Strictly speaking, Android tablets never even competed in the same arena as the iPad. Samsung is an exception, but they don’t control the ecosystem — which makes things much harder for them — even if we ignore their atrocious software.
Phones got bigger and better. We got better at thumb typing and comfortable holding screens close.
Reading on a tablet for example, is not that different to a phone these days and a (cheap) dedicated reader is better still. Meanwhile, laptops kept getting more mobile. The space between my phone and my laptop is just not that big. I found that I only ever charged it before flights, for movies which is great on tablets. But even that.. laptops and phones work good too.
Otherwise, my tablets were often battery-dead and I most tablets i come across in friends living rooms are dead. They don't get much use. When a laptop or phone died, I need a new one tomorrow. The tablet... no urgency.
Tablets are fun and cool. People like them. I'm not sure they use them as much as they expected to. It's a less extreme version of smart watches. Fun. Likeable. Not essential for most people.
The problem is that the android and iOS monoliths (especially sofwarists) will always put the phones first. If we had a less centralised ecosystem, tablets would have their own specialists.
It’s a matter of personal taste, I guess.
Serious question. I think I do about 99% of my communication via text or other messaging
But one thing that annoys me is that people don’t usually realize how much faster and clearer voice conversation can be.
After 4 or 5 rapid text exchanges I usually send “can I call you?”
Of course it is, but tablet sales have been declining for years.
I like to think that tablet sales are reaching their stable values rahpther than just declining.
I, too, do ssh + tmux, as well as Textastic, Pythonista, and Working Copy (git), so much so that when I showed a colleague what I did, he exclaimed in an astonished tone that the only things he thought people used iPads for were email, browsing, and games.
That remark prompted me to make an 11 minute video (all done on the iPad using screen recording, Keynote, and iMovie) of creating a Linode, sshing into it, installing a user with SSH login, logging out and sshing in as the new user, installing the latest Docker from docker.com, and demoing some of the apps I just mentioned (to fit a 15 minute time budget). The latest iPads are not toys; they can be used for professional work.
With LTE access, I can easily work almost anywhere; working on a plane is much easier than with a laptop (for me - I'm pretty tall and it's already a squeeze).
That's why (I think) they will get less investment, like this article.
Unless Google start setting audio latency requirements, it's a lost cause.
If Google had sorted out the audio story earlier, you might still have had problems with commodity tablets, but it might have been worth somebody's while to make a tablet specifically for audio and midi. It wouldn't be a million miles away from Maschine or something like that. But I fear the opportunity's gone now, and Android tablets are just a write off.
I still have my Nexus 7 which I basically use as a Kindle.
Otherwise only Samsung devices are usable, with their own real time audio SDK.
Why do you say older versions of Android had better support for tablets?
Android, I think, is not even supposed to be a well-engineered system. It is not central to its purpose. Its purpose is to eat marketshare, collect data, and ensure there is an outlet for ads. It only has to work well enough to do those things :)
I get the sense that it was all slapped together as quickly as possible.
Sadly it is hard to win over free beer.
It was, historically. Android was a startup that had to get to market as fast as they could. To make matters worse, once the iPhone came out they had to quickly switch from a Treo-like interface to a iOS-like one in order to stay relevant.
To Google's credit, they've been trying for years to clean it up, but there's only so much they can do…
Our app has a great tablet version, on par with iPad and we don’t use fragments at all. We just change things based on size.
It’s more that Google obviously stopped caring about tablets many major versions ago.
Once the civil war between him and Pichai had a clear winner (after all, for a while both ChromeOS and Android were poised to push into the same market), the tablet elements were depreciated rapidly as as Duarte was free to assert more control.
The thing that annoyed me the most about Nexus 7 apart from lacking on basic things was its sound... I'd go in an airplane and I wouldn't be able to hear anything. After that I never bought a Nexus product again, and tbh I don't feel left out of anything.
Was the sound issue also present when you were using headphones?
A bit of topic: Because it inconsiderate to use speakers in a airplane. Last airline I used warn passengers to not use speakers.
Anyone know of a current table that avoids the adware, crapware, and 3d contact managers where each card flies around in 3D? I just want android with the current security updates and 7-9" display.
1. Incredibly nice screen
2. Gets security updates (ChromeOS devices are great for this compared to the dumpster fire that is Android security)
3. Haven't had any issues with Android support (I use mainly apps like RBDigital, Instapaper, Wikipedia)
4. Works well for movies (I watch in laptop mode using stock media player)
5. No bloatware
6. Really good battery life.
It also has a stylus which works well, but I've returned to paper exercise books for note taking.
I can't recommend the device enough.
My biggest gripe is I need to carry a USBC->USBA adapter to be able to charge my phone, or connect USB drives. They're cheap, but it's a bit annoying.
So, I'm very curious about this. Were you taking written notes on electronic devices? What apps and devices have you tried?
I ask because a couple years ago I tried using a surface for taking notes when I got into a coding bootcamp and it was a mind blowing experience for me - finally, infinite paper space. Swapping between whatever color pen/highlighter I needed. Throwing pics into notes. I thought time and time again, "if I had this thing in college I'd have had a 4.0" (I had, like, a 3.2 lol)
For me it made taking notes so easy that I learned better. Now it's two generations old and I'm looking to upgrade, but I can't justify 2k on the new model or the surface book, so I'm wondering if you explored other options, or what your experience was with the Chromebook plus.
I've also considered switching to pen and paper but that means carrying around a fuckload of pens and highlighters, which would annoy me.
You lose out on having a full desktop OS when you need it, and not having an eraser on the back of the stylus is an adjustment, but it’s a fantastic device for writing and drawing. More recently they’ve brought the stylus support down to the entry level iPad, so if you have an Apple Store nearby I’d definitely recommend stopping by to try it out.
The built-in Notes app from Apple has also gotten more capable in iOS 11, and there are other options that I hear good things about but haven’t tried.
Procreate and Autodesk Sketchbook are both great for more powerful digital painting / drawing, I’m personally in the Procreate camp.
I haven't played around with any other devices' styluses.
I switched back to pen and paper because I usually want to continue to use my device with full-screen content while taking notes.
Enjoy that while it lasts. I have a chromebook that recently notified me it won't get any more updates, after four and a half years. That beats a phone, but it's pretty terrible by laptop standards. You can expect a laptop or desktop with any other OS to be good for a decade or more.
Not to excuse Google - but there's little incentive for a company to maintain devices past a certain point when there's no financial or regulatory requirement to do so.
I'm not sure Windows 7 being supported for a decade was intentional, but we'll see what pans out with Windows 10's incremental model.
> I'm not sure Windows 7 being supported for a decade was intentional, but we'll see what pans out with Windows 10's incremental model.
It definitely was. XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10LTSB all start[ed] with 10 years of support, and you can install a newer version on your same hardware to reset that counter.
Something's gone wrong with the core architecture if Google needs to actively "maintain devices" instead of just making generic security patches and shipping them out, with a little bit of testing.
Damn it, MS balked at offering Windows on power efficient Atoms. This because Intel had stripped PCI from the SoC to save transistors and thus power.
I suspect that if you were to poke at the ARM chips found in the Windows RT devices, they would be special variants with PCI grafted on.
ARM SOCs are a bit like firing up an old DOS PC and fiddling with IRQ and DMA setting, only that you can't pull the cover off to see what cards are inserted and what the DIPs are set to.
For instance the acer 11” cloudbooks run linux well.
You can disable secure boot. However, if you want chromebook style security without google or the centralized PKI, you can purge the ms keys and enroll the bootloader of your choice without special signing from the distro.
You can also manually enroll the distribution’s keys, I think, but I don’t see any practical reason to do that.
While I think it has the perfect form-factor for a laptop (thin, light and great battery life), it's not the perfect general-use laptop as it can't run arbitrary x86 applications natively, nor has high specs. (I hope Project Crostini will make it a suitable for some light dev work though). Its touchpad is great, and so is the Chromebook-style keyboard (small tweak I'd make would be a double-width backspace key, but I for sure prefer no Super key and no F1 to F12 row).
It may not the perfect tablet because as you say, iPad is lighter, and the ergonomics of a hinged hybrid will always be slightly worse with a keyboard on the back. But it does a really good job.
While arguably imperfect in isolation, together as a single unibody aluminum device, it is the best device I have ever used. For what it is, it's very very cheap, you're right it may be slightly more expensive than an iPad (and the price hasn't really fell since it came out a while ago).
presumably because of (lack of) keyboard.
If you want a 12 inch screen with keyboard and pen this starts at $850. Suprise, double the price gives you something marginally nicer.
But then you have use an iOS walled garden.
I have a Samsung Chromebook Plus, and I absolutely despise it as a tablet. Compared to my Nexus 9 (which is still kicking), it's a far inferior device. My primary uses for my tablet are watching video and reading comics. It manages to fail at both of those two things.
1. No system-wide support for red-tint (aka "night mode", Flux, Twilight, etc.)
2. Buggy rotation lock - this works very inconsistently across apps.
3. Heavy (compared to keyboard-less tablets)
4. Buggy soft keyboard (sometimes the soft keyboard just straight-up doesn't work in certain apps, so I have to unfold the device from tablet mode just to use the hardware keyboard to type).
I still use my Nexus 9 over the Chromebook Plus every time I can. When my Nexus 9 dies, I'll probably end up getting a Surface to replace it.
 There is finally support for it on a per-user basis, but it took years for them to introduce this. And even now, if you close your tablet and have to unlock it again, you'll be blinded by the unlock screen.
I've definitely had the soft keyboard issues on a lot of Android devices in the past a lot however.
Perhaps it's slightly less rigid than it seems, but I've seen several Chromebooks and they all seem exactly the same. There's not even a manufacturer logo on boot.
I do actually know someone that loves Samsung software, but it's rare. I think they'd get really far if they would make it light and easy to remove. I really don't see any disadvantages to that approach, unless they're being paid to include things (which is entirely possible).
Speaking of this, this is another thing Google seriously screwed up lately. Used to be you could install Google Now launcher on any device and avoid OEM crap launchers. Now there is "pixel launcher" which is tied to the device. You can get the APK but this is non supported.
It is so weird to me that they would create a platform where you can swap out launchers and not leave a reasonable first party default in place. Bad for the Android brand and bad for users.
I can't stand the plain bland stock Android UI.
To see where I came from, Enlightenment was one of my favourite window managers on my Linux days.
It's not as big, but you can carry it everywhere. And it's only $200.
The article is correct that tablet replacement rates are low. But that's not zero. And there is a lack of modern replacements.
I've been looking around but I expected there to be a "this years model" with a new-ish processor, high-res screen, USB-C and a recent build of Android.
pros: no crapware (nearly stock android), weekly updates
cons: needs unlocked bootloader, not the newest and greatest (manufacturers take their sweet time to release kernel sources), weekly rolling release
Lenovo Motorola, Huawei and others have plenty of spyware on them. Years ago there was Superfish, later Adups Technology spyware and Allwinner's root backdoor.
Not the kinds of devices you want to be doing your banking on.
Looking on aliexpress or taobao, you'll find dozens upon dozens of cheap tablets with CPU's from allwinner or rockchip, a few gigs of ram/flash and a not that great 8-10" screen for <$100. At higher price points you can get a chromebook with a keyboard and arguable more functionality.
Completing against these are a few Samsung models that have their highly customized variant of Android, and Apple holding the premium ground with iOS/HW quality/price/performance, and MS selling the Surface with Windows for similar prices.
The best we can hope for is for low end tablets to improve over the next few years.
With that being said, I couldn't downgrade to the 9.7" iPad from the Pro models, I didn't think the non-laminated screen would be too much of a deal but it really does make a huge difference.
But the big iPad now just sits on a stand in the kitchen where I use it for recipes and the odd video. It's pretty underutilized.
The top brand tablets (e.g. Apple) will keep their performance really well. They don't struggle from laptop's getting filled with crap and slowing down, which used to happen for most computer users, or struggled to keep battery life as much as many laptops. And they never struggled with the phone upgrade path of 2 years due to a better camera, new battery and fashion.
The second hand market allows you to pick up pretty cheap tablets which are useful for all intents and purposes of most people owning a tablet. (bigger-than-phone consumption device of netflix, news, magazines, books and a spotify remote).
The price is fair but not great.
Alternatively at the <$200 price point you get dual-booting Windows 10/Android tablets with magnetically attachable keyboard like the Onda Obook or Teclast Tbook. They're not amazing, but I got an Obook to replace my last Chromebook, and it's decent enough that I haven't used my previous tablet since - it meets both needs well enough.
(note that I would consider any of these usable as a replacement for a proper laptop - I use mine as a "I can't bother carrying my big and heavy 17" laptop to this meeting" option)
I sold my Nexus 7 some time ago because it was gathering dust.
What if I actually want the Android OS and/or if I actually want a tablet rather than a laptop and the price is not the reason why?
Why does everybody think of only consumer-electronics uses for a $40 tablet? I think it would be quite obvious what the real use for these is: IoT control surfaces (the “smart fridge” upgrade), POS systems, inventory kiosks, etc. Embedded systems, in other words.
And, heck, for $40 apiece, you can embed them into every desk in your office as a personalizeable dashboard. Or hand them out with preloaded maps on them to every participant in a missing-persons search.
In fact, for $40, you could just set the display to a single colour and call it a cheaper alternative to a smart lightbulb. :P
Seemed fairly easy and - importantly reversable.
Okay, google mail doesn't work - but I can almost forgive that.
These things have a single micro-USB port, and it will be dedicated to charging more often than not.
an RPi by comparison have ethernet, multiple A style USB ports, and dedicated video out (never mind the pin array).
There's also a pretty great argument that given all of our phones are absolute powerhouses nowadays, phones should also be less like phones and more like computers. I'm hopeful Microsoft can also move to spur on this change; maybe soon the market will be ready for the return of Windows Phone.
I'm writing this comment on a cheap Windows 10 laptop/tablet I bought second-hand for $120. It's an order of magnitude more useful than my brother's $500 Samsung Android tablet. Having proper OS on a tablet turns it from a consumption tool into a productivity one.
The major fumble was that they restructured the storage permissions, making it that much harder to write to external storage from Android. Oddly this coincided with the introduction of movies and music to the Android Marketplace (later renamed Google Play).
Ting is that much as with many Windows tablets right now, early Android tablets came with type-A USB ports. Thus allowing various devices, storage included, to be plugged in and utilized.
But this quickly vanished on later generations once the storage changes came to be.
Never mind that the UI of the tablet variant of Android was more suited for landscape use, clearly indicating that it was aimed at 2-in-1s as well as tablets.
But then ChromeOS happened, and the focus shifted to it for courting corporate use (they even had Citrix on stage to demo logging into Windows remotely from a Chrome tab).
Only recently have we seen renewed focus on Android for work. But this involves an "enclave" on phones for work apps, and getting Android apps to run on ChromeOS.
Then again, Android was an acquisition. ChromeOS spawned from within Google's 20% scheme of "personal projects". I guess it has always been an ill fit within the Google corporate structure, and should probably have been spun of as its own company during the Alphabet restructuring.
The tablet mode is weird though, I gave up on using it. :(
I only mention this because it's possible Google watch the others crash and burn and decided not to enter.
Android, Chrome, and ChromeOS exist as channels for Google to deliver its services, they are not profit centers in and of themselves (no license fee for Android, Chrome is a free download, ChromeOS runs on the cheapest hardware out there). Google would have no qualms about gutting the ChromeOS market if whatever replaced it offered a better opportunity to get their services in front of more eyeballs.
Maybe if it is wireless and never interferes with the users ability to use the phone for anything, it could work, but if the user has to ‘dock’ there phone I think it’s game over...
Pro: cheap, physical keyboard, 10hrs runtime, lightweight
Con: flaky touch, proprietary charger, mine needs a new battery, no gps
Hell, Android was poised to get into the 2-in-1 market as well.
But then two things happened.
First Google expanded the Android Marketplace (later rechristened Google Play) to offer movies and music. Coinciding with this, Google redesigned the permissions surrounding removable storage, making them for most apps read only (making it that much harder to produce on a Android device and then store the results on a USB stick or similar).
Second was now CEO Pichai's baby, ChromeOS. The path of it and Android beyond phones crossed, and Pichai was able to best Rubin. Thus we had a grand unveiling of ChromeOS where they tried to angle it towards corporate use, to the point that they had Citrix join them on stage to demo logging into Windows PCs from a ChromeOS browser window.
And while Google tried in vain to sell ChromeOS as a corporate tool, Android languished. Only recently have there been renewed interest in Android beyond consumer phones. First with a "sandbox" for work apps, second by putting Android apps on ChromeOS.
Consumers are yet to get on board with this idea, though, as they're not very popular.
Nobody has anything to learn about hardware or software from Microsoft. Samsung and Amazon are doing fine. I'm going to sell my £150 10inch Amazon tablet and get what? An expensive Surface thing?
"maybe soon the market will be ready for the return of Windows Phone."
Or maybe not.
I really think there's a market for dumb-but-simple media consumption devices that the tech "elite"/press doesn't appreciate.
Apple finally seems to be getting the hint here with the iPad Pro and the iOS 11 update. The restrictions on what Apple will approve to be published on the App Store means it certainly will not be a traditional computer replacement at this time - but I'm comfortable saying I can actually get some work done it if I had no other computer available (I'm not going to be programming on the thing of course, but I can at least get through meetings, triage email, write documentation, etc.).
> I'm hopeful Microsoft can also move to spur on this change; maybe soon the market will be ready for the return of Windows Phone.
I can only hope, as a month 1 adopter of Windows Phone 7 and having stuck with the platform through Windows Mobile 10 I'm still pretty miffed and have little hope they'll manage to make a phoenix rise from it's ashes. Hell, my entire family had Windows Phones until it was painfully obvious it was going nowhere almost 3 years ago so we started switching to iPhone's instead as the need to replace or upgrade devices rolled in.
I don't even think it's something silly like Microsoft doesn't "get" mobile, because I always thought WP was great at giving the consistent and (mostly) polished UX you'd get from an iPhone while presenting the choice of hardware the Android ecosystem allows.
Personally the only reason I was the first to jump ship was because I wanted to access our work VPN without needing my laptop, but there was no AnyConnect app available for Windows Phone. The application ecosystem was barren, and I had no problem with that myself outside the aforementioned VPN app but without even an official YouTube app it's a hard sell to many. The current Microsoft store has an increasing number of Windows 10 apps available, but so much of it is absolute garbage that even Google Play is less frustrating to search.
Microsoft knows how to build hardware, they proved that with the Surface line and did a decent job with the Microsoft-branded Lumia hardware too. They know how to develop a software platform, Windows is still king of the desktop and makes a strong showing in the enterprise server market, Visual Studio is touted by many as the best IDE (not my favorite, but it does the job fine so I guess I can see why they'd have that opinion). What they don't know how to do is develop an ecosystem, to get partners to WANT to develop for their platform instead of being FORCED to (basically any enterprise is going to have Windows Server deployed and admins on staff, Windows is the only relevant desktop in the enterprise market, .Net Core is nice enough but unless you're already a .Net shop there's not much reason to choose it over more mature ecosystems). Until they get that sorted there's no way Windows Phone will get rebooted again, it's dead.
.NET used to belong to DevTools, while C and C++ to WinDev.
So from the outside when they won the internal Longhorn wars, and COM emerged as replacement for the .NET ideas, we ended up with WinRT and WinDev idea how .NET on thr new world should look like.
Naturally it wasn't well received, we ended up going through UAP, UWP and now they are merging Win32 and UWP into an common model.
Now that the divisions have been merged, maybe these issues are not happening again.
Multi-device living is exhausting when each device is a first-class application platform that (out of necessity) assumes it may be your exclusive piece of technology.
A few years back, I argued  that we have forgotten an alternative definition of tablet, a device category that—were it executed well, and with today's capabilities—would be sufficiently compelling that I would buy several for my household:
> In the early 2000s, Microsoft experimented with mobile display panels in a tablet form factor called "Smart Displays." ... Smart Displays provided access to your desktop computer via Wi-Fi. With their poorly executed hardware, short-sighted licensing limitations in Windows XP, immaturity of the RDP protocol, high prices, and essentially no marketing, Smart Displays were a certain failure from the start.
> But theirs was a trajectory for tablets that has since been lost to history. They existed to bring your singular computing environment to you, wherever you were, in a convenient form factor.
That singular computing platform with multiple views model is what I have wanted essentially my whole life. I've called it "PAO" (Personal Application Omnipresence)  for the last several years. I believe it's a model that could be highly compelling if executed broadly by a tech titan willing to try something different.
The sheer inefficiency of getting my email on my phone, laptop, PC and tablet across several apps without any of them communicating between them is driving me mad.
I have an overpowered gaming machine in my room and a slow, old Samsung tablet near my bed. If I want to read something in bed, I'll have to suffer through the slow Chrome browser with all of its lag and lack of hardware accelerated decoding while there's a machine with incredible graphical power available _right there_. I'd love to turn my tablet into a thin client for my PC, but that requires a mix of slow or unstable remote desktop apps.
I really hope someone or some company can help the world move this way. It's been done before in part back when thin clients were the latest hit and after the last few years, responsive design has been normalized to the point combined systems like these have a real chance of becoming the next thing in computing.
Sadly, I fear the moment this becomes popular the general population will just pick a cloud-based solution so they don't need to set up an application server, which gives companies like Amazon and Google even more power and data then they already have.
As i recall, they didn't go anywhere because MS could not get their licensing scheme to work with it. Because their Windows Home license assumed one active user pr PC, but people assumed that with the smart display one family member could be on the couch while another was typing at the keyboard.
But when you undocked the smart display, all other displays connected to the PC blacked out.
I know Android tablets haven't been selling well, but that's because people like me have been desperately waiting for a decent device to be released. iPads are absolutely everywhere.
What's the proposed alternative for media consumption? In particular reading, but even watching videos and playing "board" games etc.
Google is being short sighted here. These are the operating systems our kids are growing up with, and tablets are amazing for kids. My kid started on a busted old iPad 3 I had laying around, and now he's punching trees in Minecraft on an iPad Air.
6.5" 18:9 (2:1) aspect ratio phones have a _lot_ less area than a 7" 4:3 tablet.
For a reading surface this makes a big difference.
Per IDC numbers over 250 million PCs were shipped in 2017 versus about 170 million tablets, which includes iPads but may not include the super cheap Ali Express models.
That was was decline of 3% and 8% respectively.
Amazon sells Fire tablets pretty easily. The problem is that there's Amazon, selling tablets for next to nothing, and Apple and Microsoft, selling premium tablets. The middle market has to be either exceptionally good to exist, or it just disappears. That's what happened.
Indeed. E.g. I want a tablet to be a as big as needed to view A4/Letter PDFs in 100% zoom without scrolling (so I'd be able to stop carrying papers with me) and have as much RAM as possible (at least 4 GiB). I'd also appreciate it to utilize the extra space available in this case by adding full-sized USB3 ports, and an external SD card reader to be used as removable media (in addition to the internal SD card reader to be used as the "hard drive" expansion).
(You'll have plenty of new ones, though!)
It also, I gather, has text chat making it difficult to monitor in a teaching environment and open to problems at home.
Only if you're used to them. I've used PCs for more than 30 years, since I was 5 years old - and it took me a while to become comfortable navigating around my first Android tablet. I only recently tried my first iOS device, and it was an infuriating experience trying to find the settings menu for it - it was so unintuitive to me, I ended up asking Siri to open it!
What's annoying is that history will remember Apple as having "invented" the tablet. Prior to apple they were a sufficiently big thing that even Microsoft had a Tablet PC standard. Sure, capacitive touch screens were a big step forward and made tablets truly usable. But it's not like Apple invented them either although they were very early into that technology.
Apple his owned the high end of the tablet market since the day the iPad came out.
As of earlier this year, the price of a fantastic brand new iPad is down to $300.
Android tablets never seemed to get anywhere. My impression, having never use them, was that the software wasn’t quite ready at the start and by the time it was it was too late.
Amazon attacked the low-end with cheap and subsidized tablets, taking up anything Apple didn’t.
The only thing that seems to be left are the $80 things that you can buy at pharmacies and other places. Sure they run Android, but the version is ancient and the hardware is garbage.
So basically only Amazon and Apple seem to be left at any volume.
Windows tablets obviously never took off, despite the fact Microsoft has been trying forever. The only “success” they have is convertibles, which are really Windows computers with detachable keyboard. No one seems to use them as tablets from what I’ve seen.
Pinch-and-zoom with normal sites goes a long way and should have been the preferred tablet web model.
It has it's funky moments, but I'm upset they never renewed it. It was slick and no nonsense. It's a gaming tablet, but a tablet is a tablet. Dear Nvidia, bring back the Nvidia Shield Tablet and market it better. Market it for everyone, not just 'gamers' and you could make a killing off it, if you QA it enough.
I love Android and want a serious tablet, but instead I have an iPad. I just don't understand why nobody makes a decent (more competitive like the Shield) Android Tablet.
This drives me crazy on my iPad. My phone came out in 2016 and has stereo speakers. My iPad came out in 2017 and despite being massive in comparison with tons of available space (and weirdly, a headphone jack) it only has one speaker.
Yet I never watch movies on my phone and I do it all the time on my iPad, where it makes way more sense to have stereo speakers. Get your shit together Apple.
The Pro versions have four speakers in the corners and adjust which pair are left vs right depending on whether you're in portrait or landscape.
Might want to pick one up in the near future though. Nintendo has a hardware update in the works to remedy the unpatcheable tegra exploit in current models.
This seems a little weird to me. Don't tablets age in a similar way that smartphones age? As in, the battery gets weaker over time (sure, often you can replace); OS updates, being designed for current hardware, cause slowdowns; apps written for the latest-and-greatest assume more resources and higher specs, etc.? I guess if all you use your tablet for is watching videos on YouTube, and don't care about OS updates (which you should, if you care about security at all), then maybe it's ok.
I think a more plausible reason for sales numbers falling is that people just don't need or want tablets as much as they thought they did, especially with smartphone screens getting larger with every generation.
Funny enough, although iPhones have a new "battery health" screen to show you if you're being throttled due to a weak battery, the iPad doesn't have this. The reason I've heard is because the iPad battery is so massive (it's basically last year's iPhone with a 10" battery strapped to it), the battery always has enough juice to not have to throttle during a spike in CPU load.
That may explain why iPads still feel relatively snappy compared to phones over the years.
That probably is part of the explanation. For me, I bought a "New iPad" on 2012. Some months ago I bought a new model, as iOS is not updated anymore. That is the main reason to upgrade and this is another topic for discussion. It has been six years between tablets. And the need for an upgrade is slightly artificial.
A 6-year-old tablet will still be able to run the latest version of Chrome and I can play casual 2D games without a problem. If Apple has not stopped supporting it I will continue using it.
When I was a teenager, I was changing computers every two years and a half. If you were a gamer it was a must do. For office applications, browsing the internet and playing casual games the live of computers is getting longer. Even my gaming computing is getting old, it supports VR and an extra wide 4K screen without a problem.
I bought a 2017 iPad with cellular and zi love it. T-mobile has unlimited data for $20 a month.
That makes me think you have a point with screens. Resolution also plays in - e.g. I read comics on my phone a lot, and it made a huge difference when I got a phone with a 1920x1080 screen - e.g. I'd less often need to zoom in. And as my phones have pushed up towards 6", I went from 7"-8" tablets up to 10", but at the same time my usage probably dropped. My tablet has supplanted a little bit of my laptop use with the larger screen (and it has a magnetically attachable keyboard, but that gets little use), but I use my phone for a lot more things that I'd previously use my tablet for.
In general I replace my phone maybe once a year or once every 18 months on average, while my tablets easily live for 2-3 years or more.
My phone's battery is used 16 hrs/day, my tablet on average maybe 1-2 hr/day? And the battery is huge to begin with besides.
And on my phone I'm constantly switching apps (churning memory and CPU), whereas on my tablet it's mainly staying in one app for a long time -- whether Docs or a video or a game, and even games seem to be designed to accomodate older tablets since so many people have them.
But yeah, I just recently upgraded from an Air to the iPad Pro, mostly for the bigger screen and pencil. I had no reason to replace the current one other than having no reason to have two; 5 years on, it was kicking just as hard as ever.
However there is a known issue where for some reason iOS can start to get extremely slow. Restoring from backup or doing a fresh install sometimes makes a device WAY faster. Not unlike Windows back in the 95 days.
We solve reports of this when people were doing battery replacements. They go into Apple, get a new battery, and their phone wasn’t any faster. Then they’d do a fresh install and everything was fine. We also saw people give it a try before the battery replacement program was announced and have the same results.
Basically, the batteries and the only reason iOS can get insanely slow. There’s obviously some kind of rail bug that can destroy performance. But a fresh install fixes it.
The iPad starts out with such good battery life that even if its capacity decreases by half over its service life, that’s still ~5 hours. Good enough to survive a cross-country flight is, well, good enough.
Most of the apps I downloaded for Android were not optimized well for a Chromebook with text/window sizing, prevented resizing of the windows and were downright buggy(not registering presses and sometimes would even crash.)
I'm using a Chromebook Plus, outside of the very first release when it supported apps, I haven't had any issues.