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Lenovo Shows Android Laptop In Leaked User Manuals

timothy posted about a year ago | from the cross-pollination dept.

Android 106

itwbennett writes "PC maker Lenovo accidentally posted manuals on its website showing an Android laptop called the IdeaPad A10. Lenovo spokesman Chris Millward said the company had planned on making an official announcement for the device, and that 'the product has not been canceled. It will be going out to the market.' Launch dates and pricing to come, but specs show that it could be a budget product."

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Actually, this is kinda nice... (3, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45092339)

With all the painful attempts to turn my high end multi-headed large monitor computer into a phone, (Unity, Gnome Shell, Win8) it is nice to see some turnabout!

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (2)

raburton (1281780) | about a year ago | (#45092469)

Agreed, I quite like the look of this. It's like a decent size tablet, with keyboard and built in hard screen protector (the keyboard). I never fancied a netbook (too small and under-powered for windows) and haven't missed my proper laptop much since it broke, yet I often wish I had a keyboard on my nexus 7, and maybe a bit bigger screen. Yes I know larger tablets and separate keyboards are available, but suddenly just by putting these things together in this nice package Lenovo has made something I really want. If it's true that it's going to be budget priced then it's time shut-up and take my money, as Fry would say.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45092593)

yet I often wish I had a keyboard on my nexus 7

You can if you want to.

I paid $50 to get a leather case for my Nexus 7 which has a Bluetooth keyboard and a stylus holder. I think it's made by Hipstreet or something, and I think I even just bought it at Wal Mart.

If all you want is a keyboard for your Nexus 7, it's a solved problem.

Android 4.3 broke the ZAGGkeys Flex (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45092757)

If all you want is a keyboard for your Nexus 7, it's a solved problem.

No it isn't. The Android 4.3 update broke the ZAGGkeys Flex and several other Bluetooth keyboards that worked under Android 4.2, mistakenly recognizing them as "non-alphanumeric keyboards" (that is, gamepads). And it can't be fixed without wiping and rooting the device to rename a keyboard layout file.

Re:Android 4.3 broke the ZAGGkeys Flex (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45092861)

Really?

That's annoying ... the one I have still works, but that doesn't help anybody.

And, yes, I'm running Android 4.3.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#45093343)

I haven't found a good one that works as well as something like a traditional netbook where its easy to grab and type on a train or hold on my lap. I think the asus transformer is a better solution for this problem than nexus 7+ bluetooth keyboard.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (2)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#45092595)

Actually, this is more valuable than a full fledged PC Windows laptop. Because it supports a SIM card; and camera, HDMI out of the box at budget price; it's a wonderful appliance. You can connect a headphone/mic and make and receive calls; you can write software that takes advantage of the availability of these added peripherals as options.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about a year ago | (#45092751)

And yet, ironically, a Windows laptop will be better at passively consuming content (hulu, netflix, etc.). Since, obviously, the fact that it uses an ARM/runs Android is evidence it's a mobile device, and not a computer.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45092937)

Since, obviously, the fact that it uses an ARM/runs Android is evidence it's a mobile device, and not a computer.

Why is that? Because that ARM device running Android does a crap load more than the first PCs I owned.

If it's Turing complete, it's a computer. If it's got a general instruction set in the CPU, it's a computer. Running Android or being on an ARM processor doesn't magically make it not a computer.

Modern 'mobile devices' have far more computational power than any PC made 10 years ago -- and they were still called computers.

I don't understand where this arbitrary distinction of "that's not a computer" comes from. Because it's wrong.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093441)

I don't understand where this arbitrary distinction of "that's not a computer" comes from. Because it's wrong.

I know what you mean. No one respects my microwave either. It's amazing how otherwise very smart people could be so stupid. Clearly they're missing something.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about a year ago | (#45093709)

Why is that? ... I don't understand where this arbitrary distinction of "that's not a computer" comes from.

Mostly content providers who set up separate licenses for mobile/computers(meaning PCs?)/consoles/televised/disk-based/on-demand-to-cablebox and probably a few others I'm not aware of. That way, they can keep charging for the same content. But, if you have an Android Mini Computer, even though it has no Edge/3G/4G data connection, it's a mobile device. So Hulu will not stream to it.

Because it's wrong.

I get what they're trying to do. They really want to charge differently if if's on a 4in screen, a 20-30 in screen and an 35+ in. screen. That makes sense. But the mechanism is so FUBAR.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about a year ago | (#45094003)

Note that "Windows laptop" is meant to set the context, and that the post you responded to implies a new-ish machine, by saying that it's good for content like "Hulu, Netlix, etc". In this case, "computer" should clearly be read as "x86 PC". Many content providers assume that anything running Android is a smartphone, or possibly a tablet, rather than a form-factor closer in design and input capability to the kinds of machines that usually carry an x86.

Your post makes you come off as a pedant (or a troll, and not a particularly creative one at that).

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (2)

schnell (163007) | about a year ago | (#45096483)

Why is that? ... I don't understand where this arbitrary distinction of "that's not a computer" comes from.

Yes, technically they are all computers. Maybe it would be better to find a new set of terms to describe the difference between a handheld device and a traditional PC.

But the distinction is important because (generally speaking) people use these types of devices differently, and that has a big impact on user interface, what capabilities are important to the typical user, and what to optimize the user experience for. All the Slashdotters who show up to every dicussion on Windows 8 or OS X bemoaning "they're trying to make Windows into Windows Phone!" or "stop making my Mac like my iPad!" are evidence of the importance of that dichotomy.

$500/year; front-facing camera; VGA out (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45092823)

Actually, this is more valuable than a full fledged PC Windows laptop. Because it supports a SIM card

So does the USB mobile broadband dongle from any carrier that isn't Verizon or Sprint or a Sprint MVNO. The problem here is that one has to pay hundreds of dollars a year to use that SIM card unless applications are designed for "offline first", anticipating that a user's Internet connection will be intermittent. I imagine that Windows applications are more likely to support offline use than Android applications, especially because Android was first sold on phones.

and camera, HDMI out of the box at budget price

Laptops have had a front-facing camera as a standard feature for years, and they've had either VGA out or HDMI out or both since I started using laptops in 1999.

Re:$500/year; front-facing camera; VGA out (1)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#45092929)

So does the USB mobile broadband dongle from any carrier that isn't Verizon or Sprint or a Sprint MVNO.

See? When you try to connect a SIM card to a regular PC; your vendor thinks he can impose arbitrary restrictions on how it's used. The Android OS provides all the useful things that a Windows OS does - a useful, quick browser; full fledged Office, low power consuming ARM support, support for mobile-related peripherals right in the OS etc. In addition you can just plug in any SIM card like on a mobile phone; and start using it instantly.

CDMA2000; Android can't snap (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45093267)

When you try to connect a SIM card to a regular PC; your vendor thinks he can impose arbitrary restrictions on how it's used.

I don't see a single way Windows differs from Android in this respect. You can't plug a SIM into a Windows PC with a Sprint mobile broadband adapter for the same reason that you can't plug a SIM into an Android phone sold by Sprint. A device that takes a SIM won't work on Verizon or Sprint or a Sprint MVNO either because the U.S. CDMA2000 carriers have chosen to program the subscriber identity directly into the mobile equipment rather than using a CSIM. This is true no matter whether a device runs Windows, OS X, desktop Linux, Windows RT, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, GreenBerry, Three-a-MeeGoes, or whatever.

The Android OS provides all the useful things that a Windows OS does

Except Snap. Windows and Windows RT both offer the ability to split the screen down the middle and run a web browser on one side and a note-taking application or word processor or whatever on the other. Windows has had such a tiling window manager since version 1.0 in 1985, back when the original NES was hot $#!+. The Mac had floating mini-apps (called "desk accessories") since its launch in 1984, long before even MultiFinder. Android, on the other hand, runs a window management policy of all maximized all the time. My Nexus 7 tablet's screen is bigger than two Android phone screens put together, but it can't run two applications each in a phone-sized window because the Android CDD allows applications to assume that the screen's size will never change after installation. Why must a calculator app fill your laptop's entire screen and cover up the document containing the numbers that you're adding?

Re:CDMA2000; Android can't snap (1)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#45093493)

This is one of the annoying things about Android (and iOS) on a tablet.

I know there are some third party windowing solutions, and Samsung have their own (or licensed one) for side-by-side apps.

But yeah, for apps that are happy running on a thin phone screen, why can't they run on the side on a tablet whilst another (or two more) are also running on the screen? In a way, Windows 8 supports this in the Metro view, because apps have to support a narrow view as well as a wide view (I don't know the specifics).

Hopefully Lenovo have also licensed one of these window managers for Android, at least for side-by-side/tiling view if not a windowed interface. And hopefully Google are working on this for Android 5, at least for when it is running on a tablet.

Re:CDMA2000; Android can't snap (1)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#45093615)

Many Samsung devices have split window support. Samsung devices arguably have a better implementation than Windows RT since each window can be resized by an arbitrary amount, rather than the fixed values available in Modern ("Metro") style Windows apps. I'll be overjoyed when I can use that technology on non-Samsung Android devices, but it's definitely useful on my phone.

Re:CDMA2000; Android can't snap (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about a year ago | (#45094413)

Uhhh, don't know where you have been the last few years but VZW uses mini-SIM / micro-SIM in all of the 4G LTE capable phones. I would assume sprint and everyone else offering 4G LTE is the same.

I had to get a SIM from VZW for my S3 and from U.S. Cellular for my GNote2....

Try swapping these SIMs (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45097047)

VZW uses mini-SIM / micro-SIM in all of the 4G LTE capable phones.

For one thing, entry-level devices sold by Sprint MVNOs are less likely to support 4G, and devices that don't support 4G still store the subscriber identity on the device. For another, I was under the impression that CDMA2000+LTE devices sold by Verizon, Sprint, and Sprint MVNOs were carrier locked not to accept a SIM from a GSM+UMTS+LTE carrier. And finally, can you swap CDMA2000 subscriber identities by swapping SIMs in a CDMA2000+LTE phone, or is only the LTE subscriber identity stored on the SIM and the CDMA2000 subscriber identity on the device itself?

I had to get a SIM from VZW for my S3 and from U.S. Cellular for my GNote2....

Swap them. Do they still work?

Re:$500/year; front-facing camera; VGA out (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45093445)

I imagine that Windows applications are more likely to support offline use than Android applications, especially because Android was first sold on phones.

My Android phone supports offline use, probably because I pay my carrier a flat rate for unlimited everything and my using it offline or on wifi saves them money. My guess is other carriers disable the ability so they can run your bill up higher.

But Android does indeed support offline use.

Re:$500/year; front-facing camera; VGA out (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45095945)

Yes. It's the Chromebook that leans towards always-online.

Chrome purges tabs (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45097085)

But Android does indeed support offline use.

The OS does. The applications aren't quite as likely to. For example, Chrome for Android doesn't appear to register itself as a handler for HTML file open intents, which means that (unlike Firefox for Android) it doesn't appear in the "Open With" dialog box. And unlike Firefox for desktop Linux and Chromium for desktop Linux, Chrome for Android likes to purge pages associated with tabs that aren't in view, triggering a reload when I switch back to that tab. If I open a tab while online, go offline, and switch back to the tab, too bad. (For avoidance of doubt, I'm comparing desktop Linux with 1 GB of RAM to Android with 1 GB of RAM.) And does a barcode scanner or a music identification program (such as Shazam) let the user scan a barcode or record a snippet while offline and save it for identification later? And what do ad-supported applications (which are quite common on Android) do when they can't contact the ad server?

Re: Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

andy_spoo (2653245) | about a year ago | (#45093269)

Shame the camera is so low res. Almost retro in spec.

Re: Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

raburton (1281780) | about a year ago | (#45093953)

Who needs a camera on a tablet? Ok maybe for video chat if you're into that, in which case vga is probably just fine. Problem with putting a better cqamera on them is people use them inappropriately. Last time I went skiing I had to keep avoiding Chinese people trying to ski whilst holding up a full sized iPad, complete with large case hanging off it, to take pictures of their kids.

Re:Actually, this is kinda nice... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#45097759)

Hmm, headline reads more like, "Lenovo just goosed M$, we want a 50% discount on current prices across the board or else". It seems like other manufacturers are also joining the action. So will M$ dig deep or is this the light at the end of the tunnel for M$, that great big huge Android freight train.

IdeaPad (2, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | about a year ago | (#45092367)

ipad for short?

Re:IdeaPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094759)

Think: Premium. Idea: Cheap!

The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#45092401)

has arrived. Android on PCs and Linux on tablets are both wonderful for innovation; and doomsday for Microsoft.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2013/01/12/the-nightmare-that-keeps-microsoft-awake-android-on-the-desktop/ [forbes.com]

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45092565)

I'm failing to see how this - bringing Android's touch-first interface to a mouse+keyboard interface - is any better than Microsoft's approach with throwing (a bastardization of) Metro into Windows. I mean, I already find the Android somewhat funky on a phone (compared to iOS and WP) and awkward on a tablet (compared to iOS). The UI simply doesn't seem to scale well, and I have yet to see a package that significantly improves it.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#45092671)

bringing Android's touch-first interface to a mouse+keyboard interface

The interface is a minor issue; easily solved by adding a No-Touch app to the default Android OS. The fact that SIM cards, camera etc are built-in and supported by the OS makes so many exciting applications and use-cases possible.

Say, you have a list of clients in a CRM software whom you need to talk to; and record the conversations back into the CRM itself.With an Android laptop; you can just click on the number; and get options to call it; and write simple apps to store the call as well. On a Windows machine or even a regular Linux laptop; you don't have these options and peripherals installed and supported by default in the kernel and OS level. That is a huge game changer.

I have seen cameras that work only with XP Service Pack 2; and fail with later versions of the Service Pack or OS.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (2)

pastafazou (648001) | about a year ago | (#45093013)

and write simple apps to store the call as well
so you need to write apps in order to do what you want? What stopped you from writing simple apps for Windows or Linux all these years?

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45092619)

Full computer, office suite, surfing with top browser, what else?

High-end games, of course, but almost all big PC games are first console design, with port to PC. Microsoft was instrumental in this shift, succeeding in co-development via Direct X for PC and X-Box, thinking the console would take over as game/surf/TV machine. cThere are no games tying people to the PC anymore.

I cry for them as much as I cried for IBM when Microsoft ascendant.

You're looking at about 2035 before Google slips to something else.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (4, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | about a year ago | (#45092737)

> You're looking at about 2035 before Google slips to something else.

That's pretty bold of you.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45092853)

almost all big PC games are first console design, with port to PC. [...] There are no games tying people to the PC anymore.

What you say is true of big games from big companies, not so much of small games from developers that haven't yet found a console publisher. Those are more likely to be released on OS X, desktop Linux, Android, or iOS before one of the major consoles.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year ago | (#45092939)

There are no games tying people to the PC anymore.

That's just your opinion. Games like League of Legends are mapping the way gaming is heading with a truly world class competitive scene, paid players and more. The population of that game alone is huge. There's tones of MMORPG that are very popular on PC and not available on other platforms.The big commercial titles like COD and BF are now available on console but even those titles still have a huge following on PC.

And what plans does Android have to provide a client server environment for companies? There's tones of large user base software being used out there that still lives in the MS world. Sure, the end users have options but businesses are still tied due to lack of options that are easy to setup and maintain. Even Mac doesn't have a solution for that yet.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093299)

There's tones of MMORPG that are very popular on PC

There's tones of large user base software being used

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094773)

2035? You're a complete shitbag.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45092755)

Funny how MS putting a touchscreen OS on a PC/Laptop was the dumbest thing ever.... unusable tripe. Now that Lenovo is going to give it a go with Android it's innovative and fresh? Huh?
 
Oh well, the goose steppers have really spun this one up into high gear.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (2)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#45092835)

Funny how MS putting a touchscreen OS on a PC/Laptop was the dumbest thing ever

Yes it was. The PC/laptop never traditionally supported things like SIM card, telephony software or even camera software out-of-the-box. The reason MS forced touch on PCs is to try and spur development of touch based and Windows-Store style apps for the enterprise. Without these peripherals above; the touch interface is a huge waste.

With an open source Android OS that supports every thing that the traditional PC does and much more it is more useful for OEMs to build useful products rather than shoving unwanted licenses to unwilling customers.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

pastafazou (648001) | about a year ago | (#45093135)

I really don't understand what you're going on about. There are plenty of laptops available already that allow you to put in a SIM card. Telephony software? There's plenty of solutions already available. And cameras have been integrated into laptops long before Android was released. What on earth can Android support that a traditional PC (Windows or Linux) can't?

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45093571)

What on earth can Android support that a traditional PC (Windows or Linux) can't?

AFAIK a touchscreen, at least on Windows. They've had (if I remember the name correctly) MegaGame machines in bars for over a decade that were touch-only and ran Liinux, as it was easy to tell when one was booted (I don't remember what distro, probably Red Hat). I haven't heard of any version of Windows before W8 that would.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094377)

Pizza Hut in China is using touchscreen point-of-sale machines that run Windows 2000.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094487)

Windows XP had a tablet edition for touch and stylus support. So... what planet are you living on?

We had touch CRT's for users with disabilities all the way back to Window 3.1. I understand that was a hardware interface, but it was still a touchscreen.

Re:The nightmare that keeps MS awake.... (1)

wile_e8 (958263) | about a year ago | (#45093421)

Potential big difference I see: With Windows 8, you're mostly stuck with the touchscreen interface outside of a few plugins that can hack it into something not completely unusable on desktop. On the other hand, the open source nature of Android makes it possible for OEMs to update the interface to something more like a traditional desktop. We've already multiple OEMs and third-party launchers change the basic interface for Android phones and tablets, it probably wouldn't be that difficult to make a new interface designed for the desktop. Although given the general dislike for OEM skins, it remains to be seen if those interfaces are useful.

The key word (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#45092463)

I demand restitution! My BS-o-meter has exploded as it scanned over "accidentally".

The BS density was so high that the main sensor melted and is now a tiny puddle in my desk.

Re:The key word (4, Funny)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#45092957)

Evidently the Starfleet Corps of Engineers designed your BS-o-meter, since it didn't have any circuit breakers. ;-)

Re:The key word (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#45098345)

Evidently the Starfleet Corps of Engineers designed your BS-o-meter, since it didn't have any circuit breakers. ;-)

It did have a fuse, but the GPP didn't reverse the polarity in time.

Android is worse than Windows (3, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45092803)

Android is loved as a phone and tablet OS because it is open source and easy to work with.

As a desktop operating or some sort of mobile computing operating system, aside from the open source angle and the general openness, I don't see Android being any better of an alternative than Windows.

Android has quite a bit of fragmentation, has malware and exploit issues (I have some sort of pesky nuisance-ware on my Android phone, apparently from installing some free game outside the Google Play ecosystem) -- and if ends up encroaching onto the traditional desktop/laptop space --- then you are back to hardware interoperability/printer drivers/etc.

So setting aside the open nature and potentially the "cost" (i.e. Microsoft tax) --- I don't see this being an improvement over Windows.

But I would definitely welcome Microsoft's near-monopoly to start feeling the heat and would be nice to get more utility out Android apps or developing them personally.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45093037)

has malware and exploit issues (I have some sort of pesky nuisance-ware on my Android phone, apparently from installing some free game outside the Google Play ecosystem)

That's not really an Android problem, is it? You circumvented the controls by downloading a shady app from an unaccreditied source. Don't blame Android for your own stupidity.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#45093561)

That's not really an Android problem, is it? You circumvented the controls by downloading a shady app from an unaccreditied source. Don't blame Android for your own stupidity.

Android users can't have it both ways. Is the walled garden good or bad? I guess it's only bad if you are not as "smart" as the poster.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094101)

The walled garden is bad, and having the freedom to create your own apps to install for yourself and trusted friends without going through the google app store, or even to choose some other app store to trust (e.g. Amazon's) is a great Freedom. If you choose to use that power to shoot yourself in the foot by trusting a random stranger on the internet, then don't blame anyone else for your own naivety.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#45094199)

Right, because Android users are forced to download malware to install on their phones, simply by virtue of having a more open operating system where you're not forced to install only apps from a walled garden...

I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. Android gives plenty of warnings if you enable the ability to install downloaded applications. You do, actually, have to be some kind of complete idiot to install malware on your Android device, ignoring a clear warning, and then obtaining an APK from a source that's clearly dubious. Not simply "Not as smart as the GP" or "Not as smart as me", not "Grandmother material" (aside from anything else, Grandma isn't going to turn on the ability to install random APKs), I mean full on, Idiocracy, bad.

To the best of my knowledge, the only major area where malware is rampant in the Android subcommunities is the software piracy community. Saying it's Android's fault that pirates trade malware is like blaming Obamacare for Heroin addicts getting AIDS from tainted needles.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about a year ago | (#45099217)

Google does this the best way I can imagine. The walled garden keeps malware out, but hands the user the key to the gate. The gate has a sign that tells the user it's dangerous to open the door. This means that power users who want to program their own stuff can do so without controll from Google but non-power users can have their walled garden.
To bad there are people who ignore the warning and just open the gate to let something in from an unknown source.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about a year ago | (#45093763)

You circumvented the controls by downloading a shady app from an unaccreditied source.

Is it really so difficult to fix this with proper sandboxing and per-app permissions? Maybe running in a virtual machine to prevent exploits?

In my head, it seems possible to design a system where I can download anything and run anything without worrying about malware.

It seems like a problem that should be solvable. But, like many problems, I recognize that it probably looks different close up.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45093985)

Android does have per-app permissions. I see plenty of wallpaper apps, for instance, that require access to my contact list and other permissions they clearly do not need just to be able to show me wallpapers. The free games are the worst, let alone ones from outside Google Play. But it's not Android's fault when people don't read it.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45094433)

Android does have per-app permissions.

Except you don't get to choose those permissions, you can only install or not install. If you want Fluffy Kitty Screen Saver and it demands access to contact lists and to be able to send SMS messages, you can't say 'let it install but don't let it do those things.'

If Google cared about user security, they'd let you pick and choose which permissions you allowed.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#45095229)

Android does do sandboxing and the "nuisanceware" the OP talks about could just be uninstalled.

There have been one or two exploits in the past that allowed apps to make themselves difficult to uninstall. They were bugs that got fixed. Android doesn't have anywhere near the same level of risk as Windows does when it comes to malware.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about a year ago | (#45094175)

"Stupidity" controls are fine on a phone, but that sucks on a PC.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year ago | (#45093105)

I think Microsoft's monopoly was lost years ago.

As for your comment about the "Microsoft Tax", my belief is that for a company to be viable for a business or end user, it must support its products. MS has done that (some will argue but they speak from their wind hole). If I have an issue with their software I can actually call someone and get up and running quickly or at the least get a ticket to devs put in. On the open source side I have to post in a forum and HOPE someone helps me. That isn't viable for people who need their systems to run. My point is, if you aren't paying anything for software, then all your getting is hardware support and that stinks for those who aren't techies.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093855)

-1 Shill

Re:Android is worse than Windows (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45093173)

I don't see Android being any better of an alternative than Windows.

Well, it has the benefit of not being Windows.

Android has quite a bit of fragmentation

Buy the Google branded products. That's precisely why I bought a Nexus 7, so I didn't have to worry about vendors taking forever to roll out updates.

has malware and exploit issues (I have some sort of pesky nuisance-ware on my Android phone, apparently from installing some free game outside the Google Play ecosystem)

So, you turned off the thing which prevents you from side loading, side loaded something, and have problems with it? You can do the exact same thing in Windows. But it was you who took responsibility for that and did it. Google just provided the option to shoot yourself in the foot.

and if ends up encroaching onto the traditional desktop/laptop space --- then you are back to hardware interoperability/printer drivers/etc

Which is hardly unique to Android. But I set up cloud printing for my mother in law in about 10 minutes, and she can happily print from her tablet through to her PC.

Maybe what we need are better standards for those devices so it's not the user's problem to sort out interoperability.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45093753)

Well, it has the benefit of not being Windows.

Windows has traditionally lagged behind other OSes feature-wise. Linux supported multiple monitors years before Windows did, and my kubuntu box has features my W7 notebook sorely lacks (like not having to reboot the goddamned thing every month).

Not being Windows is a benefit because Windows is just not a very good OS. It never had to be, thanks to their monopoly. Look how much better telephony got after AT&T was broken up.

As to "fragmentation" I think a better word is CHOICE. Hate Gnome? Use KDE or other desktop. Fragmentation is a non-issue cooked up by worried MS marketers.

But I set up cloud printing for my mother in law in about 10 minutes, and she can happily print from her tablet through to her PC.

Indeed, "interoperability" is yet another lie cooked up by MS marketing. The truth is it's Windows that not only lacks interoperability but designs its lack into its products. Hell, try opening a Word 2007 document in Word 98; MS isn't even interoperable with itself.

Driver support is a dead issue, Linux hasn't had many driver problems in years, not that I've seen anyway. The only devices that won't work with Linux are those designed to be windows-only (e.g., winmodems).

I think you responded to a shill, or to someone who's never used anything but Windows.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45095517)

I'm not a shill. And what does crappy Microsoft Word have to do with this? Microsoft would eventually make an Office for Android, anyway.

Do you think compared to Linux that the apps model for Android is "secure" like Linux?

I don't either. Which is my point.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45096917)

Sorry, I thought I was replying to the same guy you responded to. He's the shill.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

OutOnARock (935713) | about a year ago | (#45097149)

Yeah, nice troll you stupid idiot.....

Word 2007 document in Word 98......

wait for it.......wait for it.....oh God, how could we have known the file layout of a 2007 document in 1998....


now get off my lawn.....

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45095411)

| has malware and exploit issues (I have some sort of pesky nuisance-ware on my Android phone, apparently from installing some free game outside the Google Play ecosystem)

"So, you turned off the thing which prevents you from side loading, side loaded something, and have problems with it? You can do the exact same thing in Windows. But it was you who took responsibility for that and did it. Google just provided the option to shoot yourself in the foot."

True except .... consider this. I view this as a sandboxing weakness in current application design on any platform. iOS generally handles this the best --- at the expense of any kind of true freedom --- why does an Android app get to decide what kind of permissions it receives --- ALL or Nothing?

My bank --- which I like --- their "mobile site" doesn't work on Android and my bank's Android App needs access to my contacts and email!

I should be able to tell my bank's app "No!" or let it "think" it does have that access --- but really not. To check my balance of my checking account should not require granting an app broad access to a littany of access rights.

So this just points back to not really being some future paradigm Windows couldn't provide, I see the only the openness and "Not Being Windows" as the only advantages to Android --- at this point.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

qbast (1265706) | about a year ago | (#45093221)

Wake me up when you can print from Android without problems.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45093275)

Wake me up when you can print from Android without problems.

Define 'without problems'. As in no problem ever, or you can mostly do it and it's not that bad?

You can use the Google cloud print, and Chrome and set your tablet up to print to a PC you control and are logged into Chrome with.

It may not be ideal, but you can print from Android without too much difficulty. In fact, it took me about 10-15 minutes to set it up for my mother in law.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

qbast (1265706) | about a year ago | (#45095365)

Seriously? If need separate laptop just to handle printing then why even bother buying this Android "laptop" from Lenovo? Oh, and don't forget that you are sending all your documents to google and whoever google chooses to share them with.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

puto (533470) | about a year ago | (#45095223)

I use google Cloud print with a Motorla Defy, Galaxy S2, and my HP Touchpad. Plus I can also HP Eprint with them as well

Re:Android is worse than Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45096749)

I installed PrinterShare when it was Amazon's free app of the day, I haven't had much need of it since I don't print much, but when I needed to it printed to my wireless Samsung laser printer without problems.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#45093921)

So setting aside the open nature and potentially the "cost" (i.e. Microsoft tax) --- I don't see this being an improvement over Windows.

Fragmentation isn't a disadvantage when you're expanding. Android now works with lots of different screen sizes, resolutions, chipsets etc. That just means you can successfully port it to any kind of device.

BTW, we're talking ARM here, not x86. Competitors to Android would be Windows RT and iOS, not the full-fledged Windows we all know and hate with varying degrees of intensity. That means Android is significantly more open than the competition. There's a tremendous gap in performance, but an even bigger one on price between an RK3188 and an i3, meaning if Lenovo is smart, they could price this very attractively, especially when they don't have to pay for a Windows license. It does make more sense in desktops (or sticks) tough, since the display will level the prices somewhat.

This gets me thinking about Canonical and Ubuntu. If this takes off, then Mir was a pretty good bet and we'll all benefit from having an Android-compatible graphics stack.

Re:Android is worse than Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094509)

Android is loved because it's cheap. Period.

It's more difficult to work with due to fragmentation, and every application is ad-ridden pay to play garbage. It is more vulnerable to Malware, and piracy is far mroe rampant.

So. No.

Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#45092883)

I couldn't give less of a shit what they do with consumer-targeted products that are used entirely or mostly for dicking around. I mean, Android is cute, but some of us actually need our computers to work.

What I want is for them to reverse the spread of this toxic notion in the ThinkPad lineup. See: crippled, flexing keyboards and buttonless trackpoints/pads that are pretty but feel and work like shit, wide screens that are fine for movies but shit for actually working, removal of status lights that gave useful information at a glance replaced by various indicators scattered among hardware and software that make usability a load of fragmented shit, poor construction materials that make them feel and behave like cheap shit...

In case it wasn't clear, the point I'm getting at is that the last several generations of ThinkPad have increasingly been ... shit.

Fix that shit first, please.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#45093099)

Indeed, this is more important. Stop screwing up the ThinkPad lineup first.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093785)

Here, here. (Posted hoping that Lenovo is listening even though the probability is slim...)

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094329)

I was wedded to the taller screen, but find that after adjusting, I prefer the wide screen I'm used to when going back. That said, the KEYBOARD screw ups are amazing - deciding that commonality of parts is a good justification to use a keyboard designed for a 12-13" X-series in a 15" T series is incredibly foolish. Taking the rock-solid keyboard / track point that has been a constant point of praise for the line with something shoddy is even dumber. Still, the keyboard that they included with a desktop I bought this fall makes those seem lovely - they made me question ever buying a desktop from them again because they were too cheap to include a conventional $10 piece of hardware?

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

Teckla (630646) | about a year ago | (#45094565)

I mean, Android is cute, but some of us actually need our computers to work.

Ha, that's what the mainframe generation used to say about those upstart IBM PCs.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#45095153)

My previous T410s died, the screen finally gave up the ghost (I'd had two screws/nuts through it to hold it together, but it eventually became too much for the plastic)

Fortunately a collegue had a barely used one from the same era. I ordered him a new one, and took his. Battery life now back up to 5 hours rather than 90 minutes, screen just opens too.

I'm dreading the day this one dies, you just can't get a good laptop any more. The only problem I have with the t410s is the stupid "thinkvantage" button -- what a waste.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45095575)

| I couldn't give less of a shit what they do with consumer-targeted products that are used entirely or mostly for dicking around. I mean, Android is cute, but some of
| us actually need our computers to work.

The PC back in the day was accused of being "consumer-targeted" and not a real machine for businesses to get work done. Same with the internet.

History repeats itself again and again.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

Drew617 (3034513) | about a year ago | (#45095689)

I moved away from ThinkPads after several generations for the same reason. Recent high end Latitudes (keyboard) and EliteBooks (everything else) outshine current ThinkPads for me, and I indeed moved to an EliteBook.

Why, oh why, can't anyone get the pointing stick/buttons right, though? Lenovo had it nailed right through the T61. All they had to do was not dick with it.

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#45098565)

Please point me to a new Dell or HP model with a proper 7-row keyboard (non-chiclet, INS/DEL/HOM/END/PGU/PGD 3x2 cluster in top right, F key groupings of 4, F keys that are actually goddamm F keys and not this secondary function bullshit)

Re:Fine, just give us back the ThinkPad (1)

ewhac (5844) | about a year ago | (#45096195)

Agreed. I have a Z61t that is seriously starting to show its age. But the last ThinkPad I will seriously consider buying is the T420, which is no longer made. The current xx30 models (T430, X230, etc.) gratuitously changed the keyboard.

Seriously, Lenovo? You fscked with the ThinkPad keyboard?? The keyboard by which all other laptop keyboards were judged for well over ten years? You just threw that away?

I've been idly looking at "white box" laptops as a possible upgrade avenue, but I have no idea what's going to replace my Z61t. Hell, if I could upgrade its guts to something modern, I'd do it...

Not the first (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about a year ago | (#45092995)

I have an Asus Transformer TF300 [asus.com] . I bought it about six months ago. It was on sale with the keyboard for about $350. It has a 10.1 inch HD touchscreen, and a keyboard with 'signature Android buttons for "home screen", "previous"'. (No Apps Screen button, but nothing's perfect.) Its screen doesn't swivel, but it does detach. It also has a camera, a microSD card slot and an HDMI port like the Lenovo, plus a USB port on the keyboard.

Still a bit small for a 'laptop' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093069)

Make it 13 and we might have a winner, depending on price. 10 is still a netbook, and we see how well that market did.

Re:Still a bit small for a 'laptop' (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45093169)

10 is still a netbook, and we see how well that market did.

What, sold tens of millions of machines before Microsoft crippled them with a bloated pig of an operating system and tablets came along doing most of the things netbooks were used for before that?

Small Laptop Market (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#45093261)

Make it 13 and we might have a winner, depending on price. 10 is still a netbook, and we see how well that market did.

...till Microsoft and Intel crippled its specifications, while raising its price over traditional laptops, very well. Given that this is about removing Intel/Microsoft and their 70% Gross Margins, and without any stupid hardware limitations. It looks to repeat itself. With the massive growth of Chromebooks...No1 selling laptop on Amazon...fastest (and only) growing PC market...blah blah blah I would argue it already is.

This reaffirms one thing for me.... (4, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about a year ago | (#45093273)

For the past few years it has become increasingly apparent that PC makers are longing for the day that they can finally wash their hands of Microsoft. The Linux netbooks, Instant on features like Splashtop OS and WebOS, Android laptops, etc.; They wouldn't be experimenting with all of these if they didn't find the idea of ditching Windows extremely appealing. And why wouldn't they? Not only have they been subject to the so-called "Microsoft Tax" for decades now, but their bottom line is tied directly to Microsoft's successes and failures. Vista and Windows 8, anyone?

Re:This reaffirms one thing for me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45094303)

You call it the "Microsoft Tax", would computers be so popular without Windows?, they pay the so called "Microsoft Tax" because MOST people buy a computer because it has Windows. Computer sales wouldn't be a 10% of what they are now if it wasn't for Microsoft Windows, deal with it, and if you don't believe me, check out what happened with Dell's Ubuntu laptop

Re:This reaffirms one thing for me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45095739)

You call it the "Microsoft Tax", would computers be so popular without Windows?, they pay the so called "Microsoft Tax" because MOST people buy a computer because it has Windows. Computer sales wouldn't be a 10% of what they are now if it wasn't for Microsoft Windows, deal with it, and if you don't believe me, check out what happened with Dell's Ubuntu laptop

Although 10% of the market is using non-Windows computers [wikipedia.org] right now, that doesn't mean the other 90% wouldn't be using computers if not for Windows. Most people who buy Windows do so because it runs our Windows programs, not because of other technical merits or usability. Now that more apps are web-based or open source we aren't locked into a single vendor.

If Windows never existed we'd all be using Mac OS, and you'd be telling us how no one would use computers without Mac OS.

Guerilla marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093339)

An official announcement would've been greeted by yawns, but a "leak" is reported and analyzed in all the tech sites.

Google may miss the boat, yet (0)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about a year ago | (#45093363)

I was a Google advocate and an Android fanatic a couple years ago, but it seems to me that they have shifted focus to emulating Apple, eliminating functionality, and, worryingly, ignoring bug reports.

Consider:

- Latest maps update removes swathes of important functionality, is significantly less useful, and looks "better" than the previous version
- As of Android 4.3, the base OS still does not support correct mouse-driven cut and paste, or right-click to open context menu
- Alt-tab does not function correctly; first press merely opens the "recents" menu. A second press is required to actually switch apps, inconsistent with every other major platform available today
- No real, consistent window-mode infrastructure in place
- Still bundled with non-standard, poor quality unix-level utilities
- As others have pointed out, the Nexus 7 2013 ships with a buggy bluetooth configuration that breaks keyboard compability. That this trivial-to-fix issue was not a sev1 defect speaks volumes as to Android's direction!

It saddens me to see Google focusing on decommissioning useful services like Latitude to try to rope people into Google+ (a silly place for user location services) and Android UI "enhancements" while the market is clearly moving towards device integration.

They may yet turn out to be the next RIM: focused on irrelevant things while their competitors (some yet to be visible) build the infrastructure that will be demanded in 5 years. They may wake up down the road unable to compete with a competitor who has spent this time looking forward.

Google: Please focus on desktop functionality, proper unix integration, and product feature set! Leave the customers who demand a limited, cutesy UI to Apple!

/rant

Go back to core ideas behind ThinkPad name (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#45093423)

In particular, the pen-centric interface which Go Corporation was an early pioneer.

Everyone should read:

  - ThinkPad: A Different Shade of Blue
  - Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure

So as to provide some sort of background into the original hopes and dreams for ubiquitous computing.

Android will be the desktop Linux success (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45093641)

Ordinary Linux is a no-hoper for mainstream desktop deployment- we all know this. Ordinary Linux is in the hands of the most psychotically disturbed and dysfunctional developers imaginable. All they do is the modern day equivalent of arguing how many angels dance of the head of a pin.

Ordinary Linux is battered into some form of acceptable shape for servers and scientific computing by necessity, but doesn't come within a million miles of Windows (pre-version 8) and OSX for sane and useful desktop operation.

Android *IS* Linux with stable, well conceived libraries, APIs, and everything that goes with a modern OS ready to run apps. It currently only lacks an official 'shell' environment for conventional 'windows' multi-view desktop situations, although the underlying Android systems allow third party shells to be easily placed on Android.

Google currently has but one serious mains/laptop project, and that is Chromebook running the putrid ChromeOS. When Chromebooks use ARM (some have x86 parts from Intel), the ARM chips are tablet/phone class- NOT mains-powered/laptop class. The ARM world is awaiting the 2014 generation of ARMv8 64-bit parts suitable for desktop use, with per-core performance around Intel's Core2 architecture (which is easily powerful enough for 99.999% of all users). Given that with mains power, an ARM SoC part could have 8-cores+ at 3GHz a core, multi-threaded tasks could easily have the same performance as those running on Intel's latest (and expensive) 4-core i5 parts.

But most desktop/laptop tasks need only a fraction of such CPU power, moving once CPU intensive activities (sound, video decoding, 2D screen rendering, JPG decoding) to dedicated hardware blocks, often leaving the CPU at somewhat of a loose end.

ARM is getting Nvidia and AMD desktop PC graphics systems next year, on-chip. That's right- state-of-the-art GCN and CUDA/Maxwell GPUs for ARM parts. ARM is going to hit the desktop running, and running very very fast indeed. The crappy GPU solutions from ARM (Mali), Apple (PowerVR) and Qualcomm (Adreno) are a very bad joke when it comes to REAL PC/console quality 3D graphics. Giving ARM integrated PC class GPUs will remove the last disincentive against using ARM in laptop/desktop systems SO LONG AS Google gets behind Android for desktops in 2014.

Android vs Chrome (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45093963)

Frankly I don't quite understand the appeal of the chrome notebook and I've played with a few. Sure, it's different, but so are a hundred different flavors of Linux. Now an Android laptop is something that I think makes a lot of sense as there is an incredible marketplace already in existence for their software.

It would be very easy to transition from an Android phone to an Android laptop for the large number of people that already have Android phones. When you consider the jarring UI change that is being forced by the Metro interface to begin with, why not just go with the much better design of the Android UI?

Wondering... (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45094647)

When there's an Android leak, is it oil, or battery acid?

Lenovo sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45097829)

Not even 1080p on a 10 inch screen, what a joke. Typical Lenovo.

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