - very little to separate them, a fractionally better touchscreen on the Apple, much better expansion options on the Asus. I decided that for me, I would buy the Asus, but would get the wife an iPad as it was a Cortina. HOWEVER, they were out of stock - so Asus won out. And she's been very happy with it; she likes a lot about it, including the keyboard if she wants to do anything serious. The quality of the whole package is great, and she also likes not having to fork out for apps that are chargeable on our son's iPod Touch, so I've got plenty of brownie points. Remember that however popular the Cortina was, it wasn't actually a very good car... ;)
"Remember that however popular the Cortina was, it wasn't actually a very good car... ;)"
I agree the Cortina wasn't a great car, but it ticked all the right boxes for the overwhelming majority of potential customers by including the essential and not getting bogged down in Petrol Head requirements.
The iPad pulls of much the same trick and in the short term it's doing fine, but in the longer run perhaps the equivalent of Toyota will arrive? I just can't see where the opportunity to differentiate would come from as for the mass market the iPad doesn't really have an achilles heel.
One correction, you don't need the dock for USB host to work, just a cheap adapter from Asus. Last time I checked it was quite a bit below what you'd have to pay for the same from Apple/Samsung, too.
But Asus don't really advertise this which is indicative of the approach to selling Android kit where I livqe. Go in a shop, the ipads are the first thing you'll see. They're on, they're accessable, and you can play to your hearts content. Since launch the high end Androids have been locked away in a small poorly lit glass cabinet. To sell in greater quantities people need to know they're there.
The Asus Transformer should be getting an updated version released in the next couple of months with the newer faster nvidia processors.
I have one of these with the keyboard and I carry it around most of the time now, web access is done via teethering to my mobile when out, no need for built in 3G as you'd end up paying for two contracts with little gain.
Expecting a computing device to be able to connect to existing equipment is neither unusual nor is it the hallmark of the hacker.
Having to root a device so you can use your purchased at extra cost adaptor to attach things *is* however, unusual and symbolic of at least a bit of Haxx0r-ism.
"Really? Tell that to my mate who bought an iPad 1 six weeks before Apple launched the iPad 2. Maybe he can take it to his nearest Apple 'temple' to have them retrofit a front-facing camera and a dual-core processor?"
And your point is?? Yeah he bought the previous model just before the new one came out - so?
Stike Vomit "fragmentation" refers to the OS not individual apps. Android phones ship with many different versions of the OS. Shockingly, many to most do not ship with the current version creating havoc in the Android ecosystem. You hymn like a true "Hymn-droid fan" constantly attempting to cloud the truth.
Hymn-droid = those who hymn the praise of android while admonishing other mobile operating systems. Hymn-droids sounds like Hemorrhoids don't you think?
Lots of high-end GPS devices actually include a barometer. Although GPS is very good at locating your position on the surface of the Earth (x, y), it is pretty bad at determining your altitude.
A barometer can be used to get a quite accurate altitude reading which can then be used to speed up the GPS lock.
At least that's one of the reasons the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note have them; I'm not certain whether the Xoom and other tablets use it for the same thing but I would guess so.
Keep up the good work.
However, I was amused to read that 'only hackers care about MicroSD cards'. My old man has just bought himself a Galaxy Tab, for the sole reason of showing off photos in the pub. Taking a SD card out of his Lumix and sticking it in the Tab (alas, requiring an adaptor) seems the most straightforward and simple method of doing this.
He isn't the techy type. Like a fair few people, he is slightly richer than he is inclined to spend time learning more about technology than he has too. Apple seem to have made a bob or two appealing to the market segment he belongs to.
Showing off photos is one of the tasks a fondleslab is ideally suited to, over say a lap/net/ultrabook, a smartphone or net-connected TV. If he wants to watch a film, he has a TV- with the bonus that he won't drop it when he inevitably falls asleep.
If you meant that 'hackers care about MicroSD [normal people want SD]' then I take your point- a full sized SD slot can allow the use of an adaptor for MicroSD if needs be- and I personally find MicroSD too easy to lose, anyhows. Seems manufactures are too concerned with competing on grams and millimetres, when once it was MBs and Mhz.
Not one 4:3 aspect ratio tablet amongst them! But thankfully we are starting to see a trickle of these in the pipeline as the manufactureres realise widescreen doesn't work in portrait and the iPad had the right format all along.
We also need manufacturers to realise that some of us who own digital cameras want a full size SD slot. Sony is the only one to see this (although it's slot is really tight). Everybody used to have them on PDAs so why not on tablets?
I'm not comparing my $199 Kobo Vox to these higher-end tablets, but I thought I would mention a couple of things. (Vox has no cameras, bluetooth or GPS)
It's odd that Android 3.0 doesn't support the use of SD cards, or enable device use as USB mass storage, given that Android 2.3.3 (what the Vox has) does both. (Unfortunately my dang Ubuntu desktop won't recognized either the Vox or my cell phone as storage devices - it *does* recognize my Kindle (keyboard) and Sony PSP however).
I'll wait to hear more about Flash support on portable devices being dropped - that seems like a very strange thing to do - it is a pretty big market, and growing fast.
I haven't actually tried to change things on my Vox yet, but you can certainly poke around a lot wih the "Android Terminal" available for free. One thing I'd like to do is turn off a couple of apps that the Vox came pre-supplied with (Globe & Mail, and INQ) - I think they are eating my battery in idle mode. Running "ps" (process list) shows a *lot* of stuff running, including stub processes for apps that are not running.
As for playing videos, well a friend brought some huge 1080i MP4 videos from a military helmet-cam. I put one on my micro SD card via my computer and the Vox plays it. It *does* hang on the video part way though, but so does my Linux desktop. It completes if I scroll past that point.
So, what does Android 3.0 add? Seems like it was a step back from 2.3.3 .
Um. Apple make basically 2 tablets. v1 & v2. Some things only run on v2. There are dozens of Android tablets with different hardware, and half a dozen different versions of Android, plus vendor-specific overlays.
PLEASE tell me you don't genuinely think Apple tablets are as fragmented as Android?
As of this writing? Edwin, the Wofram-connected "Voice Assistant" will not install on my Samsung Galaxy 10.
I don't know whether it's a locality problem or an OS problem, and perhaps it will be resolved before the month is over, but currently it meets your "put up" challenge.
It's a shame that, STILL, USB-on-the-go/USB Host is not standard for attaching mass storage devices such as external hard drives is not possible in a standard mode. I believe rooting of some of these products and a special lead will allow it but this ought not to be necessary to tinker like this.
But store your data in the cloud I hear you say? Well, broadband speeds are still in the order of Mb/s, wireless internet (WiFi and mobile) is patchy and bandwidth allowances of fixed and mobile services are sometimes limited. Therefore access to the network storage (i.e. the cloud) for uploading large quantities of data such as photos perhaps isn't as convenient as storing it locally on an external hard disk for backup or even optical media (as well). Couple that with wariness as to the reliability and trust of cloud storage services, and indeed the ongoing space rental costs and it's less appealing.
Until the manufacturers wakeup and add USB-On-the-go/USB hosting to allow the attachment of USB devices such as mass storage, tablet computers aren't going to displace Windows laptops for versatility.
I have had a TF101 with the docking station for a few months now, and IMHO, it kicks iPad's butt in virtually every way. More storage options, more storage capacity, better battery life, lower price... I absolutely love it and use it all the time. The lack of 3G doesn't bother me at all, since practically everywhere I go has WiFi, and my phone is a 4G hotspot.
I sing with a band...on stage I use it without the docking station for my set lists and lyrics. I travel a lot for my job and I read books and watch movies with no regard for battery life... it's just not an issue. At hotels I use it for email. I can monitor my home security cameras live over 4G (using my phone's hotspot). At night I read my books in bed without the dock. I use it all the time, for many different things, and it works great. In short, I consider it indispensable.
So after mentioning the lack of removable storage, badly placed charge socket, no HDMI, proprietary connectors etc etc, it still gets a recommended?
Weird. You can't really give them plus points for Swype when you can go and download it yourself, for free - 'tis good though, got I put it on my phone.
Companies that insist of daft connectors when there are plenty of nice standard ones which are equally small and neat don't get much of a look-in with me... and no removable storage is just the nail in the coffin.
As you say - copying all the wrong things about the ipad.
Not quite as stated the Dock is not the only way to get full sized USB host. An adapter to allow USB Host without the Keyboard Dock is being manufactured its just slow to market...(that's pretty poor asus!)
see here: http://liliputing.com/2011/08/asus-eee-pad-transformer-usb-adapter-other-accessories-coming-soon.html
Can you clarify the review/rating for the Asus Transformer TF101 Is That
£330 Tablet only Rating 85%
£430 Tablet-cum-netbook Rating 85%
or are they both 85% where the additional battery and keyboard balance the value for money?
Seems that the competition (two other 85% rated tablet only devices) are £400 so the Asus TF101 at £330 looks to be a bargain, and so the £430 combo is effectively £30 more for a keyboard which is acceptable. if however the £330 device only, is rated much less than the others (say 75% without dock), then I won't want to splash the extra on inferior..
Firstly. nice article. You mention that there is no such thing as an 'Android' system - they are all different. You are correct but I actually think this uniqueness is a nice feature. We don't really want all phones to work *exactly* the same do we in the same way we don't all want to drive the same car. And you also have to give us a little credit for some intelligence as even though I have changed from a HTC android to a SE android it was hardly a massive learning curve. Incidentally, one of my iPhone friends moans about the fact he can't have a nice HTC-type interface with stuff updating in real-time like the weather. At least, with Android, we have a certain amount of choice with different interfaces. It makes us individual.
One final point. I *prefer* a smaller screen tablet and kind of fed up that somehow bigger is deemed to be 'better'. There is a welcome trend with phones now to get back to respectable sizes and there is a good choice for whatever size rocks your boat (another friend who has a Samsung Galaxy S2 also moans as he now regards the phone as too big!!!) .I don't see that tablets are any different I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab (7 inch) and this is great for carrying around in my suit pocket. You need that Tesco bag for your iPad. The display is sharper than an iPad due to higher DPI and I love it. I use it all the time and have never cursed the 'small' screen. Indeed, I am looking to get a Galaxy note. It's not just about size neccessarily - it's also about the number of pixels within that size. Anyway, enjoyed your article despite these minor niggles (sorry).
The problem with "premium Android fondleslabs" is that they cost the same as an iPad. Look at the way HP's slabs flew off the shelves once they were reduced to fire sale price. As soon as one or more manufacturers start releasing decent tablets at realistic price points, the effects of the commodity market will kick in.
I feel like I am swimming against the current here, I *was* an iPad owner but I moved to the Asus eee Transformer simply because it did the things I wanted it to do.
It connects to the devices I need it to connect to (HDTV via Mini-HDMI, USB ports for other equipment) right out of the box and, importantly for my usage, it has the detachable keyboard so when I need to type things on it (comments on webpages for example), I dont spent ten minutes stubbing my fingers on the screen.
What tipped me over the edge was the prospect of having to shell out for dozens of additional devices and go through complicated processes (such as rooting ...?) when all I wanted was a tool to simplify my activities.
YMMV (and I would never claim to be the most technically savvy person on Earth) but I felt the iPad delivered more hype than substance and the Asus tablet reversed the situation.
The Extremely and Unbelievably Late Adopters, and it looks like that is not going to change any time soon. The following list is the reason why:
1. USB (and chargeable through it, stuff proprietary chargers)
2. HDMI out.
3. micro-SD slot (no memory expansion, no sale).
4. 3G option available as well as a Wifi only model.
5. Customer changeable battery.
With the honourable exception of Asus' offering they all fall down on two or more of the above (as far as I can see). I have just taken a look at Samsung's new 7.7 inch offering (it is the 7 - 8 inch form factor I am most interested in) - no fucking HDMI. I have never yet owned a tab and it looks like I am never going to own one until the OEMs stop farting around. At least ensure that there is a dock available with the necessary connectivity even if you cannot squeeze it all into the table itself (that is what Asus have done - USBs on the dock). What the hell the Android OEMs are doing I do not know, I want them to sell me a tablet - with everything on that list. Until they make that tablet in that form factor my wallet (and I would be willing to part with some serious wonga) will continue to gather dust.
Work gave me a Galaxy Tab 10.1 yesterday, and I spend an interesting six hours on the train finding it increasingly hard not to swear at the damn thing.
The first message on switching it on from the first time was to tell me that Social Widget had crashed. ItIt did this on every start until I dumped it. The browser doesn't synchronise with my other Chromes and has no way of navigating to a home page which you can only enter when a menu pops up at random. Gmail can't attach anything except pictures and the Samsung mail client has no way of emptying its trash folder, save by reselecting and redeleting the messages in it. Neither Swype (which I love on my Galaxy S) nor the normal keyboard is happy entering non-word: both insisted on changing my work username to firstname.surname@Something..Co..<carriage return>". Flash support is agonisingly slow and full of bugs. Locking orientation doesn't work - some apps still rotate gratuitously.
Summary: the worst piece of electronic crap I have ever tried to use. I may stick it up on the wall as a photo frame, but for the moment it's stuffed in a cupboard along with the sandwich toaster.
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