Ten... high-end Android tablets
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Product Round-up With Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich upon us, it's a good time to take stock of the impact - or lack of it - of Android 3 Honeycomb and Nvidia's Tegra 2, the chipset and release of Google’s mobile OS that were hoped would knock the iPad of its perch.
They've done no such thing. At the most generous counting, Android tablets account for around a quarter of all tablets sold, and the 'iPad' is fast becoming synonymous with 'tablet'.
The problems have been many. Honeycomb 3.0 was frankly a bit half-baked at the time of release. Example? No support for Micro SD expansion or USB peripherals. However, versions 3.1 and 3.2 have fixed most of the obvious failings. There's also the issue of market and Market fragmentation.
An iPad is an iPad is an iPad. An Android tablet? There’s really no such thing, nor will there be until Google decides to launch a Nexus Tablet. Instead, you have a range of devices from the usual Android suspects, including HTC, Samsung and Motorola, as well as machines from computer rather than phone wallahs, like Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Sony.
As for apps, most of your smartphone Android apps will work on a Honeycomb tablet but compared to the iPad there is a dearth of applications actually optimised for a larger, higher-resolution and landscape-oriented screen.
The end result is confusion in the mind of Joe Public and that's never a good thing when it comes to trying to flog stuff to the great unwashed. With that in mind, let’s take a stroll down Honeycomb lane to check out the devices that would be iPad beaters.
Unless otherwise stated, I've looked at models with 16GB of storage and only a Wi-Fi wireless connection.
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Re: Written by an iPad owner I think..
The writer does not own an iPad, and as much as you might achingly hope that Android has a higher market share than it does, all market data - vendor shipments and sell-through - suggests it does not.
Sorry to puncture your wee bubble, 'Barry'
"An iPad is an iPad is an iPad"
And yet your poor friend's iPad 1 can still use all the same software as an iPad 2 (except FaceTime), is still getting all software updates on day of release (if you're happy to trust Apple's QA), and is still one of the best tablets around even at 18 months old.
How many Android tablets are going to get Android 4 - without having to hack them? Which, remember, is kit that's mostly less than 6 months old. HTC are still selling their Flyer with 2.3, which was out of date when they launched the product! They've not even upgraded it to Android 3 yet...
Equally we can contrast my HTC Wildfire with an iPhone 3GS. Both phones are about the same age (admittedly the Wildfire was never top of the range). The iPhone 3GS is still getting updates and still on sale. HTC were still selling the Wildfire up to a couple of months ago, so they've no excuse for saying it's 'out of support'. The Wildfire got an update from 2.1 to 2.2 (about 6 months late), and that's it. The 3GS has been updated from iOS3, to iOS4 and now iOS5.
And it's not as if I'm cherry picking. Android kit getting timely updates is very unusual. Even Google only seem to update their reference phones once, then dump them.
This is the reason my next tablet will probably be Apple - well that and the Android tablet makers' obsession with widescreen. It's also why I recommend iPhone/iPad to non-geeks.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to going Android. But my experience with the phone OS has been poor, and their first attempt at tablets has been a mess. My only hope to avoid the clutches of Apple seems to be Microsoft. Windows Phone is looking interesting, and Windows 8 on tablets could be quite nice too.
I bought a tablet for my wife for her birthday back in August. Toddled along to try them out, liked the iPad, also liked the Eee Pad Transformer - very little to separate them, a fractionally better touchscreen on the Apple, much better expansion options on the Asus. I decided that for me, I would buy the Asus, but would get the wife an iPad as it was a Cortina. HOWEVER, they were out of stock - so Asus won out. And she's been very happy with it; she likes a lot about it, including the keyboard if she wants to do anything serious. The quality of the whole package is great, and she also likes not having to fork out for apps that are chargeable on our son's iPod Touch, so I've got plenty of brownie points. Remember that however popular the Cortina was, it wasn't actually a very good car... ;)
If by "hackers" you mean "anyone who wants to transfer photos from their real camera to their tablet and anybody who wants to expand storage capacity without having to replace their device", then you are absolutely correct. But as you don't, you're not.
Not having a pop Mr Vomit but why do some people wail and gnash their teeth when Apple bring out an updated/new product? No one has a go at Ford for changing the shape of the Fiesta or when they add more features with a facelift. I don't moan about Sony bringinging out new TVs since I bought mine three years ago.
It seems to me to be a ludicrous complaint made by the more irrational end of the Apple hating spectrum. But then the whole 'my phone/tablet/PC/whatever is better than yours' argument is childish beyond belief anyway.
I should add that apart from a work issued 3GS I own no Apple products. Or ones of an Android flavour for that matter.