What might the iPad have been? Apple announced it as a Magical and Revolutionary Device, defining "an entirely new category". But it actually only addresses a small part of the yawning gap between mobile handsets and notebook computers, where there's still a lot of defining to be done. There's space there for dramatically …
Android is too closed compared to the upcoming MeeGo platform that Intel and Nokia are cooking up. MeeGo devices should be on the shelves before the end of this year and devices like Nokias n900 will be supported.
MeeGo will be fully open and have access to the Ovi store and won't be locked down so no jailbreaking will be necessary for consumers to install 3rd party apps at their leisure.
MeeGo, just a better world.
*DISCLAIMER* No I don't work for any of the companies involved :)
Ovi is awful.
All Nokia interfaces so far have been awful.
The reason the iPhone has been so successful is because Nokia has been so bad.
The chance of MeeGo being anything other than an inconsistent, un-user friendly awful mess is pretty low.
The key to Apple's success is they ONLY care about usability - your grandma can use it usability. It changes a smart phone/tablet from being a techy toy to a device that anybody can use. It changes the market for the device from a few thousand nerds to anybody who can afford it.
The key to the story was the Fujitsu thingy - They have sold about 100 of them - because it is awful to use. The iPad will be usable by a 4 year old kid and your grandma. It is a media consumer, everything else so far has tried to be a media producer.
I wouldn't call Android "locked down". I mean yeah, there's a default block on third party apps. But to break it you go menu-settings-applications and click a clearly labelled button.
Frankly, if MeeGo doesn't have something like this then it'll be a breeding ground for malware- with Android I'd guess a majority of users never install non-marketplace apps so will never have found this option, meaning that malware has to propagate through the marketplace- meaning it can be cut out quite quickly. If you were able to install apps from anywhere you'd have issues of drive-by downloads, innocuous-seeming apps downloading crap and general skullduggery that's not worth the effort on a more secure platform like Android.
"The reason the iPhone has been so successful is because Nokia has been so bad."
I loved that line so much I just wanted to quote it!
All Nokia interfaces are awful?
Clearly you haven't used the Maemo 5 base N900 then, otherwise you wouldn't be talking such rubbish.
I have both an iPhone and N900, and I find that the N900 has a far better interface and is far more flexible than the iPhone (which was good in its day, but lets face it has not been updated or improved much since its orginal release.....rather like Nokias Series 60.........)
Agree that Ovi is a stinking pile of excrement though
Nokia & Software Patents
Just think if Nokia had spent the sort of money and effort on their software that they spent on lobbying for software patents to protect them from their competitors.
The software patents wouldn't have helped them, because Apple copied game conventions not Nokias conventions.
Yet they thought they could ease back on development and let patents slow their competitors down.... such a big mistake. Year after year where the only difference between products was a flip up screen, or a different button shape!
And now Apple are copying Nokia,... trying to slow down Android with patent attacks.
Repeat after me:
Apple don't "do" technology. They do *interfaces*.
Any article that fails to recognise this deceptively simple issue is missing the point. The iPad's use of a modified iPhone OS is *perfect* for the form-factor. Far better than the traditional desktop OS-plus-stylus approach which has failed magnificently in attracting consumers.
That it took Microsoft so long to realise this and produce Windows Phone 7 Series (or whatever it's called) reflects very poorly on their management.
Android is just a "me-too" clone which just happens to be more readily licensable. It's not particularly special and, if licensees forget the interface design issue—which they undoubtedly will, unless I really am being too cynical—then Android will fail to gain a decent reputation outside the technorati. Almost all of Android's publicity, especially in the word-of-mouth channels, is along the lines of, "It's not Apple!"
IT is no longer about the low-level technology stuff, like bricks, mortar, doors and windows. It's about the whole damned *house*. *Nobody* outside the housing construction industry gives a damn where the bricks came from, or whether the windows are made of uPVC, wood or Parmesan cheese, as long as the resulting home is one they want to live in.
Technology is there to be used, not merely admired.
Windows will replace them soon enough.
With the way hardware is going Windows 7 tablets are almost all but assured and miles more flexible than any of these other operating systems. It's hard to imagine being able to do anything on these tablets running smartphone operating systems that isn't already more convenient to do on your existing phone. Hell even installing something like Moblin would be more useful.
MeeGo IS Moblin + Maemo
The way hardware is going, that will take some time
Ever tried Win7 on something close to the iPads form factor? If you want 10 hours of surfing out of a Win7 device, better get some 10 t0 12 Ah batteries. We'll need a major breakthrough in batterietechnology and new Intel Chips to bring Win7 close to what an ARM based device can do.
I want . . .
. . . . some of that kool aid you're drinking
Actually, come to think of it, perhaps not.
Windows has been a spectacular failure in the tablet market for 10 years now. Are you suggesting that this is simply down to the hardware being inadequate?
What apple have done with the iphone, and soon the ipad, is to demonstrate that punters don't want devices that are "miles more flexible" (read: complicated and trouble prone). What joe sixpack wants is a device that doesn't require constant maintenance and paranoid care just to keep the thing functional and not infected with malware.
Being pretty and fun to use helps a lot too.
RE: Windows will replace them soon enough.
Pigs will fly
the dead will rise from their graves
Garry Glitter will be given a job as a child-care worker
Have you ever actually used Windows? (If so, have you ever used any other OS? They're almost all better)
Windows is a steaming pile
When will you beleagured, true believers finally realize you have lost? Maybe after Apple passes the evil monopolist thieves--next quarter?
In the US, status is ascribed to those making the most hay, this is a persistent difference. Once Apple gets past MSFT in revenue, it's over--that's the ONLY REASON anyone ever USED it tobegin with!
When, exactly has anyone ever said Windows was better than Mac? Never--it's only that it was "cheaper" and more "popular". Like a slut--and just as infected and gross.
Analysis worthless without considering MeeGo
Android is just a slightly more open version of iPhone, but it's still restricted and with very little native code support making porting of apps a problem unless they're already written in Java/Dalvik.
There's no doubt Android is nice, but it's chock full of limitations as well.
So what about MeeGo instead? It's completely open, runs anything you want it to run, is supported by two of the largest hardware companies on the planet, and will scale nicely from mobile phones to netbooks even desktops and set-top-boxes. I'm surprised it hasn't been considered for inclusion in this "analysis" which is totally flawed and rendered worthless by it's omission.
Android marketplace useless?
Someone told this idiot he is looking at the wrong URL or something? The one I have, it's great, it's got all the good stuff of the Apple store, none of the reams of crap, and everything is just as good, if not better, at a fraction of the price... There is also none of the content locks, I can install whatever I want, including stuff I write myself, and nobody can stop me.
Tonnes of great stuff on there.
Android marketplace useless?
"it's got all the good stuff of the Apple store"
Really? I doubt it - it might have software with equivalent functionality.
...but you still need your phone provider to have updated their version of Android so you can install some of it. So you can't install whatever you want at all. You can only install software for versions of the OS that your phone provider supports.
RE: Android marketplace useless?
"The one I have, it's great, it's got all the good stuff of the Apple store, none of the reams of crap, and everything is just as good, if not better, at a fraction of the price... "
All the good stuff without the crap? I don't believe it for a second.
Everything is just as good if not better? Really?
At a fraction of the price? Lol. now I *know* you're making this up! Apps for the iPhone are mostly free or 59p. Occasionally you see one for £1.19 or £3.99. How much are Andriod apps?
"...I can install whatever I want..."
Including viruses, code that crashes the phone etc etc etc
How much are Andriod apps?
Mostly free, your point?
All the good stuff without the crap?
Well yes I got something like flight control, but better, and there are hardly any fart apps.
And yes I can install whatever I want, if you're too worried/scared to do that then it says more about you than anyone else.
Android has won
That Chinese $95 note pad vendor, making the generic Arm based resistive Android device, the one shut down by the German police for 'IP' violations.
When I did a check to see what else they made, I went to GlobalSources punched in Android and found it's pervasive throughout many many coming devices. e.g.
Here's the one that seems to have spooked Apple at Hannover:
Apple need Google, but Google doesn't need Apple. And I think that's why Apple does not directly sue Google, rather it threatens HTC, and tries to shut down Chinese vendors with its bogus patent claims.
They're afraid, and having seen that touch pads are a cheap commodity, when you then go look at iPad and all the pompous talk of 'new' and 'innovative' for a category of device that has already become a commodity you can see why.
where is this magical device
I am about to leave for the store to buy an ipod touch and would much rather buy something Android instead. Portability is the top need, applications second, followed by brand. I don't want to spend more money than a laptop to get an ipad. I also really don't want to have to rearrange the way I do things to fit the apple way. I would like something similar to a Droid but without that f$%^^ing monthly payment! I'm not sure I can wait though.
So which version of Android then
So which version of Android do these devices use then? And what UI? The problem with Android is that you can't just install a version update, you have to wait until your manufacturers releases it...And then each and every single one seems to be making their own UI enhancements on it....I think Androids biggest strength is its biggest weakness.
Sure thousands of technology people like it, but millions of end users would just like a device that works and is recognisable and integrates well...Just my opinion...
"your phone could be better at hearing you than the friend standing right next to you"
Not hard in far too many places (says the old fogey) but only if you are willing to lift the device up to your mouth and spit all over the screen. So you'll need one of those headsets with front-and-back microphones. Actually, there's an idea. If both you and your friend have such things, you could use them to talk to one another.
Mine's the one with the iWantToHearMyselfThink patent application in the pocket.
OMG, someone not talking about Android
Voice is a HORRIBLE idea for a UI control system. Sure, it works ok for dictating your latest novel, but that's about it. I can't imagine why anyone would want to use a voice control system in public. Even in private I'd feel pretty silly talking to myself. In public though, you're not just telling your phone what you want it to do, you're telling everyone near you. Everyone within ear shot will now know what your favorite type of porn is, and your bank account password. Even better, everyone within ear shot can control your phone too. I suspect I'd be one of the ones laughing if someone shouted the local variant of "format C:" or "dd /dev/sda" though. That doesn't even cover the stupidity factor of being seen talking to thin air. I'm still not completely used to people suddently talking on Bluetooth headsets. And lots of people just aren't talkers, even if your average blowhard manager is.
And how do Europeans like to hold their tablets? On the arm is the only way I've found that even sort of works with regular paper tablets. I can't hold it in my hand since there's too much torque when trying to write on it. Maybe if we consider a small phone sized tablet, then it's different.
All in all, I think the guy at Fujitsu is a couple sandwiches short of a picnic and maybe his other comments should be taken with a grain of salt--or a truck full, either way.
But don't you have to sell your soul to use Android?
I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that you couldn't really use an Android phone without a google ID and that they don't even have native POP/IMAP & SMTP support? Are Google phones really that locked down and, if so, isn't it a little bit scary that anyone would hope they are the future?
you dont have to sell your soul to use Android!
you are mistaken. No need for a google ID to use android. Android has native pop/imap/smtp support - always has.
The only thing you need a google id for is to access the marketplace (i.e. app store).
And in reference to the article authors statement on the google app store - what drugs is he taking? The google marketplace for android has 30000+ apps and growing. Having used this and the Iphone app store in my opinion the Android offering is light years ahead of the Iphone app store.
Pretty sure you're mistaken
My HTC Hero syncs nicely with Exchange, POP3 and IMAP email accounts.
And yes you can use it without a Google ID. It's just that it comes with google apps pre-installed. A lot of those (google maps etc) don't even need a Google account to work. So I guess "No, you can't use it to its full in default configuration without a google account" but only in the same way that you can't use facebook without logging in. There are always, always non-google alternatives.
What makes you think consumers care about Android?
Android - that means absolutely *nothing* to the vast majority of consumers out there.
Open Source - ditto
I don't know what the stats are, but I'm willing to bet 75% of those able to afford a device such as an iPad will know Apple = iPod/iPhone and will know Google = search.
If you tried to tell them that an Android platform would give them more freedom to do what they wanted with an iPhone or iPad like device, they wouldn't give a monkeys, for the simple fact, the tech *works* for them already.
Apple know who their target market are.
I don't see a viable iPad alternative appearing in the West anytime soon, but I'm sure there'll be a veritable feast of devices available in the East - there always is!
I think Apple screwed up here
"Apple know who their target market are"
True, but I think they are seriously in danger overestimating their ability to control that market. The inconsistencies with the App store, for instance, act as a break on developers because they cannot be certain their dev time will pay off (not to mention the fact that the shop has no real support for a maintenance fee model or chargeable updates).
In addition, preventing customers from what is considered perfectly normal on any other platform (3G to WiFi, for instance) will create pressure on people to jump to the platform that DOES provide. It won't be long before others can manufacture in that form factor, and then it's a matter of platform and apps. Android may not be much now, but it does have potential if things can run offline. I'd buy a tablet the size of an iPad if it had apps that I liked - I couldn't care less if it was Apple or someone else.
As long as it's not Windows - I don't like wasting 70% of my bandwidth on anti-virus updates..
How much of the value in the iPod is really Google Maps, Google, You Tube etc.?
I'll take a look at my iPod Touch main page,
I have, Google (Safari set to Google mobile home page), Calender, mail, contacts, maps, weather, clock, calculator, safari Google (apps), skype, Google Earth, Youtube.
Of those Calender to crap, contacts I never use, safari I never use (always start directly with the Google icon), skype only works as messenger (no mic on this Touch).
So an Ipod to me is mostly a device for delivering Google with a really crappy interface called iTunes on my PC that I despise for all the crapware it installs too, and some other features, and a few games. The bits I like on my iPod are the Google bits.
"I don't see a viable iPad alternative appearing in the West anytime soon, but I'm sure there'll be a veritable feast of devices available in the East - there always is!"
IMHO, the iPad will fail because it has no reason to succeed. Previous Windows touchpads have failed too, so the physical format isn't a winner. What I suspect will happen is it will have a niche and since Google is what you'd really want on an Internet device (they dominate the net) it follows that it will be a device tailored to Google. i.e. Android.
Really without Google it looks like a toy:
He goes to run YouTube, Apple rep tells him that doesn't work yet... so what does work? The book browser minus its search? iTunes, iTunes book store, a browser, WTF. They launched with incomplete product, so they're shit scared. They're trying patent games with bullshit patents they should never have been given, so they are scared.
Are becomming exponentially more delusional.
Those hideous slates faid because windows, all versions, is utter trash, and none of it's users or delelopers ever had an original thought.
Trash? We'll call it wastebasket, no wait, Recycle bin!!!
Only one button on that mouse thin (we so love to ridicule), I know, we'll put 2!! buttons on ours, such inovashun!!! (and it will jerk around and squeak like a toy)
Google DESPERATELY needs Apple, because they are smart enough to know they will never get Androif past the geek love stage. Find on man on the street that even knows what it is.
iPad killers game has started
with analysis that add nothing but speculation.
in 12 months time the game will have changed and those speculators and android / nokia apologist / google ball licker will hopefully go quiet for once. I'm not holding my breath however.
Why no Android on Apple hardware?
Why not go all the way and make a point and click 'Android for iPhone' that wipes and unlocks any iPhone, then installs Android on it?
There's a lot of old iPhone/iTouch devices crying out for freedom!
Not sure about approval for the App Store ;-)
Matt 89 gets my vote as the view expressed is more along lines of what the public want and expect rather than what the technology is capable of doing.
The article smarts of "this technology vs that technology vs another technology vs ... " and I reckon all that the public want is device or devices that do. Where the Apple wins is that each device integrates rather than disintegrates. You have more than one Apple device and they talk your data to each other or at least have such capability courtesy of MobileMe.
So: interim conclusion
It ain't what the technology can do or is capable of doing.
It is the technology that can do in a way that captures buying public interest.
It's the UI, stupid!
Remember the iPhone commercials? What really drummed up the hype? No specs, no checkboxes, no talk about openness, just, "Here's the iPhone. This is how you use it. See how it's so smooth and cures cancer with easy-to-understand pinch-and-zoom gestures."
Android still has miles to go in terms of UI look and more importantly, consistency. I use a G1 for reasons of carrier, and Android's inconsistency still bothers me a lot. Overloading the back button and having inconsistent placement of 'send/return' for the onscreen keyboard for example.
MeeGo, from what I can see, isn't even addressing UI. I've combed their website, and have yet to see a screenshot, Human-Interaction-Guidelines, or much beyond a few structural diagrams and 'Go to our IRC channel and Mailing List!'.
Paris knows the importance of good user interface.
The Plain Truth
El Reg and other websites attract geeky people who know more than there is to know about computers. They are (probably) real wizzes with technology and the innards of phones, pads and computers.
They totally miss the point of Apple's strategy. They are so much up their own arses they can't see the train coming down the tracks.
Apple sells usability. Shininess and good industrial design are extras which are nice to have but not essential.
The reasons I use Mac at work and at home is because I'm NOT a geek. I just want my computer and phone to do what I want without a massively expensive IT staff to look after them. They work, for me, and I don't want to know HOW they work. I don't care if I can't download Jim Sproggett's Guide to the Complexities of C++ on my iPhone. I don't care if it's difficult to swap batteries in my iPod.
The plain truth is that the majority of people haven't a clue about computers. That's why IT staff make so much money and have so much influence in companies. They want computers just to work and if that is true for a Windows UI then that's fine.
Apple don't always get it right (Cube, TV etc.,) but when they do ... it gets BIG (they knocked Sony for six because Sony had its corporate head up its corporate bum). Same with the iPad. This device is what millions of users want ... a pretty device that switches on immediately, lets me read and reply to my emails, lets me surf the web, lets me read books, lets me watch films and, if I want, lets me do some basic stuff with flyers, accounts and the like. It's an absolute dream for millions of non-geeks.
And THAT is where Apple are clever. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Simple is better, full stop.
I hate to say it, but Apple have done something none of the others can do. My 18 month old can unlock his mom's iphone, scroll the screen to his (now 5) applications, and open them to play them. He can get back to the home screen if he goes into the wrong application accidentally (there is only one button).
I think even Steve Jobs would be pleased to see that a toddler can successfully operate an iPhone. The iPad subsequently looks like a great purchase to me: if only for my littly to play games on, and my wife and I to surf the net and read books. There's no "discovery" process really to these things, no need to work out how something works. There's little or no abstraction between what you see and what you might want to do with the device.
I think Apple and competitors are all heading for the same thing, the ultimately all powerful and usable device... it's just that Apple started at the "usable" side and competitors started at the "all powerful" side, and it seems that adding power and options to a usable device is a much easier progression than adding usability to an all powerful device.
Apple's good looks and design sensibility have made it's software and ideology a bit of a trojan horse.
Paris, because she knows the importance of looking good to get in there.
iPad not usable
To be usable the screen needs to be comfortable for the eye at eye level even), yet you don't want to type up at eye level, the keyboard needs to be down, you don't want to have to hold up your hands in the air to type.
You can hold a book but down the center spine where it's balanced and comfortable. But iPad is held at the edge. Again not good.
Watch the video to show the problem
At 3:22 fake legs and hands photoshopped around the outside, a real person would have to be looking DOWN for 2 hours or holding the iPad up to eye level for 2 hours to watch a video like that, and they'd have to be perfectly still to avoid jerking eyes.
Imagine holding it up, or bowing down for 2 hours? Not going to happen.
At 2:35 Is it flat or angled? When he touch types they show it flat so he has both hands free, in the next shot it's angled to make it easier to read. (And fake even there, he is not holding that his fingers are gently placed at the edge so as not to obscure the screen, seems to be a on a rig of some sort).
So give Apple all sorts of praise you like, but iPad is a flop and the evidence is right there in their own video.
"... iPad is a flop ..." It's not even available yet, FFS!
You seem not to know much about hand-eye co-ordination. Many objects we observe are moving ... the eye compensates ... it really is wonderful.
3.22. Of course the iPads in the promo are on platforms! They're making a video for goodness sake and they'll use whatever it takes to make the video (& iPad) look good. We know that if a real iPad were propped on a person's legs it would move ... again, the eye compensates.
I would guess that many people will buy the case that allows angling of the iPad.
If the iPhone behaved as you suggest the iPad will ... how come it's such a success?
"El Reg and other websites attract geeky people who know more than there is to know about computers. They are (probably) real wizzes with technology and the innards of phones, pads and computers.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If only that were true. Well, it may actually be true of El Reg's general readership, since the content and coverage are of generally high quality, but it isn't showing through at all in the comments. Then again, it never does on the internets, where shouting ill informed opinions trumps experience and facts any day.
"They totally miss the point of Apple's strategy. They are so much up their own arses they can't see the train coming down the tracks."
Now that, that is most certainly true.
Except that it is supremely wintarded to think windows ever had any power. That pathetic trash only recently was patch to be capable of running more than 640kb of RAM.
Really powerful software ran on the Mac first, take for instance SPSS and SAS statistical packages.
Even Word ran on Mac first (not that it was ever any good, the thugs simply killed off all their competition). There were DOS versions of this stuff, but they were almost as pathetic as the early windows versions.
Word on Mac?
Oooh. Stepped on a historical nerve here, my friend. One of my all-time greatest word processors was Word 5.1 for Mac, circa 1992. Awesome power: it THEN did nearly anything that I need TODAY, yet it came on three 3.5" floppy disks -- two of which were optional crud. Yeah: MS created a great word processor that worked beautifully and didn't suck memory. THEN they came out with version 6 point oh my god, which began the bloat, and it was the beginning of the end.
As regards the article on iPads vs. competitors, I think the "appliance" camp has it right. I don't WANT to customize my information appliances any more than I want to hot-rod my toaster or tweak my blender. For modding and customizing I have a couple of lovely computers -- but even then, I mostly just want to get the job done.
If voice recognition is so easy in noisy environments, I'm sure that hearing aid manufacturers would love to know how to do it. Cos the place where my hearing aid is least useful is in the pub.
Just a thought John Lettice...
Your comment about using Linux "been there, done that". Android is still Linux, based on Ubuntu & will be open for those who say it is closed. Whilst parts of the Google software is closed but the base system isn't.
If it's so hard to get anything smaller than a 10-inch screen, why are there so many inexpensive portable DVD players with 7-inch screens?
An acronym suggestion...
Your "Magical and Revolutionary Device" description for the iPad works really well in Franglais:
"Magique Et Révolutionnaire DEvice" = MERDE
— From a 25-year Mac user
How about this as an idea
I want a phone with a fast processor - fast enough to be a netbook
I want it to be the size of a normal phone
I want to be able to plug it into a monitor, lcd tv, or even a pad like screen that I an carry with me if I need to do extensive work.
I want to be able to plug in usb devices
I do not want to carry around my computing world on two different devices, both of which I have to keep in sync with a device at work and a device at home.
Now as for toddlers being able to play with iPads, and other comments about things just working with apple - fine, go for it, revel in the sandbox of your closed system and throw your cash at people who get things to work for you in a way you can understand - this is your choice.
Don't however deride those who want more control, who are interested in what lies beneath. This is exactly the kind of person that is making your iPad work for you, or your networks, or your latest downloaded app.
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