Thursday, 5 February 2015

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT WHERE ARE THE POWER ANDROID TABLETS?

Above: The Archos 70 Helium 4G tablet. It is a great idea and it may have it the market too late. Archos tablets always showed great promise and perhaps that this year they can deliver a killer tablet to a critical acclaim that Archos deserves.
SYNAPSE CIRCUIT
WHERE ARE THEY – THE POWER ANDROID TABLETS?

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How are you? How are your tech related projects coming along? Well, I hope that all is well with you and yours!

Are you the owner of an Android tablet? Was it one of those cheap ones from China? Did it make you go iPad? Are you thinking of buying a tablet sometime soon? Read on!

#Android #AndroidTablet #Samsung #ASUS #Archos #MagixMovieEditTouch

WAS IT WORTH IT?
Yes, that’s right! I am talking to you! You, the person that spent good money or no good money on a sub £200 Android tablet! Was it worth it? Well, it is just fortunate for me that my ASUS FonePad 7 LTE is able to make and take calls and run the occasional app (sarcasm – and I know what they say about it, thank you) or two... However, when it comes to running apps that require some CPU power the FonePad 7 LTE transforms (see what I did there) into a very expensive table mat.

If you have been following my articles on Android in particular (yes, I write about other aspects of tech) then you will know that I have been frustrated with the lack of apps for video editing. Well, actually, there is one decent app that I know of that you ought to visit the Google Play Store and install Magix Movie Edit Touch! As you have figured out you will need a decent handset or tablet to make the most of it. Yes, there are some in-app purchases but worth it.



Above: Magix Movie Edit Touch for Android. You will need a decent CPU on your device to make this work! I had no problems with it on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Here's the link to the Play Store: Magix Movie Edit Touch
 
YES, IT WAS
Of course it was worth it! Although the ASUS FonePad 7 LTE can be sometimes be likened to using a banana for a hammer there are many apps such as music ones (I don’t play games) that function just fine. I have a phone too – even though I can’t use the data aspect of my SIM. Boo! It’s down to Android why I, and millions of others, have been able to utilize a tablet for consuming media and social networking. It has enabled parents of different backgrounds to entertain their child or children with a cost effective tablet that doesn’t break the bank. It’s great to see children entertaining themselves with the aid of a tablet. An Android tablet to be precise! Again, the iPad and its mini variant have not entered the mainstream; the iPad is not commonplace. And to be honest the Android tablet isn’t quite commonplace either.

Still, I know that many folk purchased an Android tablet in the UK’s first Black Friday!

NO, IT WASN’T
Playing Devil’s advocate I say that the cheap Android tablet is most likely to have given non-technical hopefuls the wrong impression. “I can play some 3D games! Yay!” No! Just like there are standards with the Android handset it is the same with tablets.

Some consumers had to learn the hard way! I must admit that I was taken in by the ASUS promotional blurb regarding the FonePad 7 LTE. I should have known better! Lol! But you do, despite all the promotional text, get what you pay for! The £60 tablet was never really a good idea was it? Still, at least you didn’t waste much money on it!

WHERE ARE THE POWER ANDROID TABLETS?
Over the years we’ve seen some great, great efforts from Samsung and ASUS in terms of aiming for the high standards that the iPad set. The Galaxy Tab S range came so very close. ASUS weren’t far off with the brilliant Nexus 7 tablets. Last year there was a slump in the tablet uptake and that’s because we are just waiting for these powerful 64-bit beasts.

Not only that, we’re waiting for a reasonable price point...

Samsung is at it again with several tablets lined up for this year:-

Galaxy Tab AS – SM-T351
Galaxy Tab AL – SM-T551
Galaxy Tab AS – SM-T350
Galaxy Tab AL – SM-T550
Galaxy Tab AL Plus – SM-P551
Galaxy Tab AL Plus – SM-P550
Galaxy Tab AS Plus – SM-P351
Galaxy Tab AS Plus – SM-P350


All are said to feature a 64-bit processor; I am very curious... I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to purchase a serious tablet and it could be a Galaxy Tab of some sort... ASUS is very quiet on the Android tablet front but are going to try to take a stab at the Windows tablet market with the Transformer Book Chi. Hmmmm... I think ASUS is working on a strategy with regards to its Android tablet or tablets; like Samsung they release many, many Android tablets to the market with varying sizes and CPU capabilities. It wouldn’t surprise me if ASUS made a loss on the myriad of those Android tablets.

What is the purpose of releasing so many Android tablets to the market as it may have a confusing effect upon the consumer? Why don’t manufacturers produce fewer models and up the quality of the entry range which is usually a 7” or 8” tablet? I do think that manufacturers should feature a mobile connection i.e. 4G LTE by default. I think it is such a waste of resources to manufacture tablets without a mobile radio (4G LTE & 3G). Really and truly 3G should be a thing of the past and that 7” 4G / 3G enabled tablets should be treated as a phone; the ASUS FonePad 7 LTE can make and take calls but most annoyingly I can’t access the data plan on my SIM. I would have to purchase a SIM meant for tablets. I think this is a load of crap!

Going back to ASUS... I know I keep harping on about the Zenfone 2 having a 64-bit processor and 4GB RAM for around $200... What can we expect from ASUS regarding its next generation of tablets? I certainly expect be able to utilize the Magix Movie Edit Touch app on one of ASUS’ level entry 64-bit tablet / PhonePad 7 LTE 2015.

IN CLOSING
Right now the tech media is going crazy over the imminent Samsung Galaxy S6 – rightly so. However, the Android tablet situation for this year and beyond looks very enticing indeed. Again, if you are non-technical and think that the “phablet” i.e. the Nexus 6 or the Galaxy Note 4 is a happy medium you need to have a rethink. There are very specific app designed for the tablet and you will not get the full tablet experience with a phablet. I have 3 phablets, Galaxy Note 2, 4 and Nexus 6 you would think that’d be pissed off that I have to buy a tablet (more powerful than the FonePad 7 LTE) but I am not. I am very much looking forward to owning a powerhouse Android tablet.

WHAT ARE THE MANUFACTURERS WAITING FOR?
I am quite surprised that the Android industry hasn’t delivered a knockout blow to the PC industry. I do think that it can happen; PCs seem pretty much redundant today. Look, we’re dealing with 4K video now and to do that on a PC you bought a few years ago you will almost certainly have to replace the graphics card and fit a faster processor – if the motherboard supports such recent components. I find PCs frustrating at times and I welcome a powerhouse tablet that would keep me away from the PC for as long as possible!

The iPad? Well, I can see that Apple doesn’t know what it’s doing... Jobs’ corpse didn’t have time to get cold before an iPad mini was announced and it diluted the 10” iPad market. Then, knowingly, Apple released the iPhone 6 Plus and that seems to have diluted both the iPad and the mini. I also noticed that the Apple App Store doesn’t have a separate department for the iPad. I could be wrong! Anyhoo, the Google Play Store has a growing tablet app department. With Lollipop, a 64-bit processor and 3GB or 4GB of RAM the Android tablet could really take off.

I also think that if the manufacturers concentrated on build quality and reduce all these different models I think they’d be able to produce better products. I shudder to think of all those cheap tablets that the shops can’t shift (until the next UK Black Friday). I think it’s a waste.

The Android market in general is a very changeable one as it just takes one chip manufacturer to develop the next best CPU and you have a killer product – potentially! Look at NVIDIA’s Shield gaming tablet as an example of an ever changing Android, the Tegra K1 processor is already old news and there are a small amount of applications able to utilize the powerful processor.

I ask: where’s Google? What’s Google doing about this? With Apple they make sure that the iPhone and iPad have a set of specific Apple produced apps as a base. Google on the other hand seem to be slacking in the app area. Sure, I know... ...we are blessed with Google Now, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc. But we NEED more! Lots more! Sometimes I think to myself, “Why are you (Google) messing around with Glass and not producing some serious applications for the handset and tablet?” I do wish Google would step-up in the application department. I do respect that they have a lot on its plate but they need to concentrate on cementing the whole Android experience. Could it be that Glass experienced so much negativity because they have so many fingers in different pies? This is why Sundar Pichai has been given the reins of Android, Chrome and Google Apps as CEO Larry Page and Google co-founder, Sergey Brin can continue to explore other projects.

I am hoping that from here on out that Google can deliver a more rounded Android experience and especially where tablets are concerned.

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