Posts Tagged ‘Tablet’

Droid Shouldn’t

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment

CES has come and gone and it was certainly as many predicted the CES of the Tablet. From Balmer’s keynote through almost all of the coverage I saw there was a tablet in every pot and a slate in every garage.

That’s great, I love tablets and have an HP TC1100 that I use regularly for note taking, sketching and general web surfing. I’m hardly the first to say it, but if HP added touch and put it on a diet down to about half an inch or so it would have a huge seller on its hands. The TC1100 was a brilliant design and it’s spiritual successor was seen to some degree at CES in the Lenovo U1, although I think the multiple OS concept is flawed, it’s missing the Wacom screen and the $1,000 price tag is beyond what the market will bear for that device today.

Now on to my problem with nearly every tablet that we saw at CES; the operating system. Android has no business on a device that is any larger than five inches. I don’t care if it can be done, the point is that it shouldn’t be done. Just when I thought Google’s iron hand was guiding the manufacturers down the “superphone” path and bringing a degree of consistency to the Android Market for developers we see this giant wrench thrown into the works potentially derailing things to a phenomenal degree.

Image of a tablet running Android

The image of the ICD Ultra courtesy of Engadget illustrates my point perfectly, there is about a 1 to 1.5 inch gap between the icons on the home screen, it looks terrible. I never saw anyone open an app other than the browser or their own in-house developed apps on any of these tablets, but I can imagine that many of them would not scale well at all. As things stand presently there is no way to indicate what device you are using when browsing the Market so there is no way to control whether you are seeing apps that would function well on your device or not.

This is also ignoring the simple fact that the sort of apps you might want on a 9-10 inch device are simply not the same as those that you would want on a 3.5-5 inch device. I don’t really want a shopping list app or flight tracking app on something that is too large to fit in my pocket. This is precisely the reason why I can’t believe that the Apple Tablet is going to be anything so simple as an enlarged iPod Touch, in moving from the pocket to the couch/backpack your usage scenario is changing dramatically.

With a 10 inch tablet it should be nothing short of a full computer. I want to be able to edit photos, I want OneNote or something like it (if you haven’t used it you don’t know what you are missing), I want a digitizer/touch screen and I want solid battery life. Basically I want Windows 7 or OSX assuming Apple has managed to cook in comparable tablet support. Courier seems to be the blessed union of all these features so hopefully the wait there can be measured in months and not years. What I think this tablet should be is a subject for another post though.

To some degree this boils down to not wanting Google spending resources on molding Android to this purpose when Chrome will be here soon enough and seems far better suited to the kind of couchputing that most of these tablets are being designed to serve up. I want all attention in the Android department put toward making it the best smart/superphone OS experience in the land. I recognize that Google has already stated that there will probably come a time when Chrome and Android OS are one, but today is not that day. Do not make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people, down that road lies madness.

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Chrome OS – The Birth of the Couchputer

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Prototype versions of the CrunchpadFinally an OS that will make my dream couchputer a reality. All the pieces are falling into place for the CrunchPad or something like it to hit the market and make a killing (well more likely just fill a niche, but don’t kill by buzz).

Right now when I’m sitting on the couch or if I’m puttering about in the kitchen I either keep my BlackBerry or my laptop on me. They each have their failings when trying to meet my needs/wants in either of these situations.

My BlackBerry is great (that’s right daddy loves you, now earmuffs for a second), but frankly I would rather be able to just set it down and let it charge when I get home. The screen is great for on-the-go access to all of my email, Facebook, Twitter and basic web browsing needs. However, it just cannot replace a more full-sized screen and fully featured browser.

My Macbook is a fantastic computer (no I didn’t forget about you, earmuffs like your little brother now), but it is too cumbersome and just plainly overkill for the light surfing, hulu’ing, social networking and emailing I’m looking for while lounging around or making some concoction in the kitchen.

Enter Chrome OS:

Google has cut out a lot of the superfluous crap that I don’t need for a secondary computer that basically lives its entire life in my house. If they can pair this with a solidly implemented but relatively inexpensive piece of touchscreen hardware (e.g., the CrunchPad) I think they are going to have a real winner. You have an “instant” on OS that does the constant updates we have grown to love on our smartphones, while also providing a fully realized browser experience.

I know this isn’t their expressed target market and that the netbook audience is probably a much bigger piece of pie to go after for them, but I just don’t see this gaining general adoption there. I think too many people will lack faith in the cloud as their central repository for all of their data and will shy away from it in favor of Windows 7 in the same way that netbook users almost uniformly chose an 8-year-old OS in Windows XP over Linux.

There is really nothing else in the niche I’m talking about right now, it’s almost the exact reason that Arrington got to building the CrunchPad in the first place, and Chrome could absolutely own whatever market is there. I think the only real question is whether this imagined couchputing market/audience really exists, if they are in fact out there I think this OS coupled with either the CrunchPad or something like it is going to scratch them right where they itch.

What do you think?

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