This weekend I finally decided to de-jailbreak my iPad 2 and get iOS 6 onto it. A dumb idea, as it turns out, as this de-jailbreaking makes the iPad even more inconvenient. It’s not that the Jailbreak made it so much better, but it offered a few features like the “Quick Settings” in the Notification area, that are really missing once you have ever had them. (In fact, I miss them even more, as I disabled 3G before flashing using these settings, and now can’t enable it again).
Lately, I like my hacked Nook Simple Touch a lot more as a tablet than my iPad. It’s not only significantly smaller and lighter, the smaller size is still a definite improvement over a smartphone. And on Android, you are just so much more free, you can use simple stuff like a file manager to get your stuff on and off the device. That’s the great thing about Android: In most cases, you’ll find a work around around stupid restrictions imposed on you by the manufacturer that is rather simple.
A few years ago there was no such thing as hardware that was co-branded by Google – as Google was just a service provider in the internet, this made sense. It all started with Android and the so called Google Experience Devices. Then, in early 2010, Google launched the Nexus One, an HTC made smartphone.
As of now, Google has 5 main devices out there, 3 for Android, two Chromebooks: The LG made Nexus 4 smartphone (which replaces the Samsung made Galaxy Nexus), the ASUS made Nexus 7, the Samsung made Nexus 10 (which not only features Samsungs latest SoC, the Exynos 5250 but also a 300PPI screen), the Series 3 Chromebook, running the same ARM chip as the Nexus 10 and the Chromebook 550, running a dual core Celeron chip.
To me, two of these devices are particulary interesting: The very popular $ 199/ € 199 Nexus 7 and the ARM powered Chromebook.
This should not imply that I am not interested into the Nexus 4, which has been critized for being to little of an improvement about its Samsung made predecessor, as it lacks LTE. For me, living in Germany, where LTE is just starting and thus not really affordable and where there are quite acceptable 3,5G HSPA networks available, the lack of LTE is not a killer. It’s just that I really got used to having a dual SIM phone (the Jiayu G2, which I still like a lot, even though the glass unfortunately broke), and don’t want to switch back, as it would cost me extra money for about 10 months – my next smartphone will be based around the Mediatek MT6589 SoC, a quadcore ARM Cortex A7 / Power VR SGX 544 chip – the great thing about these chinese phones is not only their relatively low price, but also the not too customized, mostly pure Android these devices run.
(If you want to buy a good dual SIM phone without importing it, the Alcatel OT 997 Ultra seems to be a good choice, btw).
Same goes for the Nexus 10, which seems to be a great device, too – only Android still lacks in real great tablet apps (compared to the Apple iPad), and 10,1“ 16:10 is just to large for me.
The Nexus 7, now available in an 3G flavour, too, is a compelling device, likely the best choice in 7“ tablets out there – talking of the OOTB experience. It lacks a video out and extendable storage – but hey, does this really matter that much? While I am a huge fan of microSD storage and HDMI out I must admit that I almost never use these – I don’t even have an miniHDMI cable, and the microSD in my phone is almost empty because I was to lazy to fill it up with my music. Now why a 7 inch tablet? Well, size does matter, my Nook Simple Touch tought me that, as size was the main factor making it almost abandon my iPad for some time.
Then the Chromebook. Why the hell would anyone want such a thing as this chromebook you may ask. Well, typing on smartphones, tablets and netbooks sucks, and I don’t want to bring my Notebook with me all the time, as it is still my “digital hub” and thus far to valuable to be accidentely dropped in the subway. And there is another thing with this thing: It has no fan, no harddrive – and an OS which is foolproof. Plus, hackers are already working on porting classic GNU/Linux distributions on this thing, making it basically a full ARM-powered computer, that has a great keyboard and is still light, portable and cheap. And I am sure that someone will port over Android, too. Sure: If this had a touchscreen, it would be even greater, for sure – but at USD 249 (and hopefully EUR 249) you can’t expect too much, right? Exspecially if you really feel the need for a device to hammer in texts on the go…
So these are the Google devices that are on my “wish list”. What do you think?
Google has made the Chromebook more affordable recently, making it the first mass market ARM Cortex A15 device. I will try to get one (and explain why later), but here is a really great commercial.