|Blackberry Playbook! Toys!|
While the Blackberry playbook is fine and dandy, i couldn't help but get a creepy feeling about the current tablet and smartphone market. Yes, the ARM processor, found in most tablets and smartphones, can perform phenomenally on a very low power usage and the multi-touch screens are fantastic for giving an intuitive interface. The problem is that the focus in marketing is pointed to the software.
|Shouldn't have bought a tablet, mate.|
Those things are expensive.
The irony is that tablets have great hardware potential, but the software that's used for their marketing only restricts their possibilities. Here is a list of things I tried with tablets that took more trouble than needed or didn't work at all:
- file management: I'm used to throw my files around as much as I like in a folder structure I want. Sadly, every tablet insists you use your apps to handle only their specific formats. There are file managers around, but most of them have a different opinion on if the system folder is part of the personal file folders.
- Playing shared videos: This should be the number one reason to have a tablet. You want to watch your videos from your clunky computer in the comfort of your couch, right? Sadly, if you have shared files on your network, you can't access those files through your tablet. Technical reason: no tablet has a decent samba client. I got movies copied to the tablet under android using command-line ssh, but if you are a tablet user, you probably don't want to know what that means.
- Flash: Do I need to say more? Thanks to a disagreement between Apple and Adobe, the industry standard for movies and online games is dead in the water for mobile devices. Yes, HTML5 is better, but developers are still trying the learn the ropes on that one.
- Installing downloaded programs: You know when you are using a PC, there is always at least one little program you use that you got from this obscure site. It does everything you want and is hacked together by someone who had the same idea as you and had some spare time. That scenario is impossible on the tablet (except in android, but there are not a lot of android tablets). You have to get everything from the app store/market/etc. Worst part: people are deliberately making loads of money with free open-source programs that are probably not written by them.
- There is no Red Alert or any RTS on any tablet! For shame!
|Doesn't this scream 'TABLET!' to you?|
I sincerely hope the tablet hype doesn't turn into an economic bubble. There is no independent programming community on the tablet. All apps are still made on a PC and distributed through 1 store per platform. This makes the tablet platform dependent on the PC platform and the distributors. If developers abandon the PC and try to force consumers to switch to tablets (like windows 8 tries to do with their interface. Yes that is for the PC) the consumer computer market will be dependent on the few people who know how to handle a PC. There will be a grave shortage of developers and the few that are available will be extremely expensive. Fortunately, that is just my doomsday theory. Personally I don't think it will come that far, because the shortage of developers will be obvious before the consumer has switched completely to tablets.
When the I-pad was introduced, people listened way to much to the praises of Steve Jobs. Because the guy 'got shit done', people were intimidated. He was gonna remove your PC from your house! The thoughtless cheering from apple fans only made things more intimidating. Because of this, the market hasn't really had the opportunity to evaluate the tablet for what it really is. It's a tool, but not the future.
As with everything he did, Steve Jobs steered a whole market to thinking that some new gadget will be the next big thing. With it he brought a plethora of emotions to everyone who did or did not want to listen. He threw us head first in a direction that made us do something different and gave him a lot of money. I don't celebrate the death of Steve Jobs, because he seemed to be a nice guy, but I am glad he finally shut up.