1857 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Re: Looks like a Nexus 7 clone...
That $30 is more than enough to buy a 32GB microSD (around £10 last time I looked), giving a 40GB tablet compared to a 16GB one. Or shove in a 64GB card for even more storage.
The 7" tablets that do have microSD all seem to be similarly specced to the HP one (as well as being no name brands, so HP may do better on that front), except for ones that involve ordering from China.
Though I would love for a mainstream manufacturer to produce a Nexus 7 level tablet with either microSD, or 64GB storage. (The recently announced Note 8 might qualify, though it's likely to be way more expensive.)
Re: operators gave away all their apps revenue
Not really, as a developer and user, I like the choice on Android to submit to different places, and download from different places (e.g., there's F Droid, focused on Open Source, which is normally difficult to find on Google Play, having to wade through all the applications where "free" means "laden with adverts").
I'm not sure what you mean by "Operator apps" - this isn't talking about the ones stuffed on your phone, but the portals like Vodafone Live years ago, where even on a feature phone you could download or buy games, apps, videos as well as read news. (Meanwhile, an original iphone couldn't even run apps.) Of course there was a lot less then than now, as would be expected with the change and improvements in technology.
Given how prominently the networks seem to advertise iphones (whilst the better selling Android phones get less space on the windows), it seems their own fault.
"Of course one of the things that made iPhone a success was that it was focused in its vision and not designed by consent."
I'm not sure that's true, let alone an "of course" - Symbian was the number one operating system until 2011, with Android being number one since then. Apart from a transitionary period, Symbian had greater than 50% for many years, with Android now having a whopping 80% market share.
Meanwhile, the "focused on their vision" platforms - IOS, Windows Phone - seem far less successful in comparison.
"With the past history of failures in anything co-operative"
Really? Well sure, if you're one of these people who think that iphone is number one (it never was - yet it was deemed a "success" for selling 1 million in 76 days, which is tiny compared to Symbian or Android sales), and think that no one bought or buys Symbian or Android. The reality speaks different.
Re: NO! It doesn't make sense. It would ruin Apple!
Given the number of chavs waving Apple phones around, I'd say they've already reached the Burberry point. Also consider the cheapo ipods they happily sell. Go to any cheap store in the US, and you'll see the stock of cheap ipod and iphone tat. People think of them as Ferraris and Armani, but the reality is not at all like this (also consider, Ferrarri and Armani don't need to slap big light up logos over their stuff - you know what the products are, or if you don't, you're not their target market).
"Yeah, I get that some people - and perhaps the majority of reg readers - don't but into this schtick, but millions of bozos others do."
Well that's the problem with the RDF - they could sell a £50 turd, and people would still consider it prestige - though yes, they'd rather get away with selling £500 turds while they can.
Re: RIM is hanging, alright...
Well actually if Amiga (the company) had introduced a new OS a decade and a half ago (rather than minor updates, or a port to PPC far more recently than 15 years ago), it might have been something. And before 1996, the Amiga was solely a product, not a company.
Not sure what you mean by real smartphones and not Blackberries, sounds like a No True Scotsman...
Re: Blame the Marketing Dept
Although the real question is why the Nexus 4 isn't trashing over every other phone - why pay £400 for an S3 (which has microSD, but that's about it), or £500 for an Apple iphone 5? Google/LG need to step up their marketing (and supply).
ChromeOS looks more like a "real" OS
Despite being "just a browser", if I can launch applications directly, if I can install them and run them offline, that pretty much makes it as useful an OS for most people - who cares if behind the scenes it's mostly done in HTML5. And with Google Native Client, it's possible to write applications in languages like C++ (with a HTML5 front end, similar to how Android does native languages with Java). You don't even need a Chromebook - ChromiumOS is Free.
From a development point of view, using HTML5 (with Native Client if you'd rather stick with C++) looks an increasingly useful way to write portable code across Windows, OS X, Linux and ChromeOS. This new launcher is a useful step to make such applications appear as "installed" applications that run offline, rather than only running in a web browser (although the option to run in a web page is still a useful ability).
Re: deja vu
I was going to say - "looks just like a phone home screen"? - looks just like any computer screen back before the introduction of things like start menus... My Amiga had a grid of coloured icons in 1985 :)
(Also still looks like most people's Windows desktops.)
Even the Surface Pro is likely to be cheaper than this by the looks of it. Given that the cheap Surface haters seem to have resorted to "it's too expensive" for the Pro version, despite the Chromebooks being competition, this does provide a marketing boost to the Surface Pro (as well as the help from raising awareness of touchscreen PCs in general).
(Personally I'm not likely to buy either of these devices, but still think it's good to see competition and choice.)
Re: typing fail
"Yes, IF you can remember the name. If it's something you don't use so often, then you need a GUI."
I feared that would be an issue, but most of the time it's not. Yes, if you don't know the name, you fall back to the GUI, but how is Windows 8 worse than 7 (or indeed XP) in that regard? What platform solves this problem in a better manner?
The "classic" menu did have the ability that you could organise things manually into subcategories making the search faster, but that went away with XP. Also this is nothing to do with "only for touch", if I'm looking through a list for an application, it's just as fast or slow either with touch or mouse.
"Yet they are terrified of the command line."
I'm not. Though typing a name is far easier than using command line. By your logic, anyone who can type words into Google to search should be able to use a command line (or alternatively, you think that typing words into Google is just as hard as a command line, and a better search UI would work purely with a mouse, but oddly not with a touchscreen).
"If it's a GUI that requires you to type to be productive then that GUI is WINDOWS 8 GUI FAIL!"
No, the claim being made is that Windows 8 has abandoned everything other than touchscreens, which are most notable by their lack of keyboard (since a touch UI will still work with a mouse). My example is a counter argument. So which is it - Windows 8 is bad because it only works with pure touchscreens, or that it works well with a keyboard?
Although note that first point applies to 10" tablets too (and I agree - at that size, it's less efficient than a mouse, as your hand is moving further, and it's awkward having to hold it at the same time).
At least with PCs, even if they have touchscreens, it's an optional extra, in combination with mouse and keyboard (which yes, Windows 8 still works with - e.g., it's still fastest to launch software by typing the name, than clicking the icon, with both 7 and 8; I assume ChromeOS would work with both too).
I'm not sure how you mean - I mean yes, I'd rather run Windows (or Linux) than ChromeOS any day. But if people are buying Chromebook laptops instead of other laptops (and they are), it's competition.
I think it makes a lot of sense - whilst low cost Chromebooks will bring ChromeOS to the masses, even though this Pixel will sell far less, they make much bigger profits. And looking at the people with Apple Airs, there are certainly people willing to spend over £1000 for a laptop even if it's just for things like web and email, maybe some word processing or games, all of which can be done on a Chromebook. I believe it supports offline - the "restrictiveness" is more that it only supports HTML5 for applications, which makes it harder to port software, and makes it less interesting to programmers like me unless I were to switch entirely to writing HTML5 applications - but most people aren't developers, and given the sales, I'm sure increasing numbers of applications will be written for it. (See https://chrome.google.com/webstore for what's already there.)
Indeed, whilst ChromeOS is obvious competition for Windows, I think Apple have more to worry about: people often buy them because they think PC laptops are bulky, and only Apple do ultra-portables - now Chromebooks are getting a lot of coverage; people who don't want Windows/MS now have a better alternative; people who think having as many pixels as possible is important now have a better alternative; raising the awareness and acceptance of touchscreen laptops makes MS look more like they made the right move, with Apple having to choose between following after with this functionality, or never having it; plus those rocketing Chromebook sales could put Mac OS into 3rd place - even if they don't actually lose any sales to it, marketing-wise that's a bad thing for them.
Re: it does mention battery life...
Often these ratings are measured along the lines of "whilst running full screen video", so you might get a bit more out of them with say web browsing.
Though yes - people can moan about Atom being slow, but I'll gladly keep my 10 hour battery life on my Samsung netbook :) (And if I'm at home and want performance, I'll take my i7 and NVIDIA Clevo laptop.)
To be fair, this is no worse than any other Intel Core based laptop. And it's good to see more choice and competition in laptops. (Though I do wonder how much extra battery the high resolution saps - still, for people who think that pixels is the only thing that matters, it'll stop Apple getting all those sales.)
"so the flexible display as described in the application is described as being able to adjust the amount of information that it presents to the user based on how much of the display is viewable when worn."
In other words, bog standard UI window-resizing behaviour.
I look forward to a whole load of new patents where existing technology/ideas are taken, with "on a wrist" added. If you don't even have to make it, perhaps we should all get in on the action.
Of course watches that can communicate with Android devices already exist. And yes, didn't Apple already try to make a watch-ipod, which turned out to be a fail?
(Also wondering where they'll put the big light up Apple logo - can't have an Apple product without plastering Apple logos to advertise all over it.)
Re: This is worth a patent?
My thoughts too - don't you have to make something to patent it?
I also wasn't aware Apple were into manufacturing displays, let alone flexible one. If computerised watches finally take off (something often predicted in visions of the future, when instead mobile computing converged onto phones) due to flexible displays, it'll be thanks to technology made by the likes of Samsung, judging by their recent announcements and demos.
Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance
I'm not saying that it isn't possible to outdo a compiler in some cases, and hand-optimising some performance critical components may be useful, as I say - though even there, if only 5% of programmers can outdo a compiler, that is part of the point I'm making about the difficulty.
I was questioning the idea that it's always better, especially when claims such as an order of magnitude are thrown around. How does a GPU-bound game run 10x faster with assembly rather than C?
How does shader code compare to fixed function - is assembly shader 10x faster than fixed function? Or is shader code written in Cg/HLSL/GLSL 10x slower than fixed function?
Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance
"If everyone wrote they're PC games in x86 Assembler, and their graphics code in the AMD or Nvidia equivalent, we'd see performance an order of magnitude better than we do now."
I'm not convinced - these aren't additional "layers" that have to be got through at runtime, because things are compiled. So the question is whether compilers are better than humans at creating assembler/machine code. A lot of the time, the performance is restricted by choice of algorithm or bottlenecks in a particular area, not the choice of machine code instruction. And compilers - written by people who know CPUs very well, and developed over years - may well know better than an individual developer about what is more efficient.
Assembly language made more sense in the 80s and early 90s, but since then, compilers have got better, the processing power available to compilers has improved, whilst CPUs have got vastly more complex - and human brains have remained the same. Plus there is still the option of hand optimising some performance critical areas if there is a compiler deficiency. The idea of writing 100% assembly - and that this could give a 10x speed up - does not seem realistic at all.
I don't really see your language analogy is fair. I'm not sure I'd call assembly a "native" language for anyone. The question is whether the translation is done by the programmer, or the compiler.
Re: Well hello there...
Was the processor really the reason, given that most people aren't writing in assembly anymore even for games (and even if they were, I thought traditionally x86 was harder...)?
I thought the issues were more to do with things like graphics APIs - obviously MS have Direct X for X Box. Whilst Open GL does fine, my understanding was that not all consoles have great support (or in some cases use some custom API)?
"we'll receive PC-like games to a console."
I'm not sure that matters - I'd have thought things like the available controllers (which most PC owners don't have, restricting them to mouse and keyboard), or apparent buying trends in the people who tend to buy them, would have more effect?
The original X Box was x86 PC hardware - did that have PC-like games, that the X Box 360 didn't?
Re: Nexus 4
That's now in Android 4.2 for any device. It's not Swype - and after trying it for a bit, I went back to Swype.
A great thing about Swype is that you can press any word that's wrong and choose from alternatives, whilst the Android one only lets you do this for the last typed word (and typically I tend to type it all quick, then proof-read what I've written). (Anyone know if Swiftkey does this too?) Also I found that the guesses at what I'd swiped tended to be more accurate for Swype. A shame that Swype isn't in Google Play (not that downloading it elsewhere is a problem, but it's annoying to have to sign up with an email address, and it's in a perpetual beta state...)
Re: "Companies often do better in their home market"
Well, I know companies are multinational, but the effect is more based on perception from consumers and the media - they still see a multinational's original country, and don't care where the offices are physically located. More generally, my point is that things can vary worldwide significantly (this is especially true for [smart]phones), but for some reason the UK media loves to report the US situation as if it were typical (consider that recent Register article claiming iphone was the number one platform in Q4, but actually the stats were just the US).
I think there's still a market for standalone mp3 players (though I can't believe the ipod touch, basically a 3.5" tablet, still sells for over £200 in some cases - just get a much cheaper small Android tablet and put in a 32GB microSD - when the former get all the publicity, and the latter don't, it's no surprise Apple get more money). Though it annoys me more that there's an entire industry of things like speakers that still only work with ipods, even though plenty of people might prefer to connect with say their Android phone - or maybe they just Think Different, and want to use a different player like a Sansa.
(My LG Smart TV takes USB, and Just Works OOTB with any kind of player or device you connect to it - strange that a TV works better as an audio player, because of the audio industry catering to only one company. That can't even keep compatibility with itself having changed the connector - I'm not sure how that now works with these "works with your ipod" products...)
I can also see a point for hard drive based players with lots of storage - though the real question is why it's not possible to get a tablet with a big hard disk, since the obvious use as a media player.
And ... it's another handpicked statistic that favours Apple - what about every other country in the world, where other companies come top? What about other market segments, or top overall? What about by sales (we already know that people spend more on Apple stuff, it costs more)?
But I expect this story to be plastered all over the UK media, whilst all other possible statistics go ignored.
(I'm sure I read a statistic once saying Samsung had something like generating 20% of the entire GDP of South Korea. Companies often do better in their home market - I wonder what Apple's share is in South Korea?)
I guess by "proper" Linux you mean GNU/Linux(?) similar to what Maemo/Meego were. But is Tizen that? Given there only seems to be support for HTML5, it's unclear if this is Linux anymore than Android or ChromeOS (i.e., only using the kernel)? Similarly with FirefoxOS. Though of course Ubuntu, and I think Sailfish, are GNU/Linux OSs.
Re: No native support, only HTML5, oh dear!
"The latter is bound to use proprietary extensions in an effort to lock you into their ecosystem."
The whole goal of Tizen I thought was to not lock people into ecosystems, and to be compatible with FirefoxOS and web browsers. I'm not sure if this is just an assumption you're making, or if you know something more about the politics involved?
I agree it's a shame to not support other languages, as it is nice to have other options to make cross-platform applications (I use Qt too) - same issue with ChromeOS.
Re: Yes but,...
Except Tizen is supported by Samsung, the number one smartphone and phone company. Of course that doesn't guarantee sales (they sell WP too, after all), but it does mean its worth keeping an eye on.
For developers, Tizen and Firefox OS both use HTML5, so should be compatible with each other (as well as ChromeOS, and running on many other platforms too through a browser). Ubuntu (and I think Sailfish) is compatible with GNU/Linux.
And since when did geeks care about market share? I remember people leaping onto Android because it was cool, even when its market share was tiny.
Re: Why not a tablet?
Well yes I have nothing against hybrids - you get the best of both worlds with a device that has a stand and keyboard, but can also be a pure tablet too. Though as I say in my original comment, a lot of the tablet stand/keyboard add ons don't work very well at all on a lap, as far as I can tell. There are hybrids that do work better (ASUS Transformer style ones), but then those are as much laptops as they are tablets.
Even with those hybrids, there do seem to be compromises - whilst the tablet-only part is lighter than an ultra-portable laptop, the combination of tablet and keyboard is usually slightly heavier (I think because being a tablet makes it top heavy, so you need the extra weight in the keyboard to make it work right in laptop mode).
And yes, fair point about handwriting recognition with a stylus - I've yet to try this, so if it works well, it's good to hear (though, even if it's perfect, I can still type much faster than I write...)
Re: Ah....oh dear....
Whilst some of those are true, it's not entirely fair:
"No need for AV."
Neither on Linux, and Windows 8 has it built it (and if it's like Security Essentials, it never bothers you anyway - it was only the stuff like AVG that constantly pesters you).
"Take the Chromebook out of the box and within 10 seconds of switch on you are up and running."
It's quick as things go - though I note my Windows laptop boots quicker than my Android Galaxy Nexus. Most laptops are slow because of the terrible slow hard disks, not the OS - they do much better with SSD.
"If you mess it up you just reset it and log in again."
Most Windows laptops offer this, though personally I dislike it, I'd rather fix things without having to have the only option as "reset everything to default".
"Hardly any settings to mess around with."
I'm not sure I've ever had to mess around with a setting on any recent OS.
"No need to learn CLI or other such dark arts."
What is this, the 1980s? I've not *had* to on other OSs.
"No worries about backups."
So it does an offline backup automatically, does it?
Yes, it's true that storing on Google is more reliable than the average person's hard disk, but this is not a *back up*. And it's not clear to me that managing an offline backup of Google is easier than the backup solutions for other OSs?
"No need to call in the IT chappie/son to fix it."
The laptop is physically indestructable? Most of my parents' IT queries are about Internet/browser related stuff, which would still apply.
"Oh and it costs £200"
Yes they finally got the price right - it made no sense when they cost more than a similarly specced laptop even with the Windows licence fee. Though note there are other low cost laptops too (and not just netbooks).
Re: To sum up the benefits: They are cheap
Nitpick: The Ativ 500 (and all current x86 Atom tablets) use Clover Trail (which isn't that old, it's the current generation). Cedar Trial was the older one.
Re: Why not a tablet?
Well I don't see any need for an ipad, I can do posting on my Samsung N220. They've been overtaken by (better) tech. If I just want a touchscreen device, I have one that fits in my pocket.
(What make of laptops and servers do you have? I mean, it's so important to mention iPad by name...)
Re: Why not a tablet?
If I'm watching media, a laptop sits on my lap or a desk, angled perfectly. A tablet either lies flat, or you have to hold it the entire time. Or you spend extra on a stand, basically trying to turn it into a laptop, except one that only works on desks and not laps.
If I'm web browsing, that means typing too, which a touchscreen is a right pain for anything except trivial short Twitter-like material. You can spend extra on a keyboard, basically trying to turn it into a laptop, except one that only works on desks and not laps.
What advantage does a tablet have? Touchscreens have their uses, though most of the time on a 10" device or larger, I'd rather a touchpad (the thing about phones/smaller tablets is that your hand is the same size as the device, and a touchpad would be no point, as it'd be the same size as the display - on a large screen, you're having to move your hand the entire distance as a display, which is more time and effort than moving a finger across a small touchpad). A laptop with a touchscreen would be the best of both worlds, but with a choice of only one or the other, I'd rather a laptop, even when I'm just using the web or watching videos.
"I have a laptop and a tablet."
So if you're going somewhere, you have to decide if you're going to work or do web/media, or lug both around? If you're web browsing, and decide to type something, do you then have to get your laptop out?
Also as far as start menu/screens go (which they change in almost every version of Windows - 8 is nothing new), I'd have to say that XP is my least favourite - oddly the version that Windows 8 critics now uphold as the best version of Windows (even though geeks hated it at the time, compared to 2000).
People who haven't used Windows in a while may not realise that the "classic" start menu of navigating through menus went away with 2000, though you could reenable it as an option in XP. With that version, keeping the menu to the corner made sense, as the menu would open up across the entire screen, as you went into submenus.
The XP way was to scroll through a long list of programs, in my opinion a step backwards, and also meant the menu was now stuck in a small area of the screen, wasting most of the screen space. In 7 (or possibly Vista), the start menu was made better by making it so you could also launch by typing in the application name. Windows 8 keeps that, but replaces "scroll through a list of names" with "scroll through a list of icons and names", and also makes it so that it uses the full area of your monitor again. But for some reason, these last changes are treated as if it was the worst thing that anyone had ever done. It also has nothing to do with touchscreens (since you can just use the mouse as before, and obviously the method of typing the name is optimised for keyboards). Perhaps there is the argument that you now need to move the mouse further, but then that applied to the classic start menu too, and I don't recall people complaining then (though perhaps this was why they changed it with XP?)
If people prefer scrolling through submenus rather than a big list, then XP, Vista, 7 are as bad as 8. If people don't like it taking up more than a small screen area, then the "classic" menu was as bad as 8 now is.
But yes, if people don't like it, they can change it back anyway.
Re: 1080p _is_ low resolution
It's a problem with lower resolutions, but I'd say 1080 is good for vertical resolution. And the wider screen is a help too, e.g., being able to view and compare things side by side.
The problem is when we went from say, 1280x1024 to 1280x800, and your "wider" screen actually meant chopping off the vertical resolution. But 1920x1080 is a step up imo. I'm not sure that say, 1600x1296 would be better.
Re: @AndyS - Lets see if this self-fulfills
It doesn't have to be polarised between "locked down and easy to use" and "open and hard to use" - you don't have to know how it works to use Linux or Windows - or indeed, Android, which is far more popular than ios. (Plus the people I know with Macs seem to like them because they have Unix shells, hardly the "easy to use" argument...)
Re: I love these posts about how it will never take off.
Linux the kernel has certainly taken off. GNU/Linux the operating system is not so widespread. (Not a criticism - just noting the difference, most "Linux" users/advocates are concerned with GNU/Linux, and we only get into this confusion because of the same name applying to the kernel and the operating system. Maybe RMS had a point after all with saying it should be "GNU/Linux"...)
Re: Really bugs me
"but it didn't work out that way."
He was talking about Symbian, not Psion. And with Symbian going onto be the dominant smartphone platform for years, until 2011, outselling iphone for its lifetime, I'd say it did work out that way. Or if what's important to you is who wins in the long run, well that's Android.
Re: Really bugs me
Yes - perhaps one could excuse the iphone-focus from the US media (since they are a US company, and since phone technology lagged behind the rest of the world, so a phone that did Internet but not apps may have seemed new to them), but it's a bit sad from the UK media (and I'm glad it's not just me who noticed that about the BBC's Rory...)
This also seems an attempt to humanise a certain large company by trying to turn unknown people into celebrities, yet for every other company, we have no idea who the CEOs, inventors or designers are. Reminds me when Jobs died, and you had people saying things like "Oh, he genuinely cared about making products, other companies just want to make money" - aside from the ludicrous nature of the claim, you have the subtle comparison of a person, to companies. Sad really - there are people behind those other companies too.
They already have product placement in every virtually single US TV programme in the last few years (seriously - the only exceptions seem to be genres that aren't set near the present day, e.g., fantasy, sci-fi, historical), whilst seemingly every other advert advertises an app, Sky casino, or Sky TV for fishermen, for iphones (when Android is most popular by far). You'd think we could have a break from it occasionally. (Meanwhile, when someone like Nokia dares to advertise its products, that you see about once a week rather than once every 30 seconds, you get people moaning about how it's having to spend loads on advertising...)
Other Hardware Manufacturers?
I've wondered if we'll start to see more hardware manufacturers - the thing in common with Google, MS and Apple is that they all make operating systems, but I don't really see that as being a big reason to have your own shops (sorry, I'm English, I call them "shops":)) The point about Apple is that they make hardware.
Firstly it acts as a big advert - whilst I wouldn't touch an Apple shop with a bargepole, I note that if say I was looking for computer hardware, I'd happily include the Sony shop on my list of shops to visit. Not because I was a Sony fan, but I'd check out what they had to offer. So companies like Sony and Apple have a huge advantage - an extra place to show/sell their products, without competition.
(I also think this is distinct from kiosks or "pop ups", like Samsung and often MS do, and Google have done - psychologically, I see a kiosk and instinctively see it as an advert for a single product, and avoid it - even though logically I know the same is true of shops that only sell their own products, it's easy to see them as just another shop.)
Secondly, we're witnessing the problem of many shops disappearing - independent computer shops mostly disappeared, and now larger shops struggling. The sad thing is that the only places selling computer hardware in the Cambridge town centre is Maplin (don't sell complete systems), the Apple shop, and John Lewis (who seem to give Apple undue attention anyway).
Whilst many people are buying online, it's still useful to check out a product in person. If I look at a product in John Lewis, and buy online elsewere, they lose out. If I check out a Samsung product in their shop, and then buy that product elsewhere, Samsung still win.
Plus there are the advantages of being able to take it back for repair (or in Apple's case, have them tell you you need to pay for a replacement, even though you already also paid for the extra insurance).
At least, I seriously hope that we'll start to see more shops!
Re: Chromebooks are turds
"Apple stores and now Google stores? do they not have a single original idea? I thought they were the champions of online business. "
The thing that makes me laugh is all the "iphone app store" and "itunes" gift cards Apple have now littered across every shop in the UK. So you can buy online by first walking into a shop, then going home again, and buying it - it's so Apple.
Re: Now if you could replace the onboard OS on a Chromebook...
Note you can still get other laptops that are cheap and in the 11-12" range, like Chromebooks. Battery life is perhaps harder, but a quick Google finds for example the ACER Aspire One 725 quoted at 5 hours, at £250 (various Chromebooks are listed at ranging from 4 to over 6.5 hours). The key thing about netbooks was having them at 10" or less, and with really long battery life (my Samsung N220+ easily does 8, quoted at 11) - if you're happy with less battery and 11", there's still a lot of choice left.
Though I do agree that the Chromebooks do look good choices hardware wise, and it would be good to have more choice of OS. I agree about having the physical shops - with all these tablets and hybrids appearing, one thing that's really important is to try out how it feels. With laptops, it's important to try out how the keyboard and touchpad feels.
Re: What if Android did not exist…?
"If Android didn't exist, then iOS would probably still have a majority of the market."
IOS never had a majority of the market. Although I agree with the rest of your statement - I'm glad something like Android did win :)
Dominant is Android - not a duopoly
I do get annoyed at this constant myth of putting iphone on the same level as Android. The breakdown is Android at 70%, iphone at 20%. That's Android dominant, with everything else making up the remainder.
Also note that Q4 results are always better for iphone, shortly after a new release - more generally, it's more like Andoid 75%, iphone 15%. Consider that the gap between smaller platforms like BlackBerry and iphone is *smaller* than the gap between iphone and Android, either by proportion or absolute numbers. It's playing the classic trick of "let's only count platforms that only sell at least as much as Apple" (when Apple was 3rd, 4th, 5th place it was still acknowledged in the list of important platforms; look at mp3 players, and the media will say how it's only Apple that are dominant, and 2nd place is ignored; look at desktops, and all we hear is the "Windows and Mac duopoly" - but you can bet they'd still include Apple if ChromeOS overtakes them...)
It's particularly annoying that we never heard these kind of stories all the years that Symbian was number one (as late as 2011). We never heard stories about the "duopoly" of Symbian and Android, instead the media just went on about iphone, or perhaps iphone and Android, all the time.
The smartphone market was dominated by Symbian, then Android and Symbian, and now Android. Not "Android and iphone".
Plus there's the whole problem that "smartphone" is completely ill-defined anyway - the IDC ignores Nokia's new low end Asha smartphone platform (which is selling more than WP!) - it makes no sense to not include that, when the original iphone couldn't even run apps, but was counted a "smartphone". The actual mobile market is much bigger. Given the "smartphone" here just means "runs one of an arbitrary set of OSs", it's a bit of a pointless stat to say "This arbitrary set of OSs is dominated by only some of them".
Meanwhile, my arbitrary set which includes S40 and iphone is dominated by S40.
I always thought it a bit suspect having a trademark on such a trivial version of the generic term. I mean, can I have a trademark on "pHoNe", with that capitalisation?
(Note, I'm not saying generic terms can't be trademarked - e.g., nothing wrong having a company name of "Apple", so long as they don't sell actual apples.)
It leads to problems such as, would it be infringing if someone made a jPhone? Or who owns the rights to an iTV? The other problem is that other people may also independently have wanted to make trivial variations to the generic term, but are now prevented from doing so - a trademark should be one a term that people are unlikely to use in that context, unless they're clearly ripping them off.
I would say I wonder why no one's made an "itablet" just to annoy them, though a quick Google finds pages suggesting these do exist (and also throwing up pages from 2009/2010 from the media hyping Apple's then alleged product, even before it was originally announced - one from the Telegraph saying how it'll change our lives, well sorry, it's 2013 and I'm still waiting).
Re: Apps store
Given that Symbian outsold IOS during its lifetime (and outsold Android for most of it - number 1 until 2011), it can't be a case of "people the world over still want access to the AppStore and Google Play". And most people are wanting Android anyway - with its 75% and growing, all other platforms are pretty niche.
"If you talk to average non technical people, you'll find you're mistaken. The article is correct, most people don't really know what "Android" is"
You've missed the point he's making. Sure, most people don't know what "Android" is, but it could still be that they buy it because of Android, even if they don't know the name.
If they like the way it works, the applications, or whatever else, and those are part of Android rather than TouchWiz, then it's Android. Just like Apple users might say they like features, that are part of IOS, even if they don't know what IOS is.
It's easy to think that people should just carry on buying Samsung phones - but look how that worked for Nokia. It was surely the case that most people saw them as "Nokia smartphones", with the name "Symbian" having far less brand awareness than "Android", yet we've seen hardly any of the vast Symbian sales carry over into the WP sales.
As for developer support - well, it would make sense to support Samsung no matter what the language. But that doesn't mean people do - support seems to have little in common with market share (consider that iphone always gets supported before anything else, despite never having been number one; and Symbian was last to get any support, despite being number one as late as 2011).
Re: I tend to agree
For a 7" tablet this is true - but for a 10" tablet, I'd still prefer an ultra-portable laptop even for those tasks. Barely any bigger, but it sits on my lap, rather than me having to constantly hold it in both hands (and awkwardly use it at the same time too), or lay it down flat, and strain my neck awkwardly. Checking emails and browsing often involves having to type (replying/writing emails, commenting on articles, even something mundane like Facebook involves updating and commenting), which a laptop keyboard makes far easier.
Not that they don't have some uses (e.g., useful if you need a device when walking around, like in some work environments), but almost all uses of 10" tablets that I actually see, for me are less efficient or useful than the alternatives. But then, most of the people I know use them talk about how it's much better than their desktop PC, so they seem to be people only impressed because they missed the whole idea of ultra-portable laptops/netbooks. (Perhaps similar to the way that the people impressed by the original Apple phone were those who had only owned dumb phones before.)
Firstly you may want to check your use of "literally" :) From http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html , Android 4.0+ share is 42.6%.
Though iphone users tell me that Apple disable features that don't run on old phones, but still call it the latest OS version.
Android takes the route of not giving OS updates at all for older phones that can't handle it.
Windows Phones takes the same route as Apple, but labels the cut-down version for older phones with a different name (7.8 rather than 8).
It's just different ways of dealing with the same thing, really. And to be honest, I think it's bad when older hardware that used to work fine suddenly gets bogged down trying to run the latest software.
As for not many running 4.2, remember that most phones don't run vanilla Android - it's unreasonable to expect Samsung to have updated their TouchWiz OS, fully tested it, and so on, shortly after the Android 4.2 update coming out. (And if you're someone who doesn't care about TouchWiz etc, then get a Nexus phone.) Also on Android, updates have to go through the networks - I used to think this was annoying, but yesterday's news about IOS updates jamming the network, hurting not only those users but others too, shows why actually it's a good thing after all. I don't mind waiting for an update a bit, if it means it's tested for both my use and others.
Re: As with desktops
Indeed. I'm wondering if we're now going to see doom and gloom from the media of "The mobile phone is dead! No one wants mobile phones anymore! Mobile phones face cometition from new Smart TVs! Apple's new OS can't halt decline of mobile phone industry!" Or maybe they might realise that, as with PCs, it's just market saturation, combined with there not being a great economic climate right now.
(And as for the article, distinguishing between "feature" and "smart" phone is a bit pointless, as they're just different ways of marketing, with no objective difference - separating out dumb phones might make more sense.)
Re: This looks like a solution in search of a problem
Indeed. Though perhaps it's technically correct if you read it as allowing _Java_ developers to be able to write cross-platform apps for the first time :) (Which is a bit sad given that Java was meant to be write once run anywhere - we have desktop-Java, Java-for-mobiles-except-Android-and-iphone, and Android-Java. JavaFX would at last be cross-platform between non-mobile OSs, and a couple of mobile OSs at least. Although still not as cross-platform as C++...)
Re: The real reason
But if the problem is that IOS updates are rushed out ASAP to get a "Everyone runs the latest version of IOS, but Android users are left waiting" headline, then that's still a reasonable criticism of Apple's method. Android updates could have bugs, sure, but the point is they go through the networks.
What with this and the IOS maps fiasco, can people stop complaining about slow updates on Android - there's a benefit to testing, and going through the network operators.
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