Jun. 17th, 2011

When I picked up the original Galaxy Tab on deep discount I stopped using my iPad because the Tab is significantly lighter, smaller, and more convenient for general mobile use.

But a few days ago I re-charged the iPad, bought a book from the iBook store -- something I've not done previously, on the grounds of not wanting to be locked in to using only Apple devices to read, but this was acceptably cheap and disposable -- and yeah, the purchase experience is about as smooth as you would expect from Apple.

Having had the two for a fair while now -- the iPad for about ten months, the Tab for three -- I have a few conclusions:

  1. The iPad is a nicer overall tablet experience. The hardware is slicker, the battery lasts longer, and many applications are explicitly supporting the larger display. iPhone apps work acceptably, too.
  2. The Tab is a much better portable. It'll fit in a large-ish coat pocket with no trouble, and it's the sort of thing you can pull out while waiting at a tram stop to check email or do a little reading, much as you might with a mobile phone.
  3. Android 2.x works okay on a 7" display, and all the apps I've tried have been fine, but very few are really intended to run on such a large screen. This will presumably get better with 3.x and 4.x.
  4. Comparing what's currently available, even Android 2.2 is a more natural multi-tasking platform than iOS 4.3. This will likely change once iOS 5 is released, though Android does allow rather more background functionality if you want or need it.

Removing the iPad from the leather case I bought for it, it stops looking like a clunky old beast and goes back to the "wow, this is a really nice bit of kit!" category.
A fair while back I gave up on trying to use my Bluetooth headset with the stock HTC Desire build of Android. Then two weeks ago I gave it another bash, and figured out how to make it work reliably.

The basic issue, it turns out, is that the HTC ROM takes much longer to detect and then use the headset, and you must get the order right. Headset powered on first, then enable Bluetooth on the phone, then wait for it to detect the headset, then wait a little longer until you hear a tiny bit of static on the headset, and finally you'll have calls routed to it.

The process takes about a minute, compared to doing the same on other ROMs on the same phone. With CM7 or Oxygen this process is much faster and you can switch on BT or the headset first and it doesn't make much difference.

Disabling this after your call also has to be done correctly. Turn BT off on the phone, wait until the "Headset disconnected" message appears, then turn the headset off. If you don't get it right I've found my Desire sometimes reboots...

I did report this to HTC support a while back but they don't really give a damn.

Now, Skype... The current version of Skype running on the current stock ROM works, mostly, except for one "small" detail: when you trigger the proximity sensor to switch the screen off, then try to get the screen back, the Skype call screen goes black and stays that way until the call is disconnected by the other end. At that point it'll go back to the dialler.

Reported this one to Skype, and they cared even less than HTC. At least HTC could be bothered with more than a canned response which indicated they hadn't even read the message...


Abort, Rephrase, Ignore?

October 2011

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