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Features Android tablets need (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386776)

I was thinking I would offer some features an Android tablet might need. I made a list:

Share screen - for educational purposes

Ebook reader.

Internet browser

Citrix client

IRDA capture/replay (media remote control apps)

Skype

Apparently I'm not very creative. Those things and many thousands more are available in the standard package. Truly inventive stuff is offerred in the app store.

Re:Features Android tablets need (3, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386938)

Actually I would rather not have Google work on any of those things you listed. All of these features can be provided by third-party developers so there's no need to burden Google's engineers.

What Google should be doing is improving the speed and stability of the entire Android OS, most critically the Dalvik virtual machine. For crying out loud they just enabled JIT on 2.2.

Re:Features Android tablets need (3, Funny)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386966)

For crying out loud they just enabled JIT on 2.2.

...And it is MAGICAL!

Re:Features Android tablets need (4, Funny)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387224)

What Google should be doing is improving the speed and stability of the entire Android OS, most critically the Dalvik virtual machine. For crying out loud they just enabled JIT on 2.2.

I wouldn't hold my breath. It's 2010, and they just now figured out that memset() is supposed to be able to write values other than zero. [android.com]

Re:Features Android tablets need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388884)

While apple engineers are still reading the man pages? I will take it.

Re:Features Android tablets need (2, Interesting)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387886)

Have you tried running some apps on a Froyo-enabled Nexus One yet? There can be no doubt, Dalvik is now blazingly fast on a 1GHz snapdragon.

The only performance issues left that I've seen are:

1) For some reason, LauncherPro Beta is far smoother and snappier feeling than the stock Launcher. This was the case in 2.1 and is the case in 2.2. I use LauncherPro Beta, but really there's absolutely no excuse for the stock launcher to not be able to smoothly scroll through the home screens on such blazingly fast hardware. I don't know why the JIT didn't fix this issue with Launcher, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the way it interacts with the graphics hardware on the Nexus One, since the JIT is amazing.

2) Browser scrolling in Android Browser. Not rendering, but scrolling. In terms of page load time and rendering on a good internet connection, this is the fastest phone-based web browser I've seen. But even my iPhone 3G (which has a much less beefy processor) could scroll around on web pages without feeling... choppy. Something is wrong with the smooth scrolling algorithm, the number of frames/the amount of CPU time it uses to actually *scroll* vs. to incrementally render, or the way it puts the Javascript engine on hold or something. Please, please, please figure out how to make the web browser scroll without giving me a headache, the way iPhone does it. Cheat if you need to - skipping frames or a quick-pass and filling in once the primary scroll action is complete. Maintain smoothness at all costs. Since the browser engine is native code (just the outer UI stuff is Dalvik), this saw no benefit from JITing, and in fact is worse under 2.2 in my experience, probably because I came from CyanogenMod which is very well optimized.

If Android gets these two issues kicked, it will be amazing.

Re:Features Android tablets need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388012)

I'd just need it being able to simulate a wireless access point on my phone, so that I can use my iPad without paying the horror price.

What about actually making it work right??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386812)

The top issue with Android phones today is that pretty much all the features work halfazz.

So, to make table worthy, what about actually making the things work right instead of just providing a halfazz implemented features.

What is the point of having a long list, when nothing works?

Re:What about actually making it work right??? (5, Interesting)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387018)

I don't know, man. All the features I could ever want work great outta the box. As long as I'm locked into Android, there is no way I'll ever lose my contacts. When I format or switch to a new phone, my apps are all downloaded again automagically. If I don't like something about the OS, I can generally replace it with some third party application. When android tablets start coming out, if I get one, my custom "Android" will likely follow me onto it. I don't know, as someone who had to deal with people when they had synchronization problems with ActiveSync and their Windows Mobile phones (problems sync'ing generally mean loss of everything without some roundabout backup/restore of PIM), I can't get enough of Android's robust synchronization with "the cloud"

Re:What about actually making it work right??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387620)

I can't get enough of Android's robust synchronization with "the cloud"

of marketing companies.

And all you have to do is sell your soul to google (2, Interesting)

arcite (661011) | more than 4 years ago | (#32389014)

for free. Google will track and record everything you do, search for, and record. Sell your personal information to the highest bidder. Not to mention those 'accidental' privacy leaks when they get hacked or someone finds a loophole. Oh sorry, too bad, our services are "free"...you get what you pay for right? Can't complain if its 'free'...

At least Apple is upfront and takes its users privacy seriously. But then I suppose some do not value their individuality as much as others.

Re:What about actually making it work right??? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387032)

ahem Insightful? Brain holiday for some editors?

It would be insightful if you listed anything that actually was "halfazz", instead of just making blanket statements with no provenance...

Re:What about actually making it work right??? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387040)

What the hell are you trolling about? Have you ever even used Android? I have and Android phone right here and it is awesome. Everything on it works great. Thanks to the 1 GHz Snapdragon proc, multi-touch is butter smooth, the browser is blazing fast, maps and the free navigation is the best this side of a 500 dollar garmin, the camera takes decent phone pictures, it's easy to use, the ui is intuitive, voice input into any text entry box, I could go on. About the only thing that was indeed half-assed is the market app. It downright sucks. Of course, that's what sites like this [appbrain.com] are for. As someone that's been through over a dozen Windows Mobile phones through the years, Android is like when Dorothy stepped out of black and white and into color. It's nothing short of phenomenal as a smartphone OS. Even developing for it is brain dead easy with the free emulator and eclipse plugin integration.

I have to think you are trolling or just laying down the 'turf, one.

Android tablet prototypes not ready yet... (4, Informative)

IYagami (136831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387378)

...according to ArsTechnica:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/05/android-tablet-prototypes-not-yet-ready-for-prime-time.ars [arstechnica.com]

"The performance stank. It was a stutter-fest (...) Resizing pages with the Web browser was jerky and uneven. The Gallery app stuttered a bit and generally wasn't nearly as responsive as it is on my Nexus One phone. And the Wired tablet app was just awful, running as it did on Adobe's AIR platform (...) In all, it's a genuine mystery as to why these tablets were in such rough shape. It could be some combination of beta software and beta GPU drivers--but really, I have no idea. It seems to defy the laws of physics that a Tegra 2-based Android tablet would have a less responsive UI than the Snapdragon-based Nexus One, but that was my experience yesterday. "

This is even with a nVidia Tegra2 processor, which should be more pwerful than Apple A4 processor.

Re:Android tablet prototypes not ready yet... (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387764)

this right here is the point. the software isn't optimized for the hardware. They can't get the best use out of any given chip. Apple does more "advanced" features on less powerful hardware and ram than anyone else. how is it possible that they got the OS working better than anyone else?

Oh and for the record every andriod phone I have used have had horrible interfaces, hard to navigate browsers(where the fsck is the back button in landscape mode, and why does the typing on the keyboard have to be so painful?)

Re:Android tablet prototypes not ready yet... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388728)

arse technica are a bunch of useless apple shills that no one pays any attention to anymore. they're like toms hardware and your good self - full of crap.

Re:What about actually making it work right??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387124)

I wonder if I'll also be tagged insightful for saying the iPhone suckz without any providing any justification for my blanket statement.

Focus (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386832)

Wouldn't it be better for Google make Android 100% perfect as a phone OS before branching out into other areas?

Re:Focus (5, Insightful)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386848)

I believe they're capable of working on both goals simultaneously, and it's entirely possible ideas developed in the creation of a tablet could lead to a better phone OS. Also, it's in no one's best interest for Apple to become entrenched as the only game in town for a decent tablet.

Re:Focus (2, Informative)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387194)

Hell, I don't think it's even in Apple's interest to be the only game in town for tablets, really. Competition drives innovation, pressure keeps you sharp...

Re:Focus (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388470)

Apple's interest is to make the hugest profit possible. And that's definitely not something that's ever been helped by competition. Competition is what helps people on the demand side of the equation, not the supply.

Re:Focus (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386914)

Wouldn't it be better for Google make Android 100% perfect as a phone OS before branching out into other areas?

Why? Didn't stop Apple?

*Boom* *Boom* *High Hat*

Re:Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386982)

That's now how they roll. They like to release stuff to the public in beta, so people can tinker with it.

Pejeno

Re:Focus (2, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387056)

Why?

Assuming that you could make anything 100% perfect, which would presumably involve making it everything to everyone, so that nobody would ever need another of its type, why should you wait till you reach 100%?

It's a different market, but so many of the same assumptions apply. It just makes sense for them to start using an existing codebase for a new device. Apple did it!

It doesn't need to be perfect - just good enough (on both the tablet and phone) that people will want to buy it.

Also, look at other things that have languished in dev hell because they tried to go for perfection: Enlightenment, WinFS (actually, most of Longhorn), Plan 9,... Better to have something working today than something perfect next millennium.

Re:Focus (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387072)

There is no such thing as 100% perfect software with HCI. Nor is there completed software.

Re:Focus (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387142)

a) There is no such thing as "100% perfect" in software, and b) Android phones are perfectly fine as it is. Doesn't mean there is no room for improvement but there is nothing wrong with the implementations out there already. My HTC Desire does an excellent job as a phone.

100% perfect (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387190)

Wouldn't it be great if all those who expect 100% perfection were rounded up and locked in a Klein bottle where they could resolve their issues by the Kilkenny cats method?:

There once were two cats of Kilkenny

Each thought there was one cat too many

So they fought and they fit

And they scratched and they bit

'Til (excepting their nails

And the tips of their tails)

Instead of two cats there weren't any!

Re:Focus (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387346)

"100% perfect" a myth. Tech moves too fast to ever be perfect, That is why we have the POGE. The challenge for Google will be come up with some sort of controlled release schedule with versions. We're only a year in and we already have 4 versions. Joe Average can't keep up, and this practice will simply turn them away to the likes of iPhone and Windows Mobile.

Re:Focus (4, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387768)

Wouldn't it be better for Google make Android 100% perfect as a phone OS before branching out into other areas?

I suppose you think that Google should wait until Linux is 100% perfect before they use it to power Android, then wait until the hardware is 100% perfect, then test Android on the hardware until it's 100% perfect, then launch a product?

Haven't RTFA but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386902)

Wouldn't "aggressive use of the locked screen" lead to massive battery use? What sort of power are we talking for an LCD whilst not backlit?

Re:Haven't RTFA but... (3, Insightful)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386984)

The "lockscreen" is the screen you see when you start up the phone from inactivity, or a powered-off screen. When the screen powers on, the lock screen is the first thing you see. You unlock it, whether via button, via some "intuitive" slide-to-unlock gesture, or some pattern or lock pin, to go to whatever application you left at. So by "aggressive use of the locked screen", they are just saying, "Dammit! Allow us to customize it," or they're saying put more useful information there. They mention widgets, so it's logical to say they want customization. Honestly, I think they just want a prettier clock and an animated battery "charging" widget. Oh, and maybe Tetris as a widget. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Re:Haven't RTFA but... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387954)

Like everything else in Android, there are 3rd party apps that allow you to do just that. For example, Flyscreen [myflyscreen.com] or MyLock [blogspot.com] , and Executive Assistant and Lockbot...

All allow customizations to the lock screen, lock screen widgets, or other useful information on the lock screen.

Re:Haven't RTFA but... (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387060)

The lock screen even on my HTC Tattoo (Android 1.6) shows the currently playing song, and song controls (notably, pause). When the screen turns off (I've set it to 15 seconds of inactivity), it takes no (display) power. When I turn the screen on again, it shows those widgets. I don't think it should be a problem

Wrong (5, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386904)

Mandatory hardware buttons, and dictate their placement. Having the back button, menu button, and home button change places on different Android devices is retarded. And make it hard to accidentally hit them. Apple's "fuck whatever you're doing and quit" key is stupidest UI decision ever made. Putting it where you hold the device makes it even worse.

Want to be real awesome? Have touch-sensitive dedicated scroll areas off the display surface.

Support pen input, from low-end pressure screens to that fancy induction Wacom stuff. That is the real future of tablets, always has been, always will be. There is a reason only children fingerpaint.

Re:Wrong (4, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386958)

Apple's "fuck whatever you're doing and quit" key is stupidest UI decision ever made.

If you ask most people, they wish they had that button on absolutely every device they have to use.

Re:Wrong (3, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387648)

If you ask most people, they wish they had that button on absolutely every device they have to use.

That button is standard on most phones, including all Android phones.

What Apple is missing is the "go back", "search", and "show me my options" buttons. Those functions are inconsistent among many iPhone and iPad apps.

Re:Wrong (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388958)

"Go back" is, if not implemented per application, at least overrideable per application. It usually works pretty well, but some apps (Pandora, for example) don't work intuitively IMO.

Re:Wrong (5, Interesting)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386976)

I don't think David Hockney [wikipedia.org] would be classed as a child, and he seems pretty enthusiastic about the iPad as a (finger)painting medium.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388544)

er...shut up!

  i've known the man since i was a child (being friends of celia birtwell and ossie clarks' kids) - he is exactly like a child and has all the intelligence of a duvet.

Re:Wrong (2, Insightful)

timothy (36799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386986)

I am sympathetic to the idea of mandated hardware buttons and placement, buuuuuut ... I'd rather have tiered recommendations / human interface guidelines, because there might be a lot of cool applications for Android where a mandated layout wouldn't work, but a secondary recommended layout / alternative would. I'm spur-of-the-moment imagining an embedded display in a convertable's dashboard that's intended to have little chance for dust to get in. I don't have a convertable, and maybe that's a silly example, but Hey. I know that on many of my electronic gizmos, the actual electronic bits and display have outlived the life of the buttons.*

Want to be real awesome? Have touch-sensitive dedicated scroll areas off the display surface.

As long as we're thinking of the same sort of thing, that's one thing I look forward to in the (of-course-it's-delayed) Notion Ink Adam tablet [engadget.com] . (Though I also worry that it will be distractingly bad, as when a touchpad on a notebook is oversensitive and leads to all kinds of curse-inducing pointer misplacement.)

timothy

* Another reason I hate trackpads :) When their "mouse buttons" fail or start to go wonky, the simple, elemental-to-human-life matter of click, Yea, whether left or right, can bring great wailing and gnashing of teeth and bashing of buttons.

Re:Wrong (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387010)

I would LOVE a 10-inch Android tablet with a Wacom digitizer... that would make my Thinkpad tablet obsolete, meaning I could upgrade to an X201s for the gobs of battery life.

However, I get the feeling we'll never see hardware that expensive for Android. And if we do, it'll be, well, expensive :P

Re:Wrong (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387610)

You think way to small. I would really appreciate a 100" tablet screen, the bigger the better. The first thing I though of when I read "How Google Can Make Android Truly Tablet-Worthy" is forget little pokey 10" screens focus on the big screen. As for the touch pad remote, that of of course needs to be smaller, hand held, pocket capable, hmm, a touch screen android smart phone should hit that sweet spot and if I want to type perhaps a smart book to up the interaction level.

This could lead to another potential business, big screens located at every kind of recreational venue that you can log into with your portable device to temporarily up you screen real estate for a far more readable display and o access a wider variety of wired services and you could blue tooth the sound to your head set.

Re:Wrong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387028)

"Have touch-sensitive dedicated scroll areas off the display surface."

This x1000

I don't understand why more (any) devices don't integrate something like this. A small strip vertically on each side of the keyboard for a laptop/netbook, or next to the screen for phones, pda, and tablet use. One of the most frustrating things with my nokia tablet is vertical scrolling. It sucks. Some laptops do similar by sectioning off part of the touchpad, but simple strips along the sides where you actually -hold- a portable devices would greatly increase ease of use.

Re:Wrong (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387548)

Why not take a page from the Sony Clie and put a scroll wheel on the side? I'm not sure I want to give up screen real-estate for this (though maybe a tablet could afford it). Why sacrifice space on a state-of-the-art OLED screen that has 200 pixels in the width of your index finger, when a 10 cent potentiometer will do the same job?

Re:Wrong (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387832)

HTC used to put something like this on some of their phones. Here's a demo [youtube.com] with a circular scroll thing that is used for zooming, but of course could be used to scroll just as well. I'm pretty sure I saw a device with a thing, straight strip as well, but I'm not sure what it was. I dunno why they stopped making these :(

Re:Wrong (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387064)

I agree about having hardware buttons, but not about the Apple Bailout Key. It's a good feature to have, as long as it is in a decently off-limits area of the device.

Touch sensitive dedicated scroll areas does sound interesting, though!

Re:Wrong (0, Troll)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387526)

Given how big the bezel is on the iPad and that the button is recessed, I don't think it will be much of an issue. It's never been an issue with my iPhone. Also, accidentally hitting the button should cause any data loss if the developer wrote the app properly -- perhaps games are the exception. Besides, do you really think you know more about product design than Apple? You think they didn't bother testing for such problems?

Re:Wrong (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388496)

Yes, the people that built a mouse with only one button are surely the people that you want designing everything else. They've gotten better, but let's be honest about something, most of their ideas were stolen from elsewhere. The iPod interface with the buttons excepted, was a complete rip off of what Creative had already been shipping. The iPhone is great, as long as you don't need buttons and don't want to do something that Apple doesn't like. It's easy to put together reliable and efficient products if you prevent the user from doing things that are hard to design for.

Re:Wrong (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387550)

I really dont mean any offense but... have you ever used an android device? or an iphone? I really dont understand whats wrong with the vertical scrolling. I honestly see no need for a dedicated scroll area when the whole scrollable surface serves that purpose.
Sure, it might suck for some other devices (i.e. symbian, etc, who did not get it close to "right"). But on iphone? android? I think most users find it perfect just how it is.
Maybe I just misunderstood? What would be the advantages?

Re:Wrong (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387652)

If you use vertical swipes for scrolling, you can't use them for something else. It's also hard to see what you're scrolling while your scrolling it.

Having said that, a separate scroll area is not going to catch on; the lowest common denominator wins, and that's scrolling with vertical swipes.

Re:Wrong (2, Interesting)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387992)

Yeah, as a former Windows Mobile user, the one thing I miss on Android is the ability to select text by swiping; then you can copy it to the clipboard with a long tap+proper option on context menu (or even easier, Ctrl+C if you have a physical keyboard). Well, that, and the ability to "reverse tether", i.e. get network access from a PC, and seamless access to SMB resources.

Yes, keep the buttons (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387986)

I agree with the sentiment of keeping the buttons. For myself, one of the best things about Android has been those buttons, especially the back button. Not only does it save screen real-estate, it can be hit repetitively in a quick fashion. Even the search button, which at first I thought was just for a Google-centric theme, I've found very useful.

Whether you think Apple's one-button concept is awful or great, it shouldn't be duplicated. Android works well because it's not really an iPhone clone, it's a whole other choice. Those buttons represent part of that choice, that alternative.

Too many of these "how to fix Android" writeups have a bit too much "make it like Apple does" on them. This article wasn't entirely driven that way, but on the button topic I start to wonder if they've been using Android much at all. I'd definitely want these on a Tablet, just as much as I do on a Smartphone.

Re:Wrong (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388316)

Having the back button, menu button, and home button change places on different Android devices is retarded.

This clearly doesn't matter as long as they all have the same icon. People expect small devices to have varying layouts. They're putting Android into cars now, where the typical button layout might not even make sense; the cost of Android means it's going to show up just about everywhere.

Apple's "fuck whatever you're doing and quit" key is stupidest UI decision ever made. Putting it where you hold the device makes it even worse.

Amen to that.

Support pen input, from low-end pressure screens to that fancy induction Wacom stuff. That is the real future of tablets, always has been, always will be. There is a reason only children fingerpaint.

I couldn't agree more. I want a display with both touch and fancy wacom tilt/rotation/pressure stylus "stuff". Unfortunately even the $2000 Wacom Cintiq 21UQ doesn't do this, it's stylus-only. Fail, fail.

Re:Wrong (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388532)

Off screen is a bad idea. My Nexus One can change orientation based upon it's physical orientation, there isn't really anywhere on the device where you could put it where it would be both out of the way and off screen. And I don't like the idea of them limiting the directions in which I can turn it because then I have to use the hand to control it that they tell me to or face the problems above.

Re:Wrong (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388566)

Support pen input, from low-end pressure screens to that fancy induction Wacom stuff. That is the real future of tablets, always has been, always will be. There is a reason only children fingerpaint.

Um, haven't they tried that for like the last ten years and it turns out users didn't like it that much? The problem facing all tablet makers in the future is the problem of UI. Right now Apple has it right in that the iPad is more designed to consume media than create it. You can use it for some input but not much. So the touch UI works well for that. In the future, they'll either have to refine touch or come up with something better for more serious input. Pen based input has been judged and found wanting.

Re:Wrong (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388882)

For the record, Apple has made quite a few stupid UI decisions - my favorite is a copy of what Microsoft did with the Start menu: Start -> Turn Off Computer -> Restart. Huh?

Apple stakes its claim in the world of UI mess by including podcasts as a subset of "Music". Of course, there's always the complete and total exclusion of any kind of "Delete All" function for the email app, the thought being that you should be perfectly happy to click on every single one of a hundred or more emails...stupid.

Why is Android 1.5 always seen on tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386928)

Not sure if there's a reasoning behind it.. but lately, all the tablets I've seen running Android are running Android 1.5 (and maybe a few with 1.6). Why is that?

If there's releasing a new piece of hardware, wouldn't it make sense to release it with the latest version of the OS?

Re:Why is Android 1.5 always seen on tablets? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387038)

Maybe because there has been a lot of porting work done on those versions. Android 1.5 runs on the openmoko.

What is this "don't hurt the Apple-fans" day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32386960)

The big difference with the Android tablet army is that the Apple iPad doesn’t have much of a head start. Apple’s iPhone had a few years on the first Android device. Google’s Android platform is growing quickly, but isn’t likely to catch the iPhone in terms of smartphone market share any time soon. Google’s Android will be a solid No. 3 in smartphones.

and ...

However, tablets are a different story. Apple’s iPad isn’t as expensive as originally thought, but it’s not going to be $199 any time soon. Android tablets will hit that price point. Just to reiterate: None of these Android devices are going to matter to Apple, which doesn’t sweat market share standings.

So just to iterate, a product which competes directly with another product doesn't affect one another because some douche bag jourislist says so?

Status information! (4, Interesting)

teh dave (1618221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32386978)

aggressively using the inactive (locked) screen state to display useful information

I don't know exactly what that means but I like the sound of it. Mobile operating systems, especially ones from Apple, should be a lot better than they are at at displaying device and communications status. It's one of the... maybe two things Windows Mobile is good at: at a glance I can see how many emails I have in each individual account, how many appointments I have today and the two or three coming up, how many active tasks I have and the first few highest priority/earliest due, how much data I've used this month, what the weather will be like tomorrow, and of course the time, date, battery and signal et cetera. All from one button press. And of course there are lots of other Today plugins available and they are easy to develop.

If you cringe at that, that's fine. You don't like it and most people I know don't want "clutter" on their home screen either. That's fine for them but iPhone OS doesn't give the choice to those of us who would like to use an otherwise purposeless blank screen for displaying useful information. The key word there is choice... you can have it your way and I can have it my way. At least, we could, if iPhone supported a single bit of customisation...

Re:Status information! (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387574)

It does need to be a choice though.

There is a reason that windows doesn't display anything at all on a locked screen but the unlock message, and why it doesn't automount media/usb/etc while locked. This is a potential security hole.

Granted, putting sensitive data on a device that is small and lightweight is already a bigger security issue, so unless they're going to implement some kind of full-flash encryption scheme with a boot password the lock screen is the least of their worries. Forget remote wipe/etc - if I really want to steal data on a smartphone I'd just yank the battery before it got wiped, and then extract the data right from the flash chips or via JTAG.

A big issue for device security would be the password complexity - full-storage encryption is only as good as key size, and there is no way somebody is going to type a strong password into a phone. Your next best bet is to use the cloud - user enters a PIN on the phone, phone transmits PIN to the cloud, if correct cloud sends key back to the phone - which prevents brute force attacks and allows for revocation. Of course, now you have to trust your life to the cloud and your phone will never boot offline (which means mandatory data roaming when you travel unless the phone has a dumbed-down feature phone mode of some kind that doesn't need the key).

Re:Status information! (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387902)

Well the only thing a WM phone displays that could be potentially sensitive are the upcoming appointments, and you can disable those. I don't think the number of new emails can be in any way sensitive information in all but the most contrived circumstances. Unlike the iphone, which (used to, I think?) display the text of incoming messages for all to see, whether it was locked or not.

Speaking of the iphone, I actually laughed for a few minutes straight when I played with one for the first time and realized that the home screen where you get dropped all the time is just a bunch of application icons. So yeah, don't do that.

Re:Status information! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388602)

aggressively using the inactive (locked) screen state to display useful information

While this sounds good in theory, in practice, it's bad for battery life Having something constantly update information while locked will take more battery. Right now, the iPhone and other devices show any messages that have been pushed to the phone. That's the current compromise.

"iPad killer" from Foxconn (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387078)

It's amusing that one of the linked articles mentions an "iPad killer" from Foxconn. Foxconn makes the iPad.

Foxconn's 2008 revenue was $62 billion. They're the "largest exporter in Greater China" and the world's largest maker of phone handsets. They have 486,000 employees. (Apple: 35,000. General Motors: 245,000.)

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (2, Funny)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387106)

I'll admit, somewhat shamefully, that when I saw "Foxconn" and "killer" I thought you were going in an entirely different direction...

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (2, Insightful)

timothy (36799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387126)

Amusing, but not crazy, as far as I can see. There are only so many large-scale makers of this kind of electronics -- and it's no weirder than different parts of Apple, or HP, or Microsoft (or GM, for that matter) trying to put the other parts out of business. Foxconn seems like one of the very most likely sources for an "iPod Killer" device, because they have in-house expertise. (Of course, maybe they have agreements with Apple that rule out certain routes to producing an iPod killer ;))

timothy

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387544)

Foxconn seems like one of the very most likely sources for an "iPod Killer" device, because they have in-house expertise.

For the hardware, perhaps. But do they write their own software (apart from OS drivers)?

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387868)

(also in response to the other reply raising similar point)

Right, I'm only talking about as the maker of hardware. Android seems to be the software of choice, and it seems to be pretty good, esp. in the more recent iterations. There are some cheesy devices running it, and tantalizing demos, but that doesn't mean better ones aren't actually (hopefully) bare months from available.

Admission: I've seen Android in action only on a few phones (but not one I own) and -- now "ancient" versions -- at on tablets at CES earlier this year. But that's why I'm glad that YouTube means we get to see demos so quickly ;)

timothy

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (2, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387678)

Foxconn seems like one of the very most likely sources for an "iPod Killer" device, because they have in-house expertise.

No they don't. The real value behind tablets is in the software, not the hardware (except that the HW shouldn't hinder the SW), and Apple produces that part themselves. The Foxconn employees just copy it to the device.

I'm already seeing it coming that most tablet developers will miss this crucial thought and fail miserably. Just stuff some UI (aka Android) meant for 3.5" onto a 10" tablet and sell your hardware with it. This is really easy to do and will work perfectly, right?

Just like that "iPad killer" tablet produced by some Chinese manufacturer I saw a few months ago on television. It worked so well that even the Skype application that ships with it doesn't scale correctly. Not to mention that the presenter had to do every tap on the screen twice because the touchscreen was so good that it didn't recognize the first one (that was an official presentation!).

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387258)

Hm, "Foxconn ... the world's largest maker of phone handsets"? Not even close...

Nokia 37%, Samsung 21%, LG 11%, Motorola & SE both 5%; while SE and perhaps Motorola might be using some OEM manufacturers, it's rather unlikely for LG and Samsung. And Nokia owns all their fabs (most of them not in China, 125k employees)

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387496)

Hm, "Foxconn ... the world's largest maker of phone handsets"? Not even close...

Nokia 37%, Samsung 21%, LG 11%, Motorola & SE both 5%; while SE and perhaps Motorola might be using some OEM manufacturers, it's rather unlikely for LG and Samsung. And Nokia owns all their fabs (most of them not in China, 125k employees)

Foxconn OEMs for almost everyone (Apple, Motorola, RIM, SE), including Nokia. [google.com]

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387586)

They one of the big suppliers of parts, sure; but that doesn't make them the largest handset maker.

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388770)

You are clueless. Having just returned from FoxConn's Longhua facility about four weeks ago, I assure you they assemble plenty of phones from Nokia and Samsung.

Re:"iPad killer" from Foxconn (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388832)

If I'm clueless, so is Nokia for thinking they themselves manufacture all their phones (well, they are aware of Chinese made copies...maybe there are some "from" Samsung too)

Archos (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387168)

Archos [archos.com] is already doing it and doing it well. First time using one was today, actually. Pretty damned swanky, imo.

want one now! (3, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387174)

All these demo unit's/available in China, I just want one now!

2.2 minimum, tegra would be nice, standard usb socket to charge (as well as another one to drop in cradle for hdmi output I guess), bluetooth keyboard support as standard so I can use a keyboard with it if I want to, or just lug around without and use the onscreen one if I have to.
Done.
I've got a credit card warmed up and ready to use for something like that. Why all this 1.5/1.6 stuff?
Seems to be true that there's alot of Android Tablets inc, heck, they were showing dozens of them off before Apple even admitted they had a tablet

I do have some fears.
It appears if you've got a non-Google phone, updates are looking risky. As much as the new Dell tablets ones look neat, if Google(htc) brought their own out, I'd probably go for that with a better expectation that it'll be supported for later updates.
Whats the Chome Tablet for? Seems odd for them to fracture their own market when Android seems great and well suited for a tablet. Can the Chrome browser just be chucked on an existing Android platform to give people more choice?

But yeah, if the Dell tablets were going on sale tomorrow at Best Buy, I'd be typing this out on my G1 camped outside.

Re:want one now! (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387454)

Whats the Chome Tablet for?

Anybody who is happy to work exclusively with web apps.

Makes a lot of sense with a mobile device if where you plan to use it has good Internet connections. Until that is universal it makes sense to have a dual track approach. Anyway, developing ChromeOS must be a relatively small job c.f. A full blown OS like android, and all the related web apps could (potentially) work across multiple platforms.

I'd see ChromeOS as more suitable for mobile use within an office/shop/warehouse than for road warriors (initially).

Re:want one now! (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387540)

I'm still confused though, wouldn't Android + Chrome browser work just as well, if not better? And Android + browsers are out now, working.

As is, when they do eventually bring out a Chrome tablet and it doesn't have access to all the Android marketplace apps, just web, why would someone choose that over an Android tablet + web + apps? Just seems an odd thing.

The article referenced originally does make a fair point, we're about to be flooded with cheap (and very inferior) Android Tablets shortly, it might hurt the overall platform.

Again, if they had a Tegra powered, 1GB ram, 8ish inch Android tablet running 2.2 to get Flash/existing apps, 3g, I'd be all over it.

Re:want one now! (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388446)

I'm still confused though, wouldn't Android + Chrome browser work just as well, if not better?

I think the idea is that ChromeOS can be stripped down to the bare minimum of features needed to support the browser, for fast boot, low power, low memory. Not letting apps run locally at all must also make security easier.

You have a point though: the power/hardware requirements for chrome systems had better be vastly lower than for full featured systems or people won't see the point. I think this is what has kept thin client systems in a niche - they're no cheaper than a proper PC.

I'm bemused (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387290)

The iPad seems to be a huge success. Tablets have never been hugely popular before. Now everyone wants to make one. Why all of a sudden?

And what are they actually for?

Re:I'm bemused (1, Flamebait)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387326)

Apple has a very dedicated herd of followers who buy everything Apple throws at them. Now they all have an iPad it's time for the next iPhone to be bought by them and crank Apple's stock up some more. After the iPhone there will be new Macs the herd will absolutely need, and after that it will be the next iPod versions. And so the game goes on.

Re:I'm bemused (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388866)

Apple has a very dedicated herd of followers who buy everything Apple throws at them.

Turn the hate down from 11 and think about why that is. My personal story is that after supporting a series of clunky laptops at home, Vista made me reluctantly buy the wifey a MacBook Air. Wow. Her experience with that made me replace my latest in a series of problematic Belkin routers with a Time Capsule (wireless N with automatic backups). She broke a MBA hinge and because we were no longer supported I got her a MacBook. After 11 months Apple decided to fix the MBA hinge at no charge. Wow. Then I got her a 2G iphone (which at the time the RAZR was the top selling phone for three years). Wow. Then came the 3G and I got one for myself (I got tired of rebooting the work HTC 8500 to make a phone call). Then the 3GS. Got one for myself and gave the 3G to the wifey because she dropped the 2G into a glass of tea. The iPhone makes me use my desktop only infrequently. My work laptop now stays at work. I bought and returned a Windows 7 netbook. Wow (in a bad way). Then the iPad came out (wow) and I got the wifey one and now she only uses her laptop to type meeting minutes and reports. Now that we have kids there is no screen to open, no laptop to lug around with both hands, and no keyboard for the monkeys to lunge at. I bought an old used eMac just like the one the girls use at school ($200US). I look around the house and see all the Apples and wonder what the hell happened, and then realize I wouldn't change a thing.

To do all this I gave up the features that are important to you but got features that turned out to be important to me. I paid more than I would have using the other technologies but they also sold at a higher rate. So I'm in the herd. With the options today, if I was buying my first phone I don't know if it would be an iPhone. But at each point in time what I purchased was the right one for me as compared to the other options.

Re:I'm bemused (2, Funny)

lostsoulz (1631651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387506)

And what are they actually for?

Fitness - your arms grow strong from trying to hold the damn things on the daily commute to the office and your cardio improves as you try to outrun the mugger that is interested in your oversized iPhone.

Reading slashdot while sitting in a comfy chair. (3, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387566)

The tablets available previously were laptop computers running lightly modified desktop operating systems and applications. Consequently, that's what people tried to use them for. They were not very good at it.

The iPad doesn't pretend to be a laptop replacement, it's for web browsing, casual gaming and media playing with maybe a little light note taking. It's using an OS which is designed specifically for the job. Also, love it or hate it, the iPhone did revolutionise the design of touch interfaces - if you can't see how everything since has copied it then you need stronger glasses.

People describe the iPad as "just a big iPod Touch" as if that were a criticism - I bought an iPad because that was exactly what I wanted. Most of the haters are evaluating it as if it were a small PC.

Its also closer to the original Netbook concept, while Netbooks themselves have morphed into entry-level laptops because they could run desktop software, and there wasn't a lot of alternative net book-friendly software. The iPad arrives with a good developer base, lots of available apps and no option to stick Windows or Ubuntu on it...

Re:Reading slashdot while sitting in a comfy chair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388740)

yeah that may be fine for you, but not everyone is a useless retard who doesn't know the first thing about technology.

Re:I'm bemused (2, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387632)

The iPad seems to be a huge success. Tablets have never been hugely popular before. Now everyone wants to make one. Why all of a sudden?

Because battery and screen technology has improved to the point where you can have $200 tablets weighing 2 pounds, with a big screen, and 10h battery life.

As usual, Apple has rushed out this kind of product a little earlier at a premium price and marketed the hell out of it. But tablets were going to happen now anyway, Apple or no Apple.

Re:I'm bemused (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387772)

Actually, Apple timed this product just right. The appeal of tablets have been clear for years, it's just that the technological infrastructure wasn't good enough and the implementations were lousy. Windows tablets anyone? I have one, and I almost never use it as a tablet.

If you look at the iPod, iPhone and iPad, they're all cases where Apple chose the right time to capture the second mover advantage. It's a natural role for a company driven by a perfectionist like Jobs who sees the mistakes the first generation products make and does not repeat them.

Now if things go true to form, the third generation competitors will scramble for scraps from Apple's table by copying whatever they can, repeating the mistakes made in the first generation products, and trying to come up with bullets for a side by side comparison. It'll take several iterations before a credible competitor to the iPad emerges.

for some sense of "right" (2, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388522)

If you look at the iPod, iPhone and iPad, they're all cases where Apple chose the right time to capture the second mover advantage.

Apple sells premium products a little ahead of the mass market. That's neither "right" nor "wrong". Nokia or HTC couldn't have sold the same devices in their markets.

Now if things go true to form, the third generation competitors will scramble for scraps from Apple's table by copying whatever they can, repeating the mistakes made in the first generation products,

If things go as they usually go for Apple, Apple will get stuck at a few percent market share, while the mainstream companies saturate the market with more powerful and much cheaper devices. The only time Apple ever managed to hold on to a significant lead was with iPod/iTunes. And the reason people copy prior products is not necessarily because they are better, but because users don't want to have to learn new systems all the time.

and trying to come up with bullets for a side by side comparison. It'll take several iterations before a credible competitor to the iPad emerges.

Apple's market niche isn't technology, it's branding. A competitor to iPad is like a competitor to Nike shoes: it doesn't really matter what the shoes are--they all get the job done--it matters how people perceive the brand. Can Apple maintain its brand perception as a supposedly innovative brand for create people? I don't know; they're getting a lot of bad press.

Branding == technology and execution. (2, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32389018)

"Apple's market niche isn't technology, it's branding."

WTF??

Perhaps you mean Apples niche isn't check-box marketing and they aren't meeting your check-boxes?? While I don't own anything Apple (yet) but it is clear to me that it is a lot more than just branding.

Unless Apples Branding is shorthand for technical excellence(at least in this case). Just look at the technology aspects.

Example: Brilliant industrial engineering and packaging.

Example: High Quality IPS screen: Apple is using a better screen here than practically every product shown so far. All I see in competitors is crappy TN screen with horrendous viewing angles, that might be acceptable in a netbook, but not in a tablet meant to be used in multiple orientations.

Example: Battery life. Apple engineer it to use the lowest power envelop possible and deliver solid 10 hour battery life, also it doesn't need a fan, doesn't get hot.

Example: Capacitive multi-touch. Many competitors are single touch resistive (Yuk).

Example: HW/SW integration. This is the special sauce that make enables them to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts. That enables true engineering to take place where every component is engineered to just deliver what needs to be there, so you can a low powered device that is more response than people dropping in much more powerful off the shelf components but poor integration.

So I would like a more open tablet with and SD-Slot/USB port, but I serious don't think we will have anything with remotely as good technology (Screen/digitizer/battery life/industrial engineering/HW-SW integration) all in one package for a long time to come.

To say Apple is just branding and not technology is completely ridiculous. Did you take any time to consider the technology and execution before you made that claim?

Go industrial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387398)

There's lack of affordable HMI panels with proper OS for industrial applications.
Current ones available run Windows CE, and its really not suited for rich web-applications.
There are some which run linux, but are rather pricey and bulky.

To start with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32387508)

To start with they should just get the paid version of Android market to all the country that iStore is in.

Well, I tried out the ipad today.. (2, Interesting)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387600)

..for the first time (it was just released in europe), and after seeing the linked android tablet in the description, two things come to my mind:

1) 7'' might be a WIN. I found the ipad extremely gorgeus and fast, etc... but it was too uncomfortable to use because it was just heavy enough to use with both hands, but as soon as you need to interact with it a lot (i.e. almost anything other than scrolling) you need to switch to holding it with one hand and typing/interacting with the other hand. And it was way too heavy for me to do that comfortably.
That's why I think 7'' or 8'' might have been way better.

2) that android tablet will probably have a much poorer battery life (yes, pure speculation) and I doubt they will have access to android market, so.. (oh, and I hope they dont redo the entire homescreen/UI because that will probably mean they somehow f*cked it up)

I am eager to see 8'' android tablets made with great hardware, great battery life and stock android so it is easier for them to update the damn thing.
Also, I think 128MB or 256MB RAM is not enough. (see this one, for instance http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.39448 [dealextreme.com] )

Open the C API (1)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387774)

A closed C API is not suitable for a full-size computer (or even a phone since 2007). Apps need to be ported from iPad, Mac, Windows, Linux, PlayStation, XBox, Wii, and the arcade. Google should not be the only one making C apps for Android.

Re:Open the C API (3, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387930)

What is the NDK [android.com] ? It's been available for some time now. To the best of my knowledge writing a Dalvik shell to expose the app to the O/S and then using a native NDK core *is* the way to do what you are saying.

These guys [google.com] ported Quake 3. It uses a lightweight Dalvik launcher to control a native build of Quake 3.

While there might be some utility to a way to write a pure native code user-facing app in C, I don't think it currently exists. Android's browser, for example, is a Dalvik wrapper around the native code. You can of course build a pure native code executable that will run on the terminal (for example, see here [aton.com] ) but that's not going to be useful for you.

Christ, this article is idiotic. (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387830)

The Android widget interface uses a 4×4 grid to arrange widgets and icons. With a larger display, there needs to be better use of the screen real estate. Some of the early tablets we've seen are running a basic stock Android home launcher. This makes space feel wasted by having giant widgets and shortcuts taking up too much room.

No, really? With a larger screen you have more screen real estate? What genius! Google has certainly not thought of that.

I mean, call me nuts, but I suspect this is pretty far down on their list of Critical Things To Change Right Now, but pretty high up on the list of Things That Must Be Fixed Before Release. It's not done yet. They still have time.

Two features (1)

asicsolutions (1481269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32387962)

I have the Ipad and I like the form factor and battery life.

there are two fetures they missed which would make this a killer for me:

1) A file system. Right now, I have two PDF viewers.
One I can use to markup, but doesn't work as well as the other one. However, There is no way to share data. I have to load the PDF twice or in some cases I can send the data from one to another which is dumb.

2) A way to capture something with a stylus. I have been looking for years for an easy note taking device. I don't want the Ipad to do handwriting to text, but capture the strokes and store them. They can be post-processed later. But it seems like the perfect device to do this. The issue now is twofold.
2a) Because of the multi touch filtering algorithm, you can't get a fine point.
2b) bacuse the touch is capacitive, you can't have your hand rest on the screen while writing which makes it difficult to write.

Finally, the price is rediculous. I so want a good tablet, but I got an OK one since the android ones aren't out and windows is not a tablet OS.

VIDEO!!!! (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388232)

Ok I've read story after story. And with out a doubt almost everyone is missing one simple thing. VIDEO.

Slates are primarily a content consuming device as touch input tends to be slow and eats screen to do. Thus reducing the business use potential ( I does have it's place in business just not a massive one. ) We here about book readers, music libraries facebook and email.

What I'm not hearing a lot about is good quality video. In my opinion good quality video playback is a must. A larger screen is begging for video.

Meetings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32388572)

Because companies can't actually masturbate...

Inspired by Dave Barry

All lame but the home/lock screen stuff. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32388988)

Without going into detail on why the other stuff is lame... Upgrading the home screen to be more like chromium's is an obvious step. Run a strip across the screen that shows thumbnails of running apps, scroll it off-screen sideways, show the most-used or most-recently used or show them in opening order (preference option I hope) and put a nice big glowing arrow where there's more to scroll to, with a flick/tap interface. Sort of a touch-friendly chrome home for android. Lock screen only needs HTML widgets basically, like a personalized google for your tablet.

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