AndroidPIT was at International Funkausstellung (IFA), Questions?

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Sep 8, 2010 4:19:34 PM via Website

Fabien, Anton, Michael, and myself were at IFA from Thursday to Tuesday (except Sunday), and saw plenty of Android devices and services on display. The show is now over, and we put out lots of stories and video during that time. If you are interested in the stories, you may want to go to the German side of AndroidPIT as well for some more info on devices that we saw at the trade show. Is there anything anyone heard about or saw that sparked their interest? Something you have a question about that wasn't answered?

I'll make a quick list of the stories I have managed to get out so far, but there should be more soon:

Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab At IFA Berlin
Huawei IDEOS Android 2.2 Handset Announced At IFA
[Updated With Video] Huawei Unveils Android 2.1 IDEOS S7 Tablet
Updated With Video] Hanspree SN10T Android 2.1 Android Tablet
YIFANG Android MID M7 Tablet
[Update With Video] Camangi FM600 Android Tablet Hands-on At IFA
Viewsonic Viewpad 100 Hands-on
AndroidPIT At Google CEO Eric Schmidt's IFA Keynote
Google CEO Eric Schmidt's Keynote At IFA Berlin
Acer Stream and Liquid E Ferrari Hands-On
People Of Lava Scandinavia Android TV Interview
Telefunken 3D-Tablet and Dude Hands-On

Sep 10, 2010 8:08:45 PM via Website

Half of your list is about Android Tablets from various vendors. It is a drastic difference from Apple's iPad.

What does this mean to the Android community?
Would Android ecosystem become more diversified in terms of CPU chip sets, screen sizes, etc?
Would developers benefit from this diversity or suffer from its fragmentation?
Are developers prepared for developing apps for tablets?
What part of development infrastructure is lacking for creating apps for tablets?

Thanks.

— modified on Sep 10, 2010 9:11:40 PM

Sep 11, 2010 8:39:08 AM via Website

Douglas Carter
We (Fabien, Michael, Anton, and myself) have plans on creating a post discussing exactly that in the next several days. I couldn't recommend you anything first without hearing what you are looking for, and what design features matter most to you.

I would really like a large nice looking screen. Also a fast processor with plenty of memory. I don't want low-end hardware and a sharp screen is important. I would need it to have wireless so I could connect to the internet through my wi-fi. If it had the android market that would be a big plus. I like the Viewsonic one you posted about in the blog. Thanks!

Sep 13, 2010 1:14:17 PM via Website

What qualifies as a big screen? The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the nicest tab that I had the pleasure of trying out in my opinion. If you are going for highest quality, that is the best choice. It has a 7" 1024 x 600 screen, Android 2.2, the same processor that is in the Galaxy S, can access Wi-Fi and 3G, make calls, and lots of other things (including Market).

Viewsonic showed two models, the 10" and the 7". The 7" tablet is not made by Viewsonic, but by an OEM, and there was at least one other company selling the exact same device as the Viewpad 7 at IFA, but under a different name. The 7" felt pretty good in the hand, but it has the same resolution as my Galaxy S, 800 x 480, so I don't think that fufills your requirements for sharpness. It does have the Market though, so that is a big plus.

Sep 13, 2010 1:30:16 PM via Website

Eugene Huang
Half of your list is about Android Tablets from various vendors. It is a drastic difference from Apple's iPad.

What does this mean to the Android community?
Would Android ecosystem become more diversified in terms of CPU chip sets, screen sizes, etc?
Would developers benefit from this diversity or suffer from its fragmentation?
Are developers prepared for developing apps for tablets?
What part of development infrastructure is lacking for creating apps for tablets?

Thanks.

@Q1 it means that there will be many choices for many prices ranges when looking for a tablet. Competition usually results in better products and more competitive pricing

@Q2 Yes, I believe that we will see many different styles and specs, resulting in many choices, and hopefully something for every taste.

@Q3 If developers take into account that tablets will have different hardware specs than phones (and work around that), and Google relaxes their comes up with a store specifically for tablets, it will benefit from the diversity. However, every company that produces each product is responsible for their implementation of the product, and how good it's support will be. We have already seen several fiascoes with only smartphones. Now that we are throwing tablets into the mix, fragmentation (or legacy, depending on how you look at it) will continue, and will likely get worse, as there will be more companies getting into the business who want to make profit, but might not care as much about future updates and support.

@Q4 That is a question that every developer needs to answer, but I believe that the tools are already there, so the willingness is what needs to be determined. Each tablet differs in some way, and many of the cheaper models don't have the sensor suites that allow the correct usage of many apps.

@Q5 Are you referring to app developers, or devices manufacturers? The biggest problem with tablets that I can see so far is the implementation of a proper app store onto the devices being produced by manufacturers. Google's requirements to have the Android Market on the device are somewhat bottlenecking the adoption of tablets by many, and for good reason.

I believe Google is trying to make sure that the higher quality devices (in terms of support and necessary hardware) are the one getting the Android Market, while companies that don't have as good of a reputation have to try harder to be accepted for the Android Market. Many manufacturers do not include all the sensors that most smartphones have in order to keep the price of the device low, and while it makes the product attractive price-wise, the user experience suffers because of it.

You can bet that if I ever get a tablet, it will be a high-end tablet with all the regular sensor suites and a good (but not necessarily official Android Market) app market.

— modified on Sep 13, 2010 1:31:22 PM

Sep 14, 2010 3:24:13 AM via Website

Thanks for detailed answers.

I believe that having Android Market would be buyers' key consideration of owning an Android hardware. I guess those tablets which do not have it cannot sell well.

Sep 14, 2010 5:41:14 PM via Website

Douglas Carter
It has a 7" 1024 x 600 screen, Android 2.2, the same processor that is in the Galaxy S, can access Wi-Fi and 3G, make calls, and lots of other things (including Market).

Do you know if you have to have it activated with a carrier, since it has 3g support? I really don't want another phone service bill, since I already have a phone.

Sep 15, 2010 12:17:21 PM via Website

That title has to be taken with a grain of salt, as there are plenty of tablets running Android already which function fine. Just look at the hands-on reviews (in German and English) we did from IFA. The thing is, the current Android OS versions were not designed for tablet usage. In addition, the Galaxy Tab (arguably the best Android tablet scheduled to be released) could be called an enlarged smartphone, as it maintains basically all of most smartphone's features, but in a much larger size. Samsung also spent a lot of time (from what I have read) making sure that apps would perform correctly on their device. Most other tablets don't have all those features and may not be tested to the same level, and the app experience suffers as a result. Newer versions of android are supposed to improve the Android experience on tablets, but that doesn't mean Android doesn't work okay on tablets currently.

— modified on Sep 15, 2010 12:19:40 PM