Thursday, December 20, 2012

Two fun tablet stands


It looks to me like TwoHands (apart from being more "grown-up") is more flexible re tablet size. Though I'm not sure how the monkey works. It looks like it's not quite as flexible re width as the other one, but they state that it can hold large tablets horizontally or vertically, and small tablets horizontally. Maybe the arms bend. 

Note that both can give different angles depending on how high you place the grip. (You slide the whole thing up or down.) 

New low price levels for tablets

Wow, that went fast! I was in my local PC store last night, and looked over their tablets. They had about five different brands on display (no iPads, they used to have those prominently, I'm guessing they're sold out), and all of them were at or under £200! (Which means similar numbers in $ in the US, or slightly above). This was Nexus, and Samsung Galaxy, as well as a couple of less known brands.

This is impressive, it was only a few months ago the Nexus Seven broke all rules by being a quality 7-inch tablet and selling for only 200. (Well, that's disregarding the Kindle Fire, but that's a crippled tablet unless you hack it.) And now suddenly they all are at this level, which is not far from half of the typical price half a year ago.

To be sure this is a bit ahead of the natural price development, since Amazon and Google has started a real price war by selling their tablets at cost, not making a cent on them unless the customer spends money in their store on the tablet.

Apple is actually the only brand I know of which is not knuckling under, so far holding the iPad Mini at over 300. But they have a unique and uniquely beloved interface and digital wares ecosystem, so they still manage to be around the number 1 tablet on the market.

It has to be tough for brands like Samsung, they are already losing money on big TVs, now the time has come for tablets too? But they can't just stand their ground, the battle is on for future market share, and 'everything' is at stake.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Walmart offer

It seems Walmart is having a good in-store offer on iPads and iPhones.

Nexus 10, and using text-to-speech

Update: It's a bit startling, but I realize that if push came to shove, and the Kindle for iPad app got text-to-speech, I might just be able to make do with only the iPad Mini for everything! Virtually. It's perfect for all kinds of reading, and the backlight would be less of an issue if it could read aloud most books. 

Google Nexus 10 Tablet: First Impressions, article.

It seems everybody is as impressed with this one as they were by the Nexus Seven. Boiled down, I'd say that it sounds like hardware-wise, it's as good as the iPad, and the Android interface is improving. And it's cheaper than the iPad, maybe $80 cheaper. (Google is selling it at cost, hoping it'll be a loss leader for future market share.)

The one downfall might be that too few apps are still optimized for tablets and don't utilize the large screen. I'm actually amazed, we've had Android tablets for a couple of years now, what's taking the developers so long? iPad apps came in like an avalanche when it came out.

I was curious about Android tablets for a while, and I have a couple. But I don't know that I'll buy any more, because while they are not bad devices, I'm not as comfortable with them as iOS and iOS apps, and I like iTunes video market better, where I can buy instead of renting (I hate renting since I often don't finish things at once).

I am really comfortable with the two iPad sizes and their features, and with my Kindle Paperwhite for long reading. It will take a killer feature to get me to really want something else.

I actually have the Kindle Fire HD because of such a killer feature: it reads Kindle books aloud for me, and it does a great job, much better than the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard). It's great for when you need to do something else at the same time, walking or working. Or relaxing, I find I can relax much more lying fully down in a near-dark room listening to a book than I can when I need light and to hold a device up, and to focus my eyes and brain on reading and decoding letters.

I saw two young reviewers reviewing the Fire HD on YouTube, and they hopped right past the text-to-speech feature with the comment that it was probably only good for when you didn't know how to pronounce a word... Such a lack of vision!

I really hope good text-to-speech will come to the Kindle app for iPad, and to other iPad apps.