The Transformer tablets have all enjoyed an excellent build quality, great design aesthetics, and cutting edge hardware. They aren't perfect, but what tablet is?
Asus can make great hardware all day; but without the right marketing and the right software, it will never be successful.
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is the first arrival of a real competitor to iOS in my opinion.
Google floundered about quite a bit trying to get the UI right (honestly, it seemed like they were ignoring it completely for a while); and 4.0 and 4.1 are the first versions I've used that feel "right". I'm actually pretty torn between iOS and Android at this point from a user / developer standpoint.
Although Apple still has the better developer tools for now.
I agree that the supporting tools like Instruments are much better and Android doesn't have anything to compare to Interface Builder but the better Java IDEs like IntelliJ are so far ahead of XCode that it's not even funny.
Things are going to get interesting if Apple really does release a 7" tablet. I don't think they're going to get away with just scaling down iPad apps. Maybe that's why they were emphasizing the new dynamic layout stuff at WWDC this year? Manually positioning three completely different UI layouts for each app isn't going to be much fun.
The new LLDB is almost 20 times better than anything GDB could hope to be. Xcode 4 is pretty, but gets a zero mark on usability (you have to do a lot of things by mouse). Xcode 4.5 has been vastly improved usability-wise. If they keep up their work, I'm sure Xcode could finally be a decent and usable IDE, rather than just being pretty.
In fact, C++ is just about the only reason I still use Xcode for actually writing code. My apps that don't need C++ are all written in AppCode.
However, AppCode's C++ support is also improving so it may not be that way for long.
XCode 4's tight integration with LLVM, a Debugger, online documentation, and code completion are the reasons why I use it instead of something else.
Eclipse is satisfactory for Java development though, so I'll probably be happy enough with it when I do Android work.
I think the dynamic UI layout is more for the iPhone 5 which based on rumours will be longer than the current iPhone e.g. 320x600. The iPad Mini is expected to be 1024x768 so all iPad apps will work without any changes needed.
But IntellIJ is still much more powerful. It's much much easier to build really powerful refactoring tools for a language like Java than it is for Obj-C.
The same has been said for functional languages without side effects: "A purely functional programming language is only good for heating your computer." -- Rich Hickey :)
Hopefully Google's involvement in the Nexus 7 release will remedy this.
These issues are very rare though, perhaps once a month, and are fixed with a reboot.
So I count that as stable.
But I'm the kind of guy who roots, install via ZIPs from XDA and all that stuff. Even if the guy who packaged the ICS update insisted on it being untouched stock, except pre-rooted, it's hard to know 100% certain if the error is Asus' or not. At least there are other possible sources of errors.
That said, ever since I moved my TF101 over to a CM9 codebase, I've had zero issues with it, and it has finally become the tablet I thought it would be when I decided to purchase it in the first place.
Yes. I know. My grandma is never going to do all that. I'm not suggesting that.
But if Google can get the software on this thing right, out of the box, like they've done with the Nexus-phones, I'm pretty sure this thing can fly.
The ease that is worked around (unplug it from the keyboard at night) means it is more of an inconvenience than a big problem (for me anyway).
I believe it can be fixed by putting CyanogenMod on it anyway.
Google did a terrible job at servicing (customer service) their phone. Trust me, an email address isn't enough. People want to call someone. And people want to take it someplace to get it fix or swapped out. The same day. A tablet/phone isn't the same as a PC. No one wants to overnight their phone for a replacement next week. ;)
1/ They're doing the "call me" support feature, which is one awesome thing that Apple support does. Google, however, doesn't seem to understand what problem is being solved here, so they implement the feature without solving the problem. I file my issue online, click "call me back" and within seconds my phone is ringing. Then I'm waiting on hold for 10 minutes until a Google support specialist can talk to me.
2/ They've apparently got multiple tiers of support people who are working out of silos that don't communicate very well together. The person you talk to on the phone apparently can't really do much except for file a ticket, which gets shipped off to a higher level of support who you can't communicate with. And apparently the lower-level people can't communicate with them either. In my case I thought my Galaxy Nexus had been stolen from my front porch (UPS insisted they delivered it, but it wasn't there).. the next day I learned that they just delivered it to the wrong house, and I got it. But by then I had talked to someone at Google who filed a ticket to level-2 support to ship me out a new Nexus and to remote-disable the one I now have. When I called them back to try to cancel this whole thing they couldn't even comment on the ticket they sent to level-2.. they can only file another ticket asking level-2 to not disable my Nexus and hope level-2 gets that one before they get the first ticket.
Also, consumerlaws in the EU make it clear that the company you buy from is responsible for quality, guarantees and support.
Yes, there are cases where one can register a product with the producer and get a guarantee that way, but even then, EU law is clear: the buck stops at whoever sold you the device.
So, even then, I would be inclined to contact the seller earlier than the producer because, in the end, if you buy form Q, Q is the only one who has an obligation to help you. In this case, If I were to buy from Google, and things didn't work as expected, I would contact Google. They cannot hide behind "but we bought it from X". If they could, consumers would typically get no support at all. For example, X would say "it looks like the battery is the problem. That is not ours; we bought it from Y"; Y would say "I don't know. Maybe it's the controller chip? Z made that"; Z would say "we outsourced the software for that chip" or "no, it's not the chip, it must be the chemicals in the battery/the device getting too hot due to incorrect firmware in some other CPU", etc.
Open a store. Have an online booking system. When someone comes in after booking a time, have staff with some basic training go through a list of things to get a rough diagnosis. Give the customer an estimated repair time and cost. Simple things should be replaced on the same day.
That's how you do it.
I'd really like to believe this (and thus justify getting one), but I can't picture it. How would one prop up the screen? What keyboards are available and are they any good?
I feel like Apple has reached a local maximum with the iPad as a consumption-oriented device and I'm just waiting to see who delivers the first tablet geared towards getting things done. MS appears to be promising this with Surface, but it remains to be seen how successful they are.
To anyone on HN who has used an Android tablet for productivity purposes (writing, coding, etc), how has it gone?
A keyboard is a must have for anyone with a tablet imho. But maybe it's just me, I can't take touch keyboards seriously. How the hell do you guys live without arrow keys?
With regard to IDEs, I'm not really familiar with Android and I naively assumed that one would readily be able to install native Linux apps like vim, but Googling around I discovered this is not trivial. That's a shame.
The big problem of using Android for serious work is mostly software, not hardware. You can use pretty much any great keyboard you'd want. But the software is still lacking some features you'd expect from a linux desktop. For example, you can't just ctrl-z at every app. It's kind of inconsistent, some apps don't support keyboards at all. I stopped using Firefox on android because it sucks with a keyboard. If you really, really want to do serious work on a tablet, I'd dual boot linux like others recommended.
So in the hardware side, tablets are already pretty good for working. But android still lacks a bit. But if you already own an Android tablet, then buying a keyboard is a must-have imo. It will enable to do thinks you only dreamed of before.
If you think you'll use the keyboard occasionally, then choose a tablet stand that suits your style, from EBay or http://s.dealextreme.com/search/tablet+stand
That is called a laptop
Although, of course, being as full featured as Eclipse is a long way off, I imagine.
I'm not an EMACS user, so I can't comment on ALT.
I understand that no one wants to risk making larger tablet, out of a fear that it will be too heavy, but each generation has brought us thinner, lighter devices. I'd gladly take an 11.6" screen over the current standard of 9-10 even if it added an extra couple of ounces.
Having said that, at least one Android maker has built one with a 13" screen.
My hands are too wide to set all of my fingers on the home row in a natural typing position, so I was forced to look at the keyboard and to use a hybrid-touch / hunt and peck method on all of these devices. For this reason, I personally don't find them usable. I don't think my hands are freakishly large, so I think that many other people would have this same issue.
I looked around for the 13" tablet. I had never heard of it before but apparently it's a Toshiba.
My dream Apple tablet would use the iSlate trademark for 20" tablet (3x4) with optional tools that communicate with the iSlate. Something like a fake airbrush that acts like a real airbrush in paint programs. Not going to happen, but it would be an amazing canvas.
There are pleny of decent bluethooth keyboards that should work with any tablets out there. http://www.rapoo.com/showdetails.aspx?P_No=E6300 for example
This sounds like the domain of ultrabooks. With a tablet, you can't use the huge ecosystem of PC software. You can't run VMs. Peripherals aren't as well-supported.
The main advantage of a tablet over an ultrabook is that you can use it standing up. But if you're getting things done, it's probably going to be sitting down.
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of tiny laptops. I got the 11" Air when it first came out and never looked back.
Bloggers get to have all the fun...
On the other hand, the developers at Google I/O said it will come pre-installed on JB, so I'm confused:
Also, stock browser on Jelly Bean is stupidly fast. In fact so fast that I have ditched Chrome for it. Only thing I miss is the Chrome-sync against my desktop, but I can live without that.
Also - any numbers on stock vs Chrome on Jelly Bean? A score from here would be cool too: http://html5test.com/
Chrome has too high startup time for me to use as a default browser though.
Sorry, that's unacceptable. Small UI hiccups are death by a thousand pinpricks, in my view.
On a related note, I think people vastly underestimate how much UI responsiveness is responsible for Apple's continued success.
Okay Ars author, while the Nexus 7 screen looks fantastic, I don't know what you were thinking as this sentence above doesn't make any sense. There's no point in comparing a tablet's DPI to a laptop's DPI†, especially in that way. It makes it sound like one is really wanting the thing to be Retina when it is not, and that actually detracts from the fact that it looks like a great screen nonetheless.
†The closer I use my laptop is (give or take a few inches) the farther I use my tablet.
You can't compare DPI as is, because viewing distance has to be taken into account before one can make sense of that value A proper, directly comparable unit would be the size of a pixel in arcseconds (which would carry the device's own typical viewing distance). Here's Phil Plait (of Hubble fame) explaining the stuff .
I agree that there is a minor difference in viewing distance between a laptop and a tablet, but I think they're still comparable, in contrast to, say, a TV.
Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1280x800): http://mikecanex.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/techfondle04121...
NookColor 7" (1024x600): http://mikecanex.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/gbpdfs002.jpg
I don't own either of those -- or any. I'm still undecided on which would be best. [typo edit]
So depends on what your PDF is like. For basic text, the 7 inch screen was fine. For technical papers, you'll probably want something bigger.
I think I'd have to agree with OP on that one because for a month, I had to read a 2 column PDF on a 10 inch tablet and that strained my eyes to do. Would a one-column PDF have worked? Yeah, it would have, but I think just barely. I can't imagine reading a one-column PDF on a 7 inch tablet (I hate scrolling unless it's to change pages), much less a two-column one.
I was looking for PDF solutions months ago, but if this works well, it could come in handy in the future.
"Unlike iOS and previous versions of Android, Jelly Bean’s speech recognition system doesn’t have to relay snapshots of the user’s recorded speech input to a remote server for processing. Speech recognition can now be done entirely on the device."
The fight is not only about !/$, it's more and more about !/W these days.
Benchmarks are also relevant to customers who like games or other heavier stuff on their tablets. Then there's a bunch of low-end Android tablets that are simply too slow to be used for anything. So the high-perf tablets and phones want to distinguish themselves from that.
I bought one at 10:37 am the morning they were available. It's 11 days later and there's no communication and no status on when it will ship. For status you are instructed to click through to google wallet. That site also has no status, no expected ship date, nothing. So that's strike one.
Second, I moved this weekend and need to update the billing address for the credit card. The google "contact support" page displays their usual FOAD customer service. You have to click through to yet another page to contact customer support. Of course, they're too incompetent to forward your 37 character order number. So after you compose a message, you realize you have to hit backspace to get the order number. And of course, they clear the message you carefully composed. These people supposedly understand web applications. How the hell does the link from inside google wallet to google customer support not know who I am and my fucking order number?
I still haven't gotten through to customer support and I anticipate spending at least 30 minutes on the phone tomorrow. I'll update, but I imagine that there's another ipad in my future.
Personal anecdote: I wanted to change the credit card on the order. So I went to the Nexus page, clicked "Customer support" in the sidebar, clicked "Managing your order", and called the number they show, 1-855-83-NEXUS. Someone picked up in maybe 30 seconds (and I expected really bad wait times for Google customer support...).
I explained I wanted to change the credit card, and he asked me for my email address + a piece of personal information. He told me he couldn't change the credit card, but could instead issue an order cancellation and I could rebuy the Nexus 7. Not ideal, but I said it was okay (after confirming that they weren't out of stock or anything). He saw that I only had one order on my account, cancelled it for me, and we ended the call. No order number needed; took all of 4 minutes.
Granted, I'm a pretty big fan of Google so I'm definitely biased. And I do agree that Google's customer support sucks. But it's a bit disheartening to see the top comment be such a petty complaint.
Compare this to Apple, who give you fairly accurate ship dates and tracking numbers once shipped.
Play shows 'Completed'. Which I assume to mean "the order has been successfully placed, you'll get the product". If I'm really that unsure I can click on 'info' and be taken to the Google wallet transaction.
I truly cannot see why this is confusing to anyone. Yes it's crap that there is no announced shipping date.
I've seen people get so ridiculously worked up over this, you've pre-ordered it, just be patient. It's already stated that you'll receive an email with a tracking number when it ships. Relax, it's coming.
Which is where you started! It says "Google Commerce received your order". How does that help make you certain? You're stuck in a loop between a site that says another site got your order, while the other site says it is "Complete".
I am mostly sure it's coming. I am relaxed. My original point was that this is not a fuss over an "unannounced ship date". People are fine with those, like they are with Apple's "Ships withn 3-4 weeks".
The OP's "fuss" was that the communication here is terrible, and it suggests that Google hasn't taken on board all the customer services issues that made selling Nexus handsets such a disaster for them.
The surprise, shock & horror!
Ever heard of the woes (which is a universal law
which affects all businesses at some point) of "early adoption?"
And why not? Is the entire process so arcane and mysterious that only Apple can do it? He could have used any other company as an example and probably settled on Apple since it's a top dog right now. But to excuse the incompetency of a multi-billion corporation like Google, which brags about how smart its staff is, is ridiculous. Some things are just so damn basic that not doing them either shows gross negligence or willful stupidity or I just don't know what. Google could have sorted this out well beforehand. There is just no excuse.
I understand there are alot of Google apologists on HN, and Apple get's the lion's share of positive tech press (they also get the majority of negative press too), but they should be pushing Google to be a better company, not insulting first adopters that pre-ordered a Google product.
Good thing it's $200 :)
These two quote stand out for me.
>>I thought for sure now I would see a button to just go do the download.
In fact it is more like a puzzle that you get to solve. It told me to go to Windows Update and do a bunch of incantations.<<
>>So I got back up and running and went to Windows Update again. I forgot why I was in Windows Update at all since all I wanted was to get Moviemaker.<<
Funny as hell but very true. A lot of things that I take for granted in the Mac always gives me problems in Windows. Simple things like connecting to the internet either by wifi or ethernet are not always smooth. There is always some obscure setting I have to tweak.
So they told me that using the download page to download something was not
something they anticipated.
Me: But I already keyed it in!
Them: Sorry, sir, but we don't have access to that.
But our managers made it clear, customer satisfaction came first. Everything else came next. We would even support calls which didn't even have warranty. Sometimes even teach people how to use computers, like practical tutions. Especially to the elderly. We would even make follow up calls to ensure everything was right.
Soon the results showed. I mean Apple fanboys might laugh at us. But we sold more stuff by good customer service and courtesy than apple would have sold by innovation.
Setting aside for a moment that Apple is clearly winning in the sales department, Apple's pretty well known for good customer support.
As for your assertion about "Apple fanboys", have you seen how much Apple innovation sells? The last article I saw said Apple makes more revenue from the IPhone than MS makes... full stop.
Innovation sells well and Apple is consistently voted highly on customer service. Odd that you chose to pick on Apple instead of Google who have support so bad that not even Google fanboys try to defend it.
Aside from the fact that the order screen has always said ships in two to three weeks?
You either have terrible attention or you're lying.
I'm not trying to defend Google here, but they have only pushed the Nexus 7, thus far, to the tech industry. They have been very clear that it is not shipping for two to three weeks. If you're antsy and impatient about it, desperate to see a number counting down, it isn't for you.
I guess my core point is that there are a lot of us who don't need the expensive hand holding. I pre-ordered right once it became available. And then I forgot about it. They don't bill until it ships, so whenever.
The lack of transparency into Google's ordering process isn't going to the the exclusive downfall of this tablet, but issues like these are clearly something that Google needs to address if they want this tablet to have mass-market appeal.
They said that it would start shipping in two to three weeks. It has been 11 days since the earliest possible orders and already the whining has begun by impatient, the customer-is-always-righteous-in-complaints sorts. Yes, customer service workers answering lines to tell you what you already know are expensive. Why should I bear that cost?
The other complaint is about a billing change -- Google made it very clear on the original order if anything changes to simply cancel the order. Impatient customer doesn't want that, though. They want someone to hold their hand and change details for them so that they don't lose their position in line that they demand a date on even though they know it isn't yet.
And how asking for these two simple features make him an "impatient, the customer-is-always-righteous" customer is beyond me, unless you happen to be a Google fandroid who believes the company can do no wrong.
Nexus 7 seems to be a great product that many people are excited about, the first truly worthy competitor to Apple's tablet monopoly and why you have to besmirch one such consumer when he points out a weakness in Google's consumer facing service paints you as the self-righteous *ss, not him, imho.
In fact, as far as I can tell, Google is meeting the standards set by the electronics industry. Heck, in the gaming world, I have known people to put in their credit card details and preorder a game that's supposed to be out in six months, and then wait for a full year before seeing it ship.
Yes, for products that have been released already, it would make sense to demand a shipping date. This is not one of those products. They've given him a much better promise than many companies have in the history of not-yet-released electronic items. Once it's been more than three weeks, maybe we can start to wonder.
Google does plenty wrong, but that doesn't excuse petty bitchers from groaning and griping about pre-orders of a marketed-only-to-the-tech-industry device. No, I don't expect pre-orders of the Nexus 7 to operate like kmart, and I find the notion rather laughable.
Sounds to me what he is asking for, halfway through 2012, isn't unreasonable
I pre-ordered the iPad 3rd generation the day it was announced. They gave me a rough shipping date exactly as Google has with the Nexus 7. They gave me an actual shipping notice the day it was shipped (actually they kind of faked that and gave me a shipping notice when it started shipments from China which is a supply-chain process that really is irrelevant to me, but whatever). That is essentially the gold standard.
When you pre-order anything from anywhere (or order when it is out of stock) it is the general standard that there is, at best, a rough guess. Exactly as Google did here, and we're still three days before their absolute best promised shipping date. Most sites don't even allow you to order out of stock items because they don't want whining customers crying tears when it isn't expedient.
and why you have to besmirch one such consumer when he points out a weakness in Google's consumer facing service paints you as the self-righteous ss, not him, imho.*
I don't care if the whiner buys it. I am not a Google "fandroid" (jesus...seriously? Engadget ban you?) and I don't care whether someone hops on the train. But honestly I find that sort of self-entitled "where is my shipping date!" bullshit draining and annoying.
In my experience ordering popular products, when I check back on placed order's not yet shipped, the estimated ship date gets updated (Apple and Amazon both do this). So while new orders may continue to show a 2-3 week ship date, an early order might show 1-2 days. I believe this is what he is asking for. Seems as popular as this product is they are probably back-ordered before they've shipped the first batch. If they aren't updating then the question begs why not? (At least for me and the original poster, you apparently don't care if they ship this today or next year). Is it too much to ask for up-to-date information or when I use Google search should I expect results that were only relevant 2-3 weeks ago? Again, this is Google we are talking about, some of the smartest people on the planet working for a very wealthy corporation. Why can't I expect world class customer service? Is that beyond their means?
Engadget hasn't banned me yet, but then again I don't ever recall posting there. You seem experienced with this internet thing, what should I post to get banned there and what are the advantages of being banned from Engadget (other than no longer having the desire to post on Engadget)? Can I reach Engadget through the regular internet or do I need access to this tech industry internet that you use?
But, now I know better.
I had to do a phone call with them to get it cancelled. Worst purchasing experience ever!!
Dream on. This is just how the Nexus 7 is being sold right now. Best Buy, Future Shop, and Amazon are already putting in their orders and will sell the vast majority of these devices. Google will be a bit player in the Nexus 7 market and their customer service for better or worse will be a non-issue as far as how well overall sales go.
First, they declined my card which I've been using with Google Wallet forever. Then, they didn't tell me WHY they declined it. So, I go and update the info (which didn't need updating) and place another order. Declined again.
Now I have 2 pending transactions showing in Google Wallet and there's NO WAY of cancelling the order from Wallet or Play. So, I have to call their stupid call center and get them to cancel both orders.
I'm not even sure that I want one of these things now.