120 Comments

Summary:

The first Honeycomb tablets are launching, but the store shelves for Android tablet apps are pretty empty, with just 16 titles appearing today. The race is on for developers to start boosting those numbers, because existing smartphone apps aren’t providing a rich tablet experience.

android-tablet-market

The tablet war between Apple and Google is only just getting warmed up, but it’s going to take time before it becomes a full-scale conflict. Apple’s iPad has a good 10-month head-start over Google Honeycomb tablets, the first of which became available only yesterday. Motorola’s Xoom is the initial soldier in the Android army, and other Honeycomb tablets from LG, Samsung, Acer and others will soon enlist. So we’re sure to see a regiment or two join up with Android, but you can’t win a war solely with infantrymen. You need supporting personnel as well, and in this case, that means third-party developers. We’re only in the second day of the siege, but a quick scan of the Android Market shows a scant 16 tablet apps.

It’s great that the new Android Market has a section highlighting Android apps for tablets, but the shelves are definitely a little bare. There’s a good reason for this: It was only a few weeks ago that Google released the software toolkit for developers to write Honeycomb tablet apps. Mobile app programmers simply haven’t had time to digest the new features — and the APIs to use them — in Google’s operating system for tablets. However, I suspect there are actually more than 16 apps optimized for tablets. The Earthquake app, for example, is tablet-optimized, but doesn’t appear in the list above. Perhaps developers need to mark their app as “tablet ready” for inclusion this area of the store.

The tablet apps I’ve used — CNN, Pulse, Cordy and Accu Weather, among others — all do take advantage of the larger screen and new controls that Honeycomb provides. So from an end-user perspective, these apps are on the right track to help Google tablets compete against the iPad. There just aren’t enough of them yet, and that means potential buyers will primarily judge devices based on apps designed for the smaller screen. Unfortunately, the experience is generally a turn-off for some of the top-tier titles right now. Facebook’s home screen looks silly due to tiny icons on a relatively huge display. Twitter’s text is small and hard to read. And even the popular Angry Birds game appears slightly less crisp and more blocky on the Xoom’s 1280×800 resolution display. Both the native Google Books, as well as Amazon’s Kindle app do work well, so the e-book reading experience, at least, is solid.

 

Will developers adjust their software to run on Google tablets? Of course they will, although Google should have worked with key development partners to have apps ready in advance of the first Honeycomb tablet launch, like Apple did. That didn’t appear to happen, so fixing the situation now is going to take time and effort. This means Android won’t win (or even be competitive in) the tablet war in the short term. For the time being, Apple and its 60,000 iPad apps (as of last month), have a huge lead in terms of developer and consumer interest. Google’s going to have to put much more effort into mustering the troops if it wants to be more competitive in the tablet wars.

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  1. Oh that irony…
    Well the truth it that Android has already about a 120.000 apps.
    That’s ALL apps that are developed according to Google’s guidelines. They fully scale on a tablet. We could check this for month now with the Galaxy Tab.
    And it’s NOT a simple pixel scale like on the iPad where you have a 2xbutton, but a real scale, like a window on the computer you make bigger.

    And this isn’t new. It’s since Android 1.6 came out. So, plenty of apps will run just fine on any tablet size. Welcome to future oriented dev-kits.

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    1. I agree that many of the apps scale well – most of them are pretty solid on my 7-inch Galaxy Tab. But take a look at the Facebook screencap from the Xoom in the post. It looks ridiculous in my opinion.

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      1. Facebook is a $70 Billion company (according to some ridiculous evaluations). If they don’t want to have scalable thumbnails in their Android apps, that’s not some kind of argument any blogger should be able to use. Ridiculous to think by facebook as example.

        Android 1.6 SDK introduced scaling apps for medium density screens. 10.1″ 1024×600 is medium density, even 10.1″ 1280×800 qualifies as medium density.

        Android has many more scalable apps compared to iOS!! And stop the BS. Android Froyo Tablets are much better than iPad. Honeycomb is just a huge step up and the first real tablet OS ever designed. With design features in the OS that are not simply scaled up from smartphone.

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      2. Charbax…

        You mention to “stop the BS”, then state the biggest BS I have yet to hear lol! Froyo tablets are much better than the iPad?? What world are you in?

        Consumers should take Charbax’s statement for what it is: BS. Wait for iPad 2 which will be announced in a week on March 2nd. Don’t waste your money on a beta $800 tablet that is mediocre and named “Xoom”.

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      3. U Stand Corrected Monday, February 28, 2011

        (@correctu) He is living in the real world. Lets not get it twisted, Although Honeycomb is the new flagship OS from Google, Froyo is still lightyears ahead of Apple’s dumbed down iOS for Ipad. Give me a Froyo tablet and I will use rockplayer to play every single video format known to man (even video formats for apple) without so much as a hiccup. I will download bit torrents, and use psyclone to calculate complex atmospheric psychrometric problems. I will use MixZing to play any audio format I choose including uncompressed wave files. I will use “where” to get the location of every store, restuarant, night club and movie theater in a 30 mile radius, use google navigator to take me there, and do it all at the same time while watching Avatar and pausing the movie between skype calls. Oh yeah, and don’t even get me started on DLNA and the crazy shit you can do with that. Don’t knock the Froyo OS until you have actually USED it, Dummy. And just think, all you got out of this post was: “What the hell is psychrometrics?”

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    2. Stop making excuses for Google. The current tablet apps are far too few. This will change quickly but the simple fact is that the 10 inch Android tablets will lack apps that are truly at home on this format for many more months. Scaling up is not sufficient. iPad apps, for example, take advantage of the screen real estate in their menu formatting, use of new UI features, etc. We DO NOT want Android app developers to think that their phone optimized apps can simply be scaled. I’d bet that iPad users rarely use 2X scaled apps. It was simply for some short term backwards compatibility. The hardware OEMs have been ready to launch for several months and it is surely disappointing for them that Apple will get to release it’s 2nd generation product when their first Gen (Honeycomb) tablets have so few apps built for them to go head to head in demos.

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  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jkOnTheRun, Steve Lhomme, doztech, pchelp4free, Top Technology News and others. Top Technology News said: Watch Out iPad, Honeycomb Has 16 Tablet Apps! http://goo.gl/fb/MMiMM [...]

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  3. A few points. . . Friday, February 25, 2011

    A few points about the “reviews” for the Motorola Xoom (not just on this site).

    1. Rush to production/unfinished product/rough around the edges:
    This is a first generation product. It will have a few bugs, just like the iPad did when it launched, and let us not forget that the Xoom & Honeycomb are implementing much more than the iPad did–a totally unique UI for a tablet Vs a scaled up iPod Touch iOS, standard ports-USB & HDMI Vs none for the iPad, dual cameras Vs none for the iPad, expansion slot Vs none for the iPad, dual-core processor Vs single for the iPad. All these things add additional coding. In a perfect world it would all work perfectly first time out of the gate; however, that just doesn’t happen and I’ve never seen it happen with a mobile Apple product–seems each generation has its issues.

    2. Price:
    At $800 it seems a little steep till we stop and compare it to a top netbook or the iPad. A good netbook will be around $350+ and most likely won’t be able to handle 1080p & graphic heavy games as the Tegra 2 can–due mostly to Intel mucking up the GPU side of things. This also has a HD camera, add a few more bucks for that. It uses solid state hard drive, add a few more for that. Add a few more for the 3G/4G, and some more for all the little things–gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, etc . . . and we can see where the price starts to come in especially if it’s high quality.

    Certainly I would like it to be much cheaper but Motorola apparently sees this product as comparable to an iPad and the price is similar, but with *much more kit.* If it’s high quality it will always cost more. And we have already seen some very cheap tablets. . . and there are some good inexpensive Android tablets, the Nook Color to name one, and more coming.

    3. Apps:
    Honeycomb can utilize any app that was properly designed in the first place without looking all wonky–like how the iPad displays an iPhone app as phone size or 2x with massive pixelation. Honeycomb does a much better job here; therefore, many apps won’t need to be “tabletized” for Honeycomb.

    Furthermore, the argument about apps is old, tired, and faulty. This argument has been used by Apple & Apple fans against every device that has come to market since Apple has gained a substantial number of apps (90% of which are junk or bookmarks) however, Android still succeeded. And let us remember that Steve Jobs said they didn’t need apps because the iPhone had a great browser. Well, this is even more true for Honeycomb. Facebook app!? Twitter app!? There’s an app for that in Honeycomb. It’s called the browser! And with that in mind there are tons of apps available to Honeycomb out of the box, all outside of the market and mostly free ;)

    There are lots of apps already available to be very productive with Honeycomb and all app stores are filled mostly with poor apps leaving maybe 10% decent apps. . . so enough with the 10K apps for x, y, or z. Does anyone know anyone who has 10k apps installed on a device?

    4. Ease of use:
    This argument is invalid. Easy to use is case specific. Honeycomb is easier to use for someone that needs information at a glance where iOS would require you entering and exiting multiple apps thus more difficult to use.

    We may call iOS simpler but not necessarily “easier to use.” And simpler does not in any way necessarily mean better but rather, at least in this case for iOS, less flexible with less features, comparatively speaking. Yet, people will choose which one they needs based on their use case scenario and whichever one they choose they will still have to learn the device and OS.

    5. Functionality
    It seems overlook by all reviewers how much more functional Android can be than an iOS device for one specific reason–you can dock an Android device to a keyboard AND MOUSE. This makes Android easy to use with a proper dock for any type of document editing. Spreadsheets come to mind to just mention one that is a nightmare to use on an iPad.

    Normally I don’t say much about product reviews and I tend to avoid the “Apple arguments” all together; however, there has been such bias in reviews as of late that I felt a few things needed to be pointed out. Reviewers of products ought to first substantiate the product on its own merits in relation to version, build quality, what it can do & not do, etc. . . and only after doing that should they venture into the comparison realm realizing that comparisons are relative to the specific user (yes Kevin, you are generally very good with this) and are generally only meaningful when comparing hardware as any reader can glean what an OS is like from a good review. Far too many reviews are coming across these days as, “it isn’t the way Apple did it therefore it’s not as good.” Well, here’s a news flash. . . seems the majority of the world is OK with doing it different ;)

    For all the Apple fans, please don’t take this as a bashing of Apple or its products and turn this into a flame war. It isn’t about that. It’s just pointing out that the current reviews (not just on this site) on the Xoom are tending to be more about “Vs iPad” than about the Xoom & Honeycomb. Tech reviews have gotten ridiculous with the “Vs” reviews before even detailing the product. . . and the “__ Killer” has got to stop. No one cares other than the tech sites writing this stuff–it’s just flame bate an everyone knows it.

    The general public reading your reviews wants to know about the device, in-depth. Not whether or not someone thinks it will outsell something else. If you do an in-depth review of the iPad & the Xoom without mentioning each other in the other review I’m certain the reader will come to their own conclusions about what each product can and can’t do, and they will choose the product that fits them the best. And maybe, just maybe, we will have more civility on the net concerning Apple & non-Apple products.

    Question to you Kevin. . .
    On Honeycomb’s multitasking, when you hit the button to go into multitasking there appears an arrow pointing down yet I haven’t seen a single reviewer tap it to see if the open apps scroll or not. Instead I’ve only read that the open apps will not scroll and you only can see the last five which would be odd. Please tap that down arrow when you go into multitasking, thank you.

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    1. All great points! As to your question on multitasking: I’ve tapped that soft button many, many times over the past few days. The down arrow simply “closes” the multitasking window view – it doesn’t scroll through recent apps. And to clarify: in landscape mode, it shows the 5 most recently used apps. In portrait mode it shows 7.

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      1. A few points. . . Friday, February 25, 2011

        Thanks!
        Personally, I consider not being able to go through all open apps a significant oversight.

        I also think they should have a “kill app” link next to each app. Hopefully more will be coming quickly. . . honeycomb is barley out of the womb.

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      2. A few points. . . Sunday, February 27, 2011

        BTW, since Honeycomb runs a full version of Chrome can’t you install “Chrome web apps” and Chrome extensions? A few thousand of each, not that any are that great ;)

        If so, then it seems like the tablet version of Android will begin to leverage Google’s next push for cloud apps–portable native client–as well as normal apps.

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    2. “[..] 1. Rush to production/unfinished product/rough around the edges: [..]”

      This, in my opinion, was directed at the failed delivery of said key specs (SD Slot, 4G, Flash) and in no way says the production or quality of said device/OS.

      It doesn’t matter if the features will be “included” in future releases or future patches…the fact is that this, whether in its first installment or not, did not come, fully functional with everything promised is what will put a damper on people’s decisions.

      Too many people/sites are trying to compare this against the iPad and, to me, isn’t exactly a fair comparison since the iPad came out quite awhile before. If it took a company that many months to come up with a worthy competing product, you’d bet it should, in all respects, be that much better than the compared product. So, for all my opinions about the Xoom, I’ve reserved myself to not compare (trying very hard) it against anything except itself and its promised feature list.

      Consider this: if you were to buy a car that said it’ll have power windows, power door locks, heated seats, and remote starter but when you got the car, it has this little piece of paper telling you to bring the car back to the dealer in three weeks to “upgrade” your manual door locks to power and that your windows, remote start, and seats will require a software update in a few weeks. How would you feel? Personally, I’d feel cheated.

      So, all in all, while the Xoom shows promise, it still failed to deliver in all promised features.

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      1. A few points. . . Friday, February 25, 2011

        No argument if a product claims x, y, or z and then doesn’t have it. . . that’s bothersome, and no one likes bugs. . . but I haven’t used a computer product yet that doesn’t have a few even after years of being on the market.

        Flash, clearly stated in the add that it will be available with a future update.

        4G. . . stated that it’s an upgrade later.

        SD slot I don’t think was mentioned anywhere and that’s not right.

        These types of “upgrades” are normal with many products. I don’t think Motorola was necessarily trying to hide anything or “get one over on customers,” though they probably could have been clearer with their communication–seems to be a Motorola issue.

        Purchase a car and the salesman says we’ll throw in a free stereo upgrade but you will have to bring it back next week for that as they aren’t available today. Should you be made that you have to bring it back for that upgrade? Of course not, you know it’s an upgrade.

        The key is that you know in advance of purchase. With most things about the Xoom we know before purchase–Flash & 4G are later upgrades, it’s a first generation device, it’s a first gen UI, etc. . . certainly anyone reading this site and other tech sites would know these things. The general public? Not sure how clear sales people are about these things and not sure if the “average user” would complain or think it’s normal.

        The SD slot is definitely a dropped ball from what I’ve seen and read.

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      2. About Android outselling iPhone 2 to 1…

        About 75% of ‘Android’ sales are in Asia and cost less than $120 full price. What do you think these phones deliver? The Internet? Not.

        So, apples to apples, iPhone will outsell >>smartphone caliber<< Androids 2 to 1 through 2012 at least.

        Wait for it.

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      3. @pk de cville

        Don’t know where you are getting your facts. .
        2010 ~67 million Android handsets were sold.
        Of those 10 million were of the Samsung Galaxy line–a rather high end phone. Right there we are below your percentages and we haven’t gotten to the big sellers of 2010, HTC & Motorola.

        Keep the dream alive with whatever delusional “facts” you need to make you sleep at night. . . wait for it. . . Android over 120 million sold in 2011 ;)

        Oh, btw. . . sorry Apple can’t provide a reasonable product for the majority of the world. Since that is the basis of your argument.

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    3. Time for some corrections:

      1) Re: “It will have a few bugs, just like the iPad did when it launched”

      What bugs? There was nothing but kudos in reviews for the iPad when it first came out.. The Xoom is shoddy product.
      Keep in mind when talking feature specs that you are comparing Xoom to the iPad that was made a year ago. In only a week, iPad 2 is being announced and features will be a plenty with an ecosystem that is already available.

      2) $800 for an Android tablet is simply laughable. Why settle for an iPad ripoff when the iPad is cheaper (at a $500 price point) and the second iteration (iPad 2) is being announced this March 2nd?

      3) Apple has 60,000 iPad applications (not to mention the 300,000+ applications that are on the iPhone & are iPad compatible)… Android tablets have 16 applications total. Seems Google spent more time astroturfing these websites rather than gathering developers.

      4) The first time I landed my hands on an iPad, I was using it right away. There is NO learning curve whatsoever. And with your “insight” as follows:

      “And simpler does not in any way necessarily mean better but rather, at least in this case for iOS, less flexible with less features, comparatively speaking.”

      Please tell me how iOS has less features when ANDROID ONLY HAS 16 APPLICATIONS IN TOTAL! Your disinformation is very telling. I call astroturfing on ya.

      And finally 5) Regarding your tidbit:

      “It seems overlook by all reviewers how much more functional Android can be than an iOS device for one specific reason–you can dock an Android device to a keyboard AND MOUSE.”

      Apple since day one of the iPad’s inception had available a keyboard that the iPad can dock into. The whole point of having a touch input device such as a tablet is to not have a need for a mouse. Your input on this matter is very telling.. and shows you are either a paid shill, or you have never experienced an iPad in the first place. (I’d place my bets on the first one)

      Regarding “Far too many reviews are coming across these days as, “it isn’t the way Apple did it therefore it’s not as good.” Well, here’s a news flash. . . seems the majority of the world is OK with doing it different ;)”

      Who? The two dozen Xoom sufferers who have 16 applications to play with. Heres a newsflash, and I reiterate with gravity here: iPad has 60,000 applications and counting compared to just 16 for Xoom.

      Please don’t confuse consumers that don’t want to waste money on a product that isn’t ready for sale (i.e. Xoom)..

      On March 2nd, iPad 2 is going to be unveiled. Funny how you don’t touch on this fact. Smart consumers will wait for iPad 2.

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      1. A few points. . . Friday, February 25, 2011

        Wow. . . so many remarks that go right at the heart of what I was speaking about. Apparently just too many people like yourself are zealots these days and common sense leaves the building.

        Android smartphones currently outsell the iPhone 2 to 1. Windows has 90% of the desktop market. Apple? So, apparently the majority say loud and clear that they are find with the non-Apple way of doing things.

        Android features Vs iOS features — these are OS features, not apps and apps, especially on iOS, do not add OS features. . . you know, like true multitasking, widgets, file management, etc.

        iPad WiFi ring a bell?

        The rest of your rhetoric isn’t worth replying to and honestly I thought long and hard about bothering with this bit, but you are so off base it needs a little clarification.

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      2. lol! Look who’s calling who a zealot Mr. A few points…

        We’re talking about tablets, right? Apple’s iPad owns 93% of the tablet market. Windows is losing market share to Apple’s Mac OS X in the desktop market. Check the trends.

        Applications add features to your tablet. Widgets and file management belong on a desktop computer. Consumers don’t want that clutter on a tablet (the tablet market share numbers show this).

        Your response doesn’t have any traction. Wait for the iPad 2 to come out on March 2nd.

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      3. “Keep in mind when talking feature specs that you are comparing Xoom to the iPad that was made a year ago … Apple has 60,000 iPad applications (not to mention the 300,000+ applications that are on the iPhone & are iPad compatible)… Android tablets have 16 applications total.”

        So we shouldn’t compare the Xoom to the 1st gen Ipad-a fair point-because the Ipad is almost a year old, but we should compare the 60,000 Ipad applications, which accumulated over the past year, to the 16 Xoom applications that accumulated over the past day?

        A little consistency and fairness would be nice here. I’m considering both the Ipad 2 and the Xoom and I must say, the vitriol from Apple fans toward anything that isn’t Apple is a real turn off. For individuals so certain that Apple products are always going to be better, you guys sure do waste a lot of time commenting on Xoom and Android articles.

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      4. …”Android smartphones currently outsell the iPhone 2 to 1. ” (below)

        This myth seems to be permeating more and more blogs and sites, so much that many people are actually starting to seriously believe it.

        In every market where the iPhone exists on more than one carrier, it is outselling all Android devices combined by a healthy margin. In the US, in recent months, its sales numbers have caught up to the iPhone (and we aren’t counting other iOS devices here), but since the Verizon iPhone announcement, Android sales volume has been dropping noticeably, in anticipation. Earlier today, Verizon Wireless CEO stated that the iPhone launch was by far the most successful launch in carrier’s history (which is amazing, considering that the model is eight months old at this point, and is competing against brand new 2011 Android models).

        I can completely understand the need of Android zealots to see their favourite platform succeed. But thinking and wishing it doesn’t actually make it so.

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      5. You guys can argue back and forth all you want about which one is better. But at the end of the day Joe Smoe is only going to see 1 thing. Price. Not too many people are willing to go into another contract along side their cell phone so that they can get a Xoom at $600 and even less should be willing to spend $800 for it off contract. Especially when you consider that they all look similar to an iPad, the average consumer will recognize this as imitation even if only on a subconscious level. Before the iPad there was nothing, then after the iPad there was a bunch of devices that looked very similar. Society has been programmed to defer to What they perceive to be original, and authentic. That is why you don’t hear people saying “no, this is actually a fake Rolex, I just like it for the design”. Even though logically that would be very acceptable. Last year this time the argument on one side was that the iPad will never sell beyond the early adopter/small-apple-diehards. This year it is that the competitors have better specs. But when its brand new tech it always comes down to one thing. Price.

        If you don’t agree, it doesn’t matter, in a few weeks time we’ll have Q.E.D.

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      6. @correctu
        ” Apple has 60,000 iPad applications (not to mention the 300,000+ applications that are on the iPhone & are iPad compatible)… Android tablets have 16 applications total.”

        According to all the reviews I’ve read, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) has the same ability to scale all of the current Android apps to the Xoom’s larger screen. It’s quite convenient for your argument that you failed to mention this fact. Therefore, your claim that Android has 16 applications total is outright false and misleading.

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      7. @A few points…

        “These types of “upgrades” are normal with many products. I don’t think Motorola was necessarily trying to hide anything or “get one over on customers,” though they probably could have been clearer with their communication–seems to be a Motorola issue.”

        No they are not. These sorts of upgrades (non functioning SD, FLASH as a feature but not yet available, etc) are NOT normal upgrades. The 4G is marginally OK as an upgrade depending on why the issue exists.

        Motorola wanted to be first out the door and also be out before iPad2. Plain and simple, Motorola could not wait to finish the device and decided to release it early to be first on the block.

        Once again, IT IS ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE in this market. Apple has shown that and they are masters of that. It is not about feature lists and bullet points. Motorola has not heard and is still being run by techies and MBAs. They should have waited until they had a solid product that provided a great user experience.

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    4. Please see my post below–the key for me is battery life (which makes the Xoom a weak option for people who want to purchase a tablet)

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    5. What amazes me is people making excuses for the Xoom. Why? Is Google sending you a check to defend their half-baked excuse for a tablet?

      Seriously, you’re making excuses for a product that costs WAY more, requires $20 from Verizon before you can even use it, has an unproven and very new OS and has but 1/60,000th of apps available for it.

      If there was a brawl over who’s crazier about products I’m pretty sure Apple fanboys would be trumped by the blind dedication of Android sickos as I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot you’d be harping on Apple being too much and offering nothing. Instead you find every possible reason to defend a product that’s made a horrid first impression.

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    6. You have told one lie after another – from the claim there is no difference between iOS for the iPhone and the iPad to the claim a handful of apps is equivalent to 60,000 apps to the claim the Xoom is of “better quality.”

      iOS for the iPad is specifically designed to implement attributes of the tablet. The majority of iPad apps are useful. There are fewer unserious apps for it. But, it is not true that 90% of the apps for the iPhone are detritus, either. And, the all aluminum and glass design of the iPad is higher quality than the largely plastic Xoom. It, like Mac laptops, is durable and elegant at the same time.

      Truth of the matter is Apple would likely spend more money manufacturing an iPad than Motorola does for the Xoom, but for the fact it can buy the components at the best price because it dominates the market for touch screens, aluminum casing, flash memory, etc. So, Apple can sell its products lower priced with a respectable margin.

      I understand the strategy of ignoring someone who goes on at length telling tales because that person is clearly not rational, but will still debunk the worst of this nonsense.

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  4. Laughing_Boy48 Friday, February 25, 2011

    Yeah, the amazing Android/Honeycomb tablets are just wiping up the iPad left and right, say the Droidtards. They compare a brand new Motorola Xoom to a year-old iPad and they think they’ve got some hot property. Android tablets don’t have spit when it comes to tablet optimized apps. Honeycomb itself is nothing but immature and barely past beta tablet OS. Big deal, so it’s got lots of widgets and customizable home screens. Like as if most non-tech consumers need that crap. I hope that when the iPad 2 is introduced it kicks the crap out of all those wannabe Android tablets. It’s really annoying to listen to how all these vaporware Android tablets are going to take over the tablet market in 2011.

    It’s not going to happen because there aren’t even enough components to go around. If Apple has already cornered most of the displays (60% supposedly), what’s that going to leave for the rest of the tablet vendors? 40% divided by a half dozen major tablet vendors. Not much in the way of component supply for Android tablets.

    I hope consumers stay smart and go with the iPad since it’s already proven itself to be highly usable and reliable in many sectors of business. Definitely, consumers will be guaranteed good customer service from Apple. Most of these tablet vendors just rushed and threw together some hardware without even giving it much thought and they think they’re all going to come up with iPad killers. That’s some rather deluded thinking on their part.

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    1. I think the part about non-tech customers wanting the “crap” that is widgets and customizable homescreens is completely untrue. Whats so difficult about looking at the screen and having the info roll in without having to open an app that it requires a tech-oriented consumer.

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    2. What a lot of us in the Apple world fail to understand about “AndroidAdmiration”, is that Google is providing them with open source software devices that they can play/with, tinker/with, customize and otherwise give them freedoms that they cannot get from Apple.
      Just my take,
      Harvey

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      1. And a bad take at that Harvey since it’s based on nothing. You can play, tinker and customize iPads, too.

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      2. This is in response to correctu.
        The point I was making was about an open source experience.
        I am one of the tinkerers. I tinker and customize my usage on my iPodTouch well beyond Apple’s ability to impose limitations.
        One of the rages going on now is over Apple’s imposing content control on iOS devices. I control content on my Touch. Apple has no ability to control that. I have a browser and a DropBox.
        If what I said has no meaning to you, that doesn’t mean it has no meaning. After all, I said:
        Just my take,
        Harvey

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      3. “What a lot of us in the Apple world fail to understand about “AndroidAdmiration”, is that Google is providing them with open source software devices that they can play/with, tinker/with, customize and otherwise give them freedoms that they cannot get from Apple.”

        Here’s my take. The sample to which you refer represents less than one-tenth of one percent of people who use any type of computing device.

        Good luck with that.

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      4. Harvey Gartner Sunday, February 27, 2011

        NYScientist,

        I clearly stated “otherwise gives them freedoms that they cannot get from Apple”.
        The vast majority of computer users in the world use Windows. They are used to having huge freedoms of choice in OEM’s competing feature sets, form and usage choices. They live their their computing lives in “freedoms that they cannot get from Apple”. Where do you get that they are less than one tenth of one percent of all people who use computing devices?
        Google/Android is giving them all of those choices I just said. The only real difference is that it isn’t the Wide World of Windows now.
        Just my take,
        Harvey

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      5. @Harvey Gartner

        Windows users are tied into MS. Most Windows users don’t use Windows because of any alleged “Freedoms”, but because their friends use it, or they use it at work, or that is basically all they know, or they are seduced by the “low price” they see at Wal-Mart or Target or Best Buy on a “Windows” machine. NYScientist is correct: the percentage of people who care about the “alleged” “Freedoms” you talk about is very very small compared to the smart phone using public and is not enough alone to drive the Android market. And do you really want Android to be the “Windows” if the smart phone world? A race to the bottom and a feature war with features no one really cares about (as line items — they may care about what those features can do for them but that is not what you read when you hear about Android — you get the actual HW feature list as the selling point). The geeks and modders are the vocal Android fans but are a very small minority of actual purchasers and are not enough to drive an Android economy.

        I really want to know how Apple is imposing content control? I have a browser on my iPhone as well and Apple make no efforts to control what I look at. Same in the YouTube app. (They are only controlling the in-app selling of content to take a cut — they are not controlling the content and apps are free to sell content outside the app).

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    3. There are people who will buy Android based tablets. That is fine. New competition is always good to drive innovation on all sides. I do not feel threatened in the least as an iPhone/iPad user by Android successes. Xoom and Honeycomb undoubtedly have good points and features that will appeal to some groups of people and they will make good use of it. That in no way diminishes my iPad experience.

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      1. Harvey Gartner Sunday, February 27, 2011

        In some ways I’m combining your two posts here.
        I compare the world of Windows and the world Of Android as being similar because they are both licensed to multiple OEM’s.
        I don’t accept that Windows was a “race to the bottom”. Take laptops, for instance, I can walk into a Best Buy and see competition at the bottom that include prices and quality in the 300/400 $ range. I also know that Windows laptop competition includes Sony VAiO’s that cost a small fortune. In no way, to me, a “race to the bottom”. The Windows world includes competition across huge differences of cost, quality, form, function,etc. HP makes desktop number crunchers that go over the top of a MacPro. You’ll pay for that power and quality.
        I live almost totally in an Apple world. I bought a mac mini with Snow Leopard Server and gave it to one of my nieces to run so we can have a family “cloud”. 5iPhones, 3 iPads, MacBooks, PowerBooks, MacBookPros, two iMacs, 1 MacPro, 7 AppleTV2s, AirPortExpresses, etc and growing as more family members come in. My computer is a MacBook and I chose an iPodTouch 3G 64GB for my hand held. I’m entrenched in Apple.
        I also applaud what Google is doing with Android. It insures wide ranges of choices in the “handheld/tablet competition that is going on now. If the competition is iOS vs Android, the choices begin, for me, with open or closed philosophies. There are clearly two. Google’s and Apple’s. There are others trying to get in. None offer any effective competition now.
        If there exists competition between Google and Apple, I don’t quite see it that way. For me, Apple only competes within Apple. Google is giving their product for free. Not a very good corporate philosophy to add profits to their bottom line. Google is doing what they’re doing for other reasons. The competition I see here is between the licensed OEM’s, themselves, and their attempt to compete with Apple.
        The “alleged” freedoms I was talking about seem obvious to me in a Windows world. Freedom to chose form factors, usage factors, prices, feature sets, build qualities, OEMs, etc. Those freedoms of choice are real to me even if they are only “alleged” to you.
        In this new paradigm that I call handhelds/tablets, Android is providing OEMs to pick and choose for themselves what their product is. There will be many choices delivered. Some will have USBs, some will have HDMI, and on and on. There is going to be a wide range of choices, which I equate with freedom of choice. Apple limits choice. For me, neither is right or wrong, only different. Others see this differently.
        As to Apple controlling content on my Touch, they can’t. I can get any content to my Touch. What Apple can control is whether or not that content comes thru the elegant use of an App or not. Not the content itself. I control that.
        The Xoom is being sold and soon we will be hearing of actual user experiences. I think many will like or even love it. Motorola is a company whose radios and phones I’ve used for a very long time. They may or may not have a successful product in the Xoom, but I see no way for it to have sales comparable to the iPad. Xoom comes attached with a Telco. Apple is selling wi-fi iPads like crazy. Xoom not offering anything but a promise to deliver. I see that as very limiting inre iPad. Also other OEMs to compete against some time soon. If I had to characterize Motorola’s chances, “iffy” comes to mind. I wish Motorola success, I’m just doubtful.
        I admire Apple’s way. I admire Google’s way. I’m not looking for winners and losers, I’m looking for successes and failures.
        Just my take,
        Harvey

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    4. @Laughing_Boy48

      “Yeah, the amazing Android/Honeycomb tablets are just wiping up the iPad left and right, say the Droidtards.”

      Laughing Boy, this is known as an ad hominem argument and is a classic logical fallacy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

      “It’s really annoying to listen to how all these vaporware Android tablets are going to take over the tablet market in 2011.”

      Tell me, do you scold other Apple fans-or yourself-for constantly talking about the Ipad2? How about the Ipad3? (Cnet already has articles that discuss both). As far as I know, neither one is available for purchase. Moreover, no one even knows for sure the specs of the Ipad2. If the Android tablets are “vaporware” because they haven’t yet been released or finalized, how is the Ipad2-or Ipad3-not vaporware?

      Vaporware is generally considered a derogative term, and applying it to all future Android tablets is a logical fallacy known as “Poisoning the well.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well

      What’s sad is that you actually make a few good points in your post. Honeycomb is definitely closer to beta than finished (based upon my actual experience with the product), and Apple does have an advantage with parts, as it is well known that they purchased large quantities of parts. Of course, some of their parts suppliers are also “vaporware” android tablet makers, such as Samsung.

      “That’s some rather deluded thinking on their part.”

      Logical fallacies are deluded thinking.

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  5. [...] Motorola may be fighting an uphill battle with the $800 Motorola Xoom and it’s access to 16 Android HoneyComb apps, but that’s not stopping the company that successfully brought Android to the smart phone [...]

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  6. [...] I noticed Kevin Tofel’s story for GigaOM on how the Android Market currently has 16 Honeycomb apps. He did it the easy way, by visiting the [...]

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  7. [...] GigaOm reports: We’re only in the second day of the siege, but a quick scan of the Android Market shows a scant 16 tablet apps. [...]

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  8. Of course, 99% of android apps barely work on android phones – hence, while the telcos are willing to give away free android phones to lock in contracts, actual android users barely download or use many apps (android 13% of the app market) so most android developers are not even going to bother to scale up apps in a market that is slightly larger than the RIM & symbian marketplace.

    As Samsung discovered there is no android tablet market outside a few thousand rooters and DIYers – as Moto will discover in the next month. The android tablet market is in the $99 to $349 market, otherwise android linuxers will just buy a PC netbook to wipe at $399. They clearly distain a media store (ripping or p2p movies & music) and don’t use the android app store so what exactly is the point of a android tablet? Even the best reviews point it’s not a robust OS, the inconsistency of widget, apps, zoom, rotation, battery life, etc, etc … and add to the fact there is no one sync, no one media store and no one app store + 16 apps … who exactly wants to buy an android tablet for more than $349?

    So, like the mp3 market where there is no telco subsidy, people who have to pay with their own cash choose the ipod, in the tablet it will be the ipad taking 90% of the revenue market share and about 75% of the overall market share – leaving the 100 android, RIM, WIN 7 and WebOS sellers to fight over who gets to $99 first and the remaining 25% of the market.

    There will be the ONE, the ipod or ipad and the rest … and as Apple adds more CDMA phones and LTE phones in 6 months, Moto is already pegging their android sales at a much lower rate. Android’s free ride of no iphone competition is over and once China Mobile 600 million customers can buy an iphone, the playing field will be level. Android will certainly grab symbian shares as telcos will pay zero versus $20 to symbian but consumers already know, android is a nice free mobile Os but not the best. Android development will fall even further behind as Google has to vet that each new line of code is not based on code that belongs to Oracle or Apple going forward. Android has essentially peaked.

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    1. It’s fine to have a differing opinion, but please, don’t debase the conversation with such major inaccuracies:

      “99% of android apps barely work on android phones” Simply not even close to true. I’ve been using Android devices for 14 months and rarely have a problem with apps working.

      “As Samsung discovered there is no android tablet market outside a few thousand rooters and DIYers” How exactly did they discover this? They took a non-tablet OS and still were able to sell 2m units to carriers with a 2% return rate. We don’t know exactly how many of the 2m were sold, but I think it’s more than a few thousand.

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      1. “They took a non-tablet OS and still were able to sell 2m units to carriers with a 2% return rate. ”

        Pure BS.

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    2. How can anyone take someone seriously when they state that 99 percent of Android apps barely work on Android apps?

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  9. [...] I thought this headline was humorous: Watch Out iPad, Honeycomb Has 16 Tablet Apps! by Kevin Tofel of GigaOM, noting that there are a “scant 16 tablet apps” in the [...]

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  10. You know you can just run Facebook in the browser. It’s quite nice. You may want to select the full site option since Facebook ids the Xoom as an “Aria”. (You’ll notice there’s no Facebook app for the iPad either)

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    1. Try a Google search.. there are quite a few Facebook apps for iPad unlike the Xoom. Friendly Plus and Facely to name a couple.

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      1. You miss my point. Why would I need an app?Facebook.com works perfectly fine in the browser.

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      2. Why would you need an app? Because it is much faster, simpler and easier to tap on the Facebook app and get there, rather than opening browser, looking for the bookmark, waiting for the facebook page to load before anything can be done.

        There are many myopic people who don’t realise that the browser paradigm has already peaked, and most of the services we used to get through the browser will get their dedicated little apps. Much more faster, efficient, elegant and reliable.

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      3. @Predrag

        You know you can create a bookmark to any website like Facebook.com on the homescreen? Exactly no more work nor any faster than launching a magical app.

        If there were any advantage to having a native Facebook app on the iPad don’t you think they would have made one?

        I guess Zuckerberg and I are both myopic!

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      4. “If there were any advantage to having a native Facebook app on the iPad don’t you think they would have made one?

        I guess Zuckerberg and I are both myopic!”

        Please read what you are replying to… there are Facebook apps. And they’re on the iPad. The advantages of these apps are explained quite well by Predrag above.

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