The Android tablets that have appeared lately seem to suffer an identity crisis, often unable to decide whether they’re simply big smartphones or genuine tablet-computing devices. Creative Labs has taken a different approach with its new Ziio, producing an ‘entertainment tablet’ that is essentially a larger version of its …
1997 called and wants its Palm Pilot back.
>1997 called and wants its Palm Pilot back
Hardly, I guess they didn't want to pay Stantum's IP ferryman, but resistive multitouch kicks ass when done properly, capacitive screens can only track a couple of fingers. Resistive screens are the future not the past.
For a seven inch resistive (is that def. right?) screen, no Flash, running 2.1, no app store and a crappy speaker. Update promises are worth precisely nothing. You can get better specced tablets from China at half the price.
no marketplace-no sale
Any android phone or tablet will make a good media player so saying this is good if just viewed as a media player is daft.
Couple more weeks I'll be getting a budget android handset and installing skyfire for iplayer as I already know it works and I have the option of flashing 2.2 onto the device I want to get.
For 200 quid this would have been tempting if I could use the full markeplace.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I understand the inability to access the App Market is a restriction placed by Google. As far as I am aware, they only allow access to devices with a sim card (ie, phones and 3g enabled slabs).
Short-sighted by Google, not the manufacturers.
It's more than just the sim, it's stuff like a compass, GPS and all the other fancy smart phone gubbins.
Apparently an upcoming release will be easing these requirements precisely because PMPs, pads and whatnot don't always have/ need the fancy thingies.
read the Android Compatibility Definition
Check the current compatibility requirements http://source.android.com/compatibility/android-2.3-cdd.pdf, there's NO mention of SIM support.
As far as I can see the only hardware an Android device is required to have is a touchscreen, enough RAM and Flash storage and at least one network connection (of any type). Everything else is labeled as MAY or SHOULD have, not MUST have.
The sad truth is, this story is just that, a story made up by manufacturers that just don't *want* to sign contracts with Google or fulfill the software requirements.
So am I correct that you only can use the Android Market through cellular connections? Or is that a wrong interpretation of your comment?
Or can users indeed use wifi-connection to access the market but the device requires a cellular connection before Google allows them to have the app?
Any way I thought Android is "open"? Isn't that Android Market just another app? Why not use the .apk from another device and copy it to this tablet? Or is that to simplistic thinking? Why those stupid rules?
Why do these vendors make it all so difficult? Why is Google being such a hypocrite? They give the assumption of an open standard with equal features across a range of devices yet the reality is something completely different.
And why don't come ALL devices today with at least 2.2? Why the mess of 2.1, 1.6, 2.3. And then there's already a 2.4 announced AND an 3.0. What the hell are they doing? This is even worse than the different Windows Mobile editions from years gone.
There's also a web based market for Android
No flash, no angry birds, no sale
Would've been a perfect pressie for my youngest daughter, but no flash and no market severely limits the appeal...
With Android 3.0 for tablets coming out in a few weeks this product is badly timed. And extremely expensive.
I got an Archos 7HT for £110 which does most of what this machine does, although stuck with Android 1.5.
price comparable with
the Archos 70 isn't it? Which is capacitive and has already been well rooted and given access to the marketplace.
Android != Android "With Google"
To get the market and other google apps, devices have to be certified as "with google" by Google. This adds additional cost over using the open source vanilla android and also adds specific hardware requirements that the device must comply with.
Without the "with google" support, it's more than just the market that's missing: none of the core google closed source libraries are available either.
It's possible (but probably a breach of copyright) to hack these into non-compliant devices but that doesn't alter the fact that there's always going to be two tiers of Android devices: cheap vanilla android devices and more expensive "with google" android devices that are fully compliant
Android != Android "With Google"
Why this stupid hypocrite crap?
I thought Android is android. Apparantly there's "Android with Google" and "Android without Google"
Can someone please CLEARLY put a list of these differences on a website!
What are these closed source core google libraries?
Please enlighten US potential CUSTOMERS!!!
Perhaps El_Reg can enlighten us? Please.
Please tell me...
...that the unit you reviewed was a pre-production prototype, because if the build quality of the production units is as bad as the second photo suggests, then I don't want to know.
Actually, don't bother telling me, because the build quality is the least of my concerns regarding this product - as others have already pointed out, at those prices for those specs Creative can go do a running jump.
big smartphones or genuine tablet-computing devices
"big smartphones or genuine tablet-computing devices" - what exactly is the difference?
There is something very interesting emerging.
Almost every reviewed android product still comes with 2.1 and 2.2 'promised'. This is at a time when android 3 is being talked about. Why on earth are people bringing products to market with an out-of-date OS on?
I would have thought that once the hardware design was stable that porting from 2.1 to 2.2 would be a breeze. It obviously isn't. And from what people say about e.g. Motorola once the porting is done manufacturers would rather cut their hands off than go do it again.
Now, compare that with debian or windows on the desktop. If version x will run then version x+1 is guaranteed to fall on without difficulty. I bet no-one has launched a vista based laptop this year.
Now I realise that android is cross-compiled, that the kernel and drivers are optimised for that particular hardware. But surely once all that work is done it should be transparent to versions? Are the hal layers really rip-up-and-start-again?
I think that the difficulty in getting the next version on, even for manufacturers, even before product launch, suggests that things need to be made a lot more consistent and simple. It doesn't sound like a finished product to me.
This looks like a huge achillies heel to me. Once the market buzz and fashion has worn off, are we going to find that android is another prommable but not upgradable OS?
From what I can tell
it's simple enough to port from, say, 2.1 to 2.2 as it seems that when a new version comes out, the homebrewers and hobbiests slap it on their devices. Where the manufacturers seem to fall over is when they have to update their fancy pants UI and make all of that fit.
Process and customisation
This is purely speculation as I don't work in that field, but my understanding is that the whole "custom layer" thing adds a great deal of time and effort required to OS upgrades. Bear in mind it's not just "if it compiles, ship it!", there's a whole QA process to go through too.
It also probably doesn't help that Google are pretty secretive about future releases and seem to only work with a single vendor for each one. So with 2.3, for example, if you weren't Samsung then you're even further behind.
if only upgrades were that easy
<<If version x will run then version x+1 is guaranteed to fall on without difficulty.>>
And yet down the years I've ended up reinstalling Kubuntu from scratch every few updates when it falls over so badly that it's the quickest way to get going again. Windows hasn't had much less bumpy a ride here either. The idea that incremental updates are trouble free is laughably naive.
Sadly the same applies to in-place Android updates. However hard the packager tries, some users will end up with a borked phone at least some of the time. The safe alternative of fully replacing the OS and wiping their data+apps is not popular with users. It's a good incentive to put off or avoid updates.
The real incentive is that all the crapware they love to shovel over the OS takes it's own time to repair, as Android moves the goal posts with every release. Embed your crap too deeply and it breaks. It also doesn't upset them to think disappointed users might upgrade phone in frustration and enough will stupidly stick with the same manufacturer that just shafted them.
Let's face it: we all know going in that we're going to get the shitty end of the deal, with any part of the mobile industry.
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