Tablets and directions – tech musings

What we know so far,
– Apple is pushing out Lightning ports to all their mobile devices.
– Apple thinks that 7.9 inches is better than 7 inches, whatever that means, and that 4:3 screen ratio is okay.
– Apple doesn’t want to push developers towards responsive designs yet. (meaning app layouts that adapt to varying different screen sizes)
– Apple is confident that the iOS ecosystem and app selection can carry it forward through the mini-tablet wave, even with a weaker hardware configuration, and higher than competition prices in the iPad Mini.
– No significant software change on the iOS system in awhile.
– Apple thinks that GPS is not necessary in WiFi-only devices. Since their maps suck, there’s no point right. *rolls eyes*. And this is not even for price reasons, the price is still high.

– Android 4.2 is coming out on 29th Oct, barring hurricanes descending on NYC.
– 4.2 has multi-user support. like you can log in and out using different users. This is coming at a good time because the android tablets have jumped in popularity, and tablets lend themselves to shared usage like phones don’t. iOS might well copy this in the future, just watch it.
– Nexus 4 has wireless charging built-in. (no word whether Nexus 10 has the same features). This is a good differentiating feature. Some section of people will go for this feature. Because charging multiple devices is annoying like flipping usb cables the right way is annoying and how Apple thought to change the usb to Lightning cable. But hey what do you know, if Google moves towards wireless charging, that means no need to plug in to charge. If Google manages to let you manage everything wireless, means there’s no need to plug into the laptop/PC/mac. If it’s all done on Wifi and wireless charging, why bother with Lightning cables and USD40 cables and connectors. That might be an awesome coup. I like this because this is solving the problem to the core. Lightning wires are incremental solutions that patch up problems, like how car valets and self-parking are incremental solutions but full self-driving cars are hard problems that might abstract away the entire problem. But difficult to implement. We’ll see. Google can go this way because they don’t need to sync to the desktop like iTunes requires. Apple is forced to stick to wires right now. You should think about this if you want to buy into either systems. We can do a whole comparison matrix of this some other time. It is good to see the Android system progressing ahead of the Apple system. It is good to have comparison features that Apple totally doesn’t have. The move towards NFC, wireless charging and multi-user support provides character and distinction away from the normal crap about screen quality and thin-ness.
– 4.2 might have improved camera functions if Snapseed app is incorporated.
– 4.2 has swype-like keyboard function, which is interesting because so many other keyboards work very well already. They might be promoting this as a distinctive Android feature.
– Nexus 4 has no microSD slot. That’s a direction that Google has been pretty consistent and hardcore in. Maybe it reduces cost in Nexus devices (which used to be like for-developers-only). Together with the Nexus Q that connects to the TV and you can remote-control with your phone/tablet but streams movies/music from Google servers only, it means that Google wants you to buy from the store and stream as needed. Means they won’t go down the route of media management on laptops – the iTunes model. Which makes sense for them because they don’t want to be tied to operating systems, they want it to be run from within Chrome, ChromeOS.
– Similarly Nexus 4 is like starting with as low as 8gb of storage. That’s low of course, especially when you do not have SD cards. But it is okay if you are a light user because most data is synced to Google’s cloud. Whereas Apple does not. Consistent strategy here. Personally I still want a fair amount of space, 32gb at least.
– Pogo pins have been a mainstay of Nexus devices for a long time. No idea why. They have not been used for anything at all! This is ridiculous. We’ll see. Charging, syncing, cradles… The uses are obvious, but no implementation.

Will the Nexus 4 be popular? I doubt it, the S3 is already so good. Maybe that’s why LG got the contract this time round. Motorola is not ready, HTC is lost, Samsung is riding on their S3, no point cannibalizing those sales, and Samsung gets the Nexus 10 tablet. They are going crazy on tablet iterations.

Interesting, a lot of corporations are taking iOS for the ‘security’ and comparative ease to lockdown current devices. Which is true, I’ll admit iOS is alot more secure right now. However Google is toying with a secure linux core that might be equally or even more ridiculously secure. NSA uses it as one of their steps to secure their linux systems. Might be interesting. Security is obviously a big thing for both of them. Multi-user support plus security would be really good! Imagine high security for work login and increased flexibility for personal use. No more carrying around multiple devices! It’s kind of stupid when people clamoured to get iphones instead of blackberrys and then realised the iphones are locked and not that suitable for personal use, so still carry around extra personal phones. We need to stop all this wastage.

Samsung’s profit for Q3 was not that far off Apple’s, which is really quite an eye-opener because it is firmly established that Apple has a firm foothold and earns big margins on their very successful phone, tablet and laptops. Their appstore is also raking it in, and iTunes too. They earn margins on their hardware, and the following appstore. Samsung only earns on the hardware, which is phones, because their tablets are not selling that many yet. Samsung doesn’t earn off appstore at all, and so does not have as much recurring revenue off their devices. Both sell accessories but of course Apple accessories are much higher priced. Samsung does have other businesses including displays, OEM, TVs, etc, but not as high growth rate as mobile devices I think. Which does put Samsung at a really good position giving that they are currently on the uptrend. Of course, HTC was on the up once too but has dropped off as they went out of fashion, this is to be wary of. Apple is also known to squeeze their manufacturer margins, have few SKUs, good sales on each product iteration while samsung throws out tons of versions. But perhaps Samsung doesn’t need to spend tons of money on software OS development which google does for them. But still. We do see Samsung following alot of Apple’s lead in trying to secure their own identity software wise, and also introducing their own cable connector and accessories. I don’t like the custom plug thing, that’s a turn-off for me.

Additional Google announcements: expansion to Google Now service, updated numbers on appstore, additional tv/movie/media available. Given the NYC location of the event, it is likely to be very consumer orientated and less techy. Okay let’s see how the war pans out. Oops and there’s Microsoft of course.

Tablets and directions – tech musings

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