Time to Change My Tablets

As the iPad had reached 2 years old, without ever really ceasing to be a regular source of frustration, and as I’ve been very impressed with the Galaxy Note phone, last week I bit the bullet and purchased the iPad’s replacement, a 10″ Galaxy Note.

This wasn’t a trivial act as the 10″ Note is so new that the spec I wanted isn’t yet directly available in the UK. However I went to Buyspry.com of Maryland via eBay, who shipped a 32GB device to me via DHL, and between the two of them I had it in my hands in 4 days. Very impressive.

Setup was also remarkably pain-free. I switched it on, provided a few credentials, and it sat for about half an hour downloading and installing all the apps already on my 5″ Note. About 90% needed no further attention.

So I’m back to an intermediate computing device with a proper multi-tasking operating system with a shared, visible filing system. Hurrah! It has a proper fine-tipped, pressure-sensitive stylus, not a banana. Hurrah! Connect it to a PC and the filing system is just there as part of the PC’s storage. Hurrah! I can choose an intelligent, input mechanism and it works for all applications, in my case the almost psychic SwiftKey. Hurrah Hurrah!

I do prefer Android as an operating system. It’s great having an “active desktop” (to steal the Microsoft term) ?on which I can intelligently organise my applications with the mix of active information feeds. Multi-tasking is so much more 2012. And many of the applications are much more powerful. Yesterday I copied a Word document to the tablet, opened it in TextMaker, SoftMaker’s Word clone, viewed it exactly as on the PC, and marked it up using 100% Word compatible markup operations. Try that on your iPad!

Dislikes? Not many so far. The storage is slightly disappointing, only matching the iPad despite buying the maximum spec and a large micro SD card. However, I expect to waste a lot less on multiple unmanageable copies of files, and the Moore’s Law benefits have reflected instead into a much lower price. The proprietary USB connector is an Apple copy too far – why not just a standard mini-Based or micro-B? And that’s about it.

There are a few software challenges: I’m not sure I’ve found the ideal Twitter client, video player or image viewer yet, but I have functional solutions and the machine has only been in my hands a week. Solving those problems on the iPad took me about 8 months. In a couple of “edge” cases the iPad had a good “kitchen sink” multi-purpose app which will require a slightly more complex solution on the Note, but I can live with that.

So far so good. I’ll keep you posted.

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