You see, when the Nexus 9 was released last year, I reviewed it. It was pretty bad. It’s still not great — the Nexus 9 lacks a good deal of the tablet content of iOS, still isn’t as powerful as a Chromebook for things like basic text composition and editing or even web browsing, and doesn’t even get very good battery life. But most of the problem with Android tablets as a whole is software-related: the OS doesn’t feel designed for a large-screen tablet and the content that is available simply isn’t as wide-ranging as what you find on iOS or, if you want to look at Windows and the Surface’s ability to run full Windows applications (no small feature), even on Microsoft’s platform.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
There’s more …
More often than not, a mobile OS like Android or iOS simply encumbers your workflow, making simple tasks take longer with more steps, or preventing you from doing certain things entirely, like running specific applications.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
And, BAM! —
Android isn’t a very good tablet OS to start with (I’m not saying iOS is a gleaming beacon of wonder, either), and attempting to cram it into a more laptop-like workflow seems almost sadistic on Google’s part.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
And this one really hurts:
Who exactly needs a $500 tablet to read their favorite magazine or a book on Kindle? Even as the owner of an iPad Air 2, I regularly look at the thing and wonder what exactly it does aside from being pretty and running smoothly that is all that interesting or useful. I’ll tell you this: it gets a hell of a lot less use since I picked up a new Chromebook.
I keep wondering about that US$249 Asus Chromebook Flip. It’s very nice. But the biggest detriment is that horrible eye-scraping screen at just 1280 x 800. That’s just no good for tablet-form reading. See my post — Asus Chromebook Flip — for my own test.
Hold that last thought as I switch to incorporating thoughts from a Draft post that I’m marrying to this one because they’re related (OK, ignore that inadvertent incest allusion… ugh).
As far as Android is concerned, it need not worry about Apple at all anymore. Aside from any possible lawsuits that might spring up, Google is basically set as the current king of the mobile space. Until Apple can create a major boom again, the chances of a major decrease in market share is unlikely. This is all the more relevant now that super-affordable mobile phones like those from Huawei, Meizu, Xiaomi, and Micromax have begun to hit some of the largest countries on the planet: it’s not iOS they are buying into, it’s Google.
It’s rather hilarious that they mentioned four manufacturers that heavily modify the Android UI.
Moving from one phone to another is not a smooth experience with Android, like it is with an iPhone.
And while Android does indeed dominate with phones, I think its place as a tablet is plummeting faster than iPad sales.
I think both Asus and Samsung won’t release any tablets after this year’s models if they don’t sell. What’s the incentive to try one more time? Both have mimicked the iPad with 4:3 (so did Xiaomi with the MiPad and Google with the Nexus 9) — and if that doesn’t do it for sales (and it didn’t for both the MiPad and the Nexus 9), why waste more time and money when the market isn’t there?
In China, manufacturers have resorted to selling dual-OS tablets, with Android and Windows on them. That’s like tying two half-dead people together and passing them off as one healthy person! None of these companies have bleated about great sales, either. And the prospects of any of these dual-OS tablets moving to markets that really matter for brand-name longevity — America and Europe — are what’s called a rounding error in math. Having wasted their reputations at home, none of them can attract the capital needed for such market expansion.
Of the few China companies that have a chance to break out of their local market, two have already done so: Huawei and ZTE. Xiaomi is just beginning. Meizu too. The rest will eventually wither and die.
And those China phone makers?
They want to eliminate Samsung and Sony and HTC and other large brand names.
Google understands the endgame. This is why they’re perfectly fine with being evil inside China by introducing a version of the Play Store. If they don’t get solid relationships going with the future giants of phones, it’ll be too late. Especially with Cyanogen out there.
As for tablets, Google just doesn’t care.
If they did, there’d be more tablet version of apps in the Play Store.
What’s the reality of the situation?
Remix OS, which kludges the shortage of tablet apps by running phone-scaled apps as “windows”!
Which brings us back to the beginning of this post: What the hell is the market for the Pixel C tablet?
It’s not me, that’s for sure.
And what that guy wrote …
Who exactly needs a $500 tablet to read their favorite magazine or a book on Kindle?
… really made me question how much sense there is for me to spend US$399 for a tablet for Google Books.
If it was an iPad Mini, I could justify it. But there are three things I still can’t get past with iOS:
1) No filesystem
2) No microSD (or other sensible mass storage)
3) No download status indicator
An iPad Mini that had those three roadblocks removed would be a perfect tablet for me. The smooth UI, splitscreen incorporated at the OS level, the CPU and iBooks finally doing Google Books PDFs well, and all of the apps add up to US$399 as it is.
But I want a filesystem, microSD expansion, and a damn download status indicator (as frustratingly-variable as it seems to be from tablet to tablet!).
So, I’m thinking of going cheap with a tablet: The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 “Basic,” for just US$199.
It’s on par with most China tablets in terms of AnTuTu score:
I played with it again last night. I need to rerun some tests because of prior Best Buy WiFi problems.
The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 “Pro” model would be good too — I re-tested the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet last night as a proxy. It has the same AnTuTu score range as the Asus. This time I used SmartQ Reader and the iOS version of The American Magazine and Surface Japan and it worked well. (Unlike the first tine, when I used Foxit Mobile PDF.) But Best Buy isn’t carrying this model and I’m not yet convinced to spend the US$100 more.
So, I’m thinking of the cheap Asus. But this is still not my final decision. Just my thinking at the moment.