[FoRK] first impressions

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Fri Sep 23 07:21:43 PDT 2011

Galaxy Tab 10.1

It's like an ipad except with flash support, but don't try playing zynga 
facebook games like empires and allies or frontierville on it as despite 
having a dual core 1Ghz Tegra2 processor, flash is slow as snot.

The screen is gorgeous, though they have a default set of Samsung apps 
that get in the way.  They want you to add a bunch of buddies and do all 
your social networking through their own proprietary app.  The have one 
help notice that comes up about shaking the screen to resize.

Wifi keeps getting turned off after any period of time and takes up to 
30 seconds from when you grab the tablet to when you can actually get a 

The browser is some stripped down version of Chrome it looks like.  The 
address bar is hidden and likes to stay hidden.  Putting in a 
non-standard address to download a file:  http://xx.xx/y/myapp.apk it 
decides to do a google search instead of actually take you to the 
address.  I figure out that it is doing the download, but also doing the 
google search that I don't want.  I find the download along the bottom 
of the screen as a little grey down arrow.  I click on it, see the 
download, click on the download and the only thing I can do with the 
file is email it to someone as the action.

I decide to plug it into the computer and install my apk app using the 
USB.  I turn on usb debugging and developer options.  Nothing happens 
when I plug in the USB.  I try a different port, nothing.  I plug my 
iphone usb into the same slot to make sure it's working, it is.  I go to 
the samsung support site and after trying to figure out the exact model 
number and id of the device, I can download a USB driver for windows 7. 
  It loads, I install android sdk, android explorer, install my app and 
it works, but I'm a little upset that something as simple as a USB 
driver isn't in windows update or windows 7 x64.

The little tab of utility apps that pop up from the bottom seem random 
and not that useful.  The display overlaps with the default set of 
initial screen icons along the bottom.

I went to the android market, looked through the games.  They have all 
three angry birds, but only the free versions which I don't want as I 
can't stand the ads.  It says that there's only 667,000 downloads for 
the free version which seems kind of low given the 20 million players 
worldwide.  I decided to buy Fruit Ninja THD (Tegra HD).  First try, 
asks to use Google Checkout.  I go through a complicated process of 
putting all the credit card and address information in including having 
the keyboard overlap and not quite show what field you are supposed to 
be typing.  After all that, I get a greyed out credit card field on the 
final purchase screen with only a cancel button or the ability to add a 
new card.

I quit and try again, still greyed out.  I do add another card, go 
through the process again, now I have 3 greyed out cards and no purchases.

I try again on the 4th time, it crashes with a google.android 
marketplace error and asks me if I want to send the error in. They 
really, really don't want me to buy this game or any other paid app in 
the market.

While the hardware is neat, it's not quite ready for primetime.
greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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