Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spec Comparisons

Spec Comparison: New iPad vs. Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. Kindle Fire, article.

I haven't actually read the article. I just mention it because it made me think of this: spec comparisons, as Apple computer well knows, are pretty meaningless. What matters is the experience. And at the very least, for direct hardware comparisons to make much sense ("double core" vs "quad core" etc), the two devices really have to run the same OS and apps.
Really well done software, as we saw on the original iPad, can make a relatively weak device seem dang fast (for instance it avoided any multitasking), and vice versa, as many people saw for instance when they updated to Windows Vista, and it turned out it needed not only new, but pretty muscular machines to run decently. And sometimes a system extension or even just a bad app can slow down a whole machine dramatically.

By the way, in a new twist, I find myself, after just one day's study, to be uninterested in reading much more about the New iPad. I researched it intensely the day it came out, I made my decision, I wanted it, I ordered it, I feel pretty certain about that it will work well for me and my purposes, I don't think there are any more data I'm missing about it, and so I'm not so interested in gathering them, or in reading up on anybody else's opinions about it. (Well, in friendly talk here, sure, but I'm not looking up any columnists or such.)

It has been that way for a few years with Macs. I guess the main turning point was when the Intel Macs came out, and for the first time it became possible to get a machine which had the speed I wanted, at the same time as it was quiet enough to not frazzle my nerves. (the G5 tower could get real dang noisy when it got hot.) Before that, I used two machines, a Power Mac tower for production (image processing etc), and a laptop or iMac for web and email. But since then it has pretty much just worked the way I wanted (since my first computer), and a lot of my interest in Mac sites faded.


Timo Lehtinen said...

(for instance it avoided any multitasking)

iOS, both in the iPhone and iPad, has been multitasking from day one. And not just co-operative multitasking in the style of the Classic Mac OS, but full pre-emptive multitasking.

If this was not the case, the iPhone couldn't receive phone calls (while you are running some other app), and the iPad could not print. Among many other things.

In fact, the way Unix (which iOS is a version of) is designed, it would be impossible to turn it into a single tasking operating system. For you create a new process any time you start anything in the system.

I don't have an iPad, but I'm sure there's some utility which allows you to obtain a list of the background processes currently running on the system. And the same for iPhone.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, that is interesting data.

It must be limited, though, since on the iPad you still can't, for example, leave one app processing a big picture, and come back to it later and it's done. The app stop doing anything when you leave. With a few exceptions, like downloading or playing music.

Another thing is that this is not an issue, so far as I can see. On the desktop computer, I do want to do other things while it's working on a bunch of pictures in the background, but I don't use the iPad that way.

Timo Lehtinen said...

It's a design decision in the user interface. By allowing only one app to be used at a time, they could let go of many things in the Mac UI related to the management of running apps. Also, they could make apps open full screen, without the problem of the window obstructing the dock, menu bar etc.

Personally, I think they made the right choice in abandoning the overlapping application windows idea.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah, it'd probably get too cramped and busy on a handheld device.