Is Android mature enough to replicate the Tablet PC experience?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Rommie2k6, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Rommie2k6

    Rommie2k6 Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I would like to start a discussion on whether the Android ecosystem is mature enough to replace Windows 7. The low price of Android tablets relative to proper x86 tablets is very enticing and I am wondering if Android tablets can replace Windows 7 for inking purposes. As I am not all that familiar with Android apps, I hope those who have more experience will chime in and make the corrections.

    Here's the list of software that Android needs to replicate for a full Tablet PC experience:

    Windows Journal
    Your most basic inking program in Windows. I received recommendations for Android apps - Lecturenotes and Quill. After testing them on my phone, they seem to replicate Windows Journal pretty well. The only ink function that is missing is the ability to lasso a bunch of ink and move them. In addition, there is no "Print to Quill/Lecturenotes" feature, like how one can print to Windows Journal.

    Microsoft OneNote
    The closest app in the Android ecosystem I could find was MobileNoter. They can read .one files directly. For some reason, I can't seem to create a new .one file (which is weird). There is no "Print to MobileNoter" functionality and the lasso feature is also missing. I do not think MobileNoter can do a search across all notebooks like OneNote either...

    PDF Annotation
    The best PDF annotator in Android appears to be ezPDF. It does have all the rudimentary tools necessary and the inking experience was ok.

    Dropbox
    My gripe with the Android version of Dropbox is that there is no real-time sync. However, I stumbled across Dropsync that seems to fix this issue.

    Overall, my impression of the Android ecosystem is that it is still not mature enough to replicate a full Tablet PC experience. Major deficiencies include the inability to digitally print documents (i.e. Print to OneNote) and the lasso feature is missing in many applications.
     
  2. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    116
    An interesting app similar to OneNote/Journal is Papyrus Beta. Sadly my Android device (Smartphone) isn't supported, so I couldn't test it.

    PDF Annotation can be done in Acrobat, too.

    I think all those apps get a huge improvement with Galaxy Note 10.1. On the one hand because it contains tons of Samsung specific apps like their whole pre-installed SPen suite (which is pretty similar to OneNote and available for the Galaxy Note smartphone already), and because then people are able to develop for Wacom hardware properly.

    As a much bigger drawback do I see the lack of easy multi-tasking. The Galaxy Note should allow two apps beneath each other, else you're always forced to switch between them and hope that Android doesn't close the app in the background. With fullscreen apps only you can't be productive. Whenever you want to copy informations from one app to another one it's a hassle. Maybe I'm alone with that opinion, because Microsoft thinks different with their Metro fullscreen only apps, a no-go for me.

    What do you mean with print documents? Such note taking apps support exporting and sharing. At least that's what I know from the Galaxy Note S-Pen apps.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  3. Rommie2k6

    Rommie2k6 Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    31
    In Windows you can print anything to Journal or OneNote then do the annotations there. That is what I meant by "digital printing".
     
  4. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    172
    Trophy Points:
    81
    I don't think Android is ready yet to replace the Desktop OS majority of businesses, schools and individuals use now-a-days.

    One more thing you need to consider is that there isn't much developer attention in Android Tablet apps. The Android phone market is growing and surpassing iOS, but in the HoneyComb environment, my guess is that there are less than 1,000 apps for that platform. The gap is being closed with ICS, but still the developers need to tweak their coding to accommodate a larger screen. For instance, the android version of SketchBook Pro has no attention from the developers at all. Many guys that have purchased the app claim that they have received emails from AutoDesk stating that they have no plans in continuing supporting the app for that Platform. The iOS version of that app on the other hand has all the attention from AutoDesk, they updated it regularly (the Android version has not been updated since January 2012), and the features almost mimic those of the full windows OS version.

    But there are some tablets that get quite close. I have the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet, and it has many ports and pen input - really nice tablet. But support for apps is not there...

    Just MHO,

    Ron
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    116
    On Android tablets with pen support it got solved with the screenshot feature. You make a snapshot and annotate it later.
    Else it's hard to implement a similar feature, because no app has a printing option :)


    Tablet apps on Android:
    Yes, Android tablets are a minority compared to iPads, thus Android tablets don't get such a huge attention from tablet developers.

    On the other hand more powerful tablet apps are available for Android, because they are allowed but forbidden on iOS, like IDEs with compilers. So for a developer Android is a dream.

    Now, with the introduction of the Google Nexus tablet, which is really low priced but still powerful, Android tablets might become more interseting.

    The statement of Autodesk is odd, because Android tablets are the only ones with a pen right now (even if only few with pens are available right now), so I doubt that this statement is valid in the long term.

    However, to answer the initial question: No mobile OS is mature enough to replicate a tablet PC experience right now. Android allows you to act more freely like you're used from Windows XP/7. iOS has the better tablet apps. But both fall short in annotating, note taking and interacting between different apps.
     
  6. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes Received:
    385
    Trophy Points:
    101
    It maybe an statement from Autodesk, but last I checked with my Thinkpad Tablet the digitizer is not really support with their apps.

    I really like my Thinkpad Tablet for it's size, weight and features, but it seems like the pen enabled device like the Surface may have me looking to switch when the time comes. That said, I never really used a Windows based tablet pc for an extended period of time, but my Thinkpad is well featured enough to be solid alternative for the casual user who wants/needs a pen. There are a few minor downsides, like the lack of NTFS support when plugging in an external to the USB port(read it's related to licensing), but something I think most can work with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  7. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    172
    Trophy Points:
    81
    @ Frank: Actually there are two more tablets that have nTrig pens: one is the HTC Flyer and the other one is form HTC as well but the name scapes me right now. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is expected soon and from discussions around it will have a Wacom pen.

    @ bloodycape. I don't have experience with other apps from AutoDesk in the Android arena (there aren't much, as I said, they like to kiss iButts); but SketchBook pro android version supports pen pressure. It is a settings in the preference section that enables pen input. But the app is not supported at all. I'm not lying, check the last update date on the Google Play page, you'll see January 2012 for current version 2.1.0, the iPad app has had dozens of updates since then, they're at 2.5.3 (I think; I have an iPad as well) - light years ahead IMO. There's lots of rage concerning this app at getsatisfaction.com/sketchbook and the adobe forums.

    Just sad as these type of tablet have lots of potential; far more productive and powerful than an iPad. Currently, I think that the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is a pretty close replacement for a laptop - it has a myriad of ports (USBs, HDMI, Card Reader), keyboard accessories, you can plug a mouse and hard drive and survive couple hours despite the additional power packed in this lil slate. Too bad the tab has its issues with power buttons and other areas...

    I'm a big fan of the smoothness and hundreds of thousand of options in apps with iOS, but I'm impressed with the hardware Android Machines currently possess.

    Honestly, I'm a bit concerned about the future for Android Tablets as well. Window 8 is coming out and I don't think there was enough time for Android Tablets to mature in the market. You see, iOS was seen as content consumption OS, and Android fills the gap with content creation. However, Microsoft is marketing the new OS as content creation and content consumption - doesn't look to good for Android tablet (the way I see it); android phones will be pretty solid I believe.

    Ron
     
  8. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes Received:
    385
    Trophy Points:
    101
    I don't see why Android tablets would not mature, seeing as there will be a few rage of sizes, which Windows 8 tablets may not come it. I could see Android thriving in the 8in and under market with devices like the Kindle, Flyer, and newly announced Nexus 7. I don't think we will be seeing Windows 8 tablets, RT or otherwise in device 8in or under, partly because of the screen res requirements as I haven't seen a device in the 7in - under 9in to meet that requirement. That were I think Android could flourish, where W8 and the iPad will try to battle for the 10in tablet market space.
     
Loading...

Share This Page