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Trying to wrap my head around Android (Page 9)
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Dec 4, 2013, 02:59 PM
 
Count me in. All I'll need in an '80s Trans Am and I could pull this off:

     
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Dec 4, 2013, 03:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Channeling some serious shif here.
Channeling some serious Zimphire here.
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Dec 4, 2013, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
So Apple doesn't make a smartwatch, and this is your reason why we dislike a specific smartwatch - at least I have considered a Pebble, and that Rio 600 I once bought is a large part of the reason I haven't bothered yet. If Apple made a smartwatch, wouldn't that be the reason we didn't like any smartwatch made by anyone else?
For a while they were planning one, then shelved it waiting for further miniaturization. The only difference is Samsung didn't. I believe, in part, what I'm seeing in this thread is some of the fallout of the Apple/Samsung war.

You're quoting products from 1993, 1994 and 1983. Why not bring up the bulkiest of them all, the PowerMac 9600? Apple didn't always make slick products - that is very much a Jony Ive thing. For me personally, computers looking good is nice side effect, and if my phone is pretty is beside the point - I bought them because of the user experience.

And yes, everyone complained about cameras in phones, but there there was a definite tradeoff. You got a feature - having a camera always on you - in the bargain, and by the time that camera got good enough to bother with, the tradeoff started to make sense. The Galaxy Gear barely does anything without its companion phone, so you already have a much better camera in your pocket.
I wasn't referring to simple bulk but overall lack of focus and poor implementation. The camera on the Gear is serviceable in a pinch, but typically I don't even bother with inferior phone cameras, since I have an SLR in my bag.
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Dec 4, 2013, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The Smartwatch does a bucket load of things that Siri/Jawbone can't, specifically email/messages/calendar reminders. I can do this by glancing at the watch and then decide if further action is warranted. It's a rich experience that is nonetheless less interruptive than any alternative I can think of, certainly less interruptive than Siri reading me my email.

I think part of the problem with using a Jawbone is that there is no visual clue that the owner is making a call - you look like you're talking to yourself. I actually think that talking to your watch, from a social level, is more acceptable, the same way that, currently, talking into a phone signals your activity to the world.
Ah, okay, that makes sense.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The Smartwatch does a bucket load of things that Siri/Jawbone can't, specifically email/messages/calendar reminders. I can do this by glancing at the watch and then decide if further action is warranted. It's a rich experience that is nonetheless less interruptive than any alternative I can think of, certainly less interruptive than Siri reading me my email.
i get that, but it could easily be done. You can trigger Siri by holding the button and then asking her to check the status of whatever, so it can't be hard to do.

Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I think part of the problem with using a Jawbone is that there is no visual clue that the owner is making a call - you look like you're talking to yourself. I actually think that talking to your watch, from a social level, is more acceptable, the same way that, currently, talking into a phone signals your activity to the world.
Listening on a speaker in your watch is certainly not more acceptable. There is also the obvious question of "Why don't you just pick up your phone?" if you're talking to your watch.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
For a while they were planning one, then shelved it waiting for further miniaturization. The only difference is Samsung didn't. I believe, in part, what I'm seeing in this thread is some of the fallout of the Apple/Samsung war.
That's a rumor fueled by supplier talk. Another reason could be that said supplier was work on a watch for someone else and their lower-level staff thought it was Apple - or said so, because that news sells better.

I have bought several Samsung gadgets since the litigation started, and recommended them on these forums when appropriate, although I would think twice now with all the fake reviews that have come up. Do you also believe that the near-universal panning of the watch in the press is due to the Apple-Samsung war?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 06:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
i get that, but it could easily be done. You can trigger Siri by holding the button and then asking her to check the status of whatever, so it can't be hard to do.
Glancing at a screen is quicker than listening to somebody reading one mail after the next.

Originally Posted by P View Post
Listening on a speaker in your watch is certainly not more acceptable. There is also the obvious question of "Why don't you just pick up your phone?" if you're talking to your watch.

Because my phone is in my pocket and my watch is on my wrist. It's quicker.

Today's phones aren't phones. They're miniature computers that also double as phones. Holding them to our head is a throwback to the early days of phone technology. It's preposterous that were still using it.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 07:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Glancing at a screen is quicker than listening to somebody reading one mail after the next.




Because my phone is in my pocket and my watch is on my wrist. It's quicker.

Today's phones aren't phones. They're miniature computers that also double as phones. Holding them to our head is a throwback to the early days of phone technology. It's preposterous that were still using it.
These are completely different usage scenarios, though.

Mulling over this a bit:

Yep, I buy that checking notifications on your wrist is a lot more convenient than having to pull the phone out of your pocket, or walk over to the desk, as it were.

I do NOT buy that talking to your wrist is more convenient, nor in any way less annoying to everybody around you, than talking into a headset, especially if you're figuring that everybody around can hear not only you talk, but the other end, as well.
I'm pretty certain that this aspect of the smart watch is a ridiculous throwback to Dick Tracy fantasy.
Even you yourself have suggested relegating that to an ADDITIONAL, already existing bit of hardware that already does that part of the job, and much better (talking to and listening to my watch while doing 180 on the Autobahn is an unusable scenario. My headset does fine.).

I'm perfectly willing to accept that my perspective on current devices might not allow me to ask the right questions (sort of like how people kept asking why they need an iPad, where the actual question is "when do you need MORE than an iPad", and suddenly the device makes perfect sense).

But the answers you, Shaddim, and Samsung have presented so far seem to me — except for one, convenience for checking incoming messages/calls — to be answering questions nobody is or ever will be asking.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
That's a rumor fueled by supplier talk. Another reason could be that said supplier was work on a watch for someone else and their lower-level staff thought it was Apple - or said so, because that news sells better.

I have bought several Samsung gadgets since the litigation started, and recommended them on these forums when appropriate, although I would think twice now with all the fake reviews that have come up. Do you also believe that the near-universal panning of the watch in the press is due to the Apple-Samsung war?
I'm pretty comfortable in saying that it wasn't just rumor, it is a project, only we haven't technologically reached a place where it's "economically viable" for Apple to produce a Smartwatch that fits with their current design philosophy. They could, but the price they would need to sell it for (given their normal markup) would place it too far out of the reach of almost all consumers.

It isn't "near-universal", perhaps 50-50, and in large part that was before the latest updates, which improved reliability and functionality. I've not paid attention to fake review talk, I just try the device and decide if I like it.
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Dec 4, 2013, 07:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
But the answers you, Shaddim, and Samsung have presented so far seem to me — except for one, convenience for checking incoming messages/calls — to be answering questions nobody is or ever will be asking.
That was one of Jobs' beliefs, actually, that to be successful you have to provide solutions to needs customers didn't know they had.
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Dec 4, 2013, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That was one of Jobs' beliefs, actually, that to be successful you have to provide solutions to needs customers didn't know they had.
Yes. Did you read the rest of my post?

The part where I said I'm perfectly willing to accept that?

It was also Jobs' belief that it would become perfectly obvious why this product would serve a need customers didn't know they had, if the product got it right.

Neither you, nor Phileas, nor Samsung, have done a decent job at demonstrating to me my need. Maybe it's because you're just not as good as Jobs at doing this, but at this point, since even Samsung don't seem to have an idea (and they BUILT the damn thing), I strongly suspect it's because the product isn't actually focussed on fulfilling actual needs — except for the one about convenience in checking incoming messages and calls: That's cool. It doesn't balance needing to deal with *another* gadget that needs recharging, and the bulkiness and inconvenience of wearing a watch (if I didn't wear one, as most people no longer do).

With the iPad, it took a while until people understood, but there was a real buzz from everybody who had one, and it was infectious and insidious. The buzz on the Galaxy Gear ended with the wet thud of the initial reviews, and you two are literally the only people I've ever encountered who seem even remotely enthralled.
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 10:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
and you two are literally the only people I've ever encountered who seem even remotely enthralled.
See, and everybody I have talked to who owns one, which admittedly aren't that many so my sample is small, loves theirs.

The conversation we're having does remind me of the early iPod conversations. "Why would I need my entire music library in my pocket?" "The quality of mp3s is terrible" "It's yet another gadget I need to carry around with me" "It's too expensive" were all arguments I've heard before.

I understand that a smartwatch isn't for everybody, I get that talking into a watch might look a bit silly, but so did many other things when they first came out. I remember, then I got my first cell phone, my girlfriend at the time would refuse to walk with me in public when I received a call. She thought talking on a phone while walking was the most embarassing thing ever.

It's clear to me that we won't come to an agreement in this conversation, so I'll leave it at that. Lets reconvene in five years. I am pretty sure one of us will be able to say "told you so"
     
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Dec 4, 2013, 11:43 PM
 
I'd really like to get texts without taking my phone out of my pocket.

That's why I like iMessage. If I happen to be using an iPad, or a computer (which includes the TV running off a Mini), I don't need to take my phone out.

Any wearable worth it's salt obviates that need.
     
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Dec 5, 2013, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
It's clear to me that we won't come to an agreement in this conversation, so I'll leave it at that. Lets reconvene in five years. I am pretty sure one of us will be able to say "told you so"
You mean once Apple has the 3rd revision of theirs out, optionally in (real) silver or gold, and it's declared to be the greatest thing since doughnuts? Apple's will be stunning, no doubt there, but it won't be breaking new ground.
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Dec 5, 2013, 03:26 AM
 
I suspect it will be Apple's first version that is convincing.

They're perfectly happy with letting everybody else flop with half-baked unconvincing 1st and 2nd revisions, and will even leave a market alone for a decade if they think the promise can't be realized before then (see: tablets).
     
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Dec 5, 2013, 03:35 AM
 
Phileas: I'm aware that I sound a bit like an old fogey, but I allowed for that.

I remember my initial reaction to the iPod, which was "I want one badly, but not at that price."
Much the same applied to the iPhone presentation, except that was really as if somebody had reached back from the future and dropped this amazing thing in our laps.
With the iPad, I remember thinking that there was something just right about it, and seeing it in action convinced me. It didn't convince me that I needed one – after 18 months of owning an iPad 2, I'm still not entirely convinced, but that's partly due to the 5s being so much more fluid to browse on – but it was clear that there was real potential.

But as I say, all I've seen so far for the smartwatch is the convenience of status/messaging updates, and that certainly isn't worth the inconvenience and cost at this point.
     
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Dec 5, 2013, 05:59 AM
 
There's a big difference between what they can make, and what they can make, while still turning 40% margins.
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Dec 5, 2013, 07:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
You mean once Apple has the 3rd revision of theirs out, optionally in (real) silver or gold, and it's declared to be the greatest thing since doughnuts? Apple's will be stunning, no doubt there, but it won't be breaking new ground.
That's because there isn't much new ground to be broken. Apple has, traditionally, been successful not because they created new products but by creating existing products and making them sexy, turning them into products that worked for people, rather than against them.

The Mac OS, the iPod, the iPhone are all examples of that. I owned early smartphones way before the first iPhone came out. Every single one of them was a giant pain in the ass to use, so much so that the benefit - get access to information everywhere - was negated by the poor user experience. The iPhone has changed all that for phones the same way the iPod changed things for mp3 players and early Mac OS for personal computers.

As a result, other companies have now figured out that they should not allow engineering to define the user experience. Android is a prime contender in that space. From a buggy, clunky, second rate copy of iOS it has matured into a powerful, elegant and flexible OS that stands on its own legs and should be judged on its own merits.

The current crop of smartwatches are not being held back by the user experience. With the exception of the Pebble, where the makers sacrificed a touch screen for simplicity, the front end on most smart watches is about as elegant and easy to use as can be. Where there is space for improvement is in the capabilities as dictated by the components of the watch, but that's not where Apple has, traditionally, added the most value.

The Apple experience has always been about the user experience and while industrial design is part of that, the user/machine interface is where Apple has always been exceptional. That interface has now been refined to such a level that there isn't much room left for improvement.

Touch screens are cheap, responsive and of a ridiculous pixel density. Voice controls and voice recognition are everywhere and are beginning to be useful - the Moto X now has a low power core set aside to always listen to the command "Ok google" and springs to life accordingly.

I honestly don't see where the "this changes everything" innovation that Apple is so good at will come from in this market.

For me, the next logical step will be to decide what functionality we will wish to carry with us at all times and what can be externalized into a tablet or similar machine. Google Glas makes the argument that we will want everything, all the time, as an overlay over reality. I will join the old fogey crew by saying that's not for me. I am already turned off by the fact that so many people have turned to experiencing reality through the cameras of their phones - if it hasn't been photographed and posted on Facebook, it doesn't exist appears to be the Zeitgeist these days.

A smartwatch sits nicely in the middle, but success will come not from cramming everything and the kitchen sink into the watch but by deciding on what matters, then concentrate on that. Do I need, or want, a full web browser on a tiny screen? Probably not. What about maps and directions? Probably yes. Email? Yes, if I can read on screen (fast) and reply by voice (more convenient that typing). Phone calls, whether by speakerphone or earbud? Of course. Streaming audio? Yes, yes, yes. Streaming video? Probably not, unless for video calls.

Now, if somebody could come out with a scree that projects itself up when needed, disappear when not, that would be a winner.

Right now, the notification centre approach is what is technologically possible. As capabilities, especially of screens and batteries, improve, we'll see more and more products in that market, doing more and more useful thing.
( Last edited by Phileas; Dec 5, 2013 at 07:44 AM. )
     
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Dec 5, 2013, 08:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
It's clear to me that we won't come to an agreement in this conversation, so I'll leave it at that. Lets reconvene in five years. I am pretty sure one of us will be able to say "told you so"
Please try to separate the two different things here. Wearable computing is interesting, Galaxy Gear is a dud. The success of the iPod does not retroactively make the Diamond Rio a good product.
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Dec 5, 2013, 09:06 AM
 
Samsung dropped the ball with the Gear, but not in ways people think.

1. They released it to reviewers before all the bugs were fixed and all features were finalized.
2. They won't release the control SDK to 3rd party developers.
3. Their marketing for it is awful/non-existent.

The Gear, as it is right now, is a good, functional device. It works as you'd expect such a watch to work, provided you're using a compatible phone. I contend that it isn't a dud, far from it, but it is a sales flop, and whoever was in charge of its rollout probably should be fired.

Someone earlier mentioned that it sucks that it isn't a phone itself. That isn't going to happen, Apple won't even do that (even if they could), because the point is to get consumers to buy an expensive accessory to go along with their expensive phone. Why would they dilute their sales? Answer, they won't.
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Dec 5, 2013, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Please try to separate the two different things here. Wearable computing is interesting, Galaxy Gear is a dud. The success of the iPod does not retroactively make the Diamond Rio a good product.
I don't know where you get the idea from that this is a dud product. I am guessing here, but I assume you haven't used one in person.
The product is good. It does what it was designed to do well. It's intuitive to use. Whether or not you find the services it offers useful or desirable is a personal decision.

Shaddim is correct, the marketing and rollout sucked, but that doesn't make the product itself bad. The Rio example doesn't work - The Rio played mp3 files just fine, but was a pain in the ass to use. I remember, I owned one. The Gear does its job well and is a pleasure to use. Apple has a tradition of taking things that were useful but hard to use and making them useful and easy to use. In case of the smartwatch, that job has already been done.
     
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Dec 5, 2013, 11:18 PM
 
Played around with the HTC One and 5S today....man dat screen. I'd get an HTC instantly if they updated the processor and camera. Just feels reallllllllllly nice.
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Dec 6, 2013, 05:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Played around with the HTC One and 5S today....man dat screen. I'd get an HTC instantly if they updated the processor and camera. Just feels reallllllllllly nice.
The HTC really is lovely.

But having used the 5s for six weeks now, I have to say that while I do love the screen, it's *almost* too big on occasion.

I dread the day Apple listens to the fandroids and makes their high-end iPhones into surfboards.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 07:44 AM
 
The One is very nice, but due for an update. The immards, while still performing perfectly well, are getting a little long in the tooth.

I was waiting to get the Nexus version of the HTC, but then the Nexus 5 came along and for my needs that's the better phone.

The size argument is intersting. Personally, I really like the slightly larger phones, but I can see how bigger size could also be annoying to people. What I don't get are the Phablets, the large Sony and HTc phones on the market.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 08:27 AM
 
For a touchscreen semi-computing device, I do not see how you can go much smaller than the 4" screen in today's state of tech interaction.

I must say, I very rarely find the iP5 screen too small; usually I find myself thinking that it's either a little too narrow, or the phone is a little too long. I like the screen ratio in theory, but I must say in practice it's simply inconvenient for general use like web browsing.

I'm not convinced something like the One will fit comfortably in my pocket either, though.
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Dec 6, 2013, 08:30 AM
 
I've found people with tiny hands (such as myself) like the size of the iPhone 5.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 09:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I find myself thinking that it's either a little too narrow, or the phone is a little too long.
That's my only criticism of the Nexus 7 line - the screen, while beautiful, is too long and narrow. The IPad mini's screen ratio is superior.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I've found people with tiny hands (such as myself) like the size of the iPhone 5.
I have large hands, but I continually have to adjust how I'm holding the phone when I'm using it one-handed. Any larger, and I won't want to (which defeats the point of a telephone.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 06:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I've found people with tiny hands (such as myself) like the size of the iPhone 5.
Ditto.

I will NOT buy an iPhone that's bigger than the current 5(s).
I couldn't operate it with one hand, so it's definite no go.

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Dec 6, 2013, 06:56 PM
 
I'm not quite so dependent on entire one-handed operation; as long as I can handle calls one-handed, I'm okay; and I would suggest that it's slightly easier to arrange that on Android because of various GUI options.

For most uses I go two-handed anyway; you need two hands to type, so they are usually available.
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Dec 6, 2013, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I'm not quite so dependent on entire one-handed operation; as long as I can handle calls one-handed, I'm okay; and I would suggest that it's slightly easier to arrange that on Android because of various GUI options.

For most uses I go two-handed anyway; you need two hands to type, so they are usually available.
The obvious solution would be to give users the choice (I'm in the smaller is better camp, too). In the Android space, it seems that the smaller models have worse specs while Apple gives users no choice at all … yet.
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Dec 6, 2013, 08:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
you need two hands to type
No, you don't...
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, you don't...
Well, maybe he does...

-t
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 10:12 PM
 
Android has some excellent floating keyboards available that enable one handed typing even on the biggest of screens.
     
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Dec 6, 2013, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, you don't...
One-thumb typing is painfully slow. It's okay for dialling a keypad.....brutal for even a longish text or URL tho......
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Dec 7, 2013, 01:57 AM
 
95% of my posts here are typed with one thumb.
     
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Dec 7, 2013, 09:59 AM
 
1. Sounds brutal at like, what, 15 WPM?

2. Explains a lot

#obviousjoke
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Dec 7, 2013, 05:07 PM
 
Easily twice that. Closer to 45 when I'm on a tear. You need to trust the autocorrect.
     
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Dec 7, 2013, 06:44 PM
 
     
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Dec 7, 2013, 06:52 PM
 
You are of course welcome to check the results of your typing before you hit send.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 7, 2013, 06:56 PM
 
The main thing though, is it's a skill. You get good at it if you practice. I've been doing it since the iPhone 1, so I'm pretty friggin good at it by now. The real indicator of my ability is I can keep typing even if the screen locks-up due to CPU overload.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 7, 2013, 10:47 PM
 
Well, my favorite Android tablet isn't the Nexus 7 anymore, now it's the LG G-Pad. This sucker is awesome, it's the perfect size, IMO.

Comparo shot:


About the same weight, but 20% longer battery life and 25% better performance.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Dec 8, 2013, 01:55 PM
 

95% of the submissions on that sight are completely fake.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
Mac Elite
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Dec 8, 2013, 02:08 PM
 
The LG sure looks nice and the size is better than the N7.

But the processor is old and I just can't fall in love with LG's take on Android. It's as messy as Samsung's, if not worse. Also, LG has a terrible history of updating the OS, so you'll might well be stuck with 4.2 for the lifetime of the tablet.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 8, 2013, 06:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The LG sure looks nice and the size is better than the N7.

But the processor is old and I just can't fall in love with LG's take on Android. It's as messy as Samsung's, if not worse. Also, LG has a terrible history of updating the OS, so you'll might well be stuck with 4.2 for the lifetime of the tablet.
It's already been rooted and the BL unlocked, so I'm not too worried about updates, and the performance is actually a little better than the new N7, by ~10% on benchmarks. It's very "snappy". The LG's screen is the main draw however, it's truly fantastic, right up there with retina displays.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Dec 9, 2013, 08:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The main thing though, is it's a skill. You get good at it if you practice. I've been doing it since the iPhone 1, so I'm pretty friggin good at it by now. The real indicator of my ability is I can keep typing even if the screen locks-up due to CPU overload.
Speaking of which, my iPad 3 locks up a lot with iOS 7. It's pretty annoying.

I dunno...I type a little one-handed like all smartphone users, but I mean....unless you're doing something that requires the other hand, wouldn't turning the screen sideways effectively ~double your speed with two-thumb typing? Then why not do that?
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 9, 2013, 09:02 AM
 
I assumed that's what I wanted though the original OSes, but once it finally became available I realized the landscape keyboard killed way too much real estate.

It's also so I can flip people off.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 9, 2013, 10:06 AM
 
WRT my iPad 3, I sold it. Giving it to a friend would have been hurting them.

That's not the case with a 2.
     
Mac Elite
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Dec 9, 2013, 10:36 AM
 
Same issue with my iPad 3. The constant locking and slow downs are incredibly annoying. It'll go on ebay this week.

Still wondering what to replace it with, the new Air or a Mini and would like to hear opinions. I need at least one iOS device in the house.
     
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Dec 9, 2013, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
It's already been rooted and the BL unlocked, so I'm not too worried about updates, and the performance is actually a little better than the new N7, by ~10% on benchmarks. It's very "snappy". The LG's screen is the main draw however, it's truly fantastic, right up there with retina displays.
Ahh - I forgot you're a tinkerer.

It's getting good reviews all round. LG deserves more success than they currently enjoy, it's a good brand building good devices.
     
 
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