A Response to Bill Gates Regarding the State of iPad and Android Tablets

A Response to Bill Gates Regarding the State of iPad and Android Tablets

If you click on the picture above, you’ll be taken to an article from The Guardian, entitled “Bill Gates predicts iPad and Android users will switch to PC tablets,” by Charles Arthur. In the article, we learn a little about Microsoft co-founder, and former CEO, Bill Gates. To summarize Gates predicts that current iPad, iPad Mini and Android tablet users are going to move to Microsoft Surface products because current limitations. His major arguments for this prediction lies in the value of a physical keyboard and Microsoft Office. In my opinion, his arguments are fairly weak. I think we’ve noted that the value of a physical keyboard has been on the decline. More and more people are adept at using a virtual keyboard. Aside from this, many people still turn to an actual computer when they have to type something of extensive length. The argument centered around Microsoft Office is also a little overblown. I won’t deny that Microsoft Office is still the golden standard of the office application suite. I use it everyday and while I have used alternatives, such as the free and widely-available Open Office in the past, I’ve always gone back to using Microsoft Office. It’s more polished, mature, and feature rich. Nonetheless, I don’t think that this is a very big detriment for tablet users. Most people don’t purchase a tablet in order to do Office-related work on it. Some do intend to use some features to that affect, but I don’t think it’s really on the majority of consumers minds. The fact also is that there are many viable Microsoft Office alternatives on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. For example, OfficeSuite Pro 7 is a great alternative for Android devices, which was recently a tip on my other blog The Tech Tipper (thetechtipper.wordpress.com). It has a great mobile user interface, features, and the ability to sync files with services such as Dropbox, Drive, and Sugarsync. It simply works great for mobile devices. I don’t deny though that there is a lot of value in Microsoft’s Surface offerings.

Windows 8 is really great. The new interface really has taken it into 2013 and has made it a viable option for tablet. I myself haven’t used a Microsoft Surface tablet, but I can see the value in having a full Windows installation on a tablet that can easily be popped into play with a physical keyboard. For a tablet consumer who wants to bridge the gap between a full powered computer, notebook computer, and tablet, the Microsoft Surface may indeed be one of the better options out there. As Charles Arthur writes though, “But with total iPad sales since April 2010 already past 141m, and total tablet sales according to IDC at 253m – of which fewer than 2m are the Surface RT or Surface Pro – one might wonder whether he’s right.” The Microsoft Surface clearly hasn’t taken off because I don’t believe this is one of the primary uses tablet consumers are looking for. They want an easy way to consume their media, surf the web, and a great rich app market. I wouldn’t expect Bill Gates to speak against the Microsoft Surface and, of course, I’m not either. The market is becoming increasingly competitive and perhaps as the year goes on the Microsoft Surface will be able to make a greater foothold. Microsoft does have the resources, the marketing ability, and a great product to continue to push and I would like to see the Microsoft Surface gain in popularity because in the end it benefits consumers as a whole. Competition breeds innovation and there is still a lot that can be done with the tablet market.

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Facebook Home First Impressions

 

Facebook Home just seems like one of those things that sounds like a great idea, but isn’t when implemented. I think that Facebook made a wise choice in deciding to make something that could be installed on any Android phone. Despite the strict restrictions on which phone can be used, it seems that Facebook Home can actually function on any Android phone running Ice Cream Sandwhich. For information on how to install it on virtually any Android phone right now, read my post on how to get Facebook Home to work from your Android Phone on The Tech Tipper. Not only this, but the launcher is very impractical. The lack of customization makes it great if all you plan on doing is living in Facebook, but everything else difficult. If Facebook is your essential application, then this might be great for you, but for those of us for whom Facebook takes up a minuscule part of our phone use, it’s just very impractical.

The reality is that using Facebook Home as a launcher just seems severely impractical. The home screen is arguably for nice. For those of us who have friends who take high quality photos and have a phone with a large screen, Facebook Home truly looks great. It’s a great interface for viewing your friends updates and media. Despite this, Facebook Home feels very sluggish. Even on my Android phone which a 1 Ghz processor and plenty of power, it slows the phone down and I believe this is the case because it really runs in conjunction with the Android Launcher. Facebook Home is nonetheless a very vibrant interface. It looks great and maybe with future releases Facebook will find a way to balance it out.

A Response to Om Malik’s Article | Google Keep v. Evernote

Thanks Google Keep! EverNote sees uptick in downloads, usage

The fact of the matter is that Google Keep’s introduction into the market is great for the market as a whole. It took a while for such things as the digital To-Do list, and the digital Calendar to catch on. It’s about the same situation for the digital notes application market. Sure users of the iPhone are used to jotting down light notes in the notes application and people in general are used to taking notes on post its and paper in general, but, as far as digital notes goes, I think it’s still a young market. We’re definitely entering an era of the digitization of the remaining paper elements in our world and notes make up a big part of this. The fact is that Evernote is great for so many people. It’s a note-taking application on the surface, but its uses are seemingly endless (one of the concepts behind endless progression). Evernote for me has really become the place where I store documents of all kinds just because the OCR technology in Evernote is so mature. All of that being said, I really like Google Keep. As with any platform, with greater maturity comes more features, but less simplicity. Google Keep as you would expect is simplicity at it’s greatest. Simply put, its interface is very simple and elegant. It makes you want to use it, whereas if you try to make use of all of the features in Evernote, it can become a little overwhelming. I’m happy that Evernote is being received by a greater audience, but I’m also happy that Google Keep is receiving attention. It’s a service I’d like to see mature. Though the fact is that with Google Reader’s impending cancellation, I become a little weary of Google’s tolerance to cutting off services that do not become widely accepted. That’s a post for another time though. I would suggest that everyone check out Google Keep for Android because I’ve enjoyed using it in the past week and it has a great interface.