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Android 3.0 Is Trickling In, But Are the Apps?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-honeycomb's-big dept.

Android 231

jhernik writes "As tablets based on the new Honeycomb version of Android appear, critics have questioned Google's moves to enforce a standard Android platform, and said there may be as few as 20 'real' apps for the devices. Motorola's Xoom tablet is due to appear in the UK next week, along with the Eee Transformer, but their ability to compete with the recently-launched Apple iPad 2 may be hurt by the shortage of tablet-optimised Android apps. Meanwhile, reports that Google wants to standardise Android hardware are causing alarm."

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What's different (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680364)

What's different this version as opposed to others that only 20 apps are considered 'real'?

And what about Apple's trick of just doubling the pixel usage for iPad vs iPhone apps to repurpose the latter for the former?

Does that work on Android?

Re:What's different (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680400)

The Android platform automatically scales apps like that already. It has to because Android supports lots of resolutions (unlike iOS).

Have never understood all these "lack of tablet-optimized apps" BS... it all seems like FUD to me. Most iOS apps I have seen are identical between their tablet and phone versions.

Re:What's different (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680476)

It's not BS. There can be a huge benefit when the developer actually customizes their layout to account for more screen real estate with lower DPI. Automatically scaling apps usually results in odd looking UI and wasted space.

Re:What's different (3, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680920)

Yes, the apps aren't as pretty or functional as they could be if they were fully optimized for the form factor.

However, saying that only 20 apps are available for the $500-1000 device someone is about to buy is just plain untrue... You can already use what you've got, and it'll get prettier and more functional over time.

Yes - but based on my very brief peer (4, Interesting)

goldcd (587052) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681150)

at Android development, one of the 'good things' seemed to be that you can write your app - and then provide different layouts based upon the screen resolution of the target device. Should mean a developer can very quickly tweak their app to benefit from the extra space given, if it's run on a tablet. I'm not for one moment suggesting that adding some better layouts to a phone app will suddenly transform it into an app natively designed for a tablet - but better than just scaling up.

Re:Yes - but based on my very brief peer (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681556)

yup, and wait for it....wait for it...you don't need honeycomb to be able do exactly that, which shows that the whole article is shoddy journalism at best.

For the reality side, Microsoft has lost, as pointed out by groklaw. [groklaw.net]

Re:What's different (1)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681972)

There also are lots of apps that don't benefit from changing the layout, and simply scaling the UI up to the larger screen is exactly what you want. A lot of games, for example, are in this category. So those apps are already "optimized" for tablets, but because that optimization doesn't require any 3.0 specific features, they somehow don't count. That's just silly. In truth, a lot fewer Android apps than iOS apps need to be customized for tablets, because Android has supported resolution independence a lot longer and lots of apps already use it.

Re:What's different (2)

nedwidek (98930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682276)

It is BS because they've put a lot of thought into it. If the app looks like crap it's probably because the developer did everything they say not to do on this page:
http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html [android.com]

iOS apps can look like crap too when the developer doesn't do what you need to do there for screen independence.

Re:What's different (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680480)

That's true.

However, there are certain new features that 3.0 brings, such as fragments, and action bars and stuff like that.

There's really no cause for alarm, if it works in pre-3.0 it'll work, it just won't be as polished as it should be.

Re:What's different (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680632)

"However, there are certain new features that 3.0 brings, such as fragments, and action bars and stuff like that."

Check it out, Google's trying to redefine "fragment" in Android as a *good thing*.

Re:What's different (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680932)

However, there are certain new features that 3.0 brings, such as fragments, and action bars and stuff like that.

Check it out, Google's trying to redefine "fragment" in Android as a *good thing*.

He was talking about the Fragment UI class [android.com] , fuckwad.

and even if he wasn't (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681442)

If nothing ever fragmented, we'd all be sitting in Android 1.0 (and IOS 1.0 for that matter).
Current Android is pretty much stuck with the same problem PCs are - for every dual-core, gpu assisted monster that's put out, there's a dozen chinese budget models. Means everybody can pick up an Android device to suit their pocket/needs - but the apps then either all suit the lowest common denominator, or piss off the low-end user when they're 'slow', or piss of the multi-core monster when the iphone app looks better (despite him having bought better hardware)
Personally I love Android to bits - but will be sticking with Nexus X models. Whole Nexus concept seemed to be geared to providing some good reference platforms - the geeky tinkerers picked up on this, but seemingly the masses didn't. Google's current messing about with Android 3.0 would seem to be a response to this - instead of having a specific reference model, have reference internal gubbins.
Not saying I'm happy with it - but there it is. Looks like it's going to be more like buying a PC graphics card. You choose buy the GPU, but then can go high and low on the slight overclocks, the diversions from standard layout/cooling etc etc.

Re:What's different (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681614)

@ac

whoooosh, fuckwad

Re:What's different (0)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681054)

There's really no cause for alarm, if it works in pre-3.0 it'll work, it just won't be as polished as it should be.

But who could resist spreading FUD instead?

OMG only 20 apps! Android really sucks after all... better go get an iPad instead!

Re:What's different (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680496)

Most iOS apps I have seen are identical between their tablet and phone versions.

It's when they don't have a version for the iPad that you really see the difference.

You can zoom it so it fills the screen, but it ends up being an app that only works in portrait mode, has clunky, poorly rendered buttons, and generally feels different to use. You can usually see the big jaggies around the edges of things and sometimes a button ends up being ginormous as it was sized for a small, hand-held.

If someone doesn't include the higher-res graphics, it's quite obviously an app meant for a phone.

Can't speak to Android, but I can say that an app meant for a phone doesn't always work as well as you'd like on a tablet.

Re:What's different (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680850)

The difference is, Android apps are already made to support multiple resolutions in a multitude of devices (unlike the original iPhone apps that were done for a 320x240 screen). You were streching your 76800px to 786432. That's 10x more pixels. Most High end android phones already do 800x480 (half the number of px). So yes, they stretch, but never as much

So no, it's not the same situation. What Honeycomb specific apps will bring is the ability to have more stuff on the screen at the same time, I think. But it's a new platform, people have to wait and see.

Re:What's different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35682226)

iPhone was 320x480 ;) But the rest of your post stands - iPhones at that point only had one resolution and form factor (essentially they still do), so apps were tailored to that. Meanwhile, Android already supported a variety of different resolutions and aspect ratios, so good authors already supported changing the interface as appropriate.

Amusingly, the iOS interface tools are just as flexible and powerful, and good authors were already using the layout tools - but I dare say not many set everything up properly.

That said, even well-designed 2.2 applications which scale up look pretty stupid and sparse at Honeycomb resolutions...

Re:What's different (2)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681602)

Of the apps I've used so far on my tablets, a Galaxy Tab and an Archos 70 (both running Android 2.2), I haven't encountered an issue when using an app written for the phone. That's not to say I probably wouldn't run into one if I looked for awhile, but the games and productivity apps I've used seem to scale very well between the two.

I can't compare to the iPad scaling, I assumed it worked the same way. Reading your comment above, I guess it doesn't.

Re:What's different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35682376)

Note that Honeycomb has a lot of new features, and significantly higher res+larger screens than the 7" Tab and the Archos 70 - it's quite a different situation on the Xoom and larger Tabs :)

Re:What's different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680662)

That’s a flat-out lie.

Re:What's different (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680724)

When designing an app there can be a huge (and beneficial) difference in layout , UI, and control mechanisms between a 3.7" screen and a 7, 10, or 11" screen. The same apps will often work (if looking a bit pixelated) but it will offer far from the best user experience.

Re:What's different (4, Informative)

syntap (242090) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680834)

You obviously don't own a Xoom. Many apps are just tiny rectangles taking the top-half of the screen or so. Some apps scale, most I have tried are not scaling.

Re:What's different (4, Interesting)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681024)

I do own a Xoom and I don't have the problem to the degree that you're stating. Mind you, I probably use more apps that just use Android's normal UI drawing mechanisms, which is what scales just fine. There's no pixelation or anything. It is a little weird to have a list that fits on a phone screen taking up the whole tablet screen, but it doesn't look horrible.

There are apps that are ridiculous and won't scale. Some of those are for better reason (Pandora, for example, I can understand, as that's a little more challenging to make scale up to the larger screen without further work), but some of them are just stupid. Dictionary.com app has a clunky interface that takes twice or more longer to load and interact with anyway, and that probably looks like shit on the Xoom--I haven't tried, because I've honestly avoided apps like that on the Xoom and have tried to stick to apps that I know should have reasonable expectation of working without problems, and those apps work great.

In my opinion, except for some that the developers just need to get on top of, the problem of apps looking shitty on the Xoom is mostly the fault of the developers who think they have to use their own shiny UI or try to make it look exactly like it looks on the iPhone (which is the only one that I can see their point, as the same interface across multiple platforms is a nice idea, but in my opinion, it's an idea that leads to more bad than good) and therefore run slow on Android and not allow Android to scale it automatically. I despise Apple's control over the App Store, but that's a very clear and obvious advantage to that control and disadvantage to Android's openness.

Re:What's different (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681104)

That would be an application bug. Any application which fails to scale is either extremely purpose centric addressing a specific niche or flatly not even trying to comply with developer guidelines.

Re:What's different (5, Informative)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680878)

Have never understood all these "lack of tablet-optimized apps" BS... it all seems like FUD to me

Want to see the reality of the issue?

Go get a Nook Color and either jailbreak it or make a Honeycomb SD card to boot off or something. Make it so you can install non-tablet Android apps on it.

Now get the official "Google Reader" app for Android and run it.

On a phone-sized device, it's completely fine, because you can hold the device with one hand, and all the controls are within reach of the thumb of that hand. On the tablet-sized device, the UI goes from "nice enough that it gets out of your way and can be ignored" to "pretty darned annoying".

It's not just a matter of resolution or scaling -- UI design for something phone-sized is not the same as UI design for something bigger than phone-sized.

(Under iOS, what you're supposed to do is query the system about which UI paradigm is in effect, or specify for which UI paradigm your software is designed -- that's the "UIDeviceFamily" stuff. That way you don't have to make the decision based on checking pixel counts, leaving the door open for both phone-sized and tablet-sized devices with different pixel counts.)

Re:What's different (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681524)

And the opposite reality is the Browser or something like Angry Birds. Works FINE without any optimization needed. If written without some assumptions it works well in both environments (If you don't "optimize" it for phones, you'll have much, much less issues.). Yes, your example's a good one- but most of the apps are actually fully functional and non-problematic on the Nook Color with Honeycomb- I know, I'm running in that configuration right now.

Re:What's different (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681990)

Yup, you're correct, there are certainly plenty of apps that work just as well at the big form factor as the small. I can't comment on "most" apps, but there are certainly more than a few.

You mention not "optimizing" for phones though... the thing is, when you do that, you often get a better experience on phones. Most times, I'll take a UI optimized for a particular use over a generic UI, and "phone" and "tablet" are different uses, and often benefit from different UIs. But yeah, "Angry Birds" is an example of an app where it just doesn't matter.

Perhaps surprisingly, ebook readers aren't. On a phone you can hold with one hand and touch both the left and right sides of the screen, so that's a fine way to navigate -- keeps your thumbs from obscuring the text. On a tablet, that requires much more movement, and your thumb/finger is smaller relative to the reading area, so it's better to make sure you can page in both directions from within a small area of the screen (so "swipe, anywhere on the screen, in the direction you want to go" can be better than "tap the edge of the screen in the direction you want to go").

This does come up in games too. Some UI elements you want to scale, other UI elements (like a d-pad) you want to keep a relatively constant size. But absolutely, for stuff like Angry Birds or World of Goo, where you just touch stuff instead of using a separate control UI, that issue isn't there.

(My Nook does run Honeycomb by default, but it's frustrating for me often enough that I'm looking forward to the B&N update next month that brings more apps and a Nook-specific app store to the base platform. I may end up switching back from Honeycomb to what they provide, until Honeycomb catches up further in usability. One thing we'll be able to say about the B&N Nook app store is that every app in it is going to be there with the tablet form factor in mind, since it'll only run on one specific tablet. Which is not to say it'll all be well done...)

Re:What's different (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681574)

I have a Nook Color and I also have the Google Reader app on it. I don't see the annoying factor you see. Then again, I also don't expect to use a tablet one-handed.

Re:What's different (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682124)

The problem is the navigation. On a phone, it doesn't take a lot of movement to move between the "go to previous article" button, the "go to next article" button, or to navigate back up a folder level. The two buttons at the bottom each take up half of the width of the screen, and on a phone that's not a lot of width.

On a tablet, better design would have been for the controls to be either sized or arranged differently. Heck, in landscape mode they could rip the UI off of Honeycomb's GMail app, that'd be much better.

(It's possible that I'm more aware of this than a lot of folks because of how long I've been using handhelds and how many different ones I've used and developed for, going back to Newton, MagicCap, PalmOS, studying the old Pen APIs for Windows 3.1 tablets, using a wide variety of WinCE devices... my oldest "tablet" is probably a Vadem Clio, when its transformer powers put it into tablet mode. I've also got an iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad, and I see how the apps end up customized for the specific usage paradigms. So I'm comparing what Android does to a lot of other things.)

As for using a tablet one-handed, for simple tasks like reading I certainly do expect to. I did it with my eMate (which didn't have a tablet-sized display, but did have tablet-sized bulk), my Vadem Clio (amazing physical form factor, this thing), and my iPad, and the Nook is significantly smaller and lighter than any of those. I want to be able to pull it out and read while I'm standing on a bus holding onto something with my other hand so I don't fall down. With a different UI design, I could do that with my Nook more pleasantly. Proof: with some other apps on it, I can.

Re:What's different (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682198)

you need to subscribe to playboy then.

Re:What's different (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682186)

Do you have a link for a honeycomb image for the nook? I would be interested in running that.

Re:What's different (1)

Petron (1771156) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680918)

I have a Xoom.

So far every app I've used worked perfectly and scaled well. This really looks like a FUD attack... And I have only one (that I know of) app made for the tablet platform (Weatherbug).

Re:What's different (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681026)

Pretty much FUD or worse. I own several tablets w/ 1024x600, 800x600 and 800x480 resolutions running 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3. All the apps scale fine (w/ the exception of ACV which has pretty much been obsoleted by PerfectView). To tell the truth, the cellphone style interfaces are fine particularly if you have fat fingers and bad eyes.

This is mainly a game by which Apple defines what are "real" tablets to continue the perception of the tablet as an expensive luxury item.

Re:What's different (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681478)

Heh... Angry Birds works on Honeycomb, most other apps seem to do "okay" as well. The phone stuff moves well to tablets, but you can do things slightly different if you know you've got the real estate on the screen- which when combined with the lack of UI scalability on iOS is where the presumption you "need" 'tablet-optimized' stuff in the first place.

Re:What's different (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681882)

Rubbish. Many iPad versions are much improved. There is space on the left side of the mail application to show a list of all your mails (landscape mode), on the iPhone you have to move back and forth. Same applies to the settings screen on the iPad.

The iPad has extra GUI controls. A tweaked version of Cocoa touch which suits a tablet size device more. It is up to the developer to produce an application that uses them well.

Scaling is not the same as an improved layout and being able to show more things on screen.

Re:What's different (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682160)

You don't have much experience with iPad and iPhone apps, do you? First of all there are a number of apps that only run on the iPad and secondly, quality apps that have been optimized for the iPad - which includes those that have code for both the phone and the pad - work much differently. I've evaluated about 120 serious iPad applications now for my company and a larger number of iPhone apps. Screen size and form factor does matter. An iPhone app that just zooms to fill an iPad screen doesn't take advantage of the larger screen. On an iPad you typically see side menus (in landscape) and other handy navigation features. There is more and more useful multi-media content included in the news apps. I have apps that I can use to design or decorate houses and apartments, do mind maps, UML, spreadsheets (serious ones), documents, etc., analytics, graphics and data visualization and more. None of these apps make sense on phone form factor. You can't put enough content and UI on the screen at one time to satisfy anyone. With a 9 or 10 inch screen you can.

People who think that an iPad is a bigger iPod touch are too clueless to be allowed to work in IT, unfortunately a number of them seem to be working in desktop services. Android tablets seriously need apps like what is available on the iPad if they are to compete. Without the apps, no one cares about the operating system or the hardware.

Re:What's different (2)

werdnapk (706357) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680442)

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) was developed with tablet type computers in mind and is not meant for smartphones. Android 2.x apps will still work, they just won't be optimized for the interface.

Re:What's different (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680514)

What's different this version as opposed to others that only 20 apps are considered 'real'?

And what about Apple's trick of just doubling the pixel usage for iPad vs iPhone apps to repurpose the latter for the former?

Does that work on Android?

So a white guy, a black guy, a Mexican, and a Jew are walking along the beach. They see something shiny, golden embedded in the sand. It looks like a lamp.

"Yo, I wonduh if there be such a ting as genies" says the black guy. So he picks up the lamp, rubs it, and sure enough a big genie pops out! The genie says in a loud booming voice "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH." So the black guy says, "fuh realz? Yo genie, I wish dat all mah black brothas and sistas in the USA could all be in Africa to live togetha in peace and have whatever we need. Then we finally be free of Whitey." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE" says the genie and the black man disappears along with all the other blacks in USA.

Next the Mexican picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The Mexican says "Si senor genie, I wish all of my Mexican and in fact all Latino people could all live together in Mexico in peace and have whatever we need." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE", says the genie. Then the Mexican and all other Latinos and Hispanics in the USA disappear and end up in Mexico to live in harmony.

Now the Jew picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The Jew says, "I want all of the Jews to live in Israel in peace. I want them to get along with both each other and all the neighboring nations. I want all of us to be wealthy and prosperous, needing nothing from no one." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE" says the genie. Then the Jew and all other Jews in the USA disapper and end up together in Israel to live in prosperity and peace.

Finally the white guy picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The white man says "well shit, if all the niggers, spics and kykes have finally left the USA, I wish I had a beer!"

Scaling looks like crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680568)

What's different this version as opposed to others that only 20 apps are considered 'real'?

And what about Apple's trick of just doubling the pixel usage for iPad vs iPhone apps to repurpose the latter for the former?

Does that work on Android?

Yes, that's exactly what happens, and scaled-up apps look just as shitty on Honeycomb as they do on an iPad.

Nobody buys a tablet to run scaled-up phone apps. Until Android tablets get apps designed for tablet-size screens, they won't be that successful.

Re:Scaling looks like crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681400)

Except we don't have to double the pixel count for any application that already supports the high res screens. Even old games like Angry Birds works without pixelation. ~800x400 to ~1000x600 is only about a 20% increase, not 100%. Android manufacturers (generally speaking) hasn't gimped their phones to make a fortune off of the people. I mean, such a low resolution phone, and the were charging the same price as phones with the same sensor but a larger screen with a higher resolution.

Re:What's different (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680626)

What's different this version as opposed to others that only 20 apps are considered 'real'?

A "real" Honeycomb tablet app would use Fragments and rely on all of those fancy tablet features that are keeping Honeycomb from being open-sourced [slashdot.org] (or so we are informed).

Android apps rescale more intelligently than "2x" mode on an iPad but a lot of them don't do the "right thing" in terms of layout, for example the pre-Honeycomb Facebook app on a tablet will expand its view to the entire size of the screen and scale its fonts appropriately, but the icons in the window retain the same smartphone-optimized size and matrix [alsutton.com] . The developer can account for these things but it's something they have to do on their own; developing for Android doesn't automatically provide this for free.

There are 300,000 iPhone/iOS apps, and 65,000 of those apps target the iPad screen size. The platform requires devs do actually make two separate versions but this doesn't seem to be a significant speed bump for people. The fact that there are exactly two screen sizes actually seems to make their lives easier.

Re:What's different (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680826)

The platform requires devs do actually make two separate versions

Just to clarify, for the people who will say "What, they make you buy two copies of the same app?!?!?!1111!!!" You can embed the UI information for both iPad and iPhone apps into a single application bundle, so that the same app will display the properly-optimized UI for whatever screen size it's running on. Other apps are designed exclusively for the iPad and can't be loaded on the iPhone, and some apps only have an iPhone-sized UI, and so look like shit when pixel-doubled on the iPad - even if they could make the elements smooth instead of jagged and pixelated, they still are *immense* on the iPad compared to the UI elements you're used to, and look like giant-sized toy versions of themselves.

Re:What's different (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681008)

Apple's double pixel trick is a horrible thing to do, in all honesty. There are better ways to do it. the whole article means nothing though, as it's not google that dictates that developers program their apps for 3.0 among other things such as the apps not needing to be programmed for honeycomb ever, even.

And helped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680366)

by the shortage of iPad 2's

Breaking news! (1, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680380)

While Apple’s iPad 2 has 65,000 applications, excluding those designed for the iPhone. Honeycomb has far fewer, and commentators have been competing to offer lower numbers.

This just in: New tablet has no apps. New cars have no mileage. New bank accounts have a $0 balance. Film at 11.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680472)

You'll need to nack and see how many iPad-specific apps were ready when the iPad 1 launched, a fair few, I seem to recall, including Apple's iWork stuff.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

rajeevrk (1278022) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680800)

You'll need to nack and see how many iPad-specific apps were ready when the iPad 1 launched, a fair few, I seem to recall, including Apple's iWork stuff.

Hmmm.... now i wonder, if apple gets to count the apple provided and or sponsored apps at launch time, why dont we do the same for google? Obviously, outside apps wont be ready as fast as the google apps. Also, correct me if i am wrong, but isnt honeycomb still in the final stages before official release, and most manufacturers are able to get it onto devices only because the development is happening out in the open?

Just my 2 cents here....

RkR

Re:Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680942)

The Xoom, which is already on the market, is running Honeycomb, isn't it?

Android is open - if somebody's running it on the market, then surely the source code has been released as well, and we can expect dozens - nay, hundreds! - nay thousands! - of tablet-optimized versions of software in a matter of days, right?

I mean, since it's so open, I figured that devs would have been furiously hacking away at their Honeycomb apps before the Xoom even hit the market. There must be a way that Apple is at fault for this.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681464)

Development is not happenning in the open, only google partners like motorola and samsung have access to honeycomb source.

Counting Real Apps, not Apple. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681508)

Hmmm.... now i wonder, if apple gets to count the apple provided and or sponsored apps at launch time

Why would they? The number of Apple iPad apps is up to about ten or so. Hardly a dent in the number.

No, instead the original poster is talking about some 3000 iPad specific applications available when the FIRST iPad shipped.

That also does not include the hundreds of thousands of iPhone apps which of course also run, the same way existing Android apps can run on Android tablets.

Re:Breaking news! (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682162)

To some extent you are right, but the iPad had a lot of third party applications available at launch. Apple provided the development tools necessary well before the actual launch of the iPad while Google only released theirs just before the Xoom came out.

What I think it comes down to is that the Xoom came out before the OS was really ready and they are suffering for it. Hopefully by the time another Honeycomb tablet comes out there will be more apps available, but I think this was a mistake on the part of Motorola and to some extent, Google.

Of course another big part of this is that Apple designed iOS for a tablet first, before they started designing an iPhone (tablet hardware was not available or cheep enough to build the iPad) so the OS and UI was already designed to scale up to tablet size. Google started from a phone and had to change a lot to take advantage of the tablet form factor.

Re:Breaking news! (3, Informative)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681560)

You'll need to nack and see how many iPad-specific apps were ready when the iPad 1 launched, a fair few, I seem to recall, including Apple's iWork stuff.

Over 2000 the day before launch and over 3100 the day after launch.

Re:Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680506)

iPad had over 2000 apps at launch

Re:Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680582)

And the Android apps just work on 3.0, no need to shell out more to "upgrade" the same app to a new device...

Re:Breaking news! (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682174)

That number is native apps, not scaled up iPhone apps, there were way more than 2000 iPhone apps when the iPad came out and they all scaled up to run on the iPad... but who pays money to buy a tablet to run phone apps. Its the native apps that are interesting.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680666)

New bank accounts have a $0 balance.

No I just opened a new bank account with $5,000 in it because a Nigerian prince needs my help for transferring $500M USD. He will leave me with $100M USD for my trouble!

Re:Breaking news! (2)

ronin510 (1113835) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681286)

BREAKING NEWS: Original iPad launches with 2,000 apps.

Shocking, I know, but Apple announced the iPad project in January 2010. They actually gave developers 4 months to prepare for the April launch. Google could have released the SDK months before the Android 3.0 launch (instead of 2 days), but even they admit Android 3.0 isn't fully finished/polished.

Source: [techcrunch.com] http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/02/best-ipad-apps-launch/ [techcrunch.com]

Re:Breaking news! (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681892)

Um, you need to stop watching fuax news... -There were apps for iPad when it first came out, (the dev kit included a simulator before launch so some apps had full iPad compatibility launch day.) -If you bought a new car the obometer would not read 0. It would a couple miles on it. (they need to drive it from the factory onto a train, from the train to the truck, from the truck to it's space on the lot. Usually you'd want to test drive it before buying too. 7 miles is not 0. -You can not open a bank account with $0. Most banks require at lest $100 to start a new account.

Re:Breaking news! (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682050)

While Apple’s iPad 2 has 65,000 applications, excluding those designed for the iPhone. Honeycomb has far fewer, and commentators have been competing to offer lower numbers.

This just in: New tablet has no apps. New cars have no mileage. New bank accounts have a $0 balance. Film at 11.

Seriously? You're comparing Apps to mileage? At least the iPad came with over 1000 pre-launch.

Its in question now if even little ol' Palm WebOS 3.0 will have more Touchpad apps by the time of it's release than Honeycomb.

Google wants to standardize hardware (1, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680416)

Whoever didnt see that coming a mile away was a fool. Google has the perfect bait and switch. Give them a popular OS for free they can do whatever with - let adoption soar. Now, google can start to dictate terms. Hopefully they can get manufactures pushing updates sooner, stop the stupid look and feel customization, etc.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (2)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680558)

Google needs to start setting some standards. Real time low latency audio is one example. Android will have a hard time getting applications like audio mixers ala amplitube/garageband because of this. iOS has a 4-5ms latency, Honeycomb is down to a 45ms requirement that hardware manufacturers have to meet. No company is ever going to invest money in creating an application where there is no real guarantee of knowing what hardware will be available to even run it.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680762)

Real time low latency audio is one example.

Those standards have already been set and are being met. They are on par with what Apple offers and likely will be offering for some time to come. The next generation of Android hardware will all meet the required specifications.

iOS has a 4-5ms latency, Honeycomb is down to a 45ms requirement that hardware manufacturers have to meet.

That's a misrepresentation and a common misconception. The truth is, all 2.x and 3x, versions of Android are capable of competing with iOS's latency measurements. The problem is, its not guaranteed by the OS and the hardware and associated drivers never made any effort to meet such requirements. Samsung hardware in particular is known to have absolutely horrible drivers and/or hardware with extremely high latency. Thusly, what people blame on Android is actually driver and hardware issues. Some Android devices actually can compete with iOS' latency but they are few and far between.

With the next generation of Android hardware, all devices will meet or beat iOS' latency requirements.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681226)

Your reading comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking. At no point do I say it's a problem with Android. The problem is with not being able to enforce strict hardware requirements on a plethora of different hardware. It's a general flaw in the business model. You can't win every fight and when it comes to ensuring that the platform you are targeting will do what you want hardware wise the Apple model simply wins here.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (3, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681490)

Your reading comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking.

WTF? You're attacking a sincere, neutral, informative, contextual post?

You said:

Honeycomb is down to a 45ms requirement that hardware manufacturers have to meet.

Honeycomb is a specific version of Android. Furthermore, you attributed a specific latency to Honeycomb which simply doesn't exist. Thusly me pointing out the common confusion which you now seem to be compounding. So factually, your statement is completely wrong. To address your factually incorrect statement, I said:

That's a misrepresentation and a common misconception. The truth is, all 2.x and 3x, versions of Android are capable of competing with iOS's latency measurements.

So since factually your statement is wrong and my statement is correct and I specifically corrected your statement with additional details which explains why your statement is wrong and your complaint is being addressed, I fail to see why my comprehension skills are the least bit questioned. Perhaps its not my comprehension skills which require correction?

From here, you then take a completely unrelated turn in the same paragraph...which is not to say I'm a grammar Nazi - believe me, I'm not - its just that its confusing since it has absolutely nothing to do with your original assertion that my factually accurate and completely topical statements somehow prove a comprehension issue. This is especially true since you then continue to make an issue of something which I specifically address and yet insist its an issue when clearly its not. Which seemingly further suggests the comprehension issue is squarely between your monitor and chair.

You said:

The problem is with not being able to enforce strict hardware requirements on a plethora of different hardware.

To which I had previously said:

Those standards have already been set and are being met. They are on par with what Apple offers and likely will be offering for some time to come. The next generation of Android hardware will all meet the required specifications.

Perhaps, "comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking", doesn't mean what you think it means.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35682164)

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

Notice the SHOULD.
These are what companies should meet. The main problem is...they don't have to, and even when that becomes a MUST meet these requirements, they are still rather high. So making an audio app that requires lower latencies seems like a huge PITA when it comes to informing what kind of device the customer would need to get the XAUDIOAPPHERE experience.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35682202)

they are still rather high

Only if you consider Apple's specifications to be "rather high." Current mandatory requirements for next generation hardware meet or exceeds Apple's hardware. Period. The rest is either ignorance or trolling.

I know this because I've actually read the requirements. Have you?

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (2)

empty mind (1355971) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681762)

So these guys at https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=3434 [google.com] are complaining for, well, nothing?

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682282)

What is it with comprehension issues?

I said its fixed in next generation hardware? You point to people complaining about current and previous generation hardware? How is your post the least bit topical?

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682192)

Real time low latency audio is one example.

Those standards have already been set and are being met. They are on par with what Apple offers and likely will be offering for some time to come. The next generation of Android hardware will all meet the required specifications.

More good news for purchasers of today's tablets. You're only one hardware generation away from something you might want one day.

That's a misrepresentation and a common misconception. The truth is, all 2.x and 3x, versions of Android are capable of competing with iOS's latency measurements. The problem is, its not guaranteed by the OS and the hardware and associated drivers never made any effort to meet such requirements. Samsung hardware in particular is known to have absolutely horrible drivers and/or hardware with extremely high latency. Thusly, what people blame on Android is actually driver and hardware issues. Some Android devices actually can compete with iOS' latency but they are few and far between.

With the next generation of Android hardware, all devices will meet or beat iOS' latency requirements.

Do people really care WHY something doesn't work?

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680822)

Setting standards is fine, but the question is who sets those standards, and wether those standards will be set in the best interests of the community of developers and hardware vendors, in the interests of Google, or in the interest of users. Using access to Android source as a club [businessweek.com] to force OEMs to use Google search, to hamstring Facebook and other service providers, or to only provide the kind of phone Google sees fit isn't standardization in the interests of consumers.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (2)

shmlco (594907) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681982)

The very idea of "standardization" could backfire. Badly.

We have precedent for this, because Microsoft did the same thing with Windows, dictating ever stricter hardware standards and forbidding OS changes (though you were apparently free to install as much bloatware as you liked).

And the result? Hardware among vendors was effectively identical. The software WAS identical. And manufacturers well left with little to differentiate a Dell PC from an HP PC from an Acer PC. Change the beige plastic to black plastic? Add some trim? Dell and Gateway tried to make a go of it via the customization route, but faced increased competition from manufacturers who were left with just a single weapon in their toolkit.

What happens when dozens of companies are producing identical products? You end up with a commodity. And how are commodities traded and sold?

On price.

And so manufacturers did the only thing they could do: undercut each other on price, to the point where PC profit margins were things best measured in dimes, not dollars.

I predict the same thing happening to Android. With no significant differentiation, the majority of Android devices will end up being heavily discounted, or even given away as loss leaders by carriers and others attempting to lock subscribers into subscription plans. (Think Amazon and B&N.)

But look at it this way. Finally, Android will be "free".

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680590)

Hopefully they can get manufactures pushing updates sooner, stop the stupid look and feel customization, etc.

Then, carriers will stop carrying that device.

From what I've seen, cell carriers have a very strong interest in branding the phones and tweaking them. In fact, I've even seen some native abilities disabled/crippled, so that you'd have to go through the carrier for everything ... in one case, a friend determined that they'd removed the ability of his Motorolla to directly visit a URL. Instead, you had to go through a customization by the carrier ... which, oddly enough, seems to have been designed to use twice as much bandwidth. Pretty handy when you're selling metered usage.

I think if Google tried to force too much on the carriers and manufacturers, they'd just go someplace else.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681018)

I suspect that, in the mid term, selling tablets through networks will not be the way to go. I know some people who have the 3G iPad, but honestly its hard to justify the cost when Wifi is pretty damn available and you can even use your phone as a hot spot. Its hard to justify a second contract ( the iPad month by month model is better, but still why bother if your phone can be a hotspot). In the long run I think less expensive WiFi only tablets will be the way to go and they will be sold at best buy rather than at AT&T.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681272)

In the long run I think less expensive WiFi only tablets will be the way to go and they will be sold at best buy rather than at AT&T.

Couldn't agree more ... I have the wifi-only version of the iPad ... pretty much most places that I go have free wifi. I can't imagine paying for a cellular data plan for something that 90% of the time I'm connected to a wireless network.

About the only scenario I need to cover is that some hotels only have wired internet. But, that can be solved by bringing a wireless router with me that my iPad is already able to connect to.

I'd like a smart phone, but I just can't justify what it would cost to have one ... my wife and I figure if we changed our current cell phones for smart phones, we'd be paying at least $100/month more. And we're already paying for a crapload of stuff from our provider.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682230)

It didn't come out to quite 50 a month for me (or my girlfriend). I got the 2GB data plan through AT&T with the least minuets and the cost increase was something like 20 bucks over my previous Verizon plan (of course if you have a cheep provider you will have different results) but honestly I havent been using that much 3G data. I could have been fine with the 200mb option that my girlfriend went for.

Of course to hot spot costs extra (ridiculous) and requires a higher cap so that would add up.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682368)

It didn't come out to quite 50 a month for me (or my girlfriend). I got the 2GB data plan through AT&T with the least minuets and the cost increase was something like 20 bucks over my previous Verizon plan (of course if you have a cheep provider you will have different results) but honestly I havent been using that much 3G data.

Yeah, I'm up in Canada, so our wireless situation seems to be a little more expensive and annoying than you guys.

I have a voice-only cell phone, and that already costs me about $40-45/month ... going to a data plan seems like it would cost about $50/month more per line.

Since I'm already paying my cable company for two land lines, two cell phones, internet and cable TV, ... if my wife and I got smart-phones, we'd likely be looking at almost $400/mo for everything. At least her work pays for one of the land lines since she works from home.

I keep hoping that data will go down in price, but that doesn't seem to be something which is likely to happen. I actually know someone who says he pays about $200/month for his Android smart phone and his data plan, but for him it's worth every penny.

Re:Google wants to standardize hardware (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682244)

Couldn't agree more ... I have the wifi-only version of the iPad ... pretty much most places that I go have free wifi. I can't imagine paying for a cellular data plan for something that 90% of the time I'm connected to a wireless network.

Which is why Apple negotiated and won the on-demand, monthly, post-paid, no-recurrent data option for the iPad. It was, IMHO as important as the OS or device hardware itself; it got worldwide carriers to get on board with the 3G iPad, while at the same time providing a great response to the users' dilemma on 2 data plans (response being: you don't have 2 plans, only one for your smartphone and an option for monthly on the iPad).

Only a huge company like Apple (or Google, or Microsoft) could do this.

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680418)

All the apps run fine that ran on my phone, and they don't seem to be just "2x" scaled like on the iPad. What are they talking about? It appears to me that most Android apps don't care about the resolution of the device and adapt automatically.

Dammed If They Do ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680460)

... and dammed if they don't. Google needs to get a better grip on the Android market to help keep things consistent and keep quality& security high. By doing so they are affecting some aspects of application development.

First to market is great and all, but that horse is already out of the barn (and named Apple). Yes, Apple didn't have the first tablet but they had the first successful tablet. Now Android needs to run a smart race and not just try to chase Apple.

"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term... (3, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680560)

I don't think Google's trying to standardize hardware as much as they're trying to create a hardware baseline for software releases. It makes sense. There's no reason one should expect last years hardware to run next years software. You get caught up in that messy Microsoft sphere if you do that where you have to bloat all your software to make sure it works with old hardware and new hardware alike. This has been Microsoft's approach with Windows Phone 7 and, while WP7 sales have been lackluster, the hardware baseline itself has been working very well for them. There's less emphasis on comparing hardware specs in the phone and more emphasis on picking the model that you like the best, which is the way that the entire industry is moving relatively quickly.

Re:"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35680934)

There's less emphasis on comparing hardware specs in the phone and more emphasis on picking the model that you like the best, which is the way that the entire industry is moving relatively quickly.

Slashdotters are particularly tired of having to choose their products based on their capabilities. Personally, I would prefer to be given a choice of three levels of "flashiness" and a couple of hardware vendors.

If I wanted an iPhone/iPad, I would just buy one.

Re:"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681172)

This sort of is becoming the case with Android. A lot of apps have dropped support for any Android version pre-2.0.

I'm sure after 2.4 is dropped and out for a while, anything less than 2.2 is just not going to be supported. The good thing is that the app developers decide who runs the app or not. If the app doesn't really require features in newer operating systems, the devs can set the manifest back to 1.0. If it requires features present in newer operating systems (a good example are multi-gigabyte games which have the option to be installed to SD card), the developer can require whatever version they want.

Of course, if there are any bugs, since the Android development cycle is so quick (no waiting for app/update approval), they can be fixed very quickly.

Re:"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term. (1)

Dr Egg (1451323) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681218)

But running next years software on last years hardware is expected by consumers. Look at iOS. Your phone is supported software wise for 3 years from release of that model. Windows 7 is likely to run as well as Vista (or better) on a 2007 PC. I agree expecting new software should not be expected to run on old hardware, but only to an extent. I think it is reasonable to expect a few years of life out of some electronic device

Re:"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term. (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682484)

I have an iPod touch and it's not quite that simple. While the OS is updated, there are still limitations on what you can do with that various update. Certain features aren't supported. Various apps aren't supported depending on your hardware revision. It's more confusing than Android's fragmentation, imo. When you buy an ipod touch, it doesn't state what gen/version you bought on the box. When you buy an Android device, it's pretty straightforward what version of Android you have.

Re:"Standardize hardware" might be the wrong term. (2)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682496)

> There's no reason one should expect last
> years hardware to run next years software.

Really? REALLY? There are a MILLION reasons to expect new OS to support multi-year-old hardware. I'm using Apple as an example here, not because they're perfect, but because I have first-hand experience with them and I remember the stats off the top of my head.

  • iPhone users got three full years out of original iPhones before they got dropped.
  • OS X 10.6 supports all Intel Macs, some of which are over five years old now, and the upcoming 10.7 will probably do the same.
  • 10.5 came out in 2007 and supported Macs that were six years old at the time, which were 8 years old by the time 10.6 came out.

Windows, of course, supports much older hardware and yes, Windows has some bloat due to the fact that it can run 20-plus-year-old software, but there IS a middle ground between "bloat up and run software for decades" and "one year and you're done."

Users should ABSOLUTELY expect good support for at LEAST 2 or 3 years, especially since 2 years is the standard length of a cell contract in the U.S.

Not enough libraries (2)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680806)

Why didn't they include more Linux libraries, command line utils etc? What's the point in making a linux phone if it doesn't include most of the platform? Or rather, wouldn’t a linux phone with everything included be a nice plaything? WOW! How about a Free BSD UNIX command line mobile? Later ...

Re:Not enough libraries (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681902)

Linux kernel != GNU Linux-based OS.

Those are "featured" apps picked by marketing (2)

One Louder (595430) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680856)

All of these "articles" are just looking at the "featured" tablet apps list, which are picked by marketing folks and is not the definitive list of Honeycomb-specific or Honeycomb-enabled apps.

For instance, my company updated its app to use Honeycomb features as appropriate, while maintaining backward compatibility with Froyo and Gingerbread (minSdkVersion=8, targetSdkVersion=11), but it's not listed as a "featured" app.

Re:Those are "featured" apps picked by marketing (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680962)

Its been pretty clear for a while now, featured apps don't always get that visibility based strictly on the published guidelines. I've seen many a featured app which was garbage. Likewise, I've seen many which should be a featured app, including many others saying the same thing, which are completely ignored.

I don't proclaim to understand exactly how it works but its pretty clear it doesn't work the way Google has published and repeatedly claimed.

Re:Those are "featured" apps picked by marketing (1)

troyready (2030876) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681264)

Thank you; this was exactly the point that I came to make. TFA is completely FUD, and this is the most glaring issue. It's referencing a blog post where a Mac developer uses this flawed 'Featured Apps' methodology for determining Honeycomb app availability.

(as a side note, I certainly can't fault Google for not promoting an excellent Honeycomb app like Andchat; while I love it, most users couldn't care less about an IRC client).

Honeycomb is *clearly* still very much in early-adopter status, but that doesn't make it ok to just blatantly through around FUD like this.

Google is a hypocrite! (1, Interesting)

mrnick (108356) | more than 2 years ago | (#35680998)

This is just another example of Google trying to keep control of an OSS project. Ultimately the truth is they cannot. If they comply with the OSS licenses in play they have to release it and this will allow ANYONE to use Android as a platform. With that said they can keep people from using the trademark "with Google" off such devices (who cares?). If Google wanted to keep things closed they should have forked something with a BSD style license, like Apple did. It looks like Google wants to eat their cake and have it to... But a company cannot advertise based on being "open" and do everything to keep things under their control at the same time without looking like a hypocrite to the OSS community. Google wants to try and ensure their paying customer that they are getting a superior product without earning that respect, like Red Hat has.

How do they realistically expect to control the hardware platform when ANYONE can install Android on any device? Honeycomb may be optimized for tablets but no doubt we will see smart phones running it. I for one am happy as this will be another opportunity to show our Google overloads that we don't care about the "with Google" trademark.

A proprietary piece of shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681114)

That's what Android 3.0 is. The Android team released a piece of shit in a hurry because they wanted to compete with the new iPad and now they don't want to release the code. I wish Meego had more support, so I could tell Google where they can shove their POS system.

Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681180)

I just bought the WiFi Xoom yesterday. First time I've used Android, and I installed 10-15 apps yesterday alone. The "featured apps for tablets" page of Android Marketplace lists 50 apps. A few I downloaded that weren't on that tab still seemed to work fine.

Apple's marketing machine is in full swing.

3.0 Nexus 1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681382)

Say goodbye to your battery. Even with all the goodies turned off, it still sucks it dry in less than 8 hours.

Better to not have a tablet phone distinction (3, Interesting)

dara (119068) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681392)

I think Google made a mistake in buying into the idea that phones and tablets have be different at all. There is a big difference going from a desktop/laptop with a mouse and no touch screen, to a phone/tablet with usually no mouse and always a touch screen, but after that, do we really need the distinction? Wouldn't it be better if software (apps and the OS) allowed for a smooth transition across screen sizes from 3" to 10+"?

I personally want a phone in the current dead zone (except for the Dell Streak). I find even 4.3" too small, but 7" is too big. 5", or even 5.5" is my sweet spot. What am I supposed to use - Honeycomb?, Gingerbread? Why the hell do I have to make a choice?

Future smart phones are all going high resolution. Anything with a screen size of 4 inches or more is going to have 1280x720, 768, or 800 pixels at a minimum. 1920x1200 will probably push down to 7" devices. Software should be able to handle a range of screen sizes and resolutions and reflow text and icons (and allow lots of configuration to choose font and icon sizes and number of icons) to make working across this range not a big deal.

And another thing, at this point I do expect that some reasonably specified current hardware (single core, 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, etc.) should be able to be upgraded many years into the future. Sure certain features may have to be disabled, and configuration sliders controlling animation may have to be turned way back, but I don't want the core Android to turn into some behemoth that won't even run on hardware that is a few years old. I'm ready to hop off the iPhone train and a big reason is that Apple screwed my phone (3G) completely with iOS4 and isn't even trying to fix it anymore (no more updates for that phone). I'd rather Google didn't emulate Apple on that front also.

I'm all for Google flexing some muscle against manufactures and carriers, both of which disappoint me orders of magnitude more than Google ever has. But a sufficient solution for me to the fragmentation problem is if they would push for a lot more Nexus phones and tablets available simultaneously. Just one phone at a time (and no tablets) isn't cutting it. At least one phone from each manufacturer on each carrier and a bunch of tablets would be more like it.

just a bigger screen (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681554)

Add multiple screen support to your manifest file. 2.1 stuff seems pretty compatible so far, at least the stuff I've tried. Motorola and google only just released the honeycomb/xoom dev stuff a couple weeks ago. also, the price makes the xoom a bit out of reach for some.

Re:just a bigger screen (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 2 years ago | (#35681736)

Motorola and google only just released the honeycomb/xoom dev stuff a couple weeks ago. also, the price makes the xoom a bit out of reach for some.

It's like they're really trying to encourage adoption!

Honeycomb is Android's Vista. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35681874)

This is bascially it. When Steve Jobs, said flummoxed, he really mean totally splatted [imgur.com] .

Now Honeycomb's source is gone, people who bought earlier tablets will be stuck on Froyo and earlier, meaning that people will stick to writing apps for older versions, just like how Windows XP is still going strong.

Flamebait (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682082)

Whole topic should be modded flamebait!

OT: want wireless monitor connection (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35682304)

apart of using a big, high resolution display it would be nice to have a common user experience on android. ALL vendors should include the bluetooth hid stack (yes i'm talking to you, htc), and please: a wireless screen connection (i want to use a big screen at home, not just dlna). this would be on the wish list for my next mobile phone (so i can get an ebook reader instead of a bulky tablet)... with this included i will happily wait for the apps to evolve...
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