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2014: I'm still sick of Android


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Before everybody attacks the messenger, here are excerpts and the link. Good article, really!

 

Excerpt:

 

"With no solid business productivity apps, as well as continually perpetuating the 'toxic hellstew', Google's mobile OS is still missing from my personal tech stable two years after I abandoned it. But there's some hope for it yet.

 

This morning, I read with some amusement my colleague David Gewirtz's article The year Microsoft lost my loyalty.

 

I'm not going to attempt to refute his conclusions, because whatever reasons David has for choosing his particular mix of technology is unique to his own situation.

 

Gewirtz is not the only ZDNet contributor to forsake a technology, or a technology vendor, when it comes to their own bag of stuff they use every day.

 

In March 2012, I publicly called it quits with Android.

 

This raised a bit of a stir, that coming from such a long history of being an open-source advocate I would forsake a platform I had spent so much time using and was so philosophically aligned with.

 

Of course, as memory serves, I joined Microsoft later that year.

 

To the causal observer (translation: Mouth-breathing fanboy), it would seem my newfound gripes with Android would have something to do with my newfound employment.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

My romance with Google's mobile operating system had been souring for quite some time while I was still at IBM. You know, that "We're spending another billion dollars on Linux" company that now apparently has a thing for iPads.

 

Things began to go sour with me and Android in 2011, which I referred to at the time as the year of Android multiple personality disorder.

 

In 2011, Android handsets and tablets ran on totally different OS builds, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The overall poor quality of the hardware, as well as the horrible stability of the Android tablets of this period, was a reflection on this situation, which was eventually proven to be untenable.

Prior to this development, my ZDNet colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' "Toxic Hellstew" was simply a spicy broth that might give an unfortunate diner a bad case of heartburn. A particularly potent Bún bò Huế, if one was to use a culinary analogy.

 

But my tummy ache was only just beginning."

 

The very interesting article goes on from there. Good read here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/2014-still-sick-of-android/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

 

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His point is pretty valid....although I do like the ANdroid tablets for consumption, until they get their software upgrades and UX issues straightened out, it is hard to use them SERIOUSLY for more than that. And the same is true for iOS, except in that case it is pretty shortchanged on capabilities, not UX issues and upgrades.

 

I'm finding that my W8.1 hybrid solves all those issues and gives me the best of both. And it CAME WITH Office.

 

I have: Nexus 7 (2012), Note 3, Galaxy Tab 8.3 Pro (the amazing screen one), Asus T100 W8.1 hybrid, Galaxy Tab 10.1 (new one), iPad mini (latest - not retina). What do I reach for first: For just consumption. The 8.3 Pro. For anything else: the T100, and often that for just consumption, too.

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Jack,

I agree with the consumption as a primary tablet use, as I reach for my Windows 8.1 tablets for that primarily too. But I have three desktops, which would be the equivalent of having three high end laptops in a rig and a few tablets. Which do I want in my lap? Heavy hot laptops or the tablet. I did not post that just for you Jack, though I know you are on the fence, to each their own.

 

However as I recently learned folks who went through the learning curve with an iPad or Android tablet just recently claimed to have bought a nice little tester tablet from the first gen did not want to go through the learning curve for touch Windows 8.1. Anyone who want laptop replacement needs a Z3775 or Z3795 Tablet in any configuration if they want light and Atom gen three or four.

 

I am still enjoying Office that comes with my Windows Phone 8.1 Denim.

 

And my tablets are updated monthly as they are full blown Windows computers too.

 

I wanted to switch when my first generation slow by 2012 Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the newer Tab 7" were abandoned by Samsung. I got ICS but nothing more. They took an extra year to do that!

 

Nope, I buy tablets and phones as well as PCs from MS and their vendors using Windows 8.1 and soon 10. None of the changes to 8.1 have bothered me at all. I just had to go through a little learning curve now that I have it down pat in both touch and desktop use with KB and mouse.

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I also do not find 8.1 to be a big learning curve....but there is some stuff to learn. On a touch, it works well, no question. On my 17.1 laptop, the 8.0 user interface sucks. Period. There is simply no real use for it. Totally different on the hybrid. And even different on Danielle's 13" laptop with touch.

 

With my Androids, frankly, I see no difference on "consumption" use between my slow processor Nexus 7" first gen, and my much faster 8.3 Pro. Yes, the UX is somewhat more responsive in testing. But in actual use it simply does not matter. On the Android. Now, on the W8.1 hybrid it DOES matter. Why is that? because I tend to do "real work" on it, and the processor is tasked to do more than just presentation. So my advice: on Androids, the processor is not real important - any of the modern tablets have a good enough processor. On a hybrid, it does make a difference. Office does need some horsepower behind it.

 

On the use of laptops in your lap.....the processor here can really make a difference. My older 17.1 really heats up. Newer processors perform far better and do not heat up near as much. I work in my lap - NEVER at a desk. So it makes a difference for me. In my new development laptop - which will be a 17" - I'm looking for lighter and faster. So no DVD drive helps there. An external USB 3.0 drive is fine for the few times I need it.

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Jack,

I hear ya. I agree that newer is cooler. But relative to what? I hadn't used my laptop for anything but testing the developer's preview. Remember I had a Toshiba that was taken out of the closet once a month until the Win 8 previews came out, then I decided to get a new one running Windows 7 and upped it to a Crucial M4 and 8GB RAM? It was fairly cool but nowhere near as cold as my tablets, then Androids. The little 7" got too warm for my liking.

 

I have Office 2010 Home and Biz on my first gen slower dual core x2 and Lynx and it runs fine for my needs. I don't use them for primary computers like you do your laptop. I never used a laptop on my lap, too hot back then when we were full time. But I had both the original Surface running RT, which ran 7-8 hours on a charge, and was cool except when charging and then it was barely warm. The same size Surface Pro with an i5 and 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and Had was very fast, and ran uncomfortably warm just running, which it did for three to four hours and while charging was just too hot to keep working with in my hand. None of my three Atom tablets get hot, and only a bit warm when charging, not hot.

 

I always worked on my laptops at a desk, or when traveling and staying at hotels, I'd use the table or desk. In our RV, I built desks in both rigs because I can't type in my lap very well. Others can. I got rid of my RVing laptop from 1997 in 2002 and went with a desktop in my RV desk I put in my second rig. http://home.earthlink.net/~derekgore/rvroadiervfulltimingwhatisitreallylike/id109.html

 

The shelf I added under that monster Brother AIO printer etc, held the desktop, and the Brother was replaced with an HP Officejet AIO. Much smaller. I just laid the monitor on the bed when traveling. BTW that laptop in the pics was a Windows 98SE tablet. Remember three and four minute boots? I later, in 2005, off road and for designing buildings I bought an HP running XP, and a 17" too. Then in 2008 got the Toshiba with Vista, then the netbook and in 2010 my last Toshiba above. Since getting the x2 I sold my last laptop. Just goes to show how our needs and wants can be so different, but suit each.

 

My opinions changed with this Venue Pro I'm on now. With the Atom Z3770 SoC and double the cache it is very responsive, but still isn't as fast as my i7 desktop with 8GB of RAM. I am seeing the Z3795 with 4GB RAM and some interesting configurations. But for you, laptop is the form factor. But I am thinking of selling the desktop and replacing it with a Surface Pro loaded but the kb will only be for use as a cover. I'm thinking of setting up my tablet holder and my powered seven port hub, then just pop it in the stand and plug in the hub and I have what I have now, but smaller, and raised. I've already used the Venue to test the Atom motherboards and USB circuits to be sure they can be charging and used on the same powered hub. Like most of the new tablets it has a full size USB 3.0 port, and a micro USB for power/charging only. Or, like the Surface Pro, a proprietary power port.

 

Jack,

You got me going on another tangent and I wanted to show you my combo desktop Bluetooth keyboard, audio system which can also be used with 3.5mm cables for phones not equipped with Bluetooth.

 

So I just took an hour and took photos and reduced them, then put them in my Photobucket album Computer toys here:

http://s1359.photobucket.com/user/RV_Roadie/library/Computer%20Toys?sort=3&page=1

 

I've used the iHome full size iDM5 for my Android Tablets and now my Windows tablets. Since I got it out for a photo shoot I connected it with Bluetooth to my Venue Pro 11. I am now typing on it and listening to my music at the same time via Bluetooth. It is going to be placed in the built in secretary corner in the new home when it dries up enough here to do it. We have to pull out the single wide to the side so they can do the pad and pour the concrete foundation strips. Anyway, having it set up and closed makes it easy to take either of our tablets and connect them and then continue typing there on a full size (almost) keyboard.

 

Thanks for the motivation. <wink>

 

 

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Jeeze Derek, do you have enough toys? ;)

 

I have the same case as your Lynx.....but on my 8.4" Tab Pro. I'm looking to replace it, though, since it is a little sloppy on the fit.

 

I like some of your stands....I'll have to play with some.

 

I still have to buy a BT keyboard....I'll take a look at the ones you are using....

 

Thanks for the pictures..!!

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Oops,

Hey don't get the all in one iHome iDM5. The tiny iClever one will switch instantly from Android to iOS to Windows function key functions perfectly and no lagswith a Windows tablet. I just pulled the iMD5 big one out for the pictures but it mangled the post with the lagging and missed keys. Try before you buy if you can. I retract the comments about it being used in the new place. However its firmware can be updated and that may be the ticket. But I haven't checked. The iClever teeny one is superb, and teeny light. I had none of the issues I had with the other.

 

But also, try using the adapter cable and your K-400 keyboard. I seem to remember your saying you had one. Once I used the micro to full USB adapter, no way I'm using Bluetooth keyboards unless I need to travel by air.

 

Yep, my hobby keeps me busy playing lately. Because I had to buy all new stuff to try Windows tablets. But the nice thing is I was changing already with the desire to try the developer's preview. Like we both said after trying them out, that if someone is just plain happy with Windows 7 there is absolutely no reason other than some added security and some speed increases using the same hardware that came with 7.

 

All of those stands were adaptations of biz card holders, picture easels, and using phone cheapo stands for tablets. The only real expense for one was the $29.95 tripod universal tablet holder. The document holder that we use as a charging stand was on the Office Depot clearance shelves in the back for $3.99 each. I have since replaced it with a very nice, rich looking one, once it was cleaned and polished from Goodwill. I started swinging through the local one as it is on my way into town.

 

But as you found too, 8/8.1 doesn't sing until you get a touch tablet. Comparing my use of a touch AIO isn't fair because I do flatten it mostly out and use it standing when I'm showing a friend something or some web page on it. It still feels weird to use two hands instead of two fingers to zoom in and out etc.

 

But if it is for Windows 8 tablets, use regular full size keyboards with a USB receiver. They work just as well on the tablets as they do on desktops! Or a good use for wired keyboards just gathering dust. Now that I've found typing was frustrating with the iHome system, I have to say stay away for Windows. Since it was made for Apple iOS I'll advertise it as such and let them try it. It may work perfectly on them.

 

It costs nothing really to try to build or adapt stands for them because despite ideas to the contrary I'm not wasting $90-$199.99 for the fancier professional stands.

 

Remember I was repairing systems and doing some new network installs and have lots I am slowly trading off for things I can use. I just traded fora set of stock rims an old surround system I had with sub and HDMI switching with four ins and one out. I got that along with some brand new 19" Dell lcd monitors in the box that a company was getting rid of and gave away.

 

I have way too many monster gold RCA audio cables on up to too many 30' 3.5" phono extension cables. I get some weird stuff in trade when the person wants to trade a closet full of stuff to retrieve all their data and put it on an external drive, or repair theirs. I no longer do laptop screens or much of anything else.

 

So since I'm back to being a hobbyist, most is going away via craigslist or yard sales. But like some folks indulge in eating out or gambling for their fun to the tune of a couple hundred a week, I play with my toys and sell the leftover for about half what I paid. So its a win win.

 

Sorry about the miscue on the iHome kb. Glad I put it to the test again. They cost $99.99 new, and do have good audio. But I got mine new for less than half when the base liquidated theirs for $29.99. I believe that they will bring that if for nothing else than a good Bluetooth speaker system with thelid closed.

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BTW,

That was just the office tech toys. Please do stop by and have a look at my workshop and office portable building. They filled to the roof and are being emptied this spring at multiple yard sales. we have to go through everything to move into the new house when it dries enough to get the trailer here now out. The new house isn't a trailer (picture me holding my nose up and sniffing) it is a manufactured home according to the folks hart live in them a we are about to. Me,it is a double wide trailer. If I wanted a brix n stix, I'd have built one. Takes too long. Thus the new to me diesel truck, and the search for our new to us fiver or TT.

 

The local RV place ha an interesting new hitch that sets the pin back ten inches and that is enough to 90° he says. I'm bringing my truck in to see what we come up with next week.

 

TTYL

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I have to stop reading RVs posts for a second sometimes as my head starts to swim a little when he starts to describe all the stuff he is using/just bought/trying out/done trying out/selling/trading/returning for repairs/etc. etc. etc. And I"M a huge tech head from way back when.............

 

Yes Jack , I think he does have enough toys but as long as he doesn't , who's to say stop! He he he he .Not me for sure.

Too much fun. IIRC a quote from Alfred E Newman "What , me worry?"

Right now I'm trying to stop myself from buying a blast from the past audio mixer on Craigs L that is identical to one I used to use on the road back in the 80's,,,once ya got the tech bug it's hard to shake that monkey off!!! What the heck would I do with that beast in a 23' class C???? It would make a very impressive headboard though.........see , there I go !

And besides , it sure does keep a lot of us from buying something we might end up being disappointed with.

SO , thanks RV bud . You provide an important part of why I read the Computer forum every day...well , if I can get internet connection.

 

Now , where did I put that new Straight Talk mobile wi-fi adapter???????

Skuh kuh kuh kuh kuh kuh

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You guys are something! It has been a whirlwind since I got back into it with the Windows 8 preview. Can you guys believe it's been two years and two months since Windows 8 debuted in October 2012 and we started messing with it?

 

Man! Time flies when you're having fun.

 

Glad you liked em guys.

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I am still happy with Android. I have a Samsung Note 3 phone, which has replaced my 7" tablet and it can even make phone calls. I picked up a 32GB Nexus 10 10" tablet for $270 when Wal-Mart had them on clearance, which is what I grab to sit in a chair and consume content. The cat does complain if I play a video or other sounds, she likes it quiet when she is enjoying a lap.

My main computer is a 15.6" Dell laptop running Windows 7. When I need to take something with me I take an 11.6" Acer touchscreen laptop running Windows 8.1, I have three older laptops, one running Linux and two now running Windows 8.1. One of those Windows laptops, a 14" Acer, is dedicated to running VMSpc to monitor my motorhome diesel engine. The other is an older 15" Dell that used to run XP and I updated it to Windows 8.1 just to see what happened. Turns out it upgraded great and it is the only computer I have with a 5GHZ radio, so I was able to hook to the alternate wifi access point here in the campground. They just upgraded the wifi here, Comcast commercial service, fiber backbone, 1GHZ Ethernet between access points and both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ access points at each location.

The Linux box gets turned on every once in a while, but I have mostly lost interest.

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Bill, a hardwired access point is "to die for".....wish I had them at the campground but it has not been practical to-date. We are discussing putting fiber to the APs, though, since we now have fiber backhaul. The client devices are still limited to N speeds for the moment, but AC APs are starting to appear. Which could take advantage of the speed better. It is non-trivial to pull fiber to each AP, since I have 7 of them. But if we can get the ISP to trench and wire some of them that would be good. They want right of way, so there may be some "bargaining" this spring.

 

The device I typically grab for a day out is the T100 W8.1 hybrid computer. It is compact and complete in function, and will run all day on a charge. Sometimes the 8.4" Android. And of course I always have my phone - also a Note 3 on Verizon. I rarely use it for calling, but do use it all the time as a computer. Or for texting with voice input. And it is the hotspot for the T100. The 7" form-factor tablet is defunct, IMO. Replaced by the Phablet.

 

I'd really like to replace the T100 with a 11-12" (or thereabouts) hybrid. But my new development laptop will be the next computer purchase. And it will sapp the budget.

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My wife is figuring either a Surface Pro 3 or a Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 or 3 for her next machine, once her 5 year old 15" laptop dies. (It has had a couple odd issues lately, so she is starting to look.) She was a C++ developer before we retired early. So, she gets the next big budget computer.

 

If my main laptop dies, I have spares to get me by until the budget allows a new one. In fact, that is how I ended up with the 11.6" one, my main laptop was out for repair for two weeks and I got a deal on it. At the time the old laptops were not good choices as spares. A 17" is too big for me and we do not have a good place to store something over 15" while traveling.

 

This campground, Seminole in North Fort Myers, has only 128 sites, but has about 5 AP locations, each with separate 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ APs. I am sure there is little traffic on the 5GHZ ones, but they are future proofing. They are also running some kind of management system, but told me they want people to be able to watch video and are not planning on blocking anything. But, they can.

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Bill, I'm reconsidering the 17". I do video editing and also website development....so the large screen helps. But I'm starting to wonder if it is really necessary. 3 27" monitors would be "nice"...but I KNOW that they are not necessary. Going to a 15" screen will cut my costs quite a bit. It may be traumatic, though.

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Do any of you have an opinion or a nexus 7 compared to a Samsung Galaxy tab 4? I've had two nex 7's and was happy just use it for games FB mail... Or even something like it. I'm trying to stay under $200 because I seem to donate them to needy fingered from time to time. I can get a nexus 7 on amazon for about $125 and the Samsung for $150 Or do you know something else that I might look at.

 

 

Thanks Scott

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BIG-O: Samsung does not keep the Tab series updated for long, and the Tab 5 is rumored to be out soon. I bought a 7" Tab 2 and it quickly became an orphan once the Tab 3 came out, no more Android updates. The 7" also only comes as 8GB and that is too little. That leaves 3GB for apps, and many items need to be stored in that 3GB, not in a microSD added, so you can quickly run out of room. The lowest memory the Nexus 7 comes with is 16GB, much more usable. There are also Lenovo and Asus tablets that might work as well in that price range.

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Thanks for the info Bill I found this one ASUS Transformer Pad TF103CX-A1-BK 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet on amazon for $180 and is running kitkat wich I use now on my Samsung s4.(and like) Also has GPS witch I always wished my Nexus had. The 10 inch Nexus is up around $450 I think. What do you guys think?

 

 

 

Scott

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X2 with Bill. but...

 

I have the Prime tf-201 and the MeMO 301. The 201 has the metallic case so GPS and WIFI are both very weak. As a tablet they are outstanding, as a GPS device the 201 is pretty much worthless. As for WIFI, it needs to be a strong signal and close. Nice thing is optional keyboard w/extra battery which makes it a bit heavy and thick but more on the lines of a notebook. The MeMO can be considered a transformer 'lite'. Plastic case so GPS and WIFI are stellar, display is very nice. Battery really falls short. Okay in standby or using the ebook readers but any sort of work and you'll be hunting down a charge pretty fast.

 

Service for either can be sketchy - in my case I have to mail them in to a place down in Texas. Once there they are quick and very good. After warranty though it gets pricey so I recommend in this case the extra warranty with the drop and spill coverage.

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I have a Nexus 7 (2012), a T-100 which is a W8.1 Hybrid (10") and a Samsung 8.4 Tab S 4 Pro - the one with the very good display.

 

I find the T100 (or its new equivalent) and the Tab to be the best, depending on your needs. The 7" is kinda small. The 10" is too big "sometimes". I really like it for many things, though. Just depends on what you want to do. If I was selecting ONE Android device right now it would be the 8.3 pro. Buy far.

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I got to sit down and spend some time on a couple of different tablets this past week. I came to the conclusion that I really like a size around what Jack is talking about, something close to that Samsung 8.4. And I really had no issue with it being an "android" as opposed to being Windows or Apple based. It did what I wanted it to do and it was way easier on the eyes than trying to browse various forums and websites on my Motorola Razr M.

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Jack, it kinda surprised me that I gravitated more toward the 8"ish size than the 11" to 12"(+) size. I tend to like screen real estate. But that 8" or so sized screen was just so light weight and comfortable, (as well as being a very nice display) it just felt good. The larger size (can't remember exact size) looked good enough but handling it seemed more tedious and was pushing to the point where I thought it would be just as easy and maybe even a bit more comfortable to get the laptop.

 

Nothing like having a little screen time with some various sizes to help a person decide what they like. :)

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