In a previous post, I gave my impressions on Android on tablets based on my experience with the pre-release Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Android 3.0. The final version has come out, along with the all-important Android 3.1 update. So how do things look now?
- The time zone issue has been resolved. I can now set the time and date without formatting the device.
- The word “phone” has been cleaned out, and I see “tablet” as expected.
- The worst Chrome rendering issues have been resolved.
Unfortunately, the worst problem, jumpy and unresponsive scrolling, still exists. This is of course a comparison against iOS, but the different is substantial. On iOS you don’t even notice you’re scrolling. On the Galaxy Tab, it’s like turning pages in a book that are slightly stuck together: irritating.
Google handed out a stack of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets at Google I/O 2011, and just like last year, I’m not impressed with Android. I got my first iPhone from a contest, and I’ve never been a fan of iTunes, but iOS is so much more user-friendly and refined. The experience has improved from my tests with last year’s Evo giveaway (wow, what a dud), but still not there. Here are some of the highlights:
- If you set “Network preferred” (or similar) to allow the device to set the time/time zone automatically during the initial setup, YOU CANNOT change the time zone manually without a factory reset!?!
- The device has a dual core processor, yet scrolling is less-than-refined and touch input seems slow, or at least not as responsive as iOS.
- Tablet-specific: The OS states “phone” in many places. For example, when you hold the power button, you get a “Phone options” dialog. I know I saw similar wording elsewhere, too.
- The device has two cameras, microphones, and such, and yet there is no Google Voice application available!
- Chrome has horrendous rendering issues when you scroll longer pages. I need to zoom in/out to get it to render the rest of the page.
Yes, yes. The device isn’t even on sale yet, but these issues seem to have more to do with the Android OS than the device.
The best feature so far has been the cloud/Google account integration for backing up settings (all the apps I’d installed got automatically reinstalled after the factory reset to get the damn clock to show the right time), syncing with Chrome and other Google services.