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GUI Google Handhelds Operating Systems Portables Hardware Linux

How Google Can Make Android Truly Tablet-Worthy 168

With an Android armada on the horizon (or at least expected), reader androidtablet plugs this piece on ways Android could be truly tablet-friendly. Armchair engineering may be easy to knock, but I like the ideas presented here, such as aggressively using the inactive (locked) screen state to display useful information.
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How Google Can Make Android Truly Tablet-Worthy

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @03:33AM (#32387078) Homepage

    It's amusing that one of the linked articles mentions an "iPad killer" from Foxconn. Foxconn makes the iPad.

    Foxconn's 2008 revenue was $62 billion. They're the "largest exporter in Greater China" and the world's largest maker of phone handsets. They have 486,000 employees. (Apple: 35,000. General Motors: 245,000.)

  • Re:Focus (Score:3, Informative)

    by darthdavid ( 835069 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @04:12AM (#32387194) Homepage Journal
    Hell, I don't think it's even in Apple's interest to be the only game in town for tablets, really. Competition drives innovation, pressure keeps you sharp...
  • by IYagami ( 136831 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:21AM (#32387378)

    ...according to ArsTechnica:

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/05/android-tablet-prototypes-not-yet-ready-for-prime-time.ars [arstechnica.com]

    "The performance stank. It was a stutter-fest (...) Resizing pages with the Web browser was jerky and uneven. The Gallery app stuttered a bit and generally wasn't nearly as responsive as it is on my Nexus One phone. And the Wired tablet app was just awful, running as it did on Adobe's AIR platform (...) In all, it's a genuine mystery as to why these tablets were in such rough shape. It could be some combination of beta software and beta GPU drivers--but really, I have no idea. It seems to defy the laws of physics that a Tegra 2-based Android tablet would have a less responsive UI than the Snapdragon-based Nexus One, but that was my experience yesterday. "

    This is even with a nVidia Tegra2 processor, which should be more pwerful than Apple A4 processor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:54AM (#32387496)

    Hm, "Foxconn ... the world's largest maker of phone handsets"? Not even close...

    Nokia 37%, Samsung 21%, LG 11%, Motorola & SE both 5%; while SE and perhaps Motorola might be using some OEM manufacturers, it's rather unlikely for LG and Samsung. And Nokia owns all their fabs (most of them not in China, 125k employees)

    Foxconn OEMs for almost everyone (Apple, Motorola, RIM, SE), including Nokia. [google.com]

  • Re:Focus (Score:5, Informative)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @07:15AM (#32387768) Journal

    Wouldn't it be better for Google make Android 100% perfect as a phone OS before branching out into other areas?

    I suppose you think that Google should wait until Linux is 100% perfect before they use it to power Android, then wait until the hardware is 100% perfect, then test Android on the hardware until it's 100% perfect, then launch a product?

  • Re:Open the C API (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @08:04AM (#32387930)

    What is the NDK [android.com]? It's been available for some time now. To the best of my knowledge writing a Dalvik shell to expose the app to the O/S and then using a native NDK core *is* the way to do what you are saying.

    These guys [google.com] ported Quake 3. It uses a lightweight Dalvik launcher to control a native build of Quake 3.

    While there might be some utility to a way to write a pure native code user-facing app in C, I don't think it currently exists. Android's browser, for example, is a Dalvik wrapper around the native code. You can of course build a pure native code executable that will run on the terminal (for example, see here [aton.com]) but that's not going to be useful for you.

  • by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:31AM (#32389132)

    In all, it's a genuine mystery as to why these tablets were in such rough shape.

    From the fracking title of that article you quoted...

    Android tablet prototypes not yet ready for prime time

    Sheesh, man, try to be a little more honest next time. Lying by omission is still lying.

  • by notthatwillsmith ( 1083667 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @04:52PM (#32391676)
    This linked story is copied in its entirety from my site, Tested.com. While they have posted a link to the author's profile on the story, the content is copyright Tested. The link to the original story is http://www.tested.com/news/5-ways-google-can-make-android-truly-tablet-worthy/355/ [tested.com].
  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @06:57PM (#32392718)

    The choice between resistive and capacitive is not so clearcut. Capacitive is good for fingers, resistive is good for pens. iPad and iPhone are lousy for drawing, and handwriting input is a no-go. I hope someone will start making Android tablets with resistive input (or Wacom or hybrid input) because the Apple iPad input sucks for anything other than poking at oversized on-screen buttons.

    This is woefully mis-informed. iPhone has the most accurate touchscreen of all the touchscreen mobile phones, as demonstrated here:
    http://labs.moto.com/robot_touchscreen_analysis/ [moto.com]

    And you can of course use a stylus on the iPhone. There are many varieties sold specifically for the purpose.

    The reason their competitors don't compete with Apple is not because they don't know how to, but because it's not rational to compete with Apple for a small part of the market. Google, Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and others are going for the mass market.

    LOL! Those companies would LOVE to have Apple's market. It may not always be the largest market share, but it's the most profitable market share. They are all desperately trying to copy Apple. The fact is they are behind because they are copying today's Apple technology whilst Apple is working on the next thing.

    Apple's market cap now exceeds all of those companies.

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