back to article Google tablet to tackle Kindle Fire not iPad

The latest scuttlebutt from Taiwan: Google's rumoured tablet will now take on Amazon's 7in Kindle Fire rather than attempt to loosen Apple's tight hold on the market. Google is shaking its head, of course, but rumours have long persisted that it's working on an own-brand tablet. Since the advertising giant is on its way to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Feel sorry for anyone with a Kindle Fire

    As they rushed in and bought an intentionally gimped tablet, chained to Amazon, running a gimped version of Android that ensures all content routes via Amazon.

    Had they waited, they could have got the real deal, a open Google tablet, that's default setup to use Android Marketplace, but open to allowing anything else too (like all Android smartphones are).

    1. dogged

      I got one for my mum.

      She loves it. A tablet at this end (and without the Transformer specialness) is really just a content consumption device. Amazon have a shitload of content. Google have... YouTube and er, that's it.

      My mum gets her books, films and magazines on the Fire quite happily and never has to dredge through the fart-app and shitware infested Android market for anything.

      It's the difference between turning on a tap and sucking your water supply from an open sewer.

      1. Craigness

        Youtube and...

        Google's content does not stop at Youtube. The Android Market has apps, games, books, movies and music. There are also Google apps for catalogues and periodicals. If that's not enough there is Listen for podcasts and News and Reader to help you organise the content of the whole web. Then there's Google Plus to see what your friends (who work in IT) have been up to.

        How hard would your mum find it to get apps on Android Market? Type PODCAST into the search field and see how many fart apps you have to dredge through.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Dogged probably should have specified

          Content that you actually WANT. I get lots of content from Amazon, Apple, and others, but the only content I like on Google is YouTube. and Maps (but not for directions, because they're usually wrong). I'm perfectly happy with my current content situation. Why in the world would I leave it to go to try Google, who hasn't impressed me with any of their other offerings?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      As opposed to the version of Android which routes everything through Google? Google aren't going to produce an 'open' Google tablet, especially not at a subsidised price, Android by default isn't open but tied to Google both visibly and invisibly. It's possible to strip Android of the Google spyware but Google themselves aren't going to be the ones to do it.

      Given a straight choice I'll choose the tablet from Amazon over the one from a company that's entire business is based around spying on you.

      1. Craigness


        Can you provide any evidence for everything on Android being routed through google, and any evidence for google spyware?

        Do you know how much effort Amazon puts in to knowing all it can about you?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If this rumour is true, then a Nexus style vanilla Android experience might well be worth a look on a tablet.

  3. Arnold Lieberman

    There's already an ICS tablet available, with Google's blessing

    I've happy with my 8-inch Gingerbread one, but you can now enjoy 7 inches of Ainol with your Ice Cream Sandwich for $140.

  4. Turtle_Fan


    Eric Schmidt is not CEO anymore, surely....

    Nexus from Samsung + Prime from Asus = .... Oh, I'm getting carried away

  5. Dave Fox

    Retina Display on an iPad...WTF?

    So, if the rumours are to be believed, the new iPad will have 2048*1536 resolution on a 9.7" display - what a totally pointless idea!

    It would only add cost and not really add to the user experience given that it's going to need a decent GPU to shift around that number of pixels, and that touch interfaces are suited to large controls anyway.

    You wouldn't see a resolution that high on an 11.6" Macbook Air, so why's it necessary on an iPad?

    "But you can't see the individual pixels" - so what? I can't see them on my non-retina display phone either unless I look really, really close!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ""But you can't see the individual pixels" - so what? I can't see them on my non-retina display phone either unless I look really, really close!"

      Get some glasses then!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The power VR GPU in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 already dump all over everything else. Check out the benchmarks on anandtech

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hmmm OK

        Yes the GPU in the iPad2 is much faster than others that are in shipping devices, but it's only shifting 1024x768 (=786432) pixels at the moment which makes it look even more awesome, it's also slightly wasted as it has no trouble producing good frame rates. If it were shifting 2048x1536 (=3145729, or 4 times as many) then it will have to be very powerful to still produce good frame rates in actual applications - off screen benchmarks don't count for much in the user experience.

        I'm surprised they have gone so high in pixel density, perhaps that's just what's out there to source as a part but it seems to me that 1600x1200 or 1440x1050 would have been much better choices. The current 1024x768 is a bit lame on the ~10" screen size, the mrs has an iPad2 and honestly I find the screen a bit fuzzy, certainly I'd expect more from a £400+ device, the screen is definitely the most disappointing part of the hardware IMHO (software aside, because I really dislike iOS). My own Archos 80 G9 has the same pixels in a 8" format and I find it sharper/better on a device that's half the price.

    3. Craigness

      They sell on specs...

      ...where others sell on awesomeness.

      Also, what's this "non-retina display" stuff? Retina is a marketing term, not a technical classification. Any screen not used by apple will not be a retina display, even it it's better than apple's screens.

      If you look close enough you can see the pixels on apple's screens too, but only a fool would suggest you do that.

    4. Drat

      Retina display

      I think the advantage of a higher resolution display will be that it is easier on the eye when reading books/magazines etc. Currently reading on any tablet gives me more eye strain than reading a paper book. Whether it will be worth the extra money (IF they charge more for it)....

    5. jai

      @Dave Fox

      quote: "You wouldn't see a resolution that high on an 11.6" Macbook Air"

      actually, the rumours are that you will, soon. Apparently Lion is already capable of displaying "HiDPI" which, as i understood it, is twice the dpi in each direction. So it's likely macbooks and imacs in the near future will be sporting displays with greatly increased density of pixels.

      But, it's not to provide more real-estate on the screen, just far far smoother graphics.

      quote: "touch interfaces are suited to large controls anyway"

      they're not going to make the controls smaller. the controls will be the same size. but the graphics and textures that display the controls will be twice the size, so appear much much nicer. at least, they will, until they're obscured by your fingers tapping on them

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        PowerVR in iPad2

        Isn't particularly good really. The GPU in the Nokia 701 is more powerful at the same image size, AND lower power.

        The PowerVR as its stands will have great trouble with a retina size display so I presume that have a new version in the offing.

  6. b166er

    This is a direct attack on the iPad, based on cost.

    The Kindle Fire has been selling buy the truckload stateside by all accounts and that must be severely denting the iPad's sales.

    If Google release a general purpose tablet, what's to stop Amazon releasing a more open firmware for the Kindle Fire?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Amazon wants to make money from it's tablets. Only idiots think that being "open" sells phones or tablets.

      1. Craigness

        Only cowards think that it doesn't



      2. alun phillips

        I must be an idiot then

        I bought my android phone based on the fact that it was hackable and that I would be able to install an AOSP (android open source project) rom on it, and my wife a Hannspree Hannspad for the very same reason, granted I am not a standard consumer but I am a consumer none the less.

    2. lurker

      Amazon / Open Firmware

      People already have Ice Cream Sandwich running on Kindle Fires in the US.

      And Amazon basically came out and said they don't really care about people rooting the device. So I don't think they need to release a more open firmware of their own, they will keep shipping the 'shop Amazon' versions to the general public and techy types will be able to root them if they want. I know I will be, if they finally get around to releasing it at a reasonable price on this side of the pond...

  7. Thomas 4


    I wonder how well Amazon will take the news that their Android powered baby is going to be competing head to head with the Googleslab.

    It's unlikely that they would ditch Android as an OS for the Kindle Fire 2 but in fantasy land, it could provide a window for WebOS to make a reappearence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No it won't...

      ... unless Amazon rewrite all own apps and pay developers to rewrite theirs for WebOS.

      The tablet war is all about content, and WebOS has bugger all. Android and iOS are light years ahead on available content, Amazon don't want to build an ecosystem out of WebOS, it's a waste of time and money.

    2. podster

      Curious as well

      About hoe Google's partners will take to Google dropping a sub $200 tablet, especially as they are trying to compete in the same market with $400 and $500 devices, not to mention the iPad.

      Don't worry though, Google don't do Evil.

  8. JDX Gold badge

    You can see the advert now....

    "Fresh on the heels of our pointless Google PC and Google OS... a pointless Google tablet"

    They seem more interested in doing as many things as possible, than doing them well. Add Chome Tablet to the list of flops in the near future?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      All part of the strategy.

      Google are loaded with cash and can easily afford to chuck pointless things at the market.

      Once in a while one of them turns out to have a point, they make shitloads more cash and that funds the next round of the "suck it and see" cycle.

  9. Steve King

    @AC 13.27

    I believe that Apple have gone for doubling the resolution in each direction compared to their current offerings.

    Presumably this will simplify the use of existing apps while new ones are written to take account of the additional resolution (but this is just me guessing so be nice!)

  10. twilkins
    Thumb Up

    If they can sell it for £150 in the UK, have it loaded with ICS and bless it with a half decent battery life, it will fly off the shelves!

  11. b166er

    AC 12:09 Tell that to John Carmack

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