iOS still kills Android for app availability though (especially when it comes to "tablet optimized" apps) and between that and iOS ecosystem lock-in, Android/Google still has some catching up to do to make tablets a true two-horse race.
I keep hearing that. But never seen it backed up. Based on exactly what does people say this? There's no efficient way to "count" Android tablet optimized apps. So how do you compare? Is it because there are some major apps that still works bad on Android tablets? If so, which ones?
I remember when Honeycomb just came out. It was terrible, most apps I'd download looked terrible, and I furiously uninstalled many of them. It was so frustrating. But it has been a long time since I don't feel like that anymore. Today, every app I use on my phone is nicely optimized for my tablet as well. I literally cannot think of a single example of one app I'm missing tablet support for. Yet, the "Android still doesn't have tablet optimized apps" meme didn't stop.
But maybe I'm just living under a rock and haven't been using the same apps as others. So I humbly ask, could anyone please give me an objective argument for this point to understand if there's actually still any merit to it?
This is a must-have application for learning to write Chinese in my opinion, to the extent that people would buy an iOS device just to use it. There is no equivalent for Android. I carry around an iPhone as a work phone, and pretty much only use it for this.
So learning Chinese is a little niche, but I'm sure there are other niches where people rely on a particular app, this app is not available on Android, and so they wouldn't switch for this reason.
Have you tried MonkeyWrite?
Lots of others have started on iOS and were only released for Android much later (Flipboard, Angry Birds, Instagram).
I think it is really subjective and about the "long tail" of apps. If I say that OmniFocus locks me into the Appleverse, someone else will mention an Android-exclusive app and we'll (objectively ;)) discuss for hours. Carcassonne and Anthill may not have worthy Android ports, but I'm probably missing out on Google's best-in-class maps.
The shopping experience may also have a lot to do with each platform's perception. The Play front page looks absolutely uninviting to me. In iTunes or on the iPad, I usually scroll around and discover apps by topic. What do I do in the Play store if I know all the front page apps already (not hard)?
 for those of us who are abroad: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https:/...
If you need an app for iOS or android, do the same thing you do when you need an app for the web:
ask a search engine!
And when this thread got me curious and I was googling for Android versions of games I like, I had to dig through pages of spam to realize there was no port.
Click on the categories link on the left side, and then browse.
It's also unclear if the grandparent is talking about the literal front page of "featured" apps, or the infinite scrolling list of "top" apps by all the categories (currently: Paid, Free, Grossing, New Paid, New Free, and Trending).
I mean, I'm sure one can ding the Play Store for UI wierdness in places, but discoverability has never been one of its flaws in my view.
I meant the literal front page of both stores: Clicking the "App Store" tab in iTunes (same as opening "App Store" on the iPad), vs. going to the page I've linked.
Both stores have categories, but I don't enjoy browsing through them. By topic, I meant the hand-picked thematic groups of apps on the App Store front page, like "Racing Games", "Cookbooks", "Fun for Two Players", "Apps for Travelling" etc. - I really enjoy those. Everything that is hand-picked feels a hundred times more interesting than an automated list to me.
I think Android will catch up, but it's not hard to find examples like this.
Because if you had then you would know that just because you can view a "mobile" website on your laptop it doesn't make it optimal. iPad apps are specifically designed to make best use of the real estate and there are a number of iPad-only UI concepts.
This point is very important - it makes the device more like an iOS one - more likely for updates, more fine touches as Google's cred rests on it.
If we see other tablets of similar calibre to the nexus7, then yes - you can say "Android" compares/best iOS. But for right now, it's nexus7 vs. iPad or Kindle Fire.
I think almost all brand name tablets are on ICS now.
This point is very important - it makes the device more like an iOS one - more likely for updates, more fine touches as Google's cred rests on it
Have you actually used something like the Asus Transformer?
It's very, very good. I have a MBP, Linux Laptop, Windows Laptop, iPad2, iPhone 4, Galaxy S, an old 7" no brand Android tablet and the Transformer with a keyboard dock, and the Transformer gets the most use for general email/web browsing use.
I thought so too. Some are. Shockingly enough, I believe the Samsung tabs they gave out last year at I/O are still on 3.x. Tried to update my coworker's before heading to I/O with it and ended up with a newer version of Honeycomb. :/
That's from December 2011, but sometimes there oddities in the rollout, especially with regional variants.
I'd bet the Transformer is intended to disrupt the MBAir/ultrabook and will likely compete directly with the forthcoming MS Surface tabs. I like what I hear about it though I haven't used one (friends who have them are favorable).
Do you detach much or simply use the keyboard dock? How is the trackpad? Do you use it with mouse?
The idea of the Chrome/Android ARM laptop is very exciting - I was seriously hoping Apple would have already released an ARM-based MB Air-alike - it would redefine the product in a great way, IMHO.
Not really. The ASUS line of transformers have been getting updates very quickly and they're slated to get JB soon. The tablet situation has little to do with the phone situation. Most of the delays and horrid policies come straight from the carriers, not the OEMs. I expect the tablet market to remain competitive and upgrade quickly and fully expect the horrible phone market to be as shitty as ever, if not worse. Google needs to push the Nexus phone harder and make its motorola offerings non-Blur.
Or maybe Google has another go at direct handset sales, or they withhold updates to maintain parity across their flagship products.
At the moment being a "Google device" doesn't actually guarantee you anything.
Edit: I didn't think that through. The OS version is already out of sync! I guess that is what they will do.
Not everyone with a Galaxy Nexus will get it.
But my complaint is moot. I didn't really think it through. They are just going to stagger updates like they always have.
On the other hand, this translates into bucketloads of low-hanging fruit if you're an Android developer.
If the Nexus 7 has the same success as the Kindle Fire (or better) then a large proportion of tablet users would be on JB.
I hadn't heard about that, and it still seems like a half-assed international release to me :(
But it takes only one glance at what is released under the "Android" name for me to definitively state: Android is inferior to iOS.
But that's the point of Android. There is very, very little centralized quality control so the spectrum of quality goes all the way from the Nexus 7 down to a $99 POS Walgreens Android tablet.
> Android is inferior to iOS.
> But that's the point of Android.
The point of Android is to be not as good as iOS? Really? That's the point of Android?
Do you make the claim that all cars are rubbish just because some companies make rubbish cars? No. Different cars are different. Obviously. So it is with Android devices.
If one Android device is on a par with the new iPad (or at least in the same ballpark according to MG Siegler) then please judge that device based solely on that device, not on other devices that are similar in OS name only (not even version).
If you're comparing iOS to the full spectrum of Android devices out there, then please compare the full spectrum of iOS devices out there as well, including the iPhone 3GS which is, in this day and age, a POS cheapo smartphone (compared to top of the range Android phones at least).
I could be wrong, but I think he just clumsily phrased his response. In other words, he was stating that the point of Android is to be a decentralized operating system. Individual deployments are not controlled by any one corporation, so there can be a lot of hit and misses. Therefore, I don't think he is making a general claim that the 'point of Android to be inferior to iOS'.
Disclaimer: I'm not claiming anything written above is my own opinion, I'm just attempting to clarify a possible ambiguity.
Does that make Android crap? Obviously not but it does mean that there a hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who have that perception (and are right because for them it has been crap).
Excluding the crap ones is no more a representative picture of things than excluding the good ones would be. Android is the sum total of all devices running with all the good (huge numbers, some great devices out there) and bad (fragmentation and massive variation in quality) that that entails.
Because this is how Brands work. You don't get to say Android-Google and Android-Samsung unless you're talking to an analyst or a geek. For most Android owners, they have an "Android" phone. What brand? Uhh I dunno Google? Android?
Android as a brand is the collection of not just the superstar devices, but the shitty POS devices as a whole.
So as a brand, iOS > Android because the average of Android is weighed down by the crappy side of Cheap Android.
That doesn't mean that any one device is superior to any other one device, but rather that as a collective brand, the iOS brand is superior to Androids, and if you blindly buy an iOS device you're more likely to get quality than if you blindly buy an Android device.
No matter which side you favor in the tablet wars I think you have to agree that we're better off as hackers and consumers in a market with real competition. Rather than picking sides we should be happy that Apple and Google are pushing each other to improve their hardware and software at a rate we rarely see in consumer electronics.
MG Siegler is as subjective as any reviewer, but that's not what matters. What matters is that you can usually tell what he's going to say before you even read the article, as his views are generally that predictable. He seldom has anything negative to say about Apple, or positive to say about Google.
So the pleasant surprise here comes from seeing him break that trend and say something that couldn't have been written by Apple's PR dept.
And if he doesn't then he works for Apple PR.
He said it's a pleasant surprise, he did not say that was his definition of objective. He clearly states his definition of objective and that this article does not meet it.
Siegler's previous pieces very strongly give this impression.
On the tablet market, the competition was decimated by the iPad, which was, objectively, overall better than any contender, and by a comfortable margin. Yes Android could potentially do stuff better than iOS, yes hardware could be non-crap, but what was going out of the door was not even in the same league at all. The only one that had real potential at some point was the WebOS based one†.
The trouble was that if you had the balls to tell this fact you were irrevocably dismissed as an Apple fanatic.
I long for this tablet to be available outside North America.
†The Kindle Fire is completely under-specced in terms of quality. The Nexus 7 and iPad are both way better.
Now was 6+ months ago. You could get a nice fast Tegra3 tablet for a while now at a competitive price. The Nexus is really just an Asus TF201/TF300 shrunk down to 7 inches and with a hefty reduction in price.
>The trouble was that if you had the balls to tell this fact you were irrevocably dismissed as an Apple fanatic.
Or unaware of the last 2 Asus Transformer models (three now as the new one just launched) or even the budget Acer tegra3 tablet. Galaxy tablet isn't bad either, just slow to updates.
I've owned both the TF101 and the TF300 and really feel no need or want for an ipad. The Fire/Nook aren't tablets, they're appliances. If someone wants an android tablet, there are at least 2 or 3 very nice models for sale and 4 or 5 mainstream lower tier cheaper ones.
The Nexus is just a big price cut. Its the same hardware we've been using for some time. That's partly why its so cheap. The Tegra3 chipset is ancient by SoC
standards (November 9, 2011.).
Trashing Android tablets hardly qualifies as an act of critical bravery. "There is only an iPad market" has been the mantra of opinion piece on the subject for as long as I've been reading them.
The truth is that we've had non-crap Android tablets for a while now but none good enough to seriously challenge the iPad.
For values of "now" equal to "around this time a year ago".
The EeePad Transformer was the real game-changer in the Android tablet market. Solid hardware, recent versions of Android, great price.
It's worth noting that the Nexus 7 is made by Asus and is effectively a smaller Transformer Prime without the keyboard.
Guess Google didn't want to mess around when choosing hardware partners and went straight for the top quality.
A review cannot be more or less subjective, it can only be good or bad, which in turn, is also subjective. So consider that: the next time you call someone's review subjective, you are making a subjective review of that person's subjective review. But that's much better than calling someone's review "objective", because at least you're making sense.
You have to look at how wrong things are, too..
If I wrote a review of a game in my favorite sport where my home team played, it would not be objective. And another review by me of a sport I don't care about, between teams I don't know, might not be objective either (if women play, one team might be better looking. Or whatever.).
But those reviews would not be EQUALLY subjective...
For another example, consider evolutional biology. Some people have a deep and emotional connection to the scientific model -- while some other people have emotional connections to political ideologies...
Sorry, but you pressed one of my buttons.
No it's nothing like that at all. It's like saying it's better to acknowledge your perspective than to pretend you don't have one.
His conclusion is basically, that there is room for an iPad Mini and Jelly Bean is faster and not much about the Nexus7 itself.
As a person who is often mistaken for being an apple fan because I'd rather people discussed each platform factually rather than sharing false information that smells of a loyalists agenda, I'm pleased to see TC putting out a balanced review.
I want one anyway.
That's still much better than the Amazon Fire which AFAIK isn't even sold outside of the US.
See also this article from The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/28/3122716/nexus-7-internatio... ("The Nexus 7's most important price is £159, not $199").
And why compare yourself against Amazon when Apple is rumored to be launching an iPad Mini which will be sold in 30+ countries almost immediately after launch.
Browsing is tricky as clicking on tiny links take more work, I find I need to do a lot more zooming in on the 7".
Another advantage of many 7"-ers is they can charge from the USB port. If for some reason you also have your laptop with you, you can often plug the tablet into it and it will charge (albeit much slower than from the wall charger), most 10"-ers cannot do that.
It might be because my eyes are still young, but I prefer smaller screens with a high pixel density to larger screens with a lower pixel density.
It is because your eyes are still young.
7" is definitely a good size for tossing in a courier bag/coat pocket though.
Broadly speaking I don't like a the idea of a tablet with a stylus as it would be better for a small number of use cases but worse for a far larger number.
The screen doesn't handle detail brilliantly for handwriting but uPad gets round this by giving you a larger writing area which it then shrinks onto the actual document. Basically you write an inch high and it crunches it down to about 40% of that. It works pretty well, though I'd still use the keyboard for significant text input - it's completely workable once you get used to it.
I do think Google needs to make the next version 7.7"-8", though. I think 7" is a little too small. Basically they should make one that is as large as possible (but up to 8"), which you can still hold easily with just one hand. From what I've noticed I think Samsung's 7.7" tablet qualifies for that.
Only slightly related, but: Is there any data on how people use tablets? I feel we're just making guesses based on smartphones all the time.
Example: My iPad spends the whole breakfast standing (in a case) on the table with me only turning eBook pages. Then it spends the evening somehow tucked into the bed as a movie machine. When I read in bed after that, I always read sideways and I'm happy that the iPad is so wide.
I could never connect with the Kindle ads because it wouldn't occur to me to hold the iPad (or a magazine or thick book) freely to read.
Other people may be obsessed with BT keyboards or other gadgets even.
It's more comfortable to hold it with two.
Nexus 7, while not "retina", is closer to iPad 3 than iPad 2.
> Nexus 7 [is] not "retina"
> Nexus 7 is closer to iPad 3 than iPad 2.
What you did end up saying is correct but unrelated to the post you were disagreeing with.
Retina iPad 3: 2048x1536, 9.7" display, distance: 13", PPI: 263
A contrived Retina Nexus 7: 1700x1130, 7" display, distance: 11.75", PPI: 291 (I adjusted screen resolution so the distance is about 11.5")
I tried to do the math myself, but failed miserably. This article on TUAW has some formulas: http://www.tuaw.com/2012/03/01/retina-display-macs-ipads-and...
All those numbers presented seem to be tailored to fit your "calculations". (11,75" vs 13" .. how do you come up with that?)
 http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6054/GoogleIO2012-2261.jpg via http://www.anandtech.com/show/6054/google-nexus-7-mini-revie...
And the Transformer Infinity is coming out tomorrow, with a 1920x1200 screen, fixes to the Transformer Prime's GPS/Wifi issues (which I have not personally seen), and a micro SD slot & HDMI out (two of the things missing from the Nexus 7).
Ignoring good products seems to be a big issue with Android - with phones, people are complaining about skinning and lack of updates when the Galaxy Nexus is just sitting there waiting for buyers (I've already got Jelly Bean running on my GN).
One of the main selling points of the Android ecosystem is "Look at all the device choice you have".
It's hardly surprising that if you sell people on that then turn around and say "Of course if you want an experience that doesn't suck, here is a list of about three devices that will provide that experience" they don't exactly heed that advice.
Pinning the issue on consumers just doing what they're told both misses the point and passes the buck. The market shouldn't be flooded with shitty Android devices that are quickly abandoned by carriers and have no reason to exist. Having HTC or Motorola written on the back doesn't mean anything. Google should be holding their hardware partners to a certain standard and they aren't.
That isn't the consumer's fault, that blame lies squarely on Google. They have the power to enforce this via their Google services contracts and they choose not to. It shouldn't be a choice between getting the device you want and getting one of the good ones.
It's still stuck on 4.0.1 with no update in sight...
Have you tried checking for updates in the settings? Maybe your girlfriend dismissed the update notice.
Google Nexus is actually not a phone model but a collection of many models which are only invisibly different. Some of them get updates, some don't, even though all are advertised in the same way.
This is the model:
And it is a "yakjudv" (Australian build) according to the System Information app. It seems I'm waiting for some Australians to let the updates through (if they go through at all). When I bought it from Amazon, it was advertised as a "Pure Google Experience".
I think Google really messed up again. The "Google Nexus" should have been a simple and uniform experience, and not a bunch of branded-phone-hell.
I was able to "trick" my nexus into updating, by clearing the data from the Google Data Services Framework. That seems to work for some people. Unlocking and flashing is an option that some power users take--particularlly those with LTE phones where there is no OTA yet.
It is a "yakjudv" firmware which doesn't get updates.
Apparently Google is advertising their Nexus line as auto-update (http://www.google.com/nexus/#/galaxy/features) but then does all of the "yakju" 3rd party firmware fragmentation which invalidates their own promise.
I doubt I'll buy a Google phone again.
I used to own a really nice Android HTC G2. 'Cept the updates didn't seem to be rolling in.
Got tired of that quickly.