×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Nook Color Is Now a $250 Honeycomb Tablet

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sorry-son-no-warranty-past-this-point dept.

Android 105

Barnes & Noble markets the Nook Color as an e-reader with tablet functionality handily built in, but that designation undersells it a bit — it's just as easy to see it as an Android tablet with a 7" multitouch display and a Cortex A8 processor that happens to have strong book-reading features. Compared to the current big name in 7" Android tablets, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, it's quite underspec'd (no camera or GPS receiver, Wi-Fi but no 3G), but it also costs only $250. A few days ago, Android hackers managed to put Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) onto the Color, though in a mostly crippled state. Now Liliputing points out that they've enabled hardware acceleration, too. Pretty neat that one of the cheapest capacitive-screen tablets you can get handles an operating system that a few weeks back was expected to require heavier iron. As comments at Engadget point out, it's not the very smoothest performance, but this is an early build by enthusiasts, and doesn't look too shabby. The developer's announcement of the port points out that this is a work in progress: "What is not working... pretty much everything else, no accelerometer, no wlan, no sound. Haven't started working on those things yet."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So... (2)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049166)

They found a very complex way to break a Nook Color?

Re:So... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049206)

I've been looking for a smaller tablet for home automation. This might be perfect if they get wlan working. The Galaxy Tab

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049238)

The Galaxy Tab

Is so awesome I fainted?

Crashed before I could finish my post?

can't wait for the sequel to this post!

Re:So... (2)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049288)

I meant to say the Galaxy Tab is too expensive and has far too many features I dont want (like 3G).

Re:So... (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049392)

Onboard 3G is the only way Google will officially allow Android Market access for any Android device sold in the United States. (Samsung Galaxy Player isn't available here.) PDAs like the Archos 43 must stick to AppsLib.

Re:So... (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049416)

which is yet another reason why android marketplace is hurting.

i don't want to pay another $30 a month for more datacaps. Finding a wifi point is fairly easy even in small towns.

Re:So... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049872)

PDAs like the Archos 43 must stick to AppsLib.

Which will just have to be good enough, because I am not going to be forced to buy a data contract for a tablet or handheld. I live in the city and there's wifi everywhere I need to use such a device.

If Google (or whomever) is going to cripple non-3g devices, then they'll just lose out when the cheap Chinese knockoffs start hitting the market in large numbers. You don't have to be a genius to realize that the additional $600/yr for 3G connectivity (on top of the already-expensive phone plans) is keeping a lot of people out of the market, and the first company that offers decent functionality in a non-3g device is going to make a lot of money.

The Galaxy Tab is a nice device, but there's too much battery-killing junk on it and the price is just too damn high.

iPod touch has the App Store (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049996)

If Google (or whomever) is going to cripple non-3g devices, then they'll just lose out when the cheap Chinese knockoffs start hitting the market in large numbers.

As far as I know, these cheap Chinese knockoffs already exist, and they already run Android without the Market.

You don't have to be a genius to realize that the additional $600/yr for 3G connectivity (on top of the already-expensive phone plans) is keeping a lot of people out of the market

Or it's driving a lot of people to Apple, which allows full App Store access to owners of iPod touch and iPad Wi-Fi hardware.

The Galaxy Tab is a nice device, but there's too much battery-killing junk on it

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and the like can be turned on and off.

Re:So... (1)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049292)

Heh, I was thinking of the tank girl move from your post:

Jet Girl: You see, this tank isn't... isn't...
Tank Girl: What? Just one little adjective and we'll have a *whole* sentance. Isn't, glad, sad... mad... Lonely...
Jet Girl: Isn't... Operational.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049988)

I'd have modded you funny if you weren't AC.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049252)

Do. yourself a favor and check the Archos gen 8 tablets. 250$ isn't that cheap...

Re:So... (2)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049316)

The Archos 7" tablet is over $400 to here but it does have bluetooth (great for room based automation).

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049408)

I am a free slashdotter. I will not be modded, blogged, DRM'd, patented, podcasted or RFID'd. My life is my own.

Gotta keep those uppity "free slashdotters" in line or they will overrun the place!

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049682)

Why can't these little tablets be really really cheap? The OS is free, memory prices have come way down, there's no optical drive, and the CPUs are far cheaper than Intel chips. With system on a chip designs there's hardly anything in them. Why should they cost much more than a small digital picture frame? From people trying to sell media content or connectivity or when loaded with an OS that shows ads, the lesser powered versions will likely soon be commonly showing up for free.

I suppose one can wait until later in the year when tougher competition leads to unsold inventories of the weaker players being dumped very cheaply. The question is, will (with community work on the software) the cheaper units be fast enough and flexible enough for us to like them as general purpose devices, or will they mainly appeal to people that can settle for a narrower set of uses they're adequate for?

Often it seems like the savings on cheaper units is really a pain and suffering adjustment. But is it enough to be worth it? The funny thing is, all these companies struggling to get market share will probably get low enough shares and profit margins that it'll be like netbooks or MP3 players revisited.

These companies seem to have fantasies of getting Apple-like market share and pricing/margins, but with most of them doing little development and the user experience or hardware being incomplete or quirky in some way, how many have any real hope for being very successful? Those that survive may end up being the ones making money on the associated content/delivery fees.

If open enough platforms

Re:So... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049882)

Why can't these little tablets be really really cheap?

Because they don't have to be. Yet.

Re:So... (4, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049946)

Check eBay, it's littered with sub-600MHz Android tablets with barely enough flash to hold 1.6, barely enough ram to boot, no Android Market, and likely to spend most of their lives as... digital picture frames, because most users aren't masochistic enough to suffer with them for more than a few days once the novelty wears off.

Don't write them off, though. They might be useless as general-purpose Android devices, but they're cheap enough to use as single-purpose devices (home theater remotes, family photo albums, home automation controllers, interactive cookbooks, etc) whose ultimate use just happens to have not been carved in stone (etched in silicon?) at the factory.

Nevertheless, if you really want a general-purpose Android tablet to play with NOW, don't touch ANYTHING that doesn't ship with 2.1 or better, have a 1GHz or faster CPU, enough battery life to actively use for 3-4 hours, and still have enough of a charge after laying ("off") on a table or sofa cushion for a day or two to use for 5-10 minutes before you HAVE to put it back on the charger. Try to find one that has 1280x800 or better resolution, because that's the magic point where you can almost read two O'Reilly-sized pages side by side from a pdf file. Not coincidentally, demanding better than 480x800 ALSO happens to weed out most of the tablets that are too slow/limited to be worth bothering with right now.

Oh, and just to warn everyone... don't buy a Galaxy Tab unless you're absolutely delighted with it as it exists RIGHT NOW, because Samsung has already fucked millions of customers who made the mistake of buying a Captivate, Vibrant, Epic4G, Fascinate, or Mesmerize. Maybe it's Samsung's fault, maybe it's the carriers' fault, but either way, if you buy a Galaxy Tab, it's coming from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Verizon, or some regional carrier. If they don't even care enough about their millions of PHONE customers to upgrade them to Froyo and fix the goddamn dysfunctional GPS, does anyone really think they're going to pay more attention to a few hundred thousand tablet purchasers?

Re:So... (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051332)

I wonder if anyone has dug into these lower-RAM devices to see if a higher capacity chip could be installed? Granted there aren't many people qualified to deal with surface mount device removal and installation, but if there was demand some would probably be willing to offer the service.

If someone wants to do business with memory products, here's another idea: Produce USB drives with a physical write-enable switch so the drives can be malware immune when only read access is needed.

Re:So... (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052440)

It wouldn't be easy or cheap to install more RAM into those devices. They don't use socketed RAM like your laptop or desktop does. They use a SoC which contains (almost) the entire system, on a chip. By the time you are done you would have spent more money than what a new one would cost you.

Re:So... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054892)

Why can't these little tablets be really really cheap?

You can get them for GBP 80 on ebay in the UK (just had a look). I suppose it depends on what your definition of cheap, but that's less than USD 150.

It's not "99p calculator" cheap, but even so...

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049272)

Hacking the ebook readers may be the only way to make them really useful.

Scientific American had an article about the the E-Readers; The Trouble with E-Readers, by David Pogue [scientificamerican.com] , where they essentially says that they are a hype.

However I see a problem with the ebook, and that is that if you break your reader or run out of battery (either will happen eventually) then the books you have will be unreadable. Breaking a paper book doesn't make it unreadable, and at worst you have to re-glue the pages but usually a piece of tape is sufficient.

And if you buy a paper book then your kids can read it too, but will the ebook reader and the books it contains survive that long?

Re:So... (1)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049368)

ah, I should note as an e-reader convert: you don't have to replace your paper books. I supplement my library with the kindle, which is easier to take on trips than three paperbacks. It's also more comfortable to read on and has the ability for automatically delivered periodicals and blogs..
but if you don't throw out your paper library, you don't have to worry about electronic failure so much (:
(i also keep backups of all my ebooks)

Re:So... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049492)

I disagree with the conclusion of that article. I picked up an iLiad a few years ago, and it's seen a lot of use. It's significantly better for reading than a laptop screen, especially in sunlight, and is more portable than paper books. I quite often use it when I'm travelling, as I can fill it up with research papers and books from Project Gutenberg to read. It's not a substitute for paper books, but it's definitely a useful device.

That said, the Nook Color is an entirely different class of device. It's basically a crappy tablet with some marketing and crippled firmware, not an eInk device.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050008)

It's basically a crappy tablet with some marketing and crippled firmware, not an eInk device.

So it's more like an iPad? ... :D

Posting AC because everyone know you can't touch Apple. And everyone know I'm aliquis anyway ;D

Re:So... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051288)

Lots of companies released tablets. They sucked, largely because they don't actually solve any real problem. Then Apple released a tablet and marketed the hell out of it. Now lots of other companies are releasing tablets, which uniformly suck because they don't actually solve a real problem. The moral of this story is: a bad idea doesn't stop being a bad idea just because Apple does it, but Apple can make its competitors waste a lot of money by releasing a product in a pointless market.

Re:So... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051812)

Lots of companies released tablets. They sucked, largely because they don't actually solve any real problem. Then Apple released a tablet and marketed the hell out of it. Now lots of other companies are releasing tablets, which uniformly suck because they don't actually solve a real problem.

Anecdote time! Out of the five people I know with iPads (who also each own iPhones and Macs), two have stopped using their iPads in favor of their phones.

Re:So... (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049620)

Running out of battery mid-journey is a legitimate drawback (although my nook handles transatlantic flights fine, even with a few extra hours reading in the terminal waiting for delayed connections, so really you're talking over a day without access to somewhere to charge before it's an issue), and I suppose if you do happen to break your eReader then it's likely to be more of a catastrophic failure than if you damage a paperback, but the way you say it seems to be based on the idea that the reader contains your only copy of each book, and once it's broken they're gone forever. Even War & Peace is only a bit more than a megabyte, most other books are much less - backing up your collection is not exactly onerous. DRM is an extreme annoyance, and I try to avoid giving money to those publishers who choose to use it, but even for those who do tolerate it it doesn't tie purchases to a specific serial number or anything (and, in its current incarnation, is trivially removed).

Paper books certainly have their advantages, but so do ebooks - that article does touch on the issue by pointing out that new tech tends to supplement rather than replace - the ideal circumstance would be for paperbacks to come with a non-DRMed electronic copy (maybe for a $1 extra charge or so - even at that rate they'd be profiting significantly), giving the best of both worlds.

Re:So... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051448)

Actually, a QR code printed in the back of the book would be a pretty darn cool way to handle it. Yes, you would get sites online that distribute the QR codes, but you already get that with the books themselves, so nothing would be lost on that front.

Re:So... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049982)

I hope I'm following you correctly and not missing some piece of info, but how does running out of battery render an ebook unreadable? I sold a Sony reader and got a new model, and all the books and newspapers I purchased in the past were waiting in the Sony store app, ready for download. As for reading a book 200 years from now? What 200 year old books do you know that are anywhere but a museum, behind a safety glass, etc. I don't know about anyone else, but for most books, once you read them, you rarely go back, so they end up taking up room, and breaking your back when you move.

I'll take the eBook, thanks. I know that I'm only paying for the license to read it. So be it.

Re:So... (2)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052012)

I have only read one book that was physically over 100 years old (Eene aanmerkelijke luchtreis, 1813 W.Bilderdijk), but I have read many that were printed 50 or more years ago. Most of them originally owned by my parents or grandparents. Jules Verne, Old Shatterhand, Sherlock Holmes, Asimov's Foundation is from 1951. Hell, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is already 43 years old.

I can name many more, but most of them are from Dutch writers that would probably not mean anything to you. The oldest book I currently own myself is printed in 1912 and maybe 50-60 that are over 50 years old. My parents and grandparents have many more, a lot of which I read and enjoyed. Most of the books I own were printed in the last 30 years, I do tend to buy books quite a lot second hand, I think about 50%. I think I have read at least half of the books I own more than once.

Once a book has been published, a new edition is usually just as good as one that was printed years ago. It's not like a Lord of the Rings printed in the fifties is in any way different from one printed yesterday. I can only see an argument for wanting a more recent edition when you read something in translation.

I hope my children will read these books one day.

Your points are valid. Still... (1)

gwolf (26339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050014)

I have a Kindle 3. And love it. I have bought few books, but use it extensively to read other files I have got (ebooks, PDFs, simple text files, ... - And yes, I'll recognize it's not 100% legally acquired material) And no, I don't and won't see it as my long-term library. From the books I have read, I have already bought two - One to keep as a hard-copy in my bookshelf, one to give away as a present. Oh, and of course, I have also downloaded electronic versions of books I have sitting on my bookshelf for years.

I have stuffed my Kindle with a couple hundred magazines and books I had lying around my computer, waiting for some time to read with no distractions, so I can now just pick up anything I fancy, as it's all there in my pocket. It is very useful as a quick reference from technical manuals, but due to the much better back-and-forth navigability of a paper book (I am one of those that often uses three fingers pointing to different pages at mid-read), I'll often prefer to stand up and get the book.

Mind if I ask? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050172)

I have a Kindle 3. And love it. I have bought few books, but use it extensively to read other files I have got (ebooks, PDFs, simple text files, ...

How good is the PDF experience on the Kindle3? I have an iPad, and it's decent (color), but it's a bit heavy for reading long hours at night. My main usage of ebooks are to read my tech manuals which are all PDFs.

Kindle and PDFs (3, Informative)

gwolf (26339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051284)

The experience is... Ok. Although not stellar, by far - PDFs are usually produced to be displayed/printed on a letter/A4 format, that is, about 3x the size of the screen. The Kindle tries to get as close as possible to the PDF by cropping the displayed portion. Sadly, it does not recognize elements that make the display be too reduced (i.e. the header/footer, repeated at every page with minimal modifications)... But anyway, reading it at page level zoom is usually very uncomfortable (and I have very good sight), if at all possible.

Zooming into the text is useless, as the zoom cuts the page in half horizontally - so if you are not reading material with columns (i.e. a magazine), it's basically useless.

What I do, and have read several books with, is to rotate the screen and hold it in landscape. The cropping is then adjusted for maximum effective horizontal space. It is still not as comfortable as reading a text, native format - but it is much better, and more than enough for reading a book.

Finally, if your PDF is mostly text, you can mail it to [your-address]@free.kindle.com, with "convert" as the subject. It usually does the right thing.

Re:So... (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050022)

Um.. what are you talking about? If you break your eReader, when you buy another one, you associate it to your account and re-download everything. At least, that's how it works with Nook and Kindle. What happens if your basement gets flooded and all your books in storage are ruined by mold?

And in the meantime, you can associate other devices to your account (like the iPad that won't work with Sony's device...) and view your books on those (again, with Nook and Kindle, that is.) Barnes and Noble will even helpfully sync the last page read across all devices running nook software (on purchased books...) which can connect to the internet, so you can read on ePaper during the day and on your backlit iPad at night, if you so choose.

And it takes a lot of page-turns to drain the battery of an ebook reader. Basically, an entire book worth.

The sci-am article is bullshit: eBook readers fill a niche; they have drawbacks AND benefits, and those benefits are significant for people who like to read novels. They're less beneficial to people who like to collect books, though. (would you rather read "The Great Gatsby" or be the "great" Gatsby?)

Which reminds me.. the last ebook I read came from my town Library. It worked almost like a regular book, except that I didn't have to handle the standard bulky hard-cover book that libraries seem to favor and cover in that finger-print revealing, icky-feeling cellophane.

Re:So... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050048)

If you can find one where you are.

They aren't available in many countries.

Re:So... (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050794)

Oh yeah, I can't tell you how many times I find myself in assorted foreign countries. That's definitely a problem most people will have in their daily lives.

eBooks aren't a religion. If you find yourself with a broken reader in a country with no compatible eBook readers and a need to read.. then find a local solution. Maybe buy a regular book.

Re:So... (3, Informative)

Yosho (135835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052508)

And it takes a lot of page-turns to drain the battery of an ebook reader. Basically, an entire book worth.

For what it's worth, my Kindle, at least, is way better than that. I've never let it get completely drained, but I have gone on trips where I've read through 3 or 4 lengthy novels and only seen the battery go down to 50% or so.

Re:So... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050292)

Scientific American had an article about the the E-Readers; The Trouble with E-Readers, by David Pogue , where they essentially says that they are a hype.

That's not what it says. It says that Amazon proclaiming that e-books won is way too early, but it also says that we'll likely get there eventually.

However I see a problem with the ebook, and that is that if you break your reader or run out of battery (either will happen eventually) then the books you have will be unreadable

Why would it? I mean, breaking your laptop or having it run out of battery doesn't make the files on it unreadable.

Also, there's this "backup" thing.

Re:So... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050380)

However I see a problem with the ebook, and that is that if you break your reader or run out of battery (either will happen eventually) then the books you have will be unreadable. Breaking a paper book doesn't make it unreadable, and at worst you have to re-glue the pages but usually a piece of tape is sufficient.

I find e-readers really useful for stuff like magazines that I would recycle in a week or a month, or for my wife's trashy romance novels that only merit one reading (by her calculation -- zero by mine). These things aren't so much heirlooms to me as "clutter."

I'd like to see my Mom adopt this technology for these reasons. Especially as I'll be responsible for cleaning out her basement after she's gone.

But they won't replace the "coffee table book".

So...101 ways to an unreadable book. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050508)

However I see a problem with the ebook, and that is that if you break your reader or run out of battery (either will happen eventually) then the books you have will be unreadable. Breaking a paper book doesn't make it unreadable, and at worst you have to re-glue the pages but usually a piece of tape is sufficient.

And if I run a book through a cross-cut paper shredder how much tape do you think it'll take?

Re:So... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050524)

Scientific American had an article about the the E-Readers; The Trouble with E-Readers, by David Pogue [scientificamerican.com] , where they essentially says that they are a hype.

I think Pogue is full of it.

I was in that camp - I thought ereaders were pointless, and holding a physical book was the only way I'd ever want to read. But, having to fill six post-shoulder-surgery weeks in the dead of winter (and being effectively one-armed for the duration), I bought a Kindle - figuring I'd sell it after I got my arm back. But you know what? For reading novels, I really like the thing - the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. For example: I thought I'd hate the buttons... but, when you're holding it and reading, the navigation buttons are actually easier than a physical - or multitouch - page flip. I'm quite happy, sitting there under a reading lamp, a snifter of brandy in one hand and a Kindle in the other.

I do think ereaders have room for improvement - especially that the DRM needs to go (I'd rather not have to strip all my books manually). And I'll probably miss having a wall full of books... but that's just the part of me that doesn't like change. That's the same part of me that still misses those old giant magtape reels from 70s and 80s server rooms.

Re:So... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054968)

And I'll probably miss having a wall full of books... but that's just the part of me that doesn't like change.

I've got a whole roomful of books, as well as an ereader. They're not mutually exclusive.

Re:So... (1)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051606)

However I see a problem with the ebook, and that is that if you break your reader or run out of battery (either will happen eventually) then the books you have will be unreadable. Breaking a paper book doesn't make it unreadable, and at worst you have to re-glue the pages but usually a piece of tape is sufficient.

The same thing can be said for anything which uses an internal batteries...such as an IPod. They do have external power packs available you should be able to engineer to run or recharge whatever device on the go from a set of off-the-shelf batteries or a lithium-ion pack. It's not as convenient or looks as cool. It works...I'm happy.

I want to be cool...I'll drive a 77 Trans-AM around wearing a wig...pretending to be Burt Reynolds.

Android is the new Linux (cough) (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053300)

I spent several hours this last weekend trying to get Android running on my old WinMo phone. An HTC Titan, it sports dual 400 Mhz PPC CPUs and 64 MB of RAM. WinMo 6.1 is so broken, Android is its only hope! Because Android, with its Linux foundations, is the new "make it work" platform! it's lightweight, powerful, and provides a standard, hardware-independent platform that provides positive network effects! (such as the Android marketplace)

I didn't buy a Nook, I downloaded the Nook app for my Android phone. Whether or not you download the Nook app for my Android phone, or upgrade a Nook with Android, you end up with a device that is not only an e-book reader, but many other things!

Who wants a single-function device? Not me! My Android phone is:

1) Phone.
2) Newspaper
3) A whole library of books. (!)
4) A map of every country, city, and state in the world
5) Web Browser
6) Email,
7) MP3 player!
8) Driving directions when I want them
9) Hotline to my friends and family (Facebook!)
10) Radio, but one that plays virtually any station I want from anywhere in the world. (TuneIn Radio)
11) Microportable television.

Should I go on? Who wants to carry an ebook reader when you could be carrying so much more without any additional weight?

Re:Android is the new Linux (cough) (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054364)

The reasons (which don't really apply to the nook color, since it's just a TFT tablet) are:

1) Being able to read in direct sunshine, or, indeed any light at all
2) Having a month of battery life (very important if you're going trekking for a week!)
3) Having a larger screen than a phone (a screen the same size as a paperback book) without weighing any more

Whether or not that matters to you depends on what you do. But all tend to be important if you're reading a lot of books.

Re:Android is the new Linux (cough) (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054986)

Who wants to carry an ebook reader when you could be carrying so much more without any additional weight?

The difference between reading a book on an android phone screen and a proper ebook reader is as great as between taking a video on the 1.3Mbps built in camera and a dedicated HD camcorder.

Re:Android is the new Linux (cough) (2)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055684)

> 2) Newspaper
> 3) A whole library of books. (!)
>
> 5) Web Browser
> 6) Email,
> 9) Hotline to my friends and family (Facebook!)
>
> Should I go on?

Please don,t because you could go on forever if you listed every single thing you can do with a web browser, like buy things, find a parking spot, change my hotel reservation, read slashdot, read engadget, etc, etc. That's great. You have a web browser on a tiny screen and a slow(ish) network that costs a decent amount of money per month. I'm not saying the browser is the only feature, but that you're listing out "features" that are pretty much one feature.

E-book Readers read books fine...and that's useful (1)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054046)

I call bullshit on that article's author (or he is seriously misinformed). E-Readers are not perfect but they are definitely a working substitute for paperbacks.
E-Readers mostly fail at works with lots of illustrations (if you're using a Nook Color to read ebooks you're doing it wrong) or things like textbooks. Also many ebooks have sub-par formatting compared to their tree brethren.

They’re much more fragile than books. They run out of power, leaving you with nothing to read.

Any e-ink display device is not "much more fragile" than your typical paperback book unless you like to lug books around construction yards and hit them with hammers all day. If anything my Kindle is more rugged in average use scenarios than your typical mass market paperback because after reading tens of thousands of pages on it the cover hasn't fallen apart and the spine isn't in serious need of a re-gluing. I've also dropped it and sat on it a few times to no ill effect.

I don't even know where the power statement is coming from. Any e-ink (and even some LCD) display devices can go multiple days, even weeks, of reading without needing a charge. I admit that if you live in a third world country without an electric grid this may not be sufficient. Somehow I doubt the author of that article does.

But e-ink is also slow. With each page turn, there’s a distracting black-white-black flashing as the screen obliterates one page to prepare for the next.

Laughable. It's is at the very least comparable to how fast you turn a page when reading. It is likely faster. I'd be going off pure opinion to comment on the distracting thing (I don't find it more distracting).

You can’t read a Kindle book on a Barnes & Noble Nook or a Sony Reader book on an iPad. You can still read a 200-year-old printed book. But the odds of being able to read one of today’s e-books in 200 years, or even 20, is practically zero.

This is both true and very untrue and quite disingenuous. Without stripping DRM you can't convert books of one format to another to read on a different device. DRM for books is indeed a problem and it needs to go. However, if you strip DRM or use DRM-less sources for ebooks then you can effectively read any e-book on any device: you will just likely have to convert it to another format first. There are multiple easy to use applications that exist out there to do this (in bulk even).

I know for a fact that I will still be able to read my e-books in 20 years. While I won't be alive in 200 and I probably won't be able to read any of my paperbacks in 200 years. I've had paperbacks in my attic for only 10-15 years that are barely legible due to damage from heat, humidity, and tiny creatures that like cellulose. The ones in my bookcases have faired better but the pages still become brittle and yellow tinged. Hardcovers fair much better because they tend to use acid-free cloth paper.
The problem after 200 years for an ebook will not be that the format will be outdated (it likely will be but that's small potatoes) but that it is very likely few devices will exist to retrieve the data from whatever media it is on. At least if the relatively short period of computer history is anything to go by.

For the parent:

And if you buy a paper book then your kids can read it too, but will the ebook reader and the books it contains survive that long?

Honestly, that's a tricky question. Some of the books I read as a kid ended up in pretty bad condition (covers falling off, spines in need of repair) and are a testament to how rough kids can be on things. I remember breaking my gameboy because it was in my backpack with heavy textbooks and I dropped my backpack one too many times the wrong way on the ground.
Do I think an ebook reader can be made to survive children or children taught how to properly treat an ebook reader? Yes.
Do I think most ebook readers, without a case, will survive longer than a paperback in the possession of a child? Probably not.
I also wouldn't give a child a cell phone that costs hundreds of dollars either. Or a laptop. Or let them use my pristine hardcover copies of books. At least, not without going over some serious lessons on how to properly treat electronics first.
A paperback only costs a few bucks. An ebook reader is usually $100-150 at the cheapest.

Re:So... (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054332)

Hmmm ... the Sci Am article seems to be written by someone who doesn't get ebooks. I don't think you get them, either. The writer does have a slight point about DRM encryption, but neglects to mention that Amazon's DRM rubbish is now dead easy to strip out of books, leaving you with an open-format electronic version you can backup and format-shift at will.

I don't pirate ebooks and I'm very happy to pay for ebooks. But I always strip out the DRM, and wouldn't buy from a supplier whose DRM routines hadn't been broken. My kids will be able to read my ebook library just fine, thanks very much ...

And as for the argument about cost ... arguably the best ebook reader you can buy costs $140, which is less than the cost of six paperbacks. If your ebook reader breaks, it's hardly expensive to replace.

Don't get me wrong -- I love my physical book library too. There's a charm to affectionately looking at the spines of your favourite works of literature that you can't get with a folder of filenames. But ebooks are absolutely vital when you're travelling for extended periods of time, and great in the way they can be accessed literally anywhere on your phone. There's absolutely no reason why both paper books and ebooks can't happily coexist.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055238)

The best solution for this issue is not to buy and support DRM books. The only books I have loaded on mine are DRM-free pdf, .txt, .cbr, and .cbz. I have all of those backed up offline so even if I should break my reader I could still keep my library.

Tablet not e-book reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049184)

It has an LCD display so although I guess you CAN read books on it to the same extent you can on a laptop or a tablet but to call it an e-reader seems a bit misleading. It's not well very suited for reading books.

Re:Tablet not e-book reader (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052630)

I suppose some people don't have a problem with reading on an LCD so LCDs _might_ be suited for some, but yeah, they should just call touch based LCD devices "tablets", and eInk ones eReaders. Less confusion for people that don't know anything about the available devices.

Not really (0)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049198)

A few days ago, Android hackers managed to put Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) onto the Color, though in a mostly crippled state.

And it will remain in a crippled state. The minimum spec for Android Honeycomb is a dualcore Tegra 2 (A9) chip. The Nook has a single core A8 chip.

Which makes the title:

Nook Color Is Now a $250 Honeycomb Tablet

And since it makes no sense for the Nook to jump to a more expensive dual-core processor, it means we now have four mobile OS variations from Google:

1) Chrome OS
2) Android 2.x for Phones
3) Android 2.x for Tablets
4) Android 3.x Honeycomb

Then add HTC, Motorola, Samsung and DELL slapping incompatible UI and extensions on top of each of those offers.

The way it's going, Google fragmenting their OS solutions will soon be a drinking game.

Re:Not really (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049216)

> The minimum spec for Android Honeycomb is a dualcore Tegra 2 (A9) chip.

You'll struggle to find a citation for that. Don't bother with the rumours sites please - something from Google would be great.

There is no min spec for Honeycomb. (2)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049254)

And it will remain in a crippled state. The minimum spec for Android Honeycomb is a dualcore Tegra 2 (A9) chip. The Nook has a single core A8 chip.

http://twitter.com/#!/morrildl/status/22845294886518785 [twitter.com]

Re:There is no min spec for Honeycomb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049598)

Stan had it right. The minimum processor requirements for Honeycomb were revealed by a well-placed anonymous source at an unnamed OEM, reported first by iluvandroid.com and iphone4ever.com, and then widely reported by just about every tech site on the Web (including this one [slashdot.org] ).

I don't know who this Dan Morrill guy is, but who are you going to believe: him or the whole Internet?

Re:There is no min spec for Honeycomb. (1)

SadButTrue (848439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050044)

Not sure if you were going for teh funnies but:

This tweet from Dan Morrill, Android Open Source & Compatibility Tech lead, means more than meets the eye. This officially opens up all possibilities for custom ROM makers, as there aren't any minimum processor requirements for Honeycomb.
http://www.androidguys.com/2011/01/07/dan-morill-minimum-requirements-honeycomb/ [androidguys.com]
The tweet referred to above:
http://twitter.com/morrildl/status/22845294886518785# [twitter.com]

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049268)

There is no minimum spec for Android 3.0. There were rumors that there would be but they have proven to be false.
Android 2.0 for Phones and Tablets is the same thing.

Re:Not really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051348)

First APL fans say the reason why they bought their product of existing phones is because it's optimized for a small touch screen. Now Google's optimizing for tablets, and now it's a problem? Go back to your gimped, crappy tablet they're rumoured to be breaking their once-a-year product launch because they know they gimped their own product for suckers like you to run and gush over it (no camera when 1 month later FT came in? 256MB when their phone has 512MB when the tablet NEEDS more memory for higher resolution games / apps?)

I assume you are an APL fan simply because you bring up this "fragmentation" as a huge huge issue when it really isn't. Every platform runs into the same issues if they change anything about it. Interface type, resolution, CPU to a lesser degree. No fragmentation occurred for APL devices because they gimped their screen resolution for the first 3 versions of the phone when better screen resolution has been available: Sharp Aquos Fulltouch 931SH had a ~299DPI screen almost 3 years ago. At least Google / Android had the guts (and forethough) to enable apps to support multiple resolutions, so no multiple resolution apps are required even for tablets If you want fragmentation, you should go look at the Inception App's comments on the official website. People with different APL devices are having trouble with it. That is fragmentation, too you know.

great low-cost tablet (5, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049248)

I have no interest in paying separate 3G fees or contracts, and I already have an Android phone. So I thought the NOOKcolor would be a great way of playing some games and reading some free e-books on long airplane flights.

I bought one, and within an hour had it rooted, replaced the sucky built-in "Home" activity with LauncherPro [appbrain.com] , replaced the sucky built-in soft keyboard with Smart Keyboard Pro [appbrain.com] , and re-mapped the hardware volume buttons into the missing hardware MENU and BACK buttons. (You can do the last part with a "Soft Keys" service, but I prefer the hardware keys.) It plays Angry Birds and even X Plane 9 Mobile very well. The orientation sensor seems to be a bit weaker, tipping acts more like a 20-sided die vs a sphere.

In fact, since I have very little interest in paying the same price for electronic books that cannot be copied, shared, or transferred like real books, I have been returning to the classics - authors that have enriched the public domain after their years of exclusivity. I find the free FBReader [appbrain.com] to have a better interface than the built-in Barnes and Noble book reading interface.

Many other games have not yet fixed their assumptions about maximum screen pixel dimensions, so they have hit-testing or background art scaling problems. Those will get fixed over time. Some apps or games like Alchemy Classic [appbrain.com] work better with more real estate, and some apps or games like my own Qwiz - Hiragana [appbrain.com] make use of the bigger screen with larger print or graphic elements.

Re:great low-cost tablet (2)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049376)

Actually, you will pay more for an ebook over the paper back.

I was on a trip and happened to run through my spare reading material. I was not in a position to retrieve the next book in a series and as a last resort hopped on kindle. The price for paper back was around 5 or 6 dollars, but if I had been picky I could find it used for less. Now, the kindle edition was around 9 dollars for the exact same thing, but in digital format.

Again, being away from home I had only a few easy options and I settled on the price. In that instance I had to chalk it up to the extra costs of travel and at the very least I am paid far extra for the inconvenience.

I do like to give away my books once I've finished reading them, but I can't really do that either now.

Re:great low-cost tablet (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049490)

Another problem I'm finding with ebooks (purchased through Amazon) is that in several cases they're nothing but bad OCR jobs. It pisses me off no end to pay 9 bucks for an ebook only to find words hyphenated in the middle of a line, number '1' instead of 'I', and even strange special characters being substituted for letters. When publishers decide to actually put in some effort to get their product at least as correct as their print versions, then I might see the point of paying for them. I've got plenty of Project Gutenberg ebooks and even pirated ebooks from torrents that were more professionally and conscientiously produced. Simply having an intern run the book through a scanner (as has been obvious in some books) and not even bothering to correct the text does not justify charging a damn thing.

Re:great low-cost tablet (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049654)

I've noticed the same, on occasion. The strange thing is that, except for titles that have long been out of print, they must have a source file somewhere or they'd be unable to produce the paperbacks - I can understand (although wouldn't condone) skipping the proof-reader to save costs, but why are they using OCR in the first place?

Re:great low-cost tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35054406)

I've never seen this on Amazon books! If you ever get something like this, I'd be writing to them to complain ... that's really not on!

Re:great low-cost tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049594)

Depends on the ebook.

As an iPhone developer my boss asked me to get into android development(oh man I don't believe in coincidences). But I needed to get up to speed quickly, and for me that's a good book. So I found the book at my local B&N for $50. It's been a long time since I shopped for a physical technical book like this, but I'm reminded that these are highly focused books who cater to a select few. But as a frugal man I decide to look for it cheaper. I found out that since the latest Android OS is relatively new nobody has the latest version of the book used (in cursory searches), and that everyone else has it for the same price or more.

But on a whim I checked out B&N's website which also listed the ebook price right under the physical book. $35 for something I can't find anywhere else for a lower price. Not bad. And since I never give away technical books, I can really see the second side to buying books digitally.

Re:great low-cost tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051502)

I have the nookcolor but not thrilled with ebook prices. Lots of *free* stuff out there but not exactly what I'm looking for to read.
There are alternatives...one place I found gives the option of subscribing for periods of time and I chose the 1 month for $12.99.

Downloaded over 3000 books in that time, was able to back up most of my favorite series and get some books that I'll be willing try in the future.

DRM-free and I've put them on my desktop, laptop and the nook. most come with a choice of multiple formats.

I keep about 300 books on the nook and use calibre to keep a few newspapers and magazine on as well.

Works for me.

Re:great low-cost tablet (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055050)

1 month for $12.99.

Downloaded over 3000 books in that time

I assume this is not exactly a legal site? Sounds too good to be true otherwise, that's half a lifetime's worth of reading for the cost of a couple of burgers.

Re:great low-cost tablet (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054260)

Quote: Actually, you will pay more for an ebook over the paper back.

Well, it depends. If you are buying from the Kindle store, I guess you are right.

If you are buying from Baen, you can spend $15 and get six to eight books.

If you are pulling from the Baen Free Library or from the (legal!) Fifth Imperium archive of Baen books, you are getting books for free.

If you are pulling public domain books from feedbooks.com or direct from Project Gutenberg, you are getting books for free.

I have spent hundreds of dollars over the past decade buying ebooks from Baen. Most of them I bought in those $15 bundles where you get multiple books. I have hundreds of Baen books now, not even counting the Free Library books or the ones from Fifth Imperium.

I used to use a Handspring Visor to read the books; later a Palm TX; and now my phone (a Motorola Droid 2 running Android Froyo). None of these devices get heavier when I load more books on them. I can bring my entire collection of Baen books on every trip I take.

Meanwhile many of the books I bought as a teenager (cheap paperbacks) have pages turning brown and getting brittle. Everything has pluses and minuses.

steveha

Re:great low-cost tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050808)

That's great, if your will to keep doing this and doing this 1/2 hour at a time, as with all jail breaking it's a hobby. I have enough hobbies.

Re:great low-cost tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055568)

3G fees? I was under the impression that the 3G ebook readers (Nook/Kindle 3G) included free 3G service?

Please confirm/deny?

Just bought a nook color a couple weeks ago. (1)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049250)

I have an android phone also. Putting honeycomb on the nook might be entertaining. My observation of the nook color so far is that it is a little slow. So it is not surprising that honeycomb is a little laggy. What would be truly amazing is if they (the individuals porting honeycomb to nook) actually fixed the performance via code and handed it back to B&N. That would be too funny. Could be a plus for B&N and take them beyond just e-books. B&N do have a few apps besides the e-book reader for the nook. They have stated that they will have more in the future. But imagine if they opened up the android market place for the nook. They could go from 6 apps to millions. Although, allot of hardware is missing on the color nook that android apps often utilise. I think it would be fun to have a race between e-book readers and pad computers for price and features.

Re:Just bought a nook color a couple weeks ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049740)

My rooted nook is quite snappy after some tweaking and overclocking.

Re:Just bought a nook color a couple weeks ago. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050298)

Nook is kinda slow because it runs Android 2.1 out of the box - that doesn't have Dalvik JIT, among other things.

Ahh.., thank you. (1)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051004)

Good to know that its 2.1. All it says on system information is version 1.0. But that I am assuming is referring to the e-book application. I haven't had a chance to tear it apart yet to see "what makes it tick" yet. Hopefully I will find time soon. Thanks again for the 2.1 and missing JIT info, it gives me a place to start from.

Re:Ahh.., thank you. (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051126)

Yeah, 1.0 is the Nook software/firmware.

I haven't had a chance to tear it apart yet to see "what makes it tick" yet. Hopefully I will find time soon.

It's not all that hard, actually. The unstable thing TFA talks about is Honeycomb, but you can also turn Nook into a tablet running 2.1 - with all bells and whistles working, since the OS remains the same, you just unlock its features. Even get the Market on it if you want. Here [nookdevs.com] is all you need to know

The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (3, Interesting)

Dr. Crash (237179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049320)

I've played extensively with a Nook Color.... and dispite a luscious color screen, it's none too speedy even doing what it's supposed to be doing, being a bookreader. Pages stutter as they cross the page; the update rate is not only well below 10 Hz but it's also irregular.

I can only fear what it might be like running something "that should have more CPU available".

That said, for $250, who cares? :)

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049370)

My nook color is a lot smoother now that I overclocked it up to 1 Ghz from 800 mhz. Also, running a different launcher program makes way more difference than I expected. If you remove the various phone services that are built into android, it also helps a bit.

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049550)

I've owned a color nook for 2 months. I don't find the built in book reader to be slow. As a book reader, it is much faster than E-ink display dedicated book readers (e.g. Kindle3 and Nook classic). I can leaf through EPUB formatted books at a rate of about 3 or 4 pages a second. Maybe if I played with it more extensively I'd think it was slow too, but at the moment I'm to busy using the color nook as an ereader :)

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049696)

There is no page turn animation on the Nook Color, and thus nothing that 'stutters' when 'crossing the page [sic].'

I declare you full of crap.

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050060)

Perhaps there is "tearing" as the page updates.

I won't know, because I won't buy a Nook Color. I don't think Barnes and Noble can afford to compete with both the iPad AND the Kindle, and I'm afraid that by trying to compete with the former, they're going to start ignoring the latter (like, right now, for instance, they seem to have missed the new, smaller lighter kindle...)

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051138)

I own it. There isn't. It just appears. No tearing, no lag in updating, it's just there.

That is not because of the hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051500)

The Android OS is a heavy stutter. No matter how you look at it, Android visualization (animation) are very sluggish by design .... and based on video previous, it does not look like Honeycomb will be an improvement.

Re:The color Nook is none too speedy at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35058004)

This is "News for Nerds," right? Well, you hardly deserve that title...

My rooted Nook, at 1.1ghz, has no lag at all in any of the half dozen e-reading apps I currently have loaded -- including those that use page-turning animations. Each of my four web browsers runs quite well, and the movies on my SD card play flawlessly in the various video players I have loaded. HQ Youtube videos look fantastic on this screen!

My Google apps and market also run great, while the new 1.1r2 update even added pinch-zoom to the stock Nook browser!

And then, of course, there's Angry Birds for those long ride on the metro every morning. :)

All in all, this is the best $250 I've spent on a geek accessory in a very VERY long time...

autoglaser friedel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049344)

we recommended in our autoglas freiburg [autoglaser-friedel.de] station for windschutzscheiben reparatur with new ipad. i think its universal, most compatible and useful. and you find what you want.

Meh (0)

HaveNoMouth (556104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049346)

Call me when you can run Linux on an iPad in a VM.

Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (2)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049664)

It's been my universal experience that community hardware ROMs tend to suck, and worse, the community usually isn't honest and upfront about all the problems; it's only after you install, find a slew of problems, and start googling that you find all the email and forum threads with dozens of "me too"s and no response from developers. I installed Cyanogen 6.1.1 on my Android phone, and it turns out there are a slew of issues that were reported in the 6.1 release candidates that "cyanogen" and his buddies just never could be pissed to fix before final release OR the .1.1 update that followed. It doesn't support hidden SSIDs, when the stock ROM does just fine. It also no longer supports sleeping with WiFi; if the phone goes into sleep mode, you have to cycle WiFi on and off again. Worse, wifi goes dead in a way that doesn't trigger the normal switchover to cellular data, which REALLY sucks if you're using something like Google Voice for texts and phone calls - you simply will not get the calls, missed call notification, or text messages. The sensitivity of the touch screen changed such that you now have to hold the phone to use the screen (ie, you can't tap something on the screen while it sits on your desk). All these issues have been reported in the forums and had bug reports filed, and they're sitting, untouched. Another example: the WRT-610N. Supported by one of the alternative ROMs for access points. Trouble is: performance sucked compared to the stock drivers, it would hang about every 18-24 hours, and so on. Lots of impressive features, but utter Fail when it came to basic reliability.

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049728)

I don't have that problem at all on my Epic, but I am using community roms that aren't cyanogen. Cyanogen is a special beast because it is completely AOSP versus most ROMs using a blend of the built-in proprietary components and open source replacements to fix the rough edges. I love my custom ROM, it's really improved my Android phone experience versus the really crap default Sprint ROM with all of their bloatware.

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050462)

Cyanogen is a special beast because it is completely AOSP

Not really. If you look at some of the contributions made to Cyanogenmod, you'll see that it's far from pure AOSP. The only "proprietary" components are the binary blobs provided by the phone vendors for radio operation and such, and of course the Google Experience Apps (which you can easily download as a separate package and aren't part of the operating system in any event.)

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049864)

I think these custom ROMs were not meant for you, but for a more technical audience.

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050334)

I think these custom ROMs were not meant for you, but for a more technical audience.

His point is that they are meant for an audience that prefers features to having the phone actually work. Being "technical" has nothing to do with it, unless you redefine the word in a way that insults the intelligence of "technical" people.

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050438)

It's been my universal experience that community hardware ROMs tend to suck, and worse, the community usually isn't honest and upfront about all the problems

You can't make such a sweeping claim. You just can't, with even a semblance of reasonableness. The reality is that community ROMs, just like commercial firmware, are entirely dependent upon the caliber of the people managing and developing them. Some are incredible, some suck, and most are in between. For example, my home network uses a WRT-54G wireless router running the Tomato firmware package ... blows the stock firmware completely out of the wanter. Linksys' stuff would die during sustained heavy transfers, and couldn't handle torrents or gaming very well at all. It also had a tendency to just slow down gradually over a couple of weeks until it was rebooted. Since I updated to Tomato, I haven't had to restart the thing ever. It's had over a year of uptime (last time it got rebooted was after a power failure when the UPS ran out.) It's what you would expect from a well-implemented Linux distro, actually, I'm just surprised that Linksys couldn't hack it. Probably don't want to, now that they're part of Cisco: Tomato offers some features that are competitive with much higher-end equipment.

Funny you should pick on Cyanogen in an effort to make your case. Frankly, I've used the stock firmware on a number of Android devices (started with a G1, currently have an HTC Vision, T-Mobile's G2) and I wouldn't go back to the carrier-provided OS if you paid me. I've been through all the major third-party Android ROMs, but always keep coming back to Cyanogen. Yes there are bugs but, you know what? ALL complex software has bugs, and it's been my experience that there are generally more issues with the stock AOSP releases. Furthermore, what I've gained in performance and stability by running Cyanogen is worth the few glitches (and I might add that I haven't experienced any of the issues you reported with 6.1.1, other than the screen sensitivity problem, just lucky I guess.) I've also been able to run a stable overclock from the default 800 Mhz. max to 1 Ghz with no issues whatsoever (it'll run up to 1.5 Ghz with the Pershoot kernel but I don't see any reason to push the hardware for ordinary use: I just wanted to see if I could do it.) In contrast, the stock ROM would reboot itself periodically at 1 Ghz.

I might also point out that when it comes to stock firmware loads, you can wait months before a maintenance release comes out, much less an upgrade. Cyanogen's crowd puts out maintenance releases at far more frequent intervals, so you usually don't have to wait that long for stuff to get fixed, or new features to be implemented. The current delay is, apparently, because the group is focused pretty much on CM 7: I've been playing with the nightly builds (largely busted of course, but they give a good idea of where it's going.) So far, it looks pretty slick. They're getting close to RC1, I think: very much looking forward to the final build.

way to demonstrate you're an idiot (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053642)

Frankly, I've used the stock firmware on a number of Android devices (started with a G1, currently have an HTC Vision, T-Mobile's G2) and I wouldn't go back to the carrier-provided OS if you paid me

I've got a G2 as well. I don't suppose you realized that all the bugs I'm talking about apply to your device?

Or that the G2 has the most stock, unmolested Android installation of any phone/carrier save maybe the Nexus S?

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054430)

I installed Cyanogen 6.1.1 on my Android phone, and it turns out there are a slew of issues that were reported in the 6.1 release candidates that "cyanogen" and his buddies just never could be pissed to fix before final release OR the .1.1 update that followed. It doesn't support hidden SSIDs, when the stock ROM does just fine.

Um .... no ... I'm using CM 6.1.1 on my home network, which has a hidden SSID. No issues at all.

It also no longer supports sleeping with WiFi; if the phone goes into sleep mode, you have to cycle WiFi on and off again.

Nope again. Nope on all your other issues, too.

Dunno what phone you're using, and maybe these issues are specific for your phone (in which case, it's really the kernel maintainer's fault, not the CM core team) ... but your experiences don't match mine, or any other opinions about CM I've read. Not saying you're not experiencing these problems -- obviously you are! But don't extrapolate from that to assume that everyone is experiencing these issues and just somehow puts up with them!

Re:Community hardware ROMs just aren't worth it (2)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35054882)

I find that with all software though, not just roms and not just android. But for a pertinent example the guy who ported UAE to android did a great job getting it running but stopped when it suited his needs. You can control the mouse pointer with the trackball (if your android HW device happens to have one) but you can't place the pointer using the touch screen, that part is fubar. And like 99% of of ports that get to the "it works for me stage" he's abandoned it and won't respond to messages asking for the source. Meaning the rest of us will have to start from scratch if we're to get past that problem, and no doubt whoever takes up that challenge will also get their version to the "works for me" stage and abandon it with completely different issues. /rant

Archos 70 can do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35049792)

Why bother when an Archos 70 can do exactly the same thing without all the hassle, for 280$?

Re:Archos 70 can do that (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35049986)

Its not E-Ink

Re:Archos 70 can do that (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050306)

Neither is Nook Color (you ever seen a non-prototype color eInk screen?).

Re:Archos 70 can do that (1)

amnesia_tc (1983602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050404)

Neither is the Nook Color.

Re:Archos 70 can do that (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053826)

Yeah...no. Archos 70 does not have Honeycomb. But yeah it'd be a close call between NC and Archos 70. NC has a better screen, so I'd go for that. CPU is underclocked by BN, so I don't think that's really a problem - just OC it back to 1GHz.

Another Contender... (2)

farrellj (563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053530)

The Pandigital "Novel" is a nice little Android tablet that is marketed as an ebook reader. It's only $160 (cdn), at Futureshop & Best Buy (Canada). It's also on sale in the US, but with a more crippled version of Android.

Re:Another Contender... (1)

jbenwell (318892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35058012)

I just returned one to Costco ($160CDN). It was just way too slow to use as a tablet. It did work pretty well as an ebook reader but had a few bugs (mostly remembering where you left off a book when you shut it off). It was a nice email reader and picture frame.

It was pretty slow as a web browser, and couldn't play video without stuttering.

I decided it was a nice novelty, but that I'd be better off putting the money toward a nicer tablet.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?