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Review roundup: Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the iPad's first "real" competitor - Page 2

post #41 of 188
What does this do that iPad doesn't? Flash doesn't work properly. What's the draw.? What's the killer app? What's the killer feature?
post #42 of 188
How do you spell sweet?

GALAXY TAB!
post #43 of 188
Just remember that the first Android phone wasn't all that at all, but has quickly matured into the powerhouse that it is now.
post #44 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groovetube View Post

why exactly is this a baaaad decision? Pretty massive java development community out there. And, wile it may not be popular here, it also allows adobe air.

Glad you asked. For one, Java runs a Trash Collector that is deeply engrained into the Java code and therefore cannot be deactivated. So it has priority over all instances and therefore will stop any and all actions including the touch framework to resolve pointers and unused variables in memory. Apple has a much better solution than that. Trash collection is a good thing for desktop apps but not mobile apps, it takes way too many resources.

Moreover, Java is not even close to being as stable as Objective-C. I've developed for both platforms.
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post #45 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post

What, wait... so suddenly "just a big phone" has become a positive review meme?!

Exactly! All the spoon-clanging over how horrible the iPad was/is seems to have evaporated.
post #46 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

I used one in the Apple store. I loaded up pure Flash sites on an 11 inch MacBook Mini. They all played just fine. I don't quite understand why people complain so much.

Are the new Minis better at Flash than regular Macs?

That's the weird thing. I ran a Flash benchmark* on a friend's MacBook Air 11" 1.4ghz and it scored a little better than a demo MacBook Pro 13" lying around (not sure what the MBP spec is) -- but you see, my friend's MBA 11" would have the latest version of Flash, the MBP 13" probably had a older version or even maybe Flash Version 9.

But yeah, Flash is fine on the MBA 11" 1.4ghz. Who would have thunk.

In the end for non-video Flash sites if the same version of Flash is on all Macs, then clock speed should be the primary determinator of speed. Unlikely the MBA 11" (very, very unlikely) has special optimisations for non-video Flash.

And that 320M GPU is pretty impressive for 11".

*http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/465908
post #47 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Model A1181 View Post

Why Buy a Tab when you can buy "the real thing". This question dates to 1963, well actually 1969. Although Coca-Cola introduced Tab in 1963, we were not told that Coke was the real thing until 1969.

Sings jingle: iPad, it's the real thing.

I tried Tab in 1964 and it would gag a vulture!

There are still some really big Tab aficionados out there. Its actually a pretty accurate analogy. Its still available in Australia and the UK.
post #48 of 188
If someone want a 7 inch tablet this year, then this is probably the tablet to get. Some will buy because of the size factor and some will buy because it isn't an Apple device. It will have some success due to these factors. It will be interesting to see how much success it will really have. 1 other factor to take into account is upgradeability. Android has been real hit or miss on this. I wonder how easily this tablet will accept future upgrades. This may limit it's success to a degree.

For those that want a larger tablet at a better price without a contract, then the iPad is still without competition.

Neal
post #49 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

The very fact that the skyfire browser has grossed over a million dollars in its first week is proof that people want to use flash on their mobile devices.

No, it is proof that people want to play video on their mobile devices, and that there is still a lot of video on the web that only plays if you have Flash. The solution is not to put Flash on every device, the solution is to offer alternative delivery methods for web video. Fortunately it seems that's exactly what's happening, and it is happening at a breakneck speed, availability of HTML5 video has increased 5-fold in just 6 months up to the point over half of the video's on the web also plays if you don't have Flash. Remember: it's not just Apple users who benefit from this, the vast majority of phones does not handle Flash video very well, a large majority of phones doesn't handle it at all, and no -I repeat: NO- mobile devices *at all* handle Flash video better than HTML5 video, if they support both. Flash for video = a bad thing.

Which leaves Flash for interactive content, for which it is kind of tolerable on workstations (and it has to be said: for which no viable alternatives exist as of yet), but most of said content doesn't work on a touchscreen phone anyway since it wasn't made for it. Interactive Flash on mobile = hardly a joy and not a dealmaker at all.
post #50 of 188
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post #51 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

To be honest a netbook with good build quality (which is what is rumoured for the first chrome OS google branded netbook available later this month) appeals to me a lot more than an ipad. This is because I am a content producer more than a consumer. Also I find it frustrating and too slow to browse the web on an iPad because of lack of a keyboard. Sure the iPad looks great but for me the novelty wears off too quickly and all it performs really well at is mobile video.

The netbook market is still growing too and it will continue to. Not everyone, especially those not in the western world, can buy an iPad instead of a netbook.

As a content producer, wouldn't you be better served with a full sized laptop with rich applications as opposed to a Chrome netbook with web apps? Not a snide question, an honest one. (I've never used a netbook, nor do I really have a good grasp of what applications will be available on Chrome.)

Thompson
post #52 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

... I like many things about the Air, but man I'd love to see a sub-$400 netbook from Apple.

At <$400, there would not be many things you'd like about it.
post #53 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I disagree with Jobs on the size, I really like the 7" size or at least one that is a bit smaller than the current iPad but this Galaxy Tab is not good enough and it's price is way out of proportion.. its not even worth 200 bucks let alone 600! It is a DoA.

I do hope though that Apple thinks of something to slim down the iPad line up. If they keep the same screen size, it's fine with me but then the edges need to slim down and the weight definitely needs to come down.

I have to agree. The iPad's screen size is great reading magazines, newspapers and books. And given how much attention that use got at the release of the iPad, I think THAT was a primary driver for Apple to make the screen the size it is. Pure conjecture on my part, but I think Apple was hoping to lock publishers into their device before the competition got a chance to respond. That would have put Apple in the driver's seat for what online print distribution should look like. And one way for Apple to lure the publishers was a nice big screen to display their content.

Jobs said you needed that big of a screen to "express" the software. BS! Apple created software to use the screen they chose. If they had chosen a smaller screen, they would have "expressed" their software in that space just as easily. Maybe a couple fewer buttons, a little shorter list of email in my inbox. But nothing drastic that would have destroyed the usabilty of the device.

Apple chose a larger screen size to support their goal of taking over print distribution. And they chose a great screen size for the purpose. But for some, perhaps many, that is not a primary purpose. And they, including me, would gladly trade screen size for something a bit more portable.

Apple's chance of taking over print distribution is quickly fading. As more and more other (and smaller) devices hit the market, the publishers will have to take that into account in their plans. We'll soon see how people respond to the smaller tablets, especially once their OS issues are sorted out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Hey! - I remember Tab - sigh \

Quote:

They even sell a Tab Engery drink for the older folks to keep up with the kids.
post #54 of 188
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post #55 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Glad you asked. For one, Java runs a Trash Collector that is deeply engrained into the Java code and therefore cannot be deactivated. So it has priority over all instances and therefore will stop any and all actions including the touch framework to resolve pointers and unused variables in memory. Apple has a much better solution than that. Trash collection is a good thing for desktop apps but not mobile apps, it takes way too many resources.

While these are valid points, I think you're being a bit too harsh, I assume Google spent a lot of time optimizing their VM and the garbage collector to make it better suited for mobile devices.

The 'problem' with Java on a mobile platform is that Java (like other interpreted or byte-compiled languages) introduces an intermediate layer between the hardware and the OS and the applications running on it. This has one huge advantage, which is portability between architectures. It also has a pretty big disadvantage, which is overhead. In many cases Java will not necessarily be much slower than native code (like compiled Objective-C on iOS), and in some (rare) cases it can even be faster (due to runtime/dynamic optimizations that compilers cannot do). However, there are cases where Java really gets in the way of writing efficient code, and these cases aren't exactly rare at all. Games, for example, or applications that rely on predictable performance.

That said, Java has come a long way and it works quite well for most tasks without seriously affecting performance, but don't expect high-end stuff like the Epic Unreal engine for iOS to ever hit Android, since it is simply impossible to do that kind of stuff in Java, period. You'd have to resort to NDK's to make something like that for Android, which would mean it would only run on a subset of devices.
post #56 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

... Jobs said you needed that big of a screen to "express" the software. BS! Apple created software to use the screen they chose. If they had chosen a smaller screen, they would have "expressed" their software in that space just as easily. Maybe a couple fewer buttons, a little shorter list of email in my inbox. But nothing drastic that would have destroyed the usabilty of the device. ...

I love how people who have no knowledge of Apple's iPad prototyping process, and most likely no experience with, or understanding of, UI design, speak with such great authority on what they did, could have done, should have done and why they did it. Yeah, just leave a couple of buttons out, that'll do it.

More likely, and based on Jobs' own comments, they tested a whole range of sizes and UIs and found that at 7" you can't get a workable UI that sufficiently improves over a small phone UI to make it worthwhile. At 10", you have enough screen real estate to start to do interesting things that can be manipulated easily with a finger, but can be much richer than a phone UI. There's a threshold effect that requires a certain minimum size to properly accommodate usage. They probably did, during the many years the iPad was in development, make a 7" iPad prototype with a prototype UI, but it wasn't the device they wanted to make, so they didn't make it.
post #57 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

For that price it should come with a baby kangaroo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFEB1VyvZEA

Where can i buy a kangaroo to use an iPad carrying case? BTW, that video is adorable.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #58 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I can't speak for tjw and I don't use Chrome OS, but I do love my Ubuntu netbook because:

- the physical keyboard is very useful for us touch typists
- the clamshell form factor gives the screen built-in protection
- I can run all my favorite apps on it, the same ones I run on the desktop (Thunderbird, OpenOffice, OpenProject, Firefox, and a bunch of others - most of them free)

Ubuntu's no OS X, but in the absence of an OS X-powered netbook it's pretty good, at least good enough for me to do the things I need to do on it.

And at the risk of sounding price-conscious in a Mac forum, the fact that I paid less than $300 for my netbook has value to me. I can take it anywhere, even jungles or third-world countries, and feel comfortable that if I damage or even lose it I can replace it easily.

I buy bicycles the same way - can't see spending $1k on something that's so easily stolen.

Well, yes, price has always been one of the main selling points of netbooks. Size and weight are some others.

However, I thought that the context of tjw's post was that he would consider a Chrome powered netbook for content production. To me, "content production" implies a significant amount of time either developing code or multimedia stuff, or both. Can one really do that to great effect on a little bitty screen and with a Web OS, which seems like it was designed for content consumption? That seems strange to me, but I don't really know much about netbooks or Chrome, hence the question. For your part, MacRulez, do you actually use that netbook for content production? And if so, what does that even mean to you?

Thompson
post #59 of 188
Google has stated that the current version of Android is not designed for use on pads. The next version will be. These manufacturers are jumping the gun. There is no Google store for pad apps, and these pads are basically a blown up version of an Android phone, minus the phone.

Every review I've seen has said that there are serious shortcomings in this "iPad killer". No one has recommended buying one.
post #60 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Ubuntu's no OS X, but in the absence of an OS X-powered netbook it's pretty good, at least good enough for me to do the things I need to do on it.

No OS X-powered netbook? I beg to differ... No, it's not $399, but what do you expect from Apple? Junk?

post #61 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

No OS X-powered netbook? I beg to differ... No, it's not $399, but what do you expect from Apple? Junk?


Well to be fair, according to his response, price is one of the defining characteristics of a "netbook". I would imagine that a screen size of 11 inches may also not fit into his definition.

Thompson
post #62 of 188
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post #63 of 188
Jobs is right but for the wrong reasons. The 7" tablet was a compromise. They brought out an iPad device with Android so not to make it look so bad as a 9" form factor would be. Samsung and the rest are really waiting for Chrome OS to come out then they'll abandon the 7" Android tablet market then. I pity the people that buy the Android tablets.
post #64 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Google basically shot themselves in the foot by choosing JAVA as a development platform for their phones and tablets!

Baaad decision!

Actually, no. Both from a business and technology perspective, a very good decision. The primary programing language for phones for most of this decade has been Java ME, so there is a very large pool of experienced developers knowledgeable about developing for a small screen, limited power device.

On the technology side, any decent JIT JVM with dynamic optimization can out perform a statically optimized "native" application. The reason that Java has been slow on phone devices is that no manufacturer has bothered to put a decent JVM into their devices - and from a business perspective under the carrier dominant model, that actually made sense. Google on the other hand does have a reason to build a better JVM, and is doing so (slowly - possibly in part due to patent issues).

(Please do not claim C is a better high level development language - it is basically a variation of the PDP 8 & 11 assembly language with some syntactic sugar. As such, it is a great low level language, but has no high level language constructs.)
post #65 of 188
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post #66 of 188
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post #67 of 188
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post #68 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

But I thought Java was just one of many options for writing apps for Android, and that one can use C++ if they prefer, no?

Yes, you can write C/C++ for Android, but you'd need to compile and link against an NDK (native development kit), producing a binary that will only run on supported devices, and no NDK will support each and every Android device. You can't run armv7 code on older armv6 CPU's for example. The NDK would have to be compatible with the Android version running on the device as well, so if the vendor doesn't support it anymore, your application will be stuck at the last supported version. Last but not least all the Android SDK tooling is geared towards Java development, so writing C/C++ is a pretty rough ride. So in theory it's all possible but there will be all kinds of issues related to hardware compatibility, which is why a lot of professional game developers stay away from Android: too much effort, too many risks the investment won't pay off. I've evaluated Android as a target for a game I'm writing and even though I think I could easily get away just using Java, I decided not to risk wasting time on it only to find out the final product doesn't work quite like I intended it to, and/or doesn't sell because Android users appear to like free stuff a little too much.

Apple doesn't have this problem, because they are the only ones making hardware that runs iOS, they can ensure the devices are compatible and the development tools can target all of them without any effort from the developer (which is why iOS 3 introduced universal binaries to support armv6 and armv7 tuned code that runs on any device from the first iPhone to the iPhone 4 in the same binary, for example).
post #69 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

Well, yes, price has always been one of the main selling points of netbooks. Size and weight are some others.

However, I thought that the context of tjw's post was that he would consider a Chrome powered netbook for content production. To me, "content production" implies a significant amount of time either developing code or multimedia stuff, or both. Can one really do that to great effect on a little bitty screen and with a Web OS, which seems like it was designed for content consumption? That seems strange to me, but I don't really know much about netbooks or Chrome, hence the question. For your part, MacRulez, do you actually use that netbook for content production? And if so, what does that even mean to you?

Thompson

So long as I can write documents on a chrome OS netbook and touch type I will be happy. I also believe web browsing is better on any kind of laptop, simply because it is much faster unless all you are doing is clicking links.

I would love to have the ability to code on a chrome OS netbook, ie superfast device and a cloud based compiler and dev tools but I expect that is a long long way off.
post #70 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Just remember that the first Android phone wasn't all that at all, but has quickly matured into the powerhouse that it is now.

"Powerhouse"? Seriously?

Android is never going to be finished and never going to be as good as iOS. It's always going to be what it was actually designed as, which is a "good enough" copy/alternative to iOS.

Android is open source. Open source is "design by committee," and has all the inherent problems of that methodology (i.e. - crap design). It will end up the same as it's open source desktop cousin in the Linux family. Desktop Linux always was and always will be "almost there" in terms of having a finished working UI, and "just around the corner" from true popularity. It will never be popular with "regular" folks who aren't interested in getting involved in the coding process. The only folks that truly *love* Linux are those that contribute to it's creation, the average person doesn't give a crap about it or Android.

Android is the same but for mobile devices. It will have all the same problems and it will all end the same way. The only reason people are buying Android devices in droves right now is that they are being marketed to them in huge numbers, (and given away for free), but mainly because the excitement around the new emerging mobile platform is driving sales of all similar devices. It's the same as when the desktop came out. There were many, many contenders that rode the initial wave of device types, but the IBM compatible won out. There is a lot of excitement right now, and a lot of different competing devices, but at the end of the day there will be either a standard (or a couple of standards), and most of the devices coming out now will be history in a few short years.

Android will always be like OpenOffice (a bad copy of Office), or Linux (a bad copy of Unix/Apple/Windows). It can't be anything else as long as it's open source software, and the average person doesn't buy, like, need, or get anything out of open source junk.
post #71 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Jobs is right but for the wrong reasons. The 7" tablet was a compromise. They brought out an iPad device with Android so not to make it look so bad as a 9" form factor would be. Samsung and the rest are really waiting for Chrome OS to come out then they'll abandon the 7" Android tablet market then. I pity the people that buy the Android tablets.

Yeah, 7" is probably about the maximum size the phone UI would not look totally stupid on, or maybe slightly larger than the maximum size. But, looking at what these things are selling for, I think it was also a cost based decision. 7" was probably the maximum size they could produce and be anywhere near the iPad price.
post #72 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

... Android is open source. Open source is "design by committee," and has all the inherent problems of that methodology (i.e. - crap design). ....

Android is really faux open source, with development tightly controlled inside Google. It's only open source in the sense that they can say, "Look, here's the code for the last version we released, for the non-proprietary, closed source parts, that is." The last part spoken in a quiet whisper.

The main problem is that Google doesn't seem to have anyone who knows anything, or even really cares, about UI design.
post #73 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Jobs is right but for the wrong reasons. The 7" tablet was a compromise. They brought out an iPad device with Android so not to make it look so bad as a 9" form factor would be. Samsung and the rest are really waiting for Chrome OS to come out then they'll abandon the 7" Android tablet market then. I pity the people that buy the Android tablets.

I don't understand why it would be smarter to market a 9 inch Chrome device than a 9 inch Android device, assuming Google does what it says it will do: make a version of Android that supports the larger size.

Thompson
post #74 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

On a netbook, for me it means what amounts to touch-up work.

No mobile device short of a 17" laptop is going to provide the screen real estate or horsepower to do serious web development.

But when I'm on the road with a netbook I'm not focusing on work anyway. Serious work is done on my 2400x1600 screen with an i7 driving it, and I do a fair amount on my 17" MBP, but the times I have my netbook with me are the times I get phone calls from clients who need some quick repair to something they've messed up at their site. The Atom processor is no i7, and the netbook screen is certainly much smaller than the one I use the most, but it's enough to let me dive in, made whatever changes are needed, and move on with my day.

And the iPad is "out" because of what you mentioned earlier: at the higher price, you would worry about it while on the go. Right? Also, perhaps it doesn't have the tools to do your "touch-up work"?

Thompson
post #75 of 188
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post #76 of 188
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post #77 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

So long as I can write documents on a chrome OS netbook and touch type I will be happy. I also believe web browsing is better on any kind of laptop, simply because it is much faster unless all you are doing is clicking links.

I would love to have the ability to code on a chrome OS netbook, ie superfast device and a cloud based compiler and dev tools but I expect that is a long long way off.

OK, based upon your answer, it seems like it's mostly about having a real keyboard. So that leaves me with the question: why are you specifying "Chrome" over "Android" or "Windows" or whatever other OS's will certainly be available on devices that would fit your requirements.

I'm struggling to see what benefits "Chrome" is going to bring to the landscape. Can anyone enlighten me why the consumer needs yet another OS, and why manufacturers should promote it? Looking at tjw's response here, I presume it has something to do with Chrome being more conducive to a "superfast" device. Because it is lightweight (from code footprint standpoint)? Because it can leverage the cloud better than Android or iOS? Note that Apple has done a great job of building an ecosystem upon which applications can run across numerous devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad). This is great for the user and the developer. By promoting Chrome along with Android, isn't Google failing to leverage a similar advantage?

Also, even if the dev tools and compiler reside in the cloud, the super small screen sizes of netbooks would drive me mad if I were doing actual development on them. Is this not something that would bother you, tjw?


Thompson
post #78 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

A bit of both, plus it's a bear to type on - not just because of the virtual keyboard, but because its curved back makes it wobbly on a table, so the only halfway comfortable way to use it is in my lap.

MacRules, you absolutely MUST get the Apple case if you have an iPad. It not only protects the iPad, but it also addresses the concerns you put here and others you didn't: multiple configurations and orientations, and easier to grasp without slippage. Also, slim, lightweight, classy.

Thompson
post #79 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

... the super small screen sizes of netbooks would drive me mad if I were doing actual development on them. ...

Yeah, lack of vertical screen real estate is a real productivity killer when working on code.
post #80 of 188
A colleague at work has explained to me his motivation behind wanting a "Chrome" netbook, and it goes something like this:

He wants a real keyboard and a screen bigger than smartphones, and he wants it to be really inexpensive. That forces him to a netbook. He is OK with the small screen (barely).

He has observed that current OS's seem to overburden the minimal hardware that comes with netbooks, and he thinks that Chrome will not.

That appears to be his complete motivation. It is driven by a requirement of real keyboard and low price, with some compromises made in order to have satisfactory (but not satisfying) performance. He has no desire to perform real content creation on it, and can't imagine how that would be satisfactory. (Nor can I.)

Thompson
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