Originally Posted by graxspoo
Android is a great phone OS. I was an iPhone user for years, but I jumped to the Android side of things because I'm a cheapskate (saved over 2k over 2 years switching to Android on Virgin Mobile). I can do everything on my Android phone I could do on my iPhone. In some ways its more capable. I like being able to download stuff from the internet, for example. It's nice having a small file system on my phone that you can actually access. I like the way Google Voice integrates into the phone (Someone stalking you? Block their calls. Permanently.) I prefer Google services over Apple services, and mobile is a lot about the service back-bone rather than the actual device or OS. I think it's absolutely crazy that Apple is trying to do all this stuff (map service, cloud service etc etc) on their own. It leaves their customers with less choice, and it means that Apple has to devote significant resources to maintaining aspects of their operations which are not profit centers (how exactly are they going to monetize their map service?)
Apple makes fantastic hardware (though the glass on the back of the iPhone 4 and 5 is plain stupid) and their OS is solid (though I hate the games they play with developers and the app store) so it's a nice solution for a lot of people.
On the other hand, Android, while less reliable and more "tweaky", gets the job done as well, and is actually a better choice for people that want maximum flexibility, the best access to Google services, and are maybe even a little cheap. Plus, Widgets!
Thanks. This is a great example of what you're supposed to do: if you like Android, buy it and be happy. Tell us what you like and don't like; opinions are welcome. When people start down the road of arguing that Apple (or its apologists) are wrong for not liking what they like, or wrong for not agreeing with the way they look at tech, then nothing is gained. The forum spirals into personal arguments. You kept an open mind about what other people like, and that's so rare on these forums!
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf
Would someone be willing to explain the essential difference between a tablet and a notebook? I see this distinction made a lot but have never really understood its justification. With the except of form factor, the distinction seems like an artificial barrier rooted in culture rather than technical merit. To me, smartphones and tablets are highly portable computers with touch interfaces. They run general purpose operating systems, albeit optimized for touch and low-memory/low-power environments. Why, then, are concepts familiar from Macs (such as downloading files to a common storage area) to be feared on tablets? Do touch interfaces make downloading files more dangerous? Why is it more secure if you associate a file with a program immediately rather than later?
A serious question that deserves a serious answer. Here's my take.
Apple and Microsoft take polar opposite stances on tablets. Yours is closer to Microsoft's: a tablet is another PC form factor, as Steve Ballmer said at All Things D. This has always been Microsoft's vision, going back to the tablet PC of the early 1990s. The stylus replaced the mouse, but otherwise, the tablet was a keyboard-less Windows laptop with a touch screen. With Windows 8, Microsoft simply gave its old tablet PC idea a new coat of (Metro) paint and added the capacitive touch screen.
Apple takes a more radical approach. Even before iOS, I remember Steve Jobs saying to Walt Mossberg that eventually, the file system (Finder) would be something that only "pros" would use, and that Spotlight would be how Mac users would someday launch apps, find files, etc. Spotlight is effectively "google search for your local system hard drive" and more or less eliminates location as something users have to know (or care) about. So iOS took that idea one step further: if you don't need to know where a file is to access it, you don't need Finder (file browser). You cannot open files outside of an app, iOS adopted an app-centric user interface: you browse your files within the app. And for most people who use iOS devices, that's sufficient, and the upside is that operating system functions such as "choosing programs to associate with file (types)" don't intrude on their user experience. They just see apps and content ("my picture", "my video", "my songs"), never the file system beneath it. If you saw the Mavericks demo, and you recall the new Category and Tagging features of the file system, you'll see that this eventually will obviate the need to use folders to organize your files because you can more easily sift and sort files by category and/or tag.
As for your question about the difference between a tablet and notebook, this file management example is just one expression of a broader philosophical difference between Apple and Microsoft on tablets. Apple's uses the term "post-PC" to describe computing devices that aren't the classic "personal computer" as we knew it over the last 30 years. Things like iPhones, iPods, iPads, and AppleTV are examples of this. They are purposeful information processing devices. Apple TV, for example, lets me rent and watch HD movies and TV shows over the Internet (iTunes), right on my TV. iPad lets me run apps, surf the web, read email, read magazines, play games, message and FaceTime friends. A lot of those things were previously only possible with a personal computer. Why not just make personal computers? Because the post-PC devices are simplified, curated, ultra-portable, and maintenance free. When people who have never used any kind of computer pick up and just start using iPads, that's Apple's post-PC vision paying off.
Microsoft's is not interested in replacing the PC with a post-PC device (you could argue that Surface RT is just like the iPad, but it's not bold enough at shedding its PC-era design cruft, such as the classic desktop, and ends up being a half-hearted attempt at a post-PC tablet) The odd thing is that Microsoft groks the post-PC idea, and they in fact sell a post-PC device: the Xbox. It's based on a PC, but Microsoft won't, for example, allow it to operate outside of the walled garden of (signed) Xbox games and Xbox Live content. You can't side load any app or game not approved by Microsoft, and you can't even surf the web, or use a mouse and keyboard. It's deliberately limited in purpose. It's not a PC.
Since you already stated your preference for having a general purpose operating system on a tablet, Microsoft has your needs covered.