I've used Android as my main mobile platform for almost six years now. My first smartphone was a Motorola CLIQ XT that I bought back in May, 2010. It ran Cupcake and though, in retrospect, the phone was a bargain basement toy, it paved my way into the Android world. As a fun experiment, I decided to ditch Google's OS entirely for two weeks and use Apple's products exclusively to see how crazy it would make me. I have owned iOS devices in the past, but I've never forced myself to convert. These days I generally flip between my Nexus 6P and my iPhone 6S Plus depending on my mood that day.
Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.
Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update.
Apple is, you might say, ever so slightly hesitant to support competing platforms. It took the company years (and the promise of a greater market for the iPod) to support Windows for its massive iTunes program, and some of the more professional tools have never appeared on anything except Apple hardware. Today is a banner day, then, because Apple has released its first ever Android app. It's pretty much exactly what you were expecting.
Apple announced the Move to iOS app way back in June, but it's taken them this long to get it on the Play Store. (Maybe they had to wait for approval.) Like similar apps from a variety of manufacturers, including Microsoft, Samsung, and Motorola, the app is designed to allow you to transfer contacts, SMS history, bookmarks, photos, and account information to the company's hardware, in this case an iPhone or iPad.
When we think of tablet manufacturers, News Corp doesn't really come to mind off the bat. Yet, here we are. The international media conglomerate has announced plans for a branded Android tablet targeted at education called Amplify. The slate would come pre-loaded with Google Apps for Education, content from Common Sense Media, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and a graphing calculator. Most of this can be acquired or supplemented on regular Android tablets, but having the system pre-built may make teachers' lives easier.
What these tablets offer that others don't, however, is lesson plan tools for teachers and software to help parents keep track of their children's progress.
ARCHOS is not messing around! After releasing the first in its iPad Titanium line of tablets, the 97 Titanium HD, sans price, the company is back for more with three new slates in the family: the 70 (a 7" tablet), the 80 (an 8" tablet), and the 101 (can you guess? can you? I bet you can. Yes, it's a 10.1" tablet!). The company isn't even being shy about its intent. The 70 specifically targets "competitors such as Amazon", the 80 goes after "the iPad mini, for a fraction of the price", and the 9.7 "aims to be an alternative to the new iPad." Well, yeah.
There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Google bought the company. Now, the Android version is finally being released.
This video is a bit older and shows off the iOS version, but you get the idea.
It was bound to happen. Really, it was inevitable at this point, however today we've gotten official word that Samsung is requesting to add the newest iPad, the iPad Mini, and the latest iPod Touch to its lawsuit against the Cupertino company. This isn't shocking so much as it is entirely expected. Still, while HTC and Apple are busy settling their differences and the patent wars seemingly cooling off—if only a bit—this is a solid reminder that the two manufacturers with the most to gain (and lose!) from this fight aren't backing away from each other.
No new patents are being added to the case, so it's simply a matter of including as much ammunition as possible to lob in Apple's general direction.
Well, that certainly didn't go the way Apple would've liked. A UK judge presiding over one of many lawsuits involving Apple products—specifically concerning the Galaxy Tab line's alleged infringement of the iPad's design—has ordered Apple to publicly post on the UK version of its website that Samsung did not copy the iPad. Said the internet, "Oh, snap!"
The UK judge presiding over the case was the same one who made headlines recently for saying the Galaxy Tab lineup was "not as cool" as the iPad, and thus unlikely to be confused for Apple's slates. It's really hard to imagine an outcome that could be less flattering to both sides.
I have bad news, good news, and news that goes both ways. The bad news: one of Apple's 8,000 lawsuits has finally borne fruit, and it's rather substantial. A US judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, meaning that once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond, the Tab 10.1 will have to be yanked from store shelves. (That $2.6 million is in case the injunction is later reversed, so that Apple can compensate Samsung.)
Luckily, there's that other news. The news that goes both ways: the American legal system is @#$%ed (obviously), and not only stifles innovation, it clogs up the system for an ungodly amount of time.
I want to ask everyone a question - well, everyone who owns an Android tablet, that is - how often do you instinctively reach for it, as opposed to your phone or laptop? I don't care what the reason is, I'm just genuinely curious how much of a "tweener" role your Android tablet has taken in your life. And after you read this editorial, share that story with me in the comments, because I'd really like to have a discussion with people on this.
I own a Transformer Prime. Know how often I use it? Once, maybe twice a week for a few minutes.