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An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software 208

An anonymous reader writes "Glyn Moody writes at The H that Google's Nexus 7 tablet seems to be in a good position to shake up the market and pave the way for serious Android competition to the iPad. That said, he's worried about the potential downsides to a market full of mostly 'open' devices: 'Such customised systems are likely to be as locked down as they can be – the last thing either manufacturers or companies want is for users to start fiddling with the settings or installing their own software. As a result, the apps that run on such systems are likely to be closed source, since that's the way vertical markets tend to work. Such systems will also expose a persistent problem with the open source development methodology. While big and general projects find it relatively easy to attract interested developers, smaller, more targeted solutions tend not to thrive as free software.'"
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An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software

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  • Re:FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:29AM (#40612481) Homepage

    Actually if I had my choice I would rather have an 11.5 inch ipad. I want an 8.5X11 or A5 size screen. but then I also want to have palm rejection and a wacom stylus integrated. 512 levels of pressure in an accurate stylus. It suddenly turns the tablet into a serious art and business device.

  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:05AM (#40612661) Homepage Journal

    I have hardly bought any content for my tablet. Sure I have tried out a few games (which also run on my phone), but I mostly use it for web browsing, email, youtube, and reading Kindle books. The tablet certainly wasn't cheap either, it cost around the same as an iPad or maybe slightly more.

    I find it pretty weird that the summary suggests that there aren't already serious competitors to the iPad. I'm very happy with my Xoom.

    I do think the screen on the iPad 3 is very nice. I was even considering buying one, but in use I just find it a pain in the ass: I'm very used to having a convenient "back" button in Android. It even works to go back to the previous application that you were using. For example if you tap on a youtube link in the browser, it takes you to the youtube app - tap "back", and you will be back where you were in the browser.

    If anyone can tell me a good way to deal with this kind of thing in iOS then I'd be happy to hear it and give iOS another go - but as far as I can tell individual applications often have their own style of UI that means that there isn't always a standard way of moving back to previous screens, and it really just spoils the flow of using the device for me.

    I'm not sure if simply having a better screen would be enough to convince me to upgrade from my Xoom yet though, considering it's running Android 4.1 pretty nicely.

  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:46AM (#40612833)

    The fact there is no 7" iPad has nothing to do with Nexus 7 sales, because I think it's a pretty safe bet that given all the other factors out there to make a tablet purchase decision based on, the availability of one size versus another is pointless.

    Yes, and no. There are absolutely other factors out there, but it becomes a use case scenario. The reason I won't buy a 7" tablet is because I already have an e-book reader and an Android cell phone. I'm carrying the cell phone anyway, and 7" isn't enough of an improvement over the screen on the cell phone for me to want to carry it as well. I'm on the fence right now about whether I want to buy a tablet, when I already own a 13" ultraportable laptop (I do have a specific use in mind, I'm just trying to decide if it's worth the expense when I have other ways of completing the task), but if I were to buy one, it would be a 10" display.

    Some people buy tablets because they're the cool thing to have. Those people will almost universally buy an iPad, and it becomes a non-issue. Some people buy them because they actually have a need for it, and for those people the form factor of the device (read: screen size) will probably be the main deciding factor. If they can't get a device in a screen size that's useful to them, there's no point in buying the device. The general consumer doesn't really care whether it's iOS or Android, as long as it does what they want it to do. Most people are happily oblivious to the walled garden, and in fact think that it's a good thing as long as it doesn't prevent them from playing Angry Birds or getting on Facebook.

  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CheeseTroll ( 696413 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:20AM (#40613059)

    A 4-finger swipe on an ipad will switch between running apps. (just discovered this, myself, and it's really handy)

  • Re:FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:39AM (#40613231) Homepage

    Actually, for me screen size is an important issue. I wouldn't give any money for an iPad no matter what the size, but I've tried 7", 8" and 10" Android tablets, and the size alone makes them quite different. That 2"-3" difference makes a significant impact on how easy it is to lug around and how well it is suited towards what you want to use it for. Personally I'd prefer 7" regardless of price.

  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @11:31AM (#40615225) Homepage Journal

    I have a 7" tablet and yes it is a big enough improvement over a cell phone.
    A 7" tablet is about as small I want to watch movies and TV on. I can do on my phone but the tablet is much nicer. Also bigger device == bigger battery == longer runtime. I do not want run my phone to zero ever if for no other reason than safety. A second device means that I can keep by phone for communications and my tablet none essential uses.
    I also find the 7" more portable than a 10" and the lower cost makes it less risky to use. If a $199 device gets broken or stolen it is far less tragic than if a $499 device does. Heck at replace cost the Nexus 7 is cheaper than my smartphone.
    For example since the Nexus 7 has a GPS I am thinking about building a mount for my motorcycle for it. I could use it as a nav device as well as for music on long rides. Another option is a car mount.
    I have a Kindle fire right now and it works great as an e reader, media player , and for games.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"