Tag Archives: Google+

The Next Tablet Wars

The 7-inch tablet wars are about to get very interesting. If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground then you have heard some pretty seriously exciting rumors. The first into the rumor arena was Google. Google is believed to be working with ASUS on a 7-inch tablet that would potentially be the first ever Google Nexus Tablet.

For those are you are unfamiliar with the Google Nexus line, it is traditionally a flagship Google device that sports top-of-the-line technology and contains a vanilla build of the Android OS. If you aren’t familiar with Android cell phones, then you may be a little confused by the “vanilla Android” statement. There are a lot of Android phones out there and they are made by a lot of different companies. Motorola, Samsung and HTC – just to name a few and to differentiate themselves from each other they tweak the Android OS with skins.

HTC calls their skin HTC Sense. Motorola called their skin MOTOBLUR but has since decided to shift development focus away from it. These skins, while in some cases pretty, would slow updates to the devices since Google would release the update and then the companies would have to update their version of the operating system. As you can imagine, it doesn’t make much financial sense to keep updating old phones and so ultimately customers would be left behind. Not so with the Google Nexus line. Nexus phones are stock vanilla Android so there is no having to reengineer anything, the updates are made available very quickly.

So the whole point of that sidebar was to tell you that a Google Nexus tablet means you can expect timely updates from Google with great hardware. If the latest rumors can be believed then we can expect one more great thing and that is the price tag. Google was originally rumored to release their tablet at a $250 price point. And that is a good price for a 7-inch Android tablet. However, Google is rumored to have delayed their tablet until they can deliver it a little closer to the $199 asking price of the Kindle Fire. A Nexus Tablet at $250 is hard to pass up for those in the market for one. A Nexus Tablet at $199 may actually force people who weren’t necessarily in the tablet market to take notice.

For example, if you were thinking of getting a Kindle Fire because you wanted a full color eReader then the Google Nexus may actually be a better fit because you have full access to the Google App Market (Google Play) and you can download the mobile apps from Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (NOOK) and Kobo. You can buy your ebooks from anywhere instead of limiting yourself to a single storefront. You can hunt for the cheapest price and buy there. You keep your options open. So a Google Nexus Tablet at $199 is exciting. But it may not be the most exciting rumor out there.

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What is the most popular tablet on the market today? Has anyone heard of the Apple iPad? Yeah, Apple has also entered the rumor arena. Apple is rumored to be introducing a 7-inch tablet in the fall. The “iPad Mini” is expected to have 8GB of storage and have the same beautiful Retina display the iPhone and new iPad currently enjoy today. This tablet is expected to hit the market at $200-$250. At that price point and at that 7-inch size, Apple is very clearly firing a shot at Google who until lately has had the eReader market locked up thanks to Android’s presence in the Kindle Fire, NOOKcolor and NOOK Tablet.

Come this fall, especially if the Apple rumor is true, you can expect a LOT of tablet holdouts to finally choose a side in the tablet wars. The question is whether their tablet of choice will be sporting a little green robot or a shiny bitten Apple.

So what do you think? If these devices make it to market, will you be buying one?

The Internet is bothering me today

The Internet is so annoying this morning. Folks are waiting for the iPad 3/HD announcement and every article is a troll war. I’m so tired of the whole “Apple just repackages the same technology” argument. It’s idiotic. What does the automotive industry do? What does the PC industry do? What does the appliances industry do? Where is the outrage when GM, Ford or Chrysler release the next years model and it just has a different body style?

Now I understand that mobile technology is moving at a very brisk clip right now but it’s like the PC industry in late 90’s, speed was doubling/quadrupling by the year. 100mhz processor, then 200mhz, then 400mhz. And now it’s the race to see how many cores we can fit onto a piece of silicon. My point is this trend is going to slow. And do these people really think that manufacturers are going to stop making products while waiting for the next big thing? No. They are going to repackage the same thing. It worked for Nintendo. How many different colors of Gameboy and DS are there?

But the real crux of this argument is that Apple ISN’T repackage the same technology. The iPad 3/HD is expected to have an upgraded dual core processor or a quad core processor. It’s expected to have 1GB of Memory, up from iPad 2’s 512mb. It is also expected to have Apple’s beautiful Retina (or Retina-like) display. How is this the same old iPad?

Let me ask you this. How do you interface with a tablet? Its touchscreen. How do you consume the information? Your eyeballs on its screen? If the internal specs are significantly better, and the screen resolution and clarity is MUCH improved, how is this a minor upgrade? What would it take to be a major upgrade? Would the quad core do it? Obviously doubling the memory and resolution doesn’t count.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a preferred mobile OS. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking Android over iOS or liking iOS over Android. But when you make statements like the iPad 3/HD is just the same old hardware with a new label on the box you end up looking like an idiotic fanboy. This isn’t the video game industry releasing the Gameboy Color.

Ridiculous.

Ashley Esqueda. Good Human.

The topic no doubt speaks for itself, but let me explain how I came to this conclusion. Ashley Esqueda is something of VIP in the Android community. For my less techy readers: By Android I mean the mobile phone operating system not the cybernetic human community. She’s a contributing writer to G4TV.com, a host of the Mobile Nations podcast, a host of TechLife on Tecca and even does a little show called Techfoolery. I stole her resume from her Google+ profile, not to establish that I’m perfectly capable of cutting and pasting but to demonstrate that the girl is busy.

She took to her Google+ page last week and invited her fellow “Plussers” to ask her anything, so long as it wasn’t vulgar or inappropriate. She got questions like “Do you prefer Zombies or Vampires?” “How long does the battery on your phone last from a full charge?” “Which superhero would you marry?” and then depressing ‘ol me asks:

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Honestly, I expected her to sidestep this question not because it was vulgar or inappropriate but because I am a complete stranger and maybe this is a question better asked of a trusted friend. I mean she’s a tech blogger for crying out loud, not a psychologist. Or at least she doesn’t report to be. In any event, what I expected was nothing. What I got was this:

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I was pretty stunned. Not only did I get a reply but I got a pretty huge reply. And that was beyond cool. I’ve always thought that social media was an incredible way for people to interact with an audience. I’m far more loyal to Indie authors who I’ve shot the breeze with on Twitter than I am to a Stephen King or Michael Connelly. And this thoughtful post from Ashley made me a greater fan or supporter. I thought, she didn’t have to do that. She didn’t need to share that with me. My Nana and I were really close and so I could relate to the losing a grandparent I adored.

And then I went about my life. Work. Family. Friends. Birthday. And then Tuesday rolled around. Tuesday night was the Hong Kong introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. To my non-techy readers, Google names their Android OS versions after desserts: “donut”, “éclair”, “froyo”, “gingerbread”, “honeycomb”, etc. I missed the live stream of the event but yesterday I finally got around to watching the event replay. It was awesome and I was psyched. Though maybe not about facial recognition, but I digress. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is so much cooler than I was expecting. I took to Facebook and Google+ to share my enthusiasm.

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To my surprise a couple hours later I got a reply from someone outside of my usual circles. (It’s also a Google+ joke!)

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Seriously? How cool is that?

Here is the rest of the exchange.

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I really only shared my long response to her as a follow up to my last post. I was pretty positive that my birthday was going to be something of a drag, but it wasn’t. It was actually better than I could have hoped for. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who helped distract me and keep me happy. Most especially my beautiful wife and kids.

So there you have it. There is my geeky brush with fame and the explanation for my blog post title.

Ashley Esqueda. Good Human. Better Robot.

If you’d like to meet a good human or a better robot, follow Ashley on [Twitter] or [Google+].