> But what makes Nexus 10 unique is that it's the first truly shareable tablet. With Android 4.2, you can add multiple users and switch between them instantly right from the lockscreen. We believe that everyone should have quick and easy access to their own stuff -- email, apps, bookmarks, and more. That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores.
Technology is so ridiculous at times.
Because Windows and Windows apps don't support resolution-independent UI scaling.
> Sometimes, on high-end models, you can pay an extra $200 to "upgrade" to 1920x1080
Because they know they can rip you off, and because it's a lot more expensive to produce high resolution displays (or rather, displays of any resolution) when they're being produced in small quantities.
This is not true. Windows has had very good support for custom resolutions since Vista. Windows 7 actually looks great when set to higher resolution. Windows applications is another story, but the number of DPI aware applications is growing http://www.rw-designer.com/DPI-aware
What's worse is that VS2012 is nearly unusable because IntelliSense explodes all over the screen. I have many sads when I have to deal with that on my rMBP.
VS2012 is still a problem though
I upgraded my HP 17" laptop panel to 1920 x 1200 (bought less than $200 on ebay 2 years ago). That was on Windows 7. I don't notice any visual issues. Just upgraded to Windows 8 and all Windows apps look just fine too. So applications aren't real issues here.
Yes they do. It's just not automatic - you tweak it in control panel to suit your preferences.
If I'm not mistaken the new, formerly known as "Metro", UI is vector based and any applications built with the WPF which includes all Windows 8 GUI based applications (at least the non-html one's) are of course vector based so it's simply up to the designer/developer to scale it however they want.
The good news is that the popularity of high resolution tablets will also force laptop makers into a trend with higher resolutions, too. Asus for example is one of the leaders of this trend, and has even 11.6" laptops with 1920x1080 resolution.
If not, this marketing and competition on resolution may be distracting us from issues that have a bigger impact on our usage experience.
So with a briefcase full of Retina, I'm quite happy. But the 27" iMac still feels like the most spacious screen. The other thing the Apple hardware has going for it is that I can tether my MacBook to my iPad's 4G network via bluetooth, so the iPad doesn't even have to come out of the briefcase to be incredibly useful, and saves me having to have another data plan. I note the Nexus 10 does not come in a 4G model. That seems crazy to me.
The biggest advantage for me is the ability to change resolution (on the MBP) without having a poor display due to using a non-native resolution.
This being Android, I'm a bit disappointed that it does not appear to have a microSD slot. There is also a relatively heavy premium for 16Gb more internal flash.
Market segmentation. The goal is to make more money off people who don't care much about the price without losing those customers who do.
The modern usage pattern seems to be get enough built-in storage for what you want to do, then use wifi or usb to transfer stuff between the device and the cloud or a desktop with a larger collection of media.
I actually think this is a pretty effective strategy. However, it does impede productive discussions and conversations, sometimes. Oh well, c'est la vie.
The voting is ludicrously complex (Americans like things that way!). For example many bureaucratic positions are elected. Consequently when people go to vote, they have to vote on a lot of things. Here is the California voter guide: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/pdf/
Here is what someone in my city would see as their ballot: http://www.votescount.com/nov12/root1106/ballots/bt000039.pd...
It starts out with Obama and Romney, heads into Senate & Congress, then the state senate & assembly, then into county positions and finally city positions. Then there are propositions for the state, county and city.
After that digression, the California sales taxes for purchases made in person are based on where the store is. Except for cars which are based on the purchaser address. For distance purchases (eg internet, mail order) they are based on where the business decides its tax presence is. Amazon for example took that into account when deciding where to have their presence on opening in California and actually got some tax concessions from the "lucky" cities (yes corporate welfare is well established in the US).
For sales where the purchaser and seller are in different states no sales tax can be charged. Most states then have a provision requiring the purchaser to report these purchases and pay a "use" tax whose rate is identical to the sales tax rate. As far as I can tell many do not report this.
It's aimed at adding accounts for kids and while it's not as extensive as the baked-in one (kids can't have their own gmail account for example) it does come with goodies such as time limits for games.
Kids [under 13, dependent on region] "can't" have their own gmail account anyway, it's against the rules.
If you do want to obey the rules there's probably nothing in the rules about not using an account created by a parent, indeed acting as agent for that same parent when creating the account is probably within the rules too.
"Available only on tablets.", see http://www.android.com/whatsnew/
I think there's a certain sense that a phone is a much more "personal" device than a tablet. While it would probably be possible to add multi-user support, it would be more difficult, and be less useful, than on a tablet.
"Why Android Jelly Bean 4.2′s Multiple User Account Switching Is Tablet-Only? (Hint: Nokia Patented It For Phones)"
Does anyone know when the 4.2 update will go out?
New versions of Android usually roll out to Nexus devices days or weeks after the release of the new hardware. So you should expect November 13th + X days.
Having different users log in using different pattern unlocks is huge.
As someone who has loaded Ubuntu onto my Asus Transformer tablet, let me tell you, no they haven't.
From the marketing video it looks like Android 4.2 gained Swype-like keyboard.
It seems that they're no longer using tablet UI, even on Nexus 10 (i.e. it has status bar on top, navigation buttons are in the middle of the screen). That's weird, and I definitely don't like it, but it might not be that big of a problem.
If Google are determined to sell high quality devices at cost to gain market share, and can make the general public aware of this (non-trivial), Apple may find itself as the sole company making big profits from actually selling phone hardware.
That said, only Samsung with their Galaxy brand have come anywhere near the marketing impact of the iPhone, so if Google really want to make an impression, they're going to need market these devices at a level that they've never managed before.
It's Samsung's own fault they haven't got the 4.2 update out properly yet.
Other companies must sell their devices to make a profit, google does not. As long as they are close to making even on device cost they can make up for and exceed it elsewhere.
Although Google's profit's are in the billions, so are their users. Their profit per user is actually pretty small to be running an at a loss hardware device.
And we can't pretend that people don't use their ecosystem on other devices anyway.
I honestly have no clue at what Google are trying to achieve sometimes. I mean it makes sense for Amazon, but Google? Not so much.
Apple's gross margins on its devices, essentially the selling price less the manufacturing costs, is about 30-40% company-wide. That translates into an operating margin (which includes all costs) in the 20-30% range.
That's high for a consumer electronics company, but not as high as the $700 - $175 comparison makes it sound.
That's been Apple's strategy forever, people who want more have to pay a lot more than what it's really worth. I can remember the entry level iBook (during the PPC days) being sold with goddamn combo DVD reader/CD writer drives in a time where EVERY SINGLE PC LAPTOP SOLD, even the cheapest crap, had a DVD writer. Just to push people onto the higher profit margin.
I love Apple products but they really know how to milk their customers dry. Hacker News's audience wouldn't fall for that, but I can remember the markup on ram, when they still sold devices with 1 or 2gb of ram when the competition had 4gb on their cheapest stuff, with huge markups on the online apple store if you ordered a laptop with more ram. People here know how to put more ram in their computers and know not to order a macbook with "Apple's ram" (... a traditional thing that is going to die with the retina mbp and its soldered ram), but the average joe just got ripped off hardcore.
If you only look at their entry products, like the 16gb iPhone, the 21" iMac, the 11" MBA, yeah, Apple seems reasonable. Any other Apple product ? the margins on those things is something no one else could pull off without getting lynched.
This is a pretty common case of price discrimination.
Apple is certainly not the only company that does it. However they do commonly have a higher profit margin than their competitors.
The point of my post wasn't to defend Apple, it was to show that comparing the selling price and bill of materials figures to highlight profit is simplistic and wrong. What actually matters is gross margin and operating margin, both of which are made public so there's no need to refer to the estimated BoM as the OP did. This applies to all companies, the all-too-common misunderstanding of BoM figures is a pet hate of mine.
Apple completely changed the way I look at mobile devices. My first smartphone and tablet were the iPhone and iPad. I just wish they'd be more reasonable on some points, but they're obviously too successful to change their strategy unless a strong competitor shows up (and I hope that Google's strategy with the Nexus pays off).
I also am part of those who switched to Android but think that Apple had some reasonable arguments against Samsung that made them go wild against them. When you go as far as to make the charger look like an Apple charger you know there's something wrong going on. Samsung clearly tried to ride on the popularity of Apple products by making it look as much as possible as the iPhone and iPad, be it in the packaging, included accessories, look, early TouchWiz releases... there's a reason why TouchWiz on the S3 isn't like TouchWiz on the first Galaxy phones.. The customization on early Samsung android devices went too far toward Apple's direction. Even the "hardware" buttons, making the home button prominent and the other two android buttons more invisible in the design, and still keeping the home button as fully hardware on the S3 rather than going onscreen or capacitive like the other android OEMs.
Apple makes great products, but I feel like they're trying too much to milk us as much as they can.
I agree though, Apple's price discrimination may be understandable but as a customer it can really grind sometimes. When I went for an iPad I decided on the 16GB model for cost reasons and regretted it ever since, but the price jump to the 32GB was big enough that I shied away from it. It was annoying that the premium for a component that cost a fraction of what they charged created an uncomfortable dilemma for me that as a customer I shouldn't really have faced.
In all I'm excited about the level of competition, with MS's Surface bringing in another interesting angle, and I hope it continues for a long time. For one, though I have an iPad already I'm pretty sure I'm going to be picking up a Nexus 7 soon.
Of course there are other expenses (those $10M Apple Stores don't build themselves), but you're incorrect about the operating margin. For Q4 2012 AAPL had an operating margin of 34% (gross margin was 40%).
"ZTE U950 smartphone packs a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 chip, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 2,000mAh battery beneath the 4.3-inch display."
That is not a good situation for either Android or Google - and except Google breaking the price, there is little else that can revive the market a little bit.
She's hugely disappointed with it and refuses to buy any more Samsung products. (It doesn't help that she refuses to let me root it and install CyanogenMod, but you don't expect to have to do that if you're paying the equivalent of over $600 US for a phone)
I know that Asus Transformer Primes sold in China did not come with Google services, either, though buyers quickly learned that using a US/Taiwan/International update file would restore functionality fairly easily.
Sure, if you add in the $25 Google play credit, and leave room for some margin for Asus (since Google is just a reseller), you might get close to breaking even, but as far as I can find, the Nexus 7 was never sold at a loss.
They also get a much higher profit margin on the 16gb (now the 32gb for the Nexus 7) than on the 8gb which is what a lot of people will buy. There isn't a $50 cost in manufacturing a device with 16gb more of storage but there is a $50 markup for the customers who want more local storage. Storage is much, much cheaper than what you're paying for when you buy a tablet or phone with bigger SSDs. The profit margins on the 64gb iPhones are INSANE compared to the profit margins on the 16gb.
The base, $300 Nexus 4 is going to have a paltry 8gb. Most of the heavy users are going to spend the $50 more for the 16gb, while the $300 will still be there to please those who have to be more careful with their money.
Back in June... and only for the $199 model...
On the other hand, it doesn't support LTE. When will Google realize that basic things like fast network speed are more important than fancy things like face unlock and NFC.
Mobile bandwidth is still expensive, so you only get a couple of GB per month for a decent price and if you want more, you have to shell out a lot of cash.
I don't know how it is in the US, but here in Europe (at least in my country, Romania), the 3G connections are pretty good and 4G is coming, but it's not there yet.
And I can't picture what you'd want to do with an expensive 4G connection. With my 3G connection I can watch Youtube videos just fine. But it really does work at around ~ 20 Mbps (HSPA+), which is like ~ 2 MB/s, so if I'm not careful, I can burn thorough my 5 GB plan in a couple of hours. And from personal experience, few people have more than 5 GB of monthly bandwidth.
At home I have Wifi, at work I have Wifi, all the coffee-shops I go to have free Wifis for clients, most hotels have Wifis too. The only instances where I use my 3G connection is when I commute between places or if I end-up with a shitty Wifi connection and in such instances I just browse the web casually, or read email, or read Twitter/Facebook updates. Which is what most people do.
The only heavy-usage of my 3G connection has been for Skype. But Skype works surprisingly well for me over 3G (YMMV of course).
Except you then go on to explain for a couple paragraphs that it doesn't matter BECAUSE <insert a ton of active device management>.
Here is my process for connecting with my LTE phone: I turn it on. Speed is as fast as WiFi all the time. I have a 6GB plan and have never had to worry about hitting it. That's it.
I haven't used a free WiFi network outside of work in a year. LTE is way faster. Just like the touchscreen on the front of the phone, you don't know you want it until you have it. Then, you'll never give it up.
I have unlimited data and a ROM that lets me tether, and it really is amazing how useful LTE everywhere is. There's no way this isn't the future of internet connectivity in general. (Unless everyone using it would somehow saturate the available spectrum?)
HSPA+ can run at 42Mbps in theory, but network congestion makes that a pretty much impossible situation in reality.
As more people join the LTE networks, they will get slower and slower, just as 3G has in crowded areas.
Latency is as low as 2ms. I never have latency problems on LTE.
This month I've been following the Coursera course on functional programming with Scala, while listening to other podcasts and stuff I follow. I like doing that in the morning, while drinking a coffee at a nice place. And because I wasn't careful about turning Wifi on (it was off for some reason), I depleted 2 GB of bandwidth in 2 hours, which was the bandwidth I had left - the connection was so good I didn't even realize that I was on 3G.
Also, I'm probably in a much better position than most people, because my monthly plan does not come with a contract, being a PrePay (PrePay plans are very competitive in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, compared to the US at least). So I can recharge as needed.
But other people are not so lucky and once you blow past the allocated bandwidth, the prices are freaking huge on a contract. I have an acquaintance who's kid watched movies on his phone and ended up with a 300 EUR bill.
So btw, if you're telling me that you don't do device management, just wait until you'll be a father.
With the LTE speed of 70mbps, you could use up your 6GB in 11 minutes.
It's not about how long it takes to run a download of a media file, you're completely missing the point. It's about the drastically improved latency and responsiveness in downloading complex modern web pages, streaming, and caching stuff.
For example, The Verge homepage is almost as big as a song. If the question becomes do you need to make every page load .5 seconds instead of 2 seconds then "yes" wouldn't seem so ridiculous.
Why would I do that kind of sustained downloading on my phone? That's what the server & home internet connection is for. LTE on the phone isn't for blowing through 6GB In 11 minutes, it's for grabbing the data you need as quickly as possible.
The lack of LTE won't be a dealbreaker for most people, and probably even those who live in the USA. $300 hits the right price point for a flagship phone and the upside of owning a nexus and getting Google's support is huge. I'd rather get an iPhone than an android that is not a Nexus. Both OS are constantly evolving and getting better, waiting for the carriers and OEM to get their shit together is getting old.
You are going to burn through your data alotment very, very fast.
So for now, having paid only slightly more for my sim-free S3 months ago, it's not that good a deal.
Still patiently waiting for a nexus with a hardware keyboard like the good old days...
After taking 20% VAT into consideration, that's only a x1.07 premium compared to the US price as compared to a x1.23 premium on the Chromebook, which is actually unusually good. Often we see dollars converted directly to pounds.
Strange that the conversion is not consistent - can anybody speculate why?
I see SIM free S3's selling for around the £500 mark. How much is the slightly more?
Edit: I meant rear facing on the Nexus 7. Not front facing.
Any kid that has a parent that would buy them a Nexus 7 has at least a feature phone with a camera that'd be as good as what you could put on the N7, if not better.
The new iPad mini has a good camera but also an obnoxious price. It may be that refurbished iPad2 or even iPad 3rd gen are a better deal.
Yeah you're right, why would someone want something that can achieve 9 hours screen-on battery life when they could just be content with killing the phone battery and taking the risk of not having enough juice left for an important/urgent phone call.
There's also a huge difference between a 4" screen and a 7" screen, you don't really know how much until you've used both. The smartphone is good for quickly checking your mails and stuff like that, but the Nexus 7 is much nicer for browsing the web, gaming, reading ebooks.. reading books on a smartphone is not an enjoyable experience, but doing so on a Nexus 7 is. My experience with the Nexus 7 has also shown me that it's at the sweet point for a small comic/manga reading device. Any smaller and you can't really comfortably do that. Any bigger (like when I had the iPad 2) and it can be a bit too heavy depending on the way you hold it for prolonged use.
The smartphone can be a quick fix when you're not at home and not carrying your tablet (I don't carry my tablet all the time) but at home there is absolutely no way you'd chose to use the smartphone over any tablet, be it 7" or 10", when you're reading ebooks, browsing the web on the couch or watching movies in your bed.
Samsung did try to make a device that can be somewhat good at both, the Galaxy Note 2, but it's not really pocketable so it loses the appeal of a smartphone, and it's not as nice as a Nexus 7 for tablet use cases.
Maybe this is for consistency. I find it a bit of a mental shift when I used the Nexus 7 with the tablet UI. I assume I'd prefer the status on top look & feel on the Nexus 10 as well. I know not everyone prefers status & notification on top, but I'm used to it and I like the consistency of it across phone & tablet.
I would think though that sticking the navigation buttons in the center while in landscape mode would be aggravating. I would rather have the buttons rotate while the bar stays on the narrow end. That would even be consistent with the actual phone UI.
Good catch. This will hopefully be configurable on custom ROMs, as I'm with you on this one: I don't want this on my 10" tablet.
The 16 GB version is $399.
That would be a really bad mistake...
Yeah, but I'd like to window shop and know what the neighbours are paying, perhaps ask someone over there to buy me one.
I really dislike this automatic geolocation enforcement that Google spreads liberally over all its stuff. At least Apple lets you look at, or even get things from, other country stores with minimal fuss.
(I know, proxies, bleargh.)
P.S. http://www.google.com/nexus/ now has info and pictures viewable anywhere. (Link found in melvinram's comment, thank you.)
- screen resolution isn't important
- multi-user accounts are overly complex
- low prices mean the devices are cheap and nasty
Some phones offer LTE, others have a removable battery, provide expandable storage, are waterproof, have wireless charging or even hold two sim cards. It's great!
As for the Nexus 10, I hope that it gets enough sales to start pushing developers to make tablet apps for Android, and for Google to make the split between phone/tablet sized apps better in the Play Store.
There's a good explanation of the LTE situation by The Verge. If Google wants to release timely upgrades, they need to break free of carrier control. And since Verizon and Sprint devices require carrier approval, this will never happen. As for AT&T, their LTE coverage is so limited and the frequencies unique, so it doesn't make economic sense.
> The Nexus S is a pretty good phone, so without an upgrade in internet speed I don't see any reason to upgrade.
With AT&T, there will be an upgrade in speed from the Nexus S to the Nexus 4 (or to the Galaxy Nexus, for that matter). The Nexus S doesn't support HSPA+ (what AT&T is falsely claiming in its TV ads to be 4G - it's actually more like 3.5G), whereas the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 do.
I may end up buying the Nexus 4 anyway, but no LTE puts up a big resistance barrier that would otherwise put me in line to pre-order the phone.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but yeah, the chart is flawed. Dallas, TX shows Sprint for example, but Sprint's LTE in Dallas is notoriously bad. As in, many people never see it, and I've never seen one single person claim to get it regularly. I think I've seen it mentioned that the maps are "4 to 5 year" projections, but today's actual coverage is something like 4% of DFW.
And what exactly do you need that for in your phone? To watch youtube in HD?
Responsive interfaces have to do all that in a few hundredths of seconds. Say ten for routine clicks, twenty for actions that seem less routine to the user, as much as fifty for really exceptional actions. Even twenty is not very many, and shaving off one, two or four hundredths helps.
Does it seem stupid to say that a search available in 0.19s is better than one in 0.23s? But these things do matter.
It's 2012, dammit. Why can we not reasonably expect 100 megabits bandwidth in the continental US? I'd be happy with only 10 megabits, but with hotel wifi you can usually only get around 100kbps or less.
If you are downloading 1MB of data the difference in delivery between the two speeds (42mbps vs. 72mbps) is 80ms (190ms vs 111ms) Hardly life-changing.
Apple has a loyal mac user base willing to pay an Apple premium. A business that won't just disappear overnight. They had a good head start on iphones. Combined with the obscure phone prices on plans, Apple can easily get their premium here. The tablet market they pretty much had to themselves.
Now Android really is mature. Great devices at great prices that compete with iOS devices on features and not just on price.
Lets see if they can keep up their margins.
Android is to Toyota what Apple is to Mercedes. They both essentially do the same thing, will get you to the same places, but it's a different kind of ride. Some people like Toyotas, and that's OK.
I also don't think the kind of people that buy Android devices are the same people that buy iOS devices. Not mention the homogeny of the whole Apple experience and how much smoother that gets with each iteration of OSX and iOS. I can pick up one device where I left off on another one. Because Google doesn't own that kind of end to end experience, it will be hard for them to compete on a whole.
But the car analogy is just bad. Mercedes sells cars into different markets with different feature sets than Toyota. People don't buy a Camry expecting it to accelerate like a E350. And the "polish" features are things like Leather Seats and climate control, which are objectively measurable.
Compare the Nexus 10, which by basically all objective measures is a better piece of hardware than the retina iPad. All that Apple has on it is brand and opinion.
Even Mercedes can't sell cars on brand and opinion alone.
But it's interesting to think about why. It's typical that as market categories mature, we get segmentation. Start with the model T, eventually you have luxury SUVs, sportscars, minivans, large sedans, smarcars....
> I can pick up one device where I left off on another one.
I would argue that seamlessness across devices has historically almost always been stronger on Android than iOS (although they're pretty similar right now that iCloud is fairly caught up with Google's cloud offerings). It's changing OS that's a hassle.
> The select/copy/paste is just bizarre
Really? I found this quite intuitive and feature complete; I don't really know what it's like on iOS, are you sure you're not just used to a different way of doing things?
I didn't have your laginess issues with the N7 but I'm sure your complaints are legit. Nevertheless I think they will vary from device to device; it's not clear that Apple could build a $200 tablet with those specs that didn't ever lag. Knowing Apple, if they couldn't they just wouldn't.
On paper the N10 looks considerably better to me than the iPad (lighter, has better screen resolution, etc.). That's BMW vs. Mercedes not Toyota vs. Mercedes. We'll see if it lives up to its specs but if it does I don't think there's much left to the argument that Apple products are on the whole better rather than different.
Really ? I used to own an iPad 2 and an iPhone 3g. Because they were much, much better than the competition at the time. I sold my iPad 2, got a nexus 7. I'm going to buy a Nexus 4 as soon as it's released.
I don't understand your point about laggy typing with the Nexus 7. Did you hit the bug on the 16gb that starts when you have your internal storage filled ? (yeah, I agree that this kind of bug shouldn't even exist, but if you've filled your N7's ssd and ignored this bug you don't really know how smooth the device can be) I've always been good at typing, I get a very high word-per-minute on a real keyboard and a satisfying wpm on touch keyboards with good prediction, I admit I use swiftkey rather than the built-in android keyboard but I haven't noticed a lag so far. The experience has been stellar for me, everything runs as smooth as my iPad 2 but I now get the functionality I have always desired, such as a real filesystem access, the ability to disable built in apps and use a third party app as the default (Android Intents) and so on.
I admit that android is lacking in tablet apps, but that's almost certainly going to be solved with the release of the Nexus 7 and now the Nexus 10, because past android tablets really sucked and you couldn't count on them to get OS upgrades. With the Nexus 7 and 10, developers will have a good reason to come to the platform. The Nexus 7 is already outselling all the other android tablets combined I think. JellyBean and ICS fixed a lot of what was wrong with the UI and smoothness. When it comes to the core OS itself, I now consider Android on par with iOS, which wasn't the case for me during the days of 2.x and honeycomb for tablets. Why do I like android better than iOS now that they're on par (IMHO) ? the ability to customize the OS, even without having to root the device. I didn't root my N7 nor did I install a custom rom. But I'm using a third party launcher, keyboard and lots of app that CAN'T exist under the iOS ecosystem. I've always wanted to use Android, but bought iOS devices in the past because they were objectively better and too good compared to the subpar android releases, my desire for a more free (as in freedom) ecosystem didn't outweigh the cons of early android. But in 2012, with Nexus devices ? iOS is dead to me.
I'm not saying iOS sucks. I still like it a lot, and think that Apple truly changed the market and I doubt the competition would've become as good if Apple didn't release those devices. But I absolutely can't stand the walled garden and only submitted to it because of the lack of real competition, until now. If Apple gave us the kind of freedom with expect on a computer, be it an OS X laptop or Windows 8 laptop, I would have no qualms in coming back to iOS, and buy the next iPhone or iPad. But with android getting much better than it used to be, and iOS being still as constraining as it was in the past, hell no! Waiting for the jailbreak when new devices are released, and waiting before installing os updates because they break the jailbreak is not for me. Android allows me to do things you'd need a jailbreak on iOS, but not something like rooting or unlocking the bootloader on Android. Btw I'm not a software pirate, I buy the apps that catch my interest, I don't need "full freedom" but android gives out far more freedom out of the box than iOS and some of those freedoms are truly useful. Swiftkey is the best virtual keyboard I've ever used, your mileage may vary. You can't replace the keyboard on iOS without jailbreaking. You can't have a keyboard with symbols for programming without jailbreaking. Why ? Why should we let ourselves be shackled by Apple so much ?
Windows 8 (RT and Phone) is going the wrong direction too. Sideloading shouldn't even be a word. Installing apps outside of an app store shouldn't be considered a specific, niche use case.
The N4 is bonkers too. Sure there are other phones with HD screens now, but with a quad Krait? the only other I know is the Mi2, and good luck getting one at launch.
The N7 with cellular is really tempting since with a little hack you could have a tablet+phone hybrid (using a Bt headset). Too bad it still uses the Tegra3, a SoC that couldn't keep up with the dual Krait.
But overall I think Google just brought a gun to knife fight...
Scrabble on iPad is awesome. Also, please dont mention Words With Friends.
While I'm plugging tablet board game apps, this implementation of backgammon is Awesome. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.njsoftware... It regularly wipes the floor with me on higher difficulty levels, and has a lot of really nice features.
Probably because Android has traditionally focused on 7" tablets. Board games are the one area where I wish my iPad 3 was bigger. :(
My understanding is that the android api has improved recently with respect to the ability to support these types of apps, but for whatever reason there's still a noticeable lack of these apps.
> 5.4. Audio Latency
> Audio latency is broadly defined as the interval between when an application requests an audio playback or record
operation, and when the device implementation actually begins the operation. Many classes of applications rely on
short latencies, to achieve real-time effects such sound effects or VOIP communication. Device implementations
that include microphone hardware and declare android.hardware.microphone SHOULD meet all audio latency
requirements outlined in this section. See Section 7 for details on the conditions under which microphone hardware
may be omitted by device implementations.
> For the purposes of this section:
> - "cold output latency" is defined to be the interval between when an application requests audio playback and
when sound begins playing, when the audio system has been idle and powered down prior to the request
> - "warm output latency" is defined to be the interval between when an application requests audio playback and
when sound begins playing, when the audio system has been recently used but is currently idle (that is, silent)
> - "continuous output latency" is defined to be the interval between when an application issues a sample to be
played and when the speaker physically plays the corresponding sound, while the device is currently playing
> - "cold input latency" is defined to be the interval between when an application requests audio recording and
when the first sample is delivered to the application via its callback, when the audio system and microphone
has been idle and powered down prior to the request
> - "continuous input latency" is defined to be when an ambient sound occurs and when the sample
corresponding to that sound is delivered to a recording application via its callback, while the device is in
> Using the above definitions, device implementations SHOULD exhibit each of these properties:
> - cold output latency of 100 milliseconds or less
> - warm output latency of 10 milliseconds or less
> - continuous output latency of 45 milliseconds or less
> - cold input latency of 100 milliseconds or less
> - continuous input latency of 50 milliseconds or less
> Note: while the requirements outlined above are stated as "SHOULD" for Android 4.1, the Compatibility Definition
for a future version is planned to change these to "MUST". That is, these requirements are optional in Android 4.1
but will be required by a future version. Existing and new devices that run Android 4.1 are very strongly
encouraged to meet these requirements in Android 4.1, or they will not be able to attain Android compatibility
when upgraded to the future version.
> If a device implementation meets the requirements of this section, it MAY report support for low-latency audio, by
reporting the feature "android.hardware.audio.low-latency" via the android.content.pm.PackageManager class.
[Resources, 37] Conversely, if the device implementation does not meet these requirements it MUST NOT report
support for low-latency audio.
When bored I'll browse to see if there is a new app, but it is always the same. Sales are bad too as I generally have purchased more than 85% of what Google decides to put on sale.
For real drawing,
Adobe Photoshop Touch https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.adobe....
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adsk.sketc...
For simple and very responsive line drawing, Quill https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.write.Quil...
If your use case is more diagrammatic, try Skitch https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote.s...
There's still definitely space for a proper drawing app on Android.
-Again, the documentation isn't well-written. It almost all feels like it's written either by an engineer with little writing experience or a technical writer without engineering experience. There have been times when I've had to re-read passages over and over again because I genuinely couldn't parse what they were trying to say.
-The insistence on weak typing everywhere is insane. Intents are sloppy, weakly-typed junk; Messages ditto. The R auto-generated class isn't bright either--even if you need an integer index, at least wrap it in a type-safe class to eliminate the possibility of passing the wrong thing around. I really do genuinely like working in Java, but I like working in well-designed Java. This is the same company that made Guava, which is perhaps the most elegantly designed API I know of in Java-land. But many of Android's APIs treat classes as an incidental hindrance.
-Dalvik blows. There is nothing good about it and there's so much that's bad about it. The class limit is crippling, and the lack of hot-loading is prohibitive. (I write games in my spare time, I'd love to be able to use Groovy as a scripting layer, but that's not going to happen.)
-This might sound crazy, but XML is a machine-readable format. People know that, right? Okay, great. So why are the tools for building layouts so much junk?
Not on this list is fragmentation, because I don't find that to be a real problem for my purposes. My app for work is 4.0+ only, and I test on a Galaxy Nexus; if it works there it'll work on a SIII or an Atrix HD or whatever else somebody wants to try. (We're outsourcing wide device testing to uTest, but our app isn't done so I haven't had the opportunity to try their services.)
I've been working with the Android SDK for a few years now, and I haven't found any of the things you mentioned to be a major hindrance.
Personally I think the documentation is just fine - Perhaps I haven't been poking around the same corners of it that you have, but the tutorials have always been helpful and the design guide is very good.
The weak typing is again an annoyance. However in all my time I can say, that I have only run into one bug that was caused by weak typing and that was on the R auto-generated class. Typically your strings are a R.strings, colours are at R.colours, etc so it makes it pretty easy to spot if you are passing a string through where you should be passing a colour.
I did java dev back in the 1.1 and 1.2 days - now that JVM sucked! Dalvik, again I have never had any problems with.
As for the GUI design tools, they are probably some of the best I have seen. Definitely better than the tools that I was using to do Swing dev work back in the day.
So yes, all those things you mentioned could do with some more polish. But I have found my Android dev experience to be good one and the android SDK is more than adequate to develop some pretty hefty apps!
Here's the problem. Say you need to pass around a specific resource (reusable code somewhere in your app):
void doSomething(int stringResourceId)
^ THIS IS WRONG
And comparing the GUI design stuff to Swing is ignoring the ridiculous number of vastly better systems everywhere else. SWT is great. Microsoft, too, nailed it with WinForms and WPF/XAML kick an unreasonable amount of ass (though I won't use it because, derp, Windows). Swing sucked from day one.
Your post disagrees with me, and that's fine, but I get a vibe of "good enough" out of most of it and we should, as a culture, be better than that. Android isn't. It is precisely "good enough," and that sucks because the Android people are obviously very smart people who could be doing vastly better.
* I really like that the OS can handle so much of the scaling and resizing for you as you move from a 3 inch phone all the way up to 10 inch tablets
* I think google is to be commended for building an eco-system that involves so many different hardware devices, manufacturers, etc
* The latest look and feel in 4.1 and 4.2 is turning out really well. A well designed android app looks great 
* The intents system and the way you can link together different apps is very innovative. I wish iOS would copy it!
* Android is evolving at a really rapid pace.
There are some bits that are 'good enough'. You mentioned many of them. They get the job done, but are not necessarily the best way of doing things, or they need plenty more polish. I would add one thing to your list: performance. Project butter still has helped, but android still feels nowhere near as performant as the apple devices.
Finally there are some bits with just plain suck. Google HAS to do something about the upgrade story on existing devices. They can add features and optimise existing code until they are blue in the face, but it isn't going to do them one iota of good if 95% of the devices out there will never see the updates!
 - Checkout Instapaper and mint here. IMHO they look really good: http://developer.android.com/distribute/googleplay/spotlight...
 - http://androidniceties.tumblr.com/
I think google is to be commended for building an eco-system that involves so many different hardware devices, manufacturers, etc and Google HAS to do something about the upgrade story on existing devices.
Disagree on the first part, for one really big reason: the overwhelming majority of those manufacturers are anti-consumer assholes. Like, I would personally much rather that literally-literally every manufacturer who ship with a locked bootloader or who refuse to commit to three years of updates be blocked from using the Google apps on any of their devices (which is why I included the second bit). I realize Google will never do that, and the "screw you, this is how you do it right" attitude of the Nexus line is an okay "toe this line" approach, but I don't think it's sufficient.
The intents system and the way you can link together different apps is very innovative. I wish iOS would copy it!
The idea behind the intents system is groovy. The implementation is terrible. Intents external to my application are great, barring API problems. But within my application--I get the reason, intents are bad for this sort of thing because the information you can pass around is limited and not typesafe. You end up with global state or a lack of type safety and neither option makes me not want to throw things. I think I'd rather see the Activity model be more object-oriented--like, have startActivity() actually take an Activity and allow you to define a constructor.
The single thing that almost got Google into big trouble with Oracle is a weak point ;)
The ~$450 I paid for a 32GB iPad mini would net me two base Nexus 7s. Alternatively, for $100 less I can get an equivalent Nexus 7...with cell radio. Those jumps add up!
On the other hand, if the price conscious consumers move to competitors, they may raise their prices (because only people willing to pay a premium are interested anyway.)
Empirically, their are many examples of competition leading to lower prices. But the entry of low cost generic drugs have historically caused the associated branded drugs to raise their prices.
It's hard to predict which way it will work in the tablet market.
If you calculate out the number of subpixels (what actually shows colors on the screen, the important number), the 2048x1536 display on the iPad is still significantly ahead: https://www.google.com/search?q=2560*1600*2/3+-+2048*1536
Edit: and looking at the specs none of the current Nexus hardware is Pentile (4, 7, 10).
I think I'd buy a phone just for this feature.
With regards to the emerging enterprise tablet market, Google is playing serious catch-up. If Microsoft can come late to the game, but demonstrate the tenacity they have in the past, they might pull another "IE over Netscape" on Apple.
Performance is not quite there yet, but it's getting close. OSes are not quite there yet, but progress is being made there, too. I think it is only a matter of time and it might get there faster than we think.
Surface Pro, hopefully.
Edit: Basically the website still has old info about old devices.
One's not included in the box though. I wonder how much they plan to charge for that accessory.
Was really handy for a car-phone (remember those!) sim which meant the car rang pre-bluetooth days.
Less relevant these days but i also have an old BMW E38 i cherish which would benefit from such a setup were it available today.