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Why Are There So Few Honeycomb Apps?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the endangered-species dept.

Android 432

Fudge Factor 3000 writes "PC World's Brent Rose investigates the reason behind the dearth of Honeycomb apps even though the OS was released in February with the release of the Xoom. One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad but the Honeycomb-optimized apps remain in the low hundreds. The answer, it turns out, is not that simple. The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future."

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This is the reason. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650510)

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Re:This is the reason. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650830)

Just start calling him a nigger and stop all this "country first" bullshit; you racist fucks.

Rampant piracy... (1)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650512)

...and platform fragmentation, perhaps?

Re:Rampant piracy... (4, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650530)

Platform fragmentation - as in, different screen sizes etc., may be an issue but I don't know how bad it really is.

I'm developing an Android app; doing it exclusively on my own device; have tried the emulator but it is so slow! Takes some 10-15 minutes just to start up, and then literally minutes to start running my app after starting it out of Eclipse. Not to mention the sluggish performance in the emulator. Searching for solutions to this problem only resulted in many hits of people with the same problem.

So while I'd love to at least test my app on the "big screen", or even smaller screens for that sake (my device is double the minimum required), the shitty emulator makes it impossible.

This I can imagine will hold back many developers to optimise their app for the tablets, as it'd require them to buy the device. And if only that emulator would work properly I'd prefer to use it instead of my device, easier!

Re:Rampant piracy... (3, Interesting)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650552)

Emulator Performance is the big problem. I've tried to develop a HoneyComb app, but the emulator is so slow it's absolutely unusable. Until that's fixed, developers are far less likely to flock to the new version.

Re:Rampant piracy... (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650568)

That is something that in a way surprises me. I mean not to say Google is the greatest ever, but I do expect better from them than putting out such a poor performing emulator. Android itself performs well, their Chrome browser is also known for being speedy, then why can they not get this emulator to work at a decent speed?!

You and me have this speed problem, when I searched for possible solutions I found many other people have it, while others are using the emulator just fine (or so they claim).

Their Eclipse plug-in works well, makes development/debugging quite easy. But that emulator... such an important tool for being able to just test your stuff on other screen sizes (see whether it scales somewhat nicely)... it just doesn't work. And as a result I've never seen my own app on a different resolution than my phone's.

Re:Rampant piracy... (2)

nexu56 (566998) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650756)

That is something that in a way surprises me. I mean not to say Google is the greatest ever, but I do expect better from them than putting out such a poor performing emulator. Android itself performs well, their Chrome browser is also known for being speedy, then why can they not get this emulator to work at a decent speed?!

From the SDK Tools v9 revision history: [android.com]

Known issues with emulator performance: Because the Android emulator must simulate the ARM instruction set architecture on your computer, emulator performance is slow. We're working hard to resolve the performance issues and it will improve in future releases.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650908)

But then how do other emulators do it? We have emulators for everything from the old 2600 and C64 right up to the Nintendo DS and PS2 and from what I've seen they are quite speedy even on an early dual core CPU. Is ARM so complex that it simply can't be emulated? I thought ARM was a much simpler arch than x86.

Maybe the Google guys should hire some of the game emulator guys or at least have them give some pointers as I doubt the average cellphone ARM CPU is much more complex than emulating the entire PS2.

Re:Rampant piracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650764)

Well don't use the emulator, use the real Android in VMWare instead.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650564)

I'm developing an Android app; doing it exclusively on my own device; have tried the emulator but it is so slow! Takes some 10-15 minutes just to start up, and then literally minutes to start running my app after starting it out of Eclipse.

I set up an android dev station once out of curiosity. Ran a hello world program. My machine was mediocre, dual core intel, nothing fancy. And I didn't get this huge delay.

Maybe you should take another poke at it. I don't know what could be causing your hang problem but it doesn't jive with my experience.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650588)

As I mentioned already in the comment, some people have the problem, others not. You're apparently one of the lucky ones.

That my machine is a relative old single-processor (I guess 1.8 GHz, not sure) machine should not be a problem; the same app is running on my phone at good speed, and that's a 600 MHz ARM processor! Windows in VirtualBox is also running fine, and that definitely requires more heavy-lifting than emulating Android (after all they don't HAVE to emulate the processor, as it's all Java code, which is processor-independent). And it's not that I'm running an esoteric OS, it's just a recent Ubuntu.

There is something else that's in the way of proper performance. But what it could be... no idea.

You think the emulator is bad... (1)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650604)

... just wait till your app is out in the wild, trying to run on dozens of very different devices. It aint pretty.

Re:You think the emulator is bad... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650614)

It's out in the wild, but unfortunately no chance for me (yet) to see it on other devices. Yet the comments that I get on design are very positive.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650608)

Same deal here with a Core2Duos @ 2.2+GHz on Windows 7... the emulator takes ages to start up and is slow as balls. Definitely not usable for actual application testing... :(

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650704)

I've got one for you: Have you checked if your processor/bios supports the VT extensions? I don't know if it's actually emulating an arm processor for the emulator, but it is possible it's somehow using special processor features which have either windows or bios toggles to enable. I ran into this after buying a 250 dollar processor for my laptop, turned out the bios wouldn't allow it to function even though both the bios and hardware supported it, the OEM didn't allow it to be enabled.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650718)

They're P-Series Core2Duos, so I'd say yes. All the Virtualization options including VT-D are enabled in the BIOS...

This is one of them: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=35569 [intel.com]

Should have everything needed?

They're both X-Series Thinkpads, which definitely don't disable the virtualization features, and Win7's XP Mode (which requires the virtualizaton features) works fine...

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

Torp (199297) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650722)

Umm so is there anyone that gets good performance out of the emulator running Honeycomb? It runs well using the older devices, it's just the tablet version that's the problem.

Re:Rampant piracy... (3, Interesting)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650774)

Um, unless I'm misunderstanding you (i.e. the emulator actually executes native code, although then it's not really an emulator), this should be obvious. The emulator emulates a different instruction set (arm) on your PC (x86). Virtualisation has nothing to do with that, as that executes native code for the processor on the processor itself. As no instruction translation and emulation is needed, a virtualised OS will run much much faster (assuming no IO/mem bottlenecks, it should run as fast as the host OS).

You have a 1.8GHz x86 processor, well I can tell you that it's highly unlikely to be able to run at anywhere near 600MHz arm speed. If you're lucky it will emulate about 200Mhz arm. Emulation is hard to do, and it's no surprise that it's that slow.

Emulation != Virtualisation. They are very very different beasts. You can't say "Or, my machine can run X on virtualbox really fast, so I should be able to emulate a totally different processor just as fast". Different systems entirely.

Re:Rampant piracy... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650822)

The whole Android system itself is platform independent - you can install Android on an Intel netbook (I have seen netbooks in the shops that are dual booting Android and Windows). So why emulate an ARM processor? Totally doesn't make sense.

What you're emulating here is an operating environment, where the underlying hardware is actually irrelevant: you pretend to have a GPS (the developer can actually tell the GPS which coordinates to send to the app in the emulator, or to not have a fix, etc) , a WiFi connection (you can connect your device to the Internet via WiFi or 3G in the emulator), etc. Just like VirtualBox that pretends to have hardware network interfaces and so.

So they call it an "emulator" but I think what they actually do is some kind of "virtualisation". You emulate hardware but you have to emulate it only to a certain extent as you don't run native ARM-compiled software on it, it's all Java code.

Re:Rampant piracy... (4, Informative)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650726)

Platform fragmentation from the hardware side isn't the huge issue it's made to be. Anyone who has developed desktop software shouldn't have a huge issue having to target a variety of devices! There are problems that you have to think about very small screens, as well as portrait/landscape display, but it's really not that bad IMHO.

From the software side, on the other hand, it's a right pain. Honeycomb adds the concept of a "Fragment", which is a re-usable UI grouping, so on a tablet you might put three next to each other left to right, but on a phone you display each Fragment as a single screen by itself. However, as no phone runs Honeycomb, this is basically useless; you have to write a Fragment based UI to make effective use of a tablet, and an Activity (or whatever) based UI for phones, so you have two UI layers. Once Ice Cream Sandwich comes out and phones start having Fragments, that will start solving this.

Why should there be more? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650520)

How many are waiting until Google gets it act together with Honeycomb and comes out with Ice Cream Sandwich?
How many just don't have Honeycomb devices?
How many are protesting that there has been no Honeycomb source release by Google?
How many Honeycomb apps were expected?

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

fido_dogstoyevsky (905893) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650546)

How many are waiting until Google gets it act together with Honeycomb and comes out with Ice Cream Sandwich? How many just don't have Honeycomb devices? How many are protesting that there has been no Honeycomb source release by Google? How many Honeycomb apps were expected?

How many of us are holding off getting a tablet until we can easily bypass Android (of any flavour) and just load whatever distribution we want?

Re:Why should there be more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650578)

How many of us are holding off getting a tablet until we can easily bypass Android (of any flavour) and just load whatever distribution we want?

Maybe as many as three of you.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650634)

I bet it's a big higher than that. Even so though, I doubt that is the problem. I believe that android is just outclassed by iOS. While on phones it's not so noticeable on the tablets it's glaringly obvious. I personally want a tablet that I can just load a linux distro like Ubuntu or Slax on but most people just want what works and for most that seems to be iOS. Love 'em or hate 'em but Apple is leading the pack here. With the price point about equal they're going to rule.

Re:Why should there be more? (2)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650784)

Just what is it that makes iOS so glaringly obviously better? I mean in real, quantifiable ways, not the usual fiction.

Re:Why should there be more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650800)

Android on the Tablet is no worse than IOS. That's just you opinion. In fact, many other people think it's better. Get your facts right before you spread your FUD on here.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650610)

You're not the mass target market for the likes of Apple or Samsung. Archos make tablets that allow you to install anything you want.

Re:Why should there be more? (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650670)

How many of us are holding off getting a tablet until we can easily bypass Android (of any flavour) and just load whatever distribution we want?

Hundreds, maybe even somewhere in the low thousands. And this is exactly the sort of reason there are so few Honeycomb apps: there's just not that much demand for Android tablets.

On the tablet, Android has to compete on a level playing field with the iPad. People don't particularly want Android. They don't particularly *like* Android. Not on the whole. But people *do* want iPads.

On the phone, the situation is pretty much the same, except that there are external factors involved. Specifically, carrier choice, service plans, and subsidies. Also, pretty much everyone is getting a phone, while not everyone is getting a tablet. These combine to give Android an artificial boost in apparent demand. I say "apparent demand", because the sales of Android phones don't really show the demand for Android specifically.

Have you ever wondered why there are no Android music players? Google places some limits on them, but as you are all so quick to point out, *anyone* can just take Android (pre 3.0, which is not suited for small screens anyway) and make their own version. If consumers actually *did* want Android, surely there'd be some demand, right?

But there isn't. And that's all right.

This brings up something the stereotypical slashdot Android nerd should come to understand. It's sage advice from your hated icon of evil, Steve Jobs. Paraphrased, you need to get over this notion that for Android to win, Apple/iOS has to lose. Android, like Linux, isn't terribly well designed for general consumption. Its strengths are very geek-centric. You should be happy that Android has found a viable market from which to offer hardware and software that meets your wishes. Macs don't have the market share MS has in the PC market, but they are more than strong enough to stick around providing me with the sort of computer I want. In the end, that's all that matters, right?

So, maybe if you guys come to accept that, you won't be stuck with this distorted view of Android, and you'll be happy with it how it really is, and not scratch your heads wondering why it's not something it will never be. Just like me (and tens of millions of others) with Macs, or you guys, with hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of Linux PCs, or even the hundred million Android phones and hundreds of thousands (again, *maybe* millions) of Android tablets, you can realize that what you have is pretty damned good for you, right now as it currently is.

Isn't that good enough? Isn't that what you really want? A toy, a geek toy, to play around with? You can call it a tool if you'd prefer, but if you're going to call an iPad a toy, at least be consistent about it.

Re:Why should there be more? (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650776)

Have you ever wondered why there are no Android music players? Google places some limits on them, but as you are all so quick to point out, *anyone* can just take Android (pre 3.0, which is not suited for small screens anyway) and make their own version. If consumers actually *did* want Android, surely there'd be some demand, right?

It's not 'some limits', it restricts access to the Market. Of course nobody wants Android if they have no apps to run on it. How many would want iOS without the App Store?

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650820)

It's not 'some limits', it restricts access to the Market. Of course nobody wants Android if they have no apps to run on it. How many would want iOS without the App Store?

It's Android, you can just download apps from the developer, or use whatever store you want. Amazon has one. That's what you guys keep harping on about.

Or is this only a benefit of Android when used to put down Apple's security model for iOS which only allows apps signed from the App Store, except on devices connected to developers or enterprises?

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650858)

I know that, you know that, but do most people? And are most apps actually available outside of the Market?

It's a benefit of Android, for those who know about it and are willing to try it, so probably a small part of the population.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650900)

Just so we're clear, you're saying that the reason Android music players haven't taken off is that people don't know where to buy apps?

I agree side-loading/rooting/etc. is an Android benefit that isn't broadly appealing, but if people actually wanted Android, the stores would follow (like Amazon's appstore).

Remember, the iPod touch launched before the App Store did.

Why should there be more? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650660)

Almost all applications that run on 2.x also run on 3.0 because it's the same JVM.

Apple used the same trick with the Ipad by including the number of Ipod applications that would run on the Ipad without modification. Why does Google not get this free ride.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650766)

IPod applications on the IPad are scaled up and look like shit. Android has less of this problem as it supports different screen resolutions (I'm guessing, I've never seen an Android tablet).

Re:Why should there be more? (2)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650780)

Almost all applications that run on 2.x also run on 3.0 because it's the same JVM.

Careful, or Oracle is going to quote you in its case against Google...

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650816)

Latest news: Oracle has only 2 patents left not invalidated by USPTO, that are still being re-validated.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650906)

Latest news: Oracle has only 2 patents left not invalidated by USPTO, that are still being re-validated.

Where's the evidence...or are you simply trolling?

Re:Why should there be more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650852)

Can you stop talking complete crap.

The 100,000 number is iPad NATIVE apps. Not scaled iPhone apps. There are over 300,000 iPhone specific apps.

Re:Why should there be more? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650802)

A) Some, not many
B) Most of Android devs
C) The one's that are protesting don't develop for android at all
D) Higher rate of development was expected, but existing apps scale better than expected so people just don't bother....

Well. The answer is simple. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650528)

Google does and can not force honeycomb actively onto the devices. Right now the majority of devices is not Honeycomb. So i would not program for Honeycomb. I am not even sure i would test on Honeycomb. The facilities which pre-Honeycomb Android offers are quite enough for nearly all application i can imagine.

And if we talk about "tablet-specific" well there are application which make use of the older tablets.

Re:Well. The answer is simple. (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650684)

Right now the majority of devices is not Honeycomb. So i would not program for Honeycomb.

The vast majority of devices is iOS. I'm specifically talking about tablets here, but this is also true of the aggregate of iOS and Android devices across all form factors as well (and is even true for just phones, although I wouldn't use the word "vast", although iOS's lead in phones is still in the double-digits).

Re:Well. The answer is simple. (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650688)

I'm guessing no-one on this thread owns an Android tablet.

There is not a shortage of Honeycomb applications. The vast majority of 2.x Applications will run on 3.0 with no trouble. Some of the UI's are not made for 10" screens but that does not make the applications difficult to use at all. The TFA is just trolling for page hits (it's ComputerWorld, did you expect anything different).

Although I think Google does need to work on a resolution independent API for Android, the reported "dearth of applications" is vastly overblown for the reasons mentioned above. I've got a Honeycomb based Acer Iconia Tab and have got more applications on it then my HTC Desire Z (runs 2.3), but the ones I use most often are the inbuilt Google applications (Gmail, browser, Maps, Navigation) with the exception of flash (which absolutely flies but that's because it's connected to fast DSL via WiFi).

Probably WYSE would be the most used application that is not from Google but the web browser on Honeycomb is good enough that it eliminates the need for a lot of applications..

Re:Well. The answer is simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650864)

I'm on my Asua transformer right now. the main thing i feel is missing is ability to stream over an smb share. you have to copy media to the device to view it.

Re:Well. The answer is simple. (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650932)

It's always the same, "we don't need tablet apps as phone apps look good" which isn't true. If you wanted to see the same phone app bigger you could just hold the phone closer to your face :)

If Apple's iPad was like that people would be pointing the finger and laughing. But because Android has the problem people say "It's okay, we don't need that".

This reminds me of Canon and Nikon camera fans. For years Nikon fans would say "we don't need full frame sensors" because Canon had them and Nikon didn't. As soon as Nikon had them they were proclaiming it was the best thing since sliced bread.

seems simple (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650538)

The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future.

Seems simple to me. I went to Best Buy this weekend, and the number of competing, often incompatible tablets, is enough to drive someone to give up and just buy an iPad. Not only the Xoom and the Galaxy tab, but also HP's latest webOS tab, and Blackberry's Playbook, and a number of other random ones. It was hard to figure out (especially standing in the store) what the differences were. I can easily see why someone would go for the iPad after seeing all that, since it has some name recognition.

Re:seems simple (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650574)

Also note that the Galaxy Tab doesn't run Honeycomb (yet).

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650618)

Also note that the Galaxy Tab doesn't run Honeycomb (yet).

yes it does android 3.x is honeycomb...

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650832)

Of course it does, well the 10 inch does and the 7 inch probably never will.

Re:seems simple (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650624)

>>I went to Best Buy this weekend, and the number of competing, often incompatible tablets, is enough to drive someone to give up and just buy an iPad

Yeah. I still don't see a reason for a tablet for myself, but I'm going to be expected to use one next year, so I went into Best Buy and flipped through their cheat sheet on Android tablets. Beyond knowing screen sizes, it doesn't really tell me anything I needed to know, other than the market is really fragmented. Like you, I was temped to just buy an iPad.

I'm curious to get the input from you or someone else that has done the necessary research on Android tablets as to which the "best one" is supposed to be.

Re:seems simple (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650636)

It's the Galaxy Tab, the Xoom is clunky and overpriced. I personally like the Blackberry Playbook, although it still doesn't have many apps, it is a nice piece of hardware. Play that race car game that comes with the tablet for a nice taste of what the platform could be if they ever manage to get their software side figured out.

Re:seems simple (4, Insightful)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650664)

That's a strange argument.
The market for smartphones is fragmented, yet most people don't seem to have a problem deciding which one to buy.

Fragmantation may be a problem from the technical perspective of a developer, but for consumers it means that they have a lot of choices, which is a good thing.

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650754)

If you can wait until next year, you'd be nuts not to wait to see what the iPad 3 is going to look like. If the rumors about a 'retina' LCD pan out, it's going to be a nice piece of hardware.

Re:seems simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650778)

I'm curious to get the input from you or someone else that has done the necessary research on Android tablets as to which the "best one" is supposed to be.

The best one is the one that does the most things you would like to do, in a stable manner.

Right now, for most people, that would be the iPad. Apple has their shit together, and that just cannot be said of ANY Android tablet maker or even Google, at this point in time. They just passed something like 100,000 iPad-specific Apps in their store. I have friends who are anti-establishment types (big Android fans), who have published an iPad app, and won't even consider producing an Android version. As new developers, they want to be paid, and pragmatism is a very good idea.

Sorry, but until Google steps up and blesses a reference standard like a Nexus Tab or something, the Android tablet market won't have any "best" tablet. Until Google steps up with a real tablet SDK and a good emulator, the hurried and shoddy Android tablets will always take a back seat to the iPad.

On a side note, the history of Android and iOS devices should be considered when looking at this market disparity. Apple started with the tablet first, and shrunk it down into a phone. Sure, the iPhone preceded the iPad to market by three years, but the tablet touch interface was being developed for the better part of a decade before it was shrunk down for the phone. In both iPad and iPhone/iPod renditions, the devices were clean-sheet from the ground up. Apple got it right on the tablet, and then worked to get it right on the phone. The delay in releasing the iPad was most-likely due to needing the silicon to catch-up, so that the user experience wouldn't suck. Apple has fast emulators for both the iPad and the iPhone, and targeting either device with a common codebase is very easy.

Android, on the other hand, started out using the Microsoft Windows Mobile reference platform for hardware. The initial designs (pre-iPhone) looked much closer to Blackberries, than the now-omnipresent iPhone/Touch form factor. The first Androids were hobbled by their MS-designed roots with goofy memory management, and all Android manufacturers are still paying Microsoft for the privilege of using their crappy design. Android tablets grew out of this, with the added technical problem that any manufacturer could do whatever the hell they wanted to do. Until Honeycomb, all Android tablets used ugly (fragile) hacks to scale up phone interfaces. From Google's own admission, they did the same for Honeycomb, and won't be releasing the source because of it. Hopefully, they will eventually get it right.

-- Len

Re:seems simple (4, Interesting)

LenE (29922) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650790)

I'm curious to get the input from you or someone else that has done the necessary research on Android tablets as to which the "best one" is supposed to be.

The best one is the one that does the most things you would like to do, in a stable manner.

Right now, for most people, that would be the iPad. Apple has their shit together, and that just cannot be said of ANY Android tablet maker or even Google, at this point in time. They just passed something like 100,000 iPad-specific Apps in their store. I have friends who are anti-establishment types (big Android fans), who have published an iPad app, and won't even consider producing an Android version. As new developers, they want to be paid, and pragmatism is a very good idea.

Sorry, but until Google steps up and blesses a reference standard like a Nexus Tab or something, the Android tablet market won't have any "best" tablet. Until Google steps up with a real tablet SDK and a good emulator, the hurried and shoddy Android tablets will always take a back seat to the iPad.

On a side note, the history of Android and iOS devices should be considered when looking at this market disparity. Apple started with the tablet first, and shrunk it down into a phone. Sure, the iPhone preceded the iPad to market by three years, but the tablet touch interface was being developed for the better part of a decade before it was shrunk down for the phone. In both iPad and iPhone/iPod renditions, the devices were clean-sheet from the ground up. Apple got it right on the tablet, and then worked to get it right on the phone. The delay in releasing the iPad was most-likely due to needing the silicon to catch-up, so that the user experience wouldn't suck. Apple has fast emulators for both the iPad and the iPhone, and targeting either device with a common codebase is very easy.

Android, on the other hand, started out using the Microsoft Windows Mobile reference platform for hardware. The initial designs (pre-iPhone) looked much closer to Blackberries, than the now-omnipresent iPhone/Touch form factor. The first Androids were hobbled by their MS-designed roots with goofy memory management, and all Android manufacturers are still paying Microsoft for the privilege of using their crappy design. Android tablets grew out of this, with the added technical problem that any manufacturer could do whatever the hell they wanted to do. Until Honeycomb, all Android tablets used ugly (fragile) hacks to scale up phone interfaces. From Google's own admission, they did the same for Honeycomb, and won't be releasing the source because of it. Hopefully, they will eventually get it right.

-- Len

Because of contentment of scale (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650540)

If you look at past responses on Slashdot, many here seem fine with UI that is simply scaled up to whatever size screen is presented.

Apple made a case to developers that the UI should be re-thought for something the size of a tablet - a sentiment I agree with. The iPhone supports just as many auto-scaling abilities as does Android, but the simply truth is that something the size of an iPad cries out for a different UI layout, not just windows that grow larger. You hold a tablet differently than a phone for one thing, so control positions should be re-thought. Having a whole screen slide over ala a navigation controller on an iPhone makes no sense on something with a huge screen, or at least looks goofy.

So while I really think the number of Android tablet apps is underestimated because of the number of applications that properly support scaling, the average quality is quite low because of the lack of developers willing to totally re-think the UI for a tablet form factor.

I think the intermediate 7" tablets really muddy the water. If that's the only "tablet" you had simply having a UI autoscale would probably seem sufficient.

If HP can improve WebOS performance in time on their own tablet, they might actually be able to out-do Android on tablet sales!

Re:Because of contentment of scale (2)

SilentChasm (998689) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650600)

Apple made a case to developers that the UI should be re-thought for something the size of a tablet - a sentiment I agree with. The iPhone supports just as many auto-scaling abilities as does Android, but the simply truth is that something the size of an iPad cries out for a different UI layout, not just windows that grow larger. You hold a tablet differently than a phone for one thing, so control positions should be re-thought. Having a whole screen slide over ala a navigation controller on an iPhone makes no sense on something with a huge screen, or at least looks goofy.

From what I can tell, that's what the whole "fragments [android.com] " thing that Google is trying to introduce into android is about. It seems to me like the ability to make separate sections and display more if the screen size allows. Like instead of getting a list of articles, selecting one, then viewing it, it could just have the list on the left and the viewing on the right if the screen was larger (a tablet) while still using separate ones for small screens (a phone).

This is a business problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650554)

The main factor is that no one has a Xoom, while iPhone and iPad have major markets.

Second to this but a major cause of it is marketing, which, however much one may despise it, should be a (real-world) company's number one concern. Apple markets brilliantly; no one's heard of Xoom. I was at Best Buy the other day (suspend the groans for a minute) and saw the Xoom display shoved in a dark corner of the store by the door to the musical instruments room. It was barely visible and no where near the other computers. The Apple section, however, is prominent and located centrally within the computer side of the building. That alone will make a major impact; the lack of mindshare that Android gets (except among the Slashdot OMGFREE! crowd, who are—face reality—a statistical anomaly) is directly responsible for that main factor.

Another major factor: Apple was first-to-market, so companies have already dedicated resources to building for IOS; Honeycomb isn't compatible, so that requires companies wishing to write for both to divide their resources and support two systems. Linux was always in that same boat: things came out for Windows, but no one felt like paying for more developer time to write a Linux port.

The real-world market is Apple's, and they earned it by performing well in real-world business tasks like marketing the hell out of their products and working with distribution chains to ensure visibility, and by innovating enough to open a new market and colonize it first. Until Android has the kind of support mechanisms that can do a good job marketing, it will remain an engineer's/geek's OS with correspondingly few apps. The first-to-market advantage that Apple has may be insurmountable.

Re:This is a business problem (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650804)

The main factor is that no one has a Xoom, while iPhone and iPad have major markets.

Just FYI (not commenting on your entire post): Xoom is not the only one featuring HoneyComb. See asus eee pad transformer [pcworld.com] rumors has it to have the same price tag as iPad (or $100 lower if only with 16 GB).

Waste of time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650556)

It's a waste of time, money and effort writing apps for the handful of people with honeycomb devices.

If honeycomb had been released for all Android devices capable of running it rather then Google admitting that it is such a hack that they won't even release the source there might be the numbers and confidence behind it - but as it stands people are just waiting for it to be done properly in Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google succeeded in fragmenting Android even more.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650836)

Not really fragmentation, more modernization. Honeycomb supports the legacy apps. Can you run iphone 5 apps on the iphone 2? No, I dont think so. That's just the way technology works.

We're waiting for an explosion..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650580)

of Honycomb devices.

Inexpensive, well-designed and comprehensivly specced devices would be nice too. (or is that a "one out of three" proposition?)

Re:We're waiting for an explosion..... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650818)

We're waiting for an explosion.....of Honycomb devices.

What do you mean? Weak batteries again? Or do you think HoneyComb will be chosen as a vector for a terrorist attack?
(peace, brother, just kidding)

Honeycomb is unreleased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650594)

A lot of people don't develop for a platform that they can't test it on (emulator does not count) their hardware they already own (Samsung, Archos, THIS MEANS YOU!!), so as long as google refuses to release the source for honeycomb, i bet this wont change.

No Tablets because of no apps because of... (3, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650598)

This seems like the worlds longest circular argument. The iPad had similar problems when it was released, but people bought it despite not knowing what the killer app was and because people bought it developers developed for it.

There are no Honeycomb apps, because there is a lack of Honeycomb tablets in the market. I don't know a single person with one, yet every second friend has an iPad regardless if they have a iPhone or an Android phone.

People aren't buying the tablets because reviews are negative usually always on account of a lack of apps for it.

And round we go again.

Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650620)

This does not surprise me. There is simply not enough actual hardware out there. I mean, more then enough idea's and prototypes. But nothing actually being sold in the stores or even online.

And I'm not talking about the absurdly priced Samsung type tablets, but normally priced GOOD hardware for around $300 through $400 range.

Show me good hardware that will run honeycomb now and one or two future versions for $350 and I'm aboard.

Re:Hardware (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650828)

This does not surprise me. There is simply not enough actual hardware out there. I mean, more then enough idea's and prototypes. But nothing actually being sold in the stores or even online.

And I'm not talking about the absurdly priced Samsung type tablets, but normally priced GOOD hardware for around $300 through $400 range.

Show me good hardware that will run honeycomb now and one or two future versions for $350 and I'm aboard.

eee pad transformer [pcworld.com] . Granted, $399, a bit over your $350 bid.

Market is still garbage (4, Interesting)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650630)

I posted almost 6 months ago complaining about searching in the market app. In the meantime, none of my complaints have been addressed. Given that Google is still primarily a search engine with a bunch of OSs, browsers, apps and features designed to steer people towards their search engine, I would have expected them to implement a better Market app.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2042754&cid=35526684 [slashdot.org]

My final point still stands. Google does not want users to be able to easily differentiate between poor apps and high quality apps since they still won't allow you to sort results by number of downloads, rating, and a few other criteria I can think of. In the case of honeycomb I guess it's working against them.

Re:Market is still garbage (2)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650868)

Point taken. There is way to sort apps by popularity but it's not easy to understand what it means: it's not the number of downloads, it's not the rating. Is it what's been hot in the last N days? If it were, by which definition of hotness? Oddly (as we're speaking of Google) looking for something in the market is more a matter of discovery (browsing the "also viewed" and "also installed" lists) than one of search. I even enjoy that but it's a little time consuming.

If I may add a complaint, I'd like to see Google forcing developers to explain what's the purpose of every single permission the app needs. What we have now is a sometimes scary list of what an app can do to your phone and to your personal data but no clue about whether we should trust the developer or not (my default is NO). As a reference, check Pandora [android.com] 's permissions list and check what people are saying about it in the user reviews.

My Honeycomb app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650632)

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.driftwood.galaxybowl&feature=search_result

I think the reason more tabs don't purchase it is there is no way to discover them in the marketplace. I'd love to be part of a minority for hungry tab owners, but right now it's invisible.

No need (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650638)

Android has been written from the ground up to support different resolutions / dpi. There is no need to write "honeycomb" specific UIs, because well written apps would have already moved things around for a higher resolution, lower DPI screen. Honeycomb brought "fragments" (reusable parts of the UI) to make it easier for developers to switch between screen types, and "Renderscript" (easier to make fancy looking UI)

Most of the apps that I use on my phone work well on a 10" screen, and some even reformat themselves (adding a side bar with commonly used controls, etc.). There are a few crappy apps that decide to use fixed pixel coordinates so they don't work (they are either uninstalled, or I email the dev about it and they fix it).

Factoring the above in: why would you reprogram to use HC when your app is already doing the same thing? That's why most of the HC apps are *NEW* apps taking advantage of fragments, etc., and not ones that have been scrapped and redesigned for HC. If you use HC features, you need to use reflection / second code path for Gingerbread / non-tablet devices support -- adding extra work.

Apps for the i-series devices had NO provision for higher resolution displays (most were using 320x480 or whatever the original res is), and therefore must have applications rewritten to take advantage of higher resolutions (blowing up 320x480 @ 3.5" to 1024x768 @ 10" = blur city. 800x480+ @ 4" to 10" is ok). Your options as a dev were either: your app looks like garbage (and therefore lower ratings), or your rewrite it (and count towards the "number of tablet apps").

TL;DR: Good Android apps already support higher res / lower DPI tablets without needing to depend on Honeycomb specific features. As such, it doesn't count towards "honeycomb apps".

Lack of Supply (1)

sparrowhead (1795632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650642)

Just last week, I went shopping for an Android Tablet (in Central Europe). The only Specs it needed to fulfill was to be on Honeycomb and to have UMTS onboard. And I wanted to have Hands-on-Test

I've been to over 20 shops and the only Tablets i found were the first Samsung Galaxy Tab - UMTS but no Honeycomb, one by Acer, no UMTS and an Archos tablet which had neither of my requirements.

Guess I'll have to wait until Samsung and Asus release their new tablets and hope, they actually hit the shelves.

Re:Lack of Supply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650650)

In Soviet Russia honeycomb is shopping you ! :)

Re:Lack of Supply (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650860)

Guess I'll have to wait until Samsung and Asus release their new tablets and hope, they actually hit the shelves.

Rumors has that Asus had released [pcworld.com] theirs. So, you only have to hope now.

Price, polish, brand! (5, Interesting)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650658)

The Honeycomb tablets currently in the market are expensive, many even more expensive than an iPad and yet less polished.

Trying to break into a market against a well-established player, when your product is more expensive, has less marketing and is lower in quality isn't going to work

I myself have some really nice ideas for Honeycomb, tablet optimized apps but am holding off from developing them until the platform gets some traction.

It might very well be that Honeycomb is this beautiful, hard-working, honey-making bee of the mobile OS world, but if hardware makers persist in sticking it on top of turds and hopping it sells, Apple is going to dominate the tablet market for the next 20 years.

Re:Price, polish, brand! (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650866)

The Honeycomb tablets currently in the market are expensive, many even more expensive than an iPad and yet less polished.

No..??!! You serious? [pcworld.com]

Not financially worthwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650668)

It's a lot harder to make money writing Android apps. That's not to say that it's impossible, but the users aren't as ready to open their wallets for a good app as iPhone users are, and advertisers don't pay as much. The incentive just isn't there.

Re:Not financially worthwhile (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650930)

My take is that starting with the iTunes/iPod combo Apple attracted the people that were more willing to pay for digital goods. Most of those good customers are gravitating around Apple's products now. Google and other companies might be able to steal some of them to their business but it will take time and a lot of skill.

Regardless of my assumption being right or wrong, I believe that making money out of apps (even iOS ones) is not any easier than making money in any other business. What I do is look for a company that needs an Android or iOS app (or both) to complement their commercial strategy and develop an app for them. That's been a well respected way of making money in the IT industry for ages and still works. I don't say that it's a risk less strategy (it isn't) but it's very different from building your own product and selling it to people. You know exactly how many money you make (maybe you don't know how much work you have to put into it) and you trade that safety for the (small) chance of getting very rich by building an app that makes history.

Comes down to such mundane but important things (3, Insightful)

caywen (942955) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650692)

I went to Best Buy and on display were the Xoom, the new Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the iPad 2.

Scrolling around, web browsing, and other things, the 2 android tabs were choppy. iPad was smooth as silk.

Looking at the shell, the 2 android tabs have a lot going on. That's confusing. iPad is just a bunch of icons, but I get it.

The iPad 2 was way nicer to hold than the Xoom, though the Galaxy was, IMO, the iPad's equal in this regard.

Overall, the iPad 2 just feels like a refined device, and the Android tabs feel like, well, a Microsoft solution.

iPad 2 wins, and therefore gets the developers.

Please don't give nick names anymore (0)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650698)

Can we please stop to give stupid nick names for software projects? Mango for WP7, Honeycomb for Android, and much more and more stupid nick names for each version of a software. Why not call it Android 3 and be finished with it? So anyone can follow such a head line "Why are there so few honeycomb apps", I thought, what, did they mean honeypot for virus and trojans?

It's one thing to name a software, because "Java based smartphone OS from Google" is not really nice. But then to name every each version of the software? Then you have so many names, you don't know anymore what is which version.

Android 5 is then Banana, and WP8 is carrot. I don't know what Honeycomb is anymore, was it Android 4 or 5?

Re:Please don't give nick names anymore (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650738)

> Can we please stop to give stupid nick names for software projects?

But then I couldn't talk about us needing an Ice Cream Sandwich strategy...

STARTLING THEORY (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650710)

Perhaps they're obscured from view... in some sort of "Hideout" for Honeycomb-related things.

Pay for devs (2)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650714)

Its not like google lacks cash.
Why not just commission say 500 apps at 10k each to jumpstart the eco system?
The market issue is unbelievable esp for as company specialised in search

Re:Pay for devs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650794)

Why not just commission say 500 apps at 10k each to jumpstart the eco system?

Maybe you could clarify what the problem is; what would be your top 25 missing apps out of the 500?

Re:Pay for devs (1)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650892)

I think that's what Microsoft is sort of doing, but is it really working for them?

Re:Pay for devs (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650914)

dunno, but MS is going from scratch (and arguably image handicap, everyone hates windows even non geeks as they associate it with work)

Android would be building from established momentum, 500x10k = 5 million. Go large and go 5000 @ 50 million. Heck double the pay. Whats 100 million to google if it says grabs 10% market share? The #1 complaint against android tablets is lack of apps, its chicken and egg, so throw cash at it.

Very simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650724)

The very simple readon that there are so few applications is that it is quite difficult to make money in the Android market. Apart from hobbyists developers need to eat. Not to say that hobbyists don't need to eat too, but usually they have another job that provides that.

Unfortunately the free as in speech is often equivalent to free as in beer. No one can make a salary by giving beer away.

Emulator is SLOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650770)

Anyone tried running the Android 3 emulator? It is dog slow. Completely unusable to test on.

Here's The Real Reason (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650772)

Apple fanbois will buy anything Apple that releases, but for the rest of us tablets are nothing more than an expensive gimmick that don't replace anything that's out here already. Hence the high sales of iPads but not of other tablets.

A reasonably specified netbook can do anything and more that a tablet can do for less cost, it also allows you to run many of the same applications that you run on a desktop or laptop PC - so you can carry about the day-to-day applications that you use with you, rather than having to set up and use an "equivalent" application on a tablet.

Very few of us are jetting around the world enough to the point where the small format of a tablet in an airliner seat would be easier to use than a netbook, and a tablet is "just one more device" that you have to manage, synchronise email addresses and contacts, recharge, etc. etc.

I even remember clearly on here about 18 months ago when the fanbois were justifying their buying iPads and themselves saying that they are not designed to replace laptops or netbooks - therefore a tablet is still one more portable device you have to carry with you because there is no single device that does everything most people need to do.

Re:Here's The Real Reason (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650798)

Spoken like yet another "I have never used a tablet" sourpuss, replaying the same broken record about the glories of netbooks. But the net is flowing over with stories of people who have found that once they got one, the uses and benefits became apparent.

A netbook lacks a touch screen, and is uncomfortable and impractical to use when you need to hold it (e.g. standing on a commuter train). So, it fails to cover even two advantages of a tablet. Aren't you just really afraid of change? And that is why you scoff at tablets while promoting the familiar tech of a clunky keyboard and mouse-ish interactions?

Re:Here's The Real Reason (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650854)

Spoken like yet another "I have never used a tablet" sourpuss, replaying the same broken record about the glories of netbooks.

By all means call me a sourpuss, but please preceed it with "I can find no good reason to use a tablet".

But the net is flowing over with stories of people who have found that once they got one, the uses and benefits became apparent.

For each example you could throw at me of those people, I could counter it with an example of people that consider them to be overpriced gimmicks. And the very fact that they are not selling well outside of iPad suggest that only the fanbois want them.

A netbook lacks a touch screen, and is uncomfortable and impractical to use when you need to hold it (e.g. standing on a commuter train).

Why is this the only example I ever hear about how advantageous a tablet is? Why is it that important to you to be connected to the Internet while on a train? Are you an Internet addict, or someone of such importance that you constantly have great knowledge to impart on the world? Ever heard of a paperback book? Or staying in the office a while until the rush hour dies down?

And touchscreens are great for portability but most people are born using computers with keyboards and mice. Nobody in their right mind would choose to use a touchscreen if they have a keyboard and mouse nect to them.

Aren't you just really afraid of change?

Not at all. I've been working and playing with computers for 30 years, I've witnessed massive change and embraced a lot of it. But I'm not prepared to be carried along on a wave of hype and marketing for an expensive gimmick that does not replace anything that I currently have.

Re:Here's The Real Reason (1)

Narcogen (666692) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650918)

For each example you could throw at me of those people, I could counter it with an example of people that consider them to be overpriced gimmicks. And the very fact that they are not selling well outside of iPad suggest that only the fanbois want them.

I've always wondered about this. How is it that there were only enough fanbois to garner Apple 3-5% of the PC market, but enough to get 70%+ of the MP3 player market, enough to move Apple past companies with much more experience in handsets in the smartphone market segment, and now to sell millions of tablets?

In the last (calendar) quarter of 2009, Apple sold 3.3 million computers-- their best quarter ever at the time. In that same quarter they sold 8.7M iPhones.

Where did Apple, a company with such a vanishingly small share of the personal computer market, get all of these "fanbois" from? Is every person who owns an Apple computer buying 2-3 iPads and iPhones each? If someone buys an iPhone or an iPad without previously having owned a Mac, or any other Apple product, are they a "fanboi"?

The problem with your argument is that you're trying to prove a negative, and you can't. Even a handful of people who bought the device because they have a legitimate use for it establishes firmly that there is, at least theoretically, a legitimate use for the device. If it were not selling well one could say that those who have a need for such a product don't constitute an addressable market, but that appears not to be the case.

Conversely, any number of people who don't consider the device to have a legitimate use does not establish that to be a fact, since the assertion is of a negative-- that the device lacks any legitimate use. I'm not sure why you'd choose to frame your argument this way, since it precludes you from actually winning.

Re:Here's The Real Reason (4, Insightful)

gmon750 (1216394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650814)

Yes. You're right. The millions upon millions of iPad users all over the world are all Apple fanboys with no capabilities of thinking in an individual capacity. The iPad is a failure just waiting to happen and netbooks will still come back and take over.

You keep telling yourself that. Please. Run with it.

When iPads came out, they created a new (or reinvigorated and old and dead) market. There was uncertainty in its capabilities outside of iHaters calling it an "oversized iPod Touch". Now, two years later the iPad has had a large penetration in vertical markets where before there were none for a tablet. Back then, perhaps it was correct to say that it is not meant to replace laptops or netbooks. Now though is a different story. I lost track of how many friends and colleagues that were looking for a new home computer or a laptop decided to buy an iPad instead. There is a huge, huge market for people that don't need the capabilities of a laptop/desktop PC and all the headaches that go with keeping one running. Tech-heads, geeks, and nerds hate that idea as Apple's model pretty much obliterates their definition of what computing should be like. I say it's about damn time. We've had decades of what was essentially garbage PC's devoid of any user-friendliness for the Joe-consumer. I think it's great that Apple saw how the PC-folks were screwing everything up and decided to make "computers" that hides the computer part from the user and just let's them use it like a toaster. Good for them.

It's the haters that try to convince everyone until they're blue in the face that the only "real" tablet is one that can be rooted. I can tell you right now that that kind of logic guarantees you'll lose 99% of your potential consumer base.

Re:Here's The Real Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650882)

I even remember clearly on here about 18 months ago when the fanbois were justifying their buying iPads and themselves saying that they are not designed to replace laptops or netbooks - therefore a tablet is still one more portable device you have to carry with you because there is no single device that does everything most people need to do.

I've bought a iPad for my aging parents, and it is fantastic. They would never carry around a netbook, much less use it, but with the iPad, they email, solve crosswords, use facetime to talk to their grandkids, use latitude when they're travelling and skype with family when away from home. The simplicity of the iPad has really made them USE it.

It's not a replacement for a netbook. The iPad is much better than a netbook, because it gets used.

Disclosure: I'm on ubuntu and not a Appfanboy.

Developing Honeycomb apps (1)

Dennis Sheil (1706056) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650796)

I would guess the majority of Android developers do not own a Honeycomb device. That would mean the emulator should be good. But on its default settings, the emulator is very, very slow. Google "honeycomb emulator" and the top results will mostly be about its slowness. Someone recommended I increase its memory, and that did help out a bit, it's still slow but at least usable.

One of my apps has less than 1% Honeycomb usage, so it is not big on my radar screen. I recently noticed another has over 7% - my app [android.com] that lets people iterate and search Microsoft Access databases on an Android phone. It's the only reason I revisited the dog-slow emulator and tried the increased memory trick. I saw my app was displaying correctly with Android 3.0, and was displaying correctly on the larger tablet-sized screen. So the primary concern went away - everything worked. I then looked to see if I could improve things for the tablet, and I saw I could, but have not implemented it yet.

There are really two things here with Honeycomb and tablets. One is the OS version. The other is the screen size. With 2.3 and less you usually have smaller screens, Honeycomb often has larger screen sizes. My concerns tend more to be toward dealing with the larger screen sizes properly than implementing some of the neat whiz-bang 3.0 features.

So I think some assertions that are being made about Honeycomb are a bit off-base. If I saw my app displayed poorly on a tablet-sized Honeycomb device, I probably would have fixed it and sent an update out already. It may not be Honeycomb-optimized, but at least I made sure it is Honeycomb compatible. Also, even if I do make those changes that make use of the extra screen space on the typical larger Honeycomb tablet, I don't have an intention at this time of specially marking the app as Honeycomb-optimized. So it still wouldn't count in these surveys, even if I did optimize it for Honeycomb.

For my two existing apps, as well as others I am working on, most of what I think about with tablets is using all that screen space, which is not connected to Honeycomb (version 3 over version 2) per se. That is what most Android app developers will be thinking about more than whatever new features are in 3.1 over 2.3, in my opinion. Honestly, I am currently more engaged with limitations the Android OS has rather than cool new whiz-bang features. For example, there is a 16 bit (i.e. 65536) sized identifier for dex files which I have recently bumped up against. Which you wouldn't easily know about, since their error message for it is pretty vague once you bump into it. I'm more focused on banging my head against this wall right now than the new animation features in 3.0. But different people are focused on different things.

The bees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36650846)

They still haven't learnt C++.

Explosion. (2)

Narcogen (666692) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650878)

"One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad"

If as many or more Honeycomb-running tablets were being sold, then yes, one might have expected that. Aside from that, there seem to be the issues cited in other comments, to the effect that it's hard to find apps in the marketplace, the emulator runs slowly, and not every Honeycomb tablet has the same technical specifications. So it seems like making this explosion of Android tablet apps may be harder than making them for the iPad, while serving a smaller audience.

Who expected this explosion and why? What reason does anyone have to think these issues are being rectified?

Java (1)

gig (78408) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650880)

Most PC apps are C ... Android is Java, which is not suitable for a PC. The reason iOS has so many apps is that it is a desktop class system with native C, so you can easily port Mac, Windows, Unix, and game console code. If iOS had no C, iMovie and GarageBand and Keynote and many other PC apps would not be running there yet. They are there already because they did not have to be rewritten.

The emulator is unusable! (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36650886)

As much as I hate to admit it, and I have more reason to champion Honeycomb than most since I wrote CoolNote [coolnote.co] which is clearly designed to appeal to both phone and tablet users, the emulator sucks. I *want* to optimise my apps for Honeycomb but 5 minute load times, 30 sec response times make this impossible. Its not the PC either as the other emulators are fine.

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