This week, Google announced a new lineup of devices that would be running its Android OS, Jelly Bean version 4.2. Those new devices are a phone, the Nexus 4, and a 10-inch tablet, called the Nexus 10. I’ve had a chance to play with both devices, specifically the Nexus 10, and I was actually surprised with how the device has fit into my daily routine.
First, a little background on what type of devices that I use on a daily basis. I’m an iPhone guy and use an iPhone 5 daily and religiously, but I also carry the latest Galaxy Nexus. I’ve found that iOS still is the better phone operating system for me. However, when the Nexus 7 came out, I found that I used it way more than I ever used my iPad. Perhaps this could be a fluke, or maybe it’s because of the 7-inch form factor.
That’s until I picked up the Nexus 10 and realized that Android OS is, for me, the better “bigger screen” tablet experience. I have a first-generation iPad and never pick it up. In fact, I never use it for more than two hours a week. I’m usually on my computer or on my phone, and never had the need for a “middle” experience from a device. I was pretty sure that I’d never be a tablet person because of this, but alas, Jelly Bean 4.2 on a 10-inch tablet is just that good.
Don’t get me wrong, the tablet isn’t perfect, and definitely has some oddities, but overall, I think that the Android OS has made me a tablet person. If you’re really technical, and would like all of the details on the hardware guts in the device, head on over here to check that out.
I’m a Google user, meaning, I use Search, Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ for the most part. Clearly, those things aren’t as great on an Apple device with iOS…for reasons. I’m not the only one that uses Google products, so this won’t be a foreign concept.
I’m not really a games person. I’ve found when I use a tablet, it’s because I want to watch some YouTube videos, check my email, tweet a bit or go on Facebook. It’s all a lean-back experience, as you’d expect. However, I really don’t use a lot of apps and games, even when I did use my iPad. Perhaps this is weird, but it’s my personal flow.
I have a MacBook Pro and really enjoy using Mountain Lion. In fact, I think it’s the best desktop operating system ever built. However, I do use Chrome quite a bit, and since it syncs with all of my Android devices, it’s a rather enjoyable experience to open up a new piece of hardware and get started right away.
The Nexus 10 is a pretty standard-looking device at first glance. The first thing you’ll notice is the rounded edges and the fact that it has two speakers. That’s pretty sweet. The back of the device, which I’ll get to a bit later, is wonky. It looks odd, and certainly feels odd. However, the device is thinner than I expected it would be, and that’s really impressive.
The pixel density is impressive on the screen; again, not what I expected at all. This baby is big and clear.
Once you get it in your hands though, the rounded edges and feel are quite pleasant. However, all of that is quickly put to bed when you touch the back of the device. It has two different surfaces, a rubberized feel for the most part and then a plastic panel towards the top that protects some of its guts. I have no idea what Samsung and Google were thinking when designing the back of this device, but it’s a bit of a letdown. Not a dealbreaker by any stretch, though. I just find it to be odd.
The “smart case” that you can pick up has to snap into this weird little panel area, which again…it seems like an odd hardware choice.
Other than that, the thing is killer thin and is extremely light. I’ve found that using it for an hour or two is a pretty nice experience and it feels durable. So durable, that I don’t mind tossing it on the couch or coffee table without fear of it breaking into a million pieces. I can be pretty rough on devices and I’ve already nicked up my iPhone 5. Rugged is good in my opinion.
Like I suggested in the headline, I’m starting to think that Google’s Android operating system might be better suited for a tablet device. When it comes to using Android on an actual phone, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t grip for me. When I’m using my laptop, I tend to do everything that I need to do on it. My iPhone serves as a backup when I’m on the go, and the apps that I do use are really great on Apple’s OS. I haven’t had that experience on an Android phone yet.
Jelly Bean 4.2 is pretty impressive, more impressive than I’ve seen on any Android phone, but it really sings on a tablet devices, specifically the Nexus 10.
When I sit on my couch and use the Nexus 10, I tend to check email, flip through tweets, view Instagram photos, use Google+, troll Facebook and surf the web. All of these things are superior on this latest version of Android’s OS and on this device compared with my experience on the iPad. The front- and rear-facing cameras are unremarkable from the sense that I would never really use a tablet as a “camera.” However, the quality on the front-facing camera is pretty good for Hangouts.
What I didn’t think much of when it comes to tablet usage is editing documents, getting fully immersed in YouTube and doing heavy Google searching, but alas with Jelly Bean 4.2 and the Nexus 10, I have absolutely started doing all of these things on a tablet. Because of the Google Now product, I am now using it like I would suspect I’d have used Siri, if it ever gripped for me. I perform searches, ask for weather, check sports scores and do research on pieces or places to go on the weekend. Google Now is such an amazing integrated Google experience that I would not be surprised if it ends up being one of the most successful products that the company has ever shipped.
That’s saying a lot.
Docs And TV
Also, I’ve started using Google Drive a lot more — not to create documents mind you, but to review and tweak them after a long day of work. In addition, I find myself surfing through my YouTube subscriptions as if I’m surfing the TV channels, even though I can’t stand cable TV.
This tablet retails for $ 399, which is cheaper than the standard iPad. However, I’m not pitting one against the other. What I can say is this: If you are a Google account holder and Google product user, then you really should think about picking this device up. Sure, it’s not perfect, and I’m not thrilled that Samsung made the device.
I thought that Asus did a way better job with the look and feel of the Nexus 7 than Samsung did with this device. However, it’s not horrible; in fact it’s quite solid. The idea that Android’s OS might be better on a tablet than iOS might be jarring for you, and trust me, I surprised myself with this line of thinking. What I’m saying is that for my daily usage and lifestyle, this really is the case.
Do you want to wait for another 10-inch tablet with Android? Maybe, but it’s not going to get better than this until Google wises up and starts making its own hardware. Yes, it’s time. It’s time for Google to step up to the plate and control the entire experience of Android and hardware. Does that mean that other hardware manufacturers should get the shaft? Maybe not, but I think Apple’s #1 genius move is that it controls the hardware and software.
Apple has an advantage, but Google is right there on the cusp of something amazing. Maybe you don’t agree with my statement that Android has a leg up for the tablet experience, but it’s worth thinking about. Perhaps Mr. Brin can stop playing with glasses for a few months and help design a killer tablet. I’ll buy it, as long as it’s running Jelly Bean 4.2 OS or beyond.
It really is that good, and I’ll probably switch between it and the Nexus 7 when I’m not “wired in.”Related Posts:
We’re getting close. I can almost smell that new iPhone. But what else will we see at the event? There have been plenty of rumors leading up to Wednesday’s announcement, as is often the case with Apple functions, but divining the odds on how many of those will actually come true is a thorny undertaking. Here’s a high-level overview to get your betting pools started.The iPhone
The iPhone 5 is literally the overshadowing element of the event invite, and we’ll see it. If you bet against a new iPhone unveiling Wednesday, you should stay far away from Vegas. But what it’ll look like is more up in the air.
I provided a look at what you can expect from the iPhone 5 last week, but here’s the CliffsNotes version, along with probabilities:
- Bigger, 4-inch diagonal screen (very high)
- LTE (very high)
- Redesigned dock connector (high)
- New design with more metal and less glass (high)
- NFC (low to nil)
- New earbuds (medium)
- A6 processor (high)
That’s pretty much the whole picture, discounting some of the more out-there possibilities. Here’s one thing it definitely won’t have: a discounted, ad-supported version.iOS 6
This one’s coming. Apple telegraphed it way back at WWDC in June. Features are also already known, because Apple showed them off. Some highlights include a more knowledgeable Siri (though not necessarily a smarter one), system-level Facebook integration, call response features that allow you to answer inbound phone calls with canned or custom text messages, FaceTime over 3G (where carriers allow), Passbook, and more. All of these things are definitely coming, but Apple could always sneak a feature or two in there under the radar, though it isn’t very likely given the forensic level of attention paid to iOS 6 beta releases.iPad mini
Steve Jobs used to seem to hate the idea of a smaller iPad, but, lately, rumors around such a device have reached a fever pitch. Truth be told, it feels a lot like the atmosphere around the original iPad’s release, which was also long-rumored before it became a reality. Is one in the works? Yes. Is one taking the stage on Wednesday. Smart money says no.
An iPad mini is a marquee product, and the iPhone is a marquee product. It’s true that they probably won’t compete with one another in any essential way, but why split the spotlight when it makes far more sense to keep the mini in your pocket as a pre-holiday special? Let fans spend on the iPhone, recover slightly, and then scratch that gift-giving itch with a smaller, more affordable version of Apple’s best-selling tablet.
Plus the Apple blog-o-sphere has already declared separate events much more likely, with The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple giving the textual equivalent of a knowing link to John Gruber’s supposition.Facebook Integration For Mountain Lion
Apple said it was coming eventually, and the company showed it off at WWDC. Dates were set for fall, and it seems like issuing an update for OS X alongside Facebook coming to iOS makes sense. Just for the sake of symmetry. Or Apple could just as easily throw this one out quietly on its own, since it doesn’t really need the attention of an event stage. I’m 50/50 on this one.
That’s how I’m betting for Wednesday. Feel free to jump in with your own odds, or with anything else I might have missed.Related Posts:
The FCC has been more than a little eager to repurpose spectrum as wireless internet access takes off: white spaces and iDEN frequencies have already switched roles, and that’s not including the myriad of spectrum swaps. Add one more wireless variety to the list, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has confirmed his agency will vote on a proposal for incentive-based auctions of UHF spectrum. When the Commission meets next on September 28th, it will decide on whether or not to lure broadcasters into giving up the usually TV-focused space for the sake of data lovers everywhere. The freed-up airwaves in the proposal would mostly be unlicensed spectrum with “WiFi-like uses,” but at a much lower frequency than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands that WiFi needs today: as the first consistent, unlicensed spectrum at that range in the US, it could create opportunities for longer-ranged, free wireless that aren’t even on the table in 2012. Not that we have much of a choice in taking action today. Any accepted rules won’t be completely finalized until mid-2013, and the auction itself won’t take place until 2014. Still, the UHF plans foster dreams of more wireless for everyone — and we suspect that even one Mr. Yankovic wouldn’t mind giving up Channel 62 for a long-distance home network.
It’s with you every moment of every day. It reminds you of little things that you sometimes forget, like calling friends on their birthdays and picking up the dry cleaning. It sleeps by your side, resting when you rest and working when you work. It even talks back once in a while. But how well do you really know your iPhone?
[ See post to watch video ]
After months of watching friends and family use their iPhones and iPads, I realized most of them were missing out on a lot of features. I’ll walk you through 10 things you might not know your iPhone and iPad can do. Aficionados may know most of these, but typical users likely won’t.1. Directly Access Apps
If you’re like most people, you have your iPhone set to show some pop-up notifications. They might show up on the home screen when you get a Facebook notification or a text message, for instance, and even when the phone is locked and the screen is asleep. To open these messages, you don’t have to first swipe to unlock your phone and then open the app. As long as your device isn’t protected by a four-digit security code, swipe from left to right on the notification to open the app in which the message appeared. If you do use a code, you’ll be prompted to enter it after swiping the notification.2. Tap to Scroll Up
Give your pointer finger a rest from scrolling up, up, up to get back to the top of a page. Tap once on the status bar — where the time and battery life are displayed — at the top edge of the iPhone or iPad screen and you’ll jump up to the top. This works for Web sites, email, Contacts and many other apps.3. Keyboard Shortcuts
Tapping on a glass keyboard has its downsides, but a few shortcuts could ease the experience. Tap and hold the “Compose new message” button in Mail to automatically bring up all your saved email drafts. And rather than switching to the number keyboard and then switching back to the letter keyboard, tap and hold the “123” key, then drag it to a number to select it. When you lift your finger from the number, the letter keyboard will appear again.
When entering an email address, hold down the period key to see other address endings. Add emoticons to your keyboard by choosing Settings, General, Keyboard, International Keyboards, Add New Keyboard, Emoji. When entering a Web address in the browser, hold down the .com key to see alternate URL endings, like .org and .edu.
You can split the iPad’s on-screen keyboard in two so you can grasp the iPad with two hands and type with your thumbs. This is on by default, though you might not know it. (To check, go to Settings, General, Keyboard and Split Keyboard.) To see the split keyboard anytime you’re using the regular keyboard, spread your two thumbs from the center of the keyboard out. Or just tap and hold the keyboard icon (bottom right corner) and select Split. An Undock option also appears and this lets you move the keyboard up or down.4. Speed from App to App
The iPhone and iPad have many apps running in the background. There are shortcuts for jumping around apps without going to the home screen. Double tap the Home button (a physical button below the screen) to see a pop-up tray of apps and swipe to the left to scroll through them. Select one to jump to it. On the iPad, do this by placing four fingers on the screen and swiping all of them up at once. This and other multitask gestures are on by default on the iPad 2 and newest iPad. But you have to turn them on with the first-generation iPad by going to Settings, General, Multitask Gestures.5. Take Screenshots
Ever see something on your iPhone or iPad screen and wish you could save that image, but can’t figure out how? Press the Home button and the On/Off button (top right edge) simultaneously to take a screenshot of whatever you see on the device. You’ll hear the same sound as when you take a picture with the Camera app. You can find all of your screenshots stored in Camera Roll, along with your photos, and share them via email or social networks as you do regular photos.
Splitting the iPad’s on-screen keyboard in two lets you grasp the iPad with two hands and type with your thumbs. This is on by default — though you may not know it.6. Swipe to Search
Another way to quickly find apps on an iPhone or iPad is to swipe left to right from the home screen. This reveals a search box in which you can type the name of any app to jump right to it. This search also finds contacts, emails, calendar items and texts, as well as other things.7. Read Websites More Easily
Stop struggling to read overcrowded Web pages on the iPhone’s small screen. Instead, tap the Reader button, found in the URL bar at the top of a Web page, and you’ll see a much clearer, predominantly text version of the page. Even better: This view hides advertisements. It doesn’t work with all Web sites. This also works on the iPad.8. A Smarter Camera (iPhone)
If you’ve ever wished your iPhone camera had a physical shutter button, look no further. The phone’s volume up (+) button doubles as a shutter button whenever the Camera app is opened. This hard button feels sturdier all around, plus it makes it a cinch to take self-portraits or to tell strangers how to take a photo of you and your friends.
And speaking of handing your phone to strangers, don’t forget about the lock-screen shortcut for opening the Camera: Slide up the camera icon (found at the bottom right of the home screen) to access the Camera without unlocking the phone. You can do this with anyone’s phone, regardless of whether or not you know their password because it only opens the Camera app, locking you out of all other apps — and other photos and videos — on the phone. Just the photos or videos you take at that moment will be visible to you.9. Digital Picture Frame (iPad)
Put your iPad to work as a digital picture frame for a photo slide show. Tap the Picture Frame icon, which appears to the right of the slide-to-unlock bar on the lock screen.
If you own an iPad case, flip it into its stand-up position, place the iPad on a table, press the Picture Frame icon and walk away. Guests in your home will have to unlock the iPad to access other apps.
Photos can be pulled from all photos or specific albums, events or images of certain faces. Make these and other slide-show adjustments in Settings, Picture Frame.10. Mute or Screen Lock (iPad)
The same button on the right edge of your iPad that locks the screen in portrait or landscape mode can double as a mute button. This comes in handy if you find yourself frequently muting the iPad. Change this button’s default lock function by going into Settings, General, Use side switch to: Lock Rotation or Mute. By default, this button is on Lock Rotation. Another quick way to mute is by pulling up the multitask bar by double tapping Home (or using a four-finger swipe up), then swiping left-to-right to see a mute, as well as sliders for volume and screen brightness.
You can find more tips at Apple.com/iphone/tips.
Write to Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.Related Posts:
After the two sides give their closing arguments in the Apple versus Samsung trial tomorrow, the jury goes into deliberations. The nine person group will be given a shockingly complex worksheet, from which a verdict will be produced. The WSJ is reporting that the worksheet includes obtuse questions like, “What is the dollar amount that Samsung is entitled to receive from Apple for Samsung’s utility patent infringement claims on the ’516 and ’941 patents?,” etc.
Reading through the worksheet, which hypothetically could prove whether Samsung owes Apple $ 2.5 billion or whether Apple owns Samsung up to $ 399 million due to patent infringement, makes your brain hurt.
Aside from the patent jargon, what’s particularly brain numbing is that nine randomly chosen people who happen to live around the fabled “Silicon Valley” will be setting a precedent for the future of mobile device design and innovation through their (relatively) uninformed answers.
Ars Technica reports that the jury includes “an electrical engineer who worked in hard drives for over 35 years, a homemaker, a construction worker, a young unemployed man, an insurance agent, an ex-Navy avionics technician, a systems engineer, and a bike shop manager.”
Reuters is reporting that it’s composed of “a store operations manager for a cycling retailer, a systems engineer and a benefits and payroll manager who works with startups” in addition to an “insurance agent, an unemployed video game enthusiast and a project manager for wireless carrier AT&T.”
The gender breakdown is seven men and two women, and, presuming there’s no career overlap, we’ve got …
1. An electrical engineer
2. A homemaker
3. A construction worker
4. A young unemployed man who likes video games
5. An insurance agent
6. An ex-Navy avionics technician
7. A store operations manager for a cycling retailer
8. A project manager for wireless carrier AT&T
9. A benefits and payroll manager who works with startups
Sounds like an interesting and lovely bunch, but should they really be the people with the final word on such a complicated situation between two hugely successful and influential high-tech companies?
“I am worried we might have a seriously confused jury here,” presiding Judge Lucy Koh said, concerned. “I have trouble understanding this, and I have spent a little more time with this than they have.” Not to be tech elitist, but we actually cover the space and it’s actually pretty hard to digest for us as well.
If only there were a way we could actually have people who know about patent infringement making important decisions about patent infringement?
In case you missed it, nine random people in San Jose this week will decide the future of mobile device industrial design.— Fake Alexia (@alexia_tsotsis) August 21, 2012
But no, that would go against what the American judicial system is all about — Democracy. It’s why we call expert witnesses and don’t require experts to be part of the jury. But you only realize how absolutely risky and ridiculous it is when you feel a stake in how the court decision comes out, or ponder how strange it seems that an insurance agent will have a say on whether the Galaxy Tab 10.1 remains banned in the US.
I mean, I know plenty of insurance agents, and it’s certainly a noble career, but quiet honestly — really?
Sure, there are quite a few caveats: The jury’s decision needs to be unanimous, spanning dozens of devices, and there are apparently more than 700 questions on that worksheet. Also, no matter what decision is reached, both companies are expected to appeal.
Still, it’s a lot of power in the hands of randoms: If the jury penalizes Samsung for making their phones and tablets a copy of Apple’s then Samsung will need to find a new look. As will all other myriad Android people who are making iPhone-style phones. If they decide Samsung is okay, it’s open season on copycat devices.
Do we end up with the left side or the right side of that image up there? These nine people could decide.
Image via Cult of MacRelated Posts:
While we can’t say that we universally liked Dell’s first attempt at an Ultrabook, the XPS 13 we reviewed about three months ago, we can quite confidently say that it earned our respect. Here was a smartly styled, sophisticated machine free of stickers and bloatware from a company that, let’s be honest, has delivered its share of each over the years. That machine was far from perfect, but it showed a purity of vision in design that you couldn’t help but acknowledge.
So where do you go from there? Why, you go bigger of course. Meet the new Dell XPS 14, successor in name only to a model that went out of production over a year ago. It is, as you might have guessed, an inch larger than the XPS 13 and so has more room for ports and pixels — but there’s more to it than that. In some ways this feels like a more polished machine than the 13 that came before, and it’s certainly faster but it, too, is far from perfect. Join us for a joyous exploration of why.
Gallery: Dell XPS 14 review
Dish has been tranquil about facing a longer FCC review period for its planned LTE-based 4G network, and now we might have an idea as to why. The satellite TV giant is telling the FCC that it only expects coverage to reach up to 60 million potential customers “within four years,” or about 2016 — six years after MetroPCS and Verizon first flicked their respective 4G switches. This is also assuming that the 3GPP cellular standards group clears the AWS-4 frequency band for LTE use. There’s speculation that Dish is giving the extra time so that it can sell the spectrum later, but we’d take the safe road and assume Dish is serious. After all, AT&T wouldn’t be trying to set tough conditions for Dish’s LTE if it didn’t think there was possibly significant competition on the way.
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Question by M,: What might be the salary range for Robotics Engineer after completing Master degree and as a fresher in UK? I have a Bachelor degree in Mechatronics. I’m going to complete Master’s in Robotics and Automation. What type of organisations can provide me with a high pay job as i’m being a fresher in UK?
Answer by budding authorI don’t know if you are thinking about a job in the UK, or even where you originate from. But I have worked on Instrument control systems all my life, based in the UK and worked mainly on contracts overseas. Now this may appear to be a strange reply but most of my contracts came from ‘The Daily Telegraph’ UK news paper. And the jobs are mainly advertised every Thursday! For your type of work look under ‘Engineering’, but just to make sure read the lot. Even if you don’t find anything suitable it will give you lots of ideas, and only cost a few pennies. Off the top of my head I would guess if you have your Masters degree , and no actual ‘Field’ experience you should expect to be on around £25k for your first year, but this will rapidly rise as you gain more ‘Field’ experience! Good luck to you whatever happens, and don’t forget to buy that news paper, I am not on any commission from them!!!
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!Related Posts:
The new iPad, if rumors are to be believed, has an extremely high-resolution screen — better than most monitors and packed into a quarter of the display space. The result? iPhone 4-like Retina goodness. But it’s actually kind of hard to visualize this, since most pixel-dense displays are small, and we’re used to a certain level of aliasing on our bigger displays.
Game developer Pixels on Toast has done the work of preparing their upcoming game Food Run to the expected 2048×1536 resolution. The results may help you get into your head just how many pixels we’re talking about here.
They did what most devs will want to do: go back to the vector-based source and re-render from that. Upscaling and cleaning up the art with fancy filters is only a temporary solution. If you’re doing 2D art these days and aren’t specifically looking for a pixelated look, you likely do it in a scalable vector form. Because then you can easily migrate from the above left to the above right. And remember, these pixels are packed into a very small amount of space compared with how they are displayed on your monitor.
The devs also talk about some of the likely side effects of the resolution increase. The GPU must be updated, of course. And the size limit for games is going to have to be raised as well to accommodate the higher-fidelity assets.
As far as the actual look, it’s kind of a matter of taste. Having grown up in the era of big pixels and art that more insinuated what it was instead of actually resembling it, I have a healthy nostalgia for the old style. Arcade games like Metal Slug typified an entire era and are impressive to this day, while personally I find the clean, machined edges of the graphics above (and in many other modern 2D games) to be a little over-polished. There is such a thing as too much detail. But mine is a perspective that was born in hardware limitations and is probably on its way out.
3D games will see a similar improvement in quality, and this level of resolution essentially obsoletes antialiasing filters. Infinity Blade, here I come. And, as previously discussed, the implications of high pixel density for text and photos are pretty serious. We’ll find out just how serious on the 7th.