Size Matters. Phablets Don’t. Hmmm


According to Flurry’s data anyway …

I got hooked on the Note in a quick test at the office and bought the Note II soon thereafter. The larger format is amazing for consumption of content which I do somewhat continuously. In fact the Note II has tabled my desire for a tablet as another screen to carry / use. I’ve got access to the iPad 3, Mini and Nexus 7, but prefer to keep it all going on the Note II.

I’m really looking forward to the Galaxy S IV which will be at 5″ so smaller, but with an even higher resolution display. My guess is that the format will be ideal – highly pocketable + extremely powerful with a fantastic display for any type of content.

Anyway looks like Phablets even as many as have been sold are still low in total volume. Perhaps it’s just one of those things you have to use to believe.

on Phablets


Terrible name … but the 5+ inch screen form factor is actually pretty awesome.  I’ve been using a Galaxy Note since the end of last week and I have to say I love it.  The size does take some getting used to and there are definitely moments where single-hand use can be a challenge though the benefits are clear.  It’s just easier to deal with the content on screen – easier on the eyes and in some cases a richer experience as well given you get some tablet-like advantages in landscape mode.

In my use, I’ve really let the iPad Mini I’ve also been testing sit on the sidelines and to be perfectly honest I haven’t felt the need to use my iPhone much either.  This larger phone form is starting to make me realize I could actually become a single phone guy.  Maybe.

Techcrunch has two worthy reads:

Analyst: 5-Inch+ Phones Will More Than Double Marketshare In 2013 — 60M Incoming, Up 136%

Phablets Are The New Normal

Quartz also had a great read recently – Apple refuses to make the one mobile device taking over the world—but not for long

I’m definitely convinced this is a real sub-category, if not a developing category of smartphones. My perception is that I can do even more with the device which makes me want to keep using it … and use it more.

Nexus 7 initial thoughts

So it’s day one with the new Nexus 7 tablet and this thing is quite nice. It feels great in hand and is quite easy to type on as well as read on – something expect to do a ton.  The size is really nice and surprisingly comfortable considering I’m used to a combination of the iPhone, iPad and Galaxy Nexus.

I haven’t put this thing to the test on any level. A first day is always about really getting started bug thanks to how android syncs that really takes much shorter than expected.  A couple of things I know are missing like a rear side camera and cellular data. One thing that’s unexpectedly mossing though is the longer press shortcuts on the keyboard to quickly get numbers without shift. The keyboard is great otherwise and I’m happily tapping this out. Jelly Bean and the hardware are quite responsive and the 7 feels much snappier than my Nexus which is also now running Jelly Bean. In fact the 7 is amazingly fluid! If you have not experienced Android first hand you might not be familiar with how you can move through applications. With the Nexis 7 this is a certain snap to it that’s fun to see in action.

The Nexus 7 has a gorgeous screen and the few YouTube HD videos I’ve seen looked fantastic. I’m looking forward to some more and longer form content as well. The size is also something that is comfortable. One or two hands are comfortable as are portrait and landscape though I’ve been about 90% portrait so far.

I’m really just getting started here but expect things to improve over time as I get my basic daily flow down.

iPad offers a clean slate


What is the iPad?

On the surface, the iPad is a larger iPod Touch.  What it represents however, is an opportunity for considerably more.  While tablets have been tried many times and failed, Apple is leading the curve of thinking with a very new approach that solves against emerging consumer technology needs.  Instead of taking the failed routes of the past and forcing a desktop computing metaphor into a touch-based interface, Apple has instead evolved the mobile phone experience developed for the iPhone into a broader experience.

It’s easy to see the form factor and initial core apps as just larger format iPod apps, but the extra speed, enhanced multi-touch controls, 10-hour battery and larger size reveal the potential for Apple to extend into a few possible areas.  All day connected access in an ultralight and slim form factor is very strong base on which to build.  As much as we tend to use our iPhones now the experience will only evolve substantially through a more immersive and engaging platform like the iPad.  Size matters.

Apple has clearly covered their core mobile applications, but provided all the cues on how to enhance applications from the iPhone into the iPad format.  Using the new enhanced gesture controls and UI components a standard for handheld computing can quickly and consistently evolve.  The core suite of multimedia functions combined with an enhanced (larger & faster) browsing experience and the iTunes Store ecosystem for content delivery and management make for a robust out of the box experience.  In typical fashion, Apple has thought through the entire user experience.

With iBooks, the iPad handily defeats the Kindle DX even with fewer launch titles.  The recently announced Kindle API will have to combat the inertia from what Apple has already earned with 140,000 (compatible) applications.  Apple’s battery life (claim) removes the perceived limitation of color screen ebook readers.  The lower than expected screen resolution and pixel density may have some eye-strain impact, but we will have to wait and see if there are any true complaints or issues.

On first glance the lack of both a 16×9 format screen and an HD output may seem like critical oversights, but seeing how Apple is crafting a new category, it’s easy to see why they are actually very smart choices.  The iPad’s Pixel-doubling screen technology enables the vast library of existing iPhone apps to work automatically and why would we want to play HD video from the iPad to an HDTV, when it’s most likely going to remain in our hands for multi-screen consumption.

Pricing is very competitive and considering this is likely to be a 3rd mobile device following a phone and laptop, it needs to be.  Apple announced that all iPads will be sold unlocked unlike the iPhone, so regardless of whether there’s a carrier deal in place, there’s little risk for an international purchase.

What’s particularly interesting for the iPad is what lies ahead.  A new category means the opportunity for new use cases.  Many companies have envisioned how the digital home or office will evolve and Apple has provided a clean slate on which to ponder new opportunities.

TechCrunch Crunchpad looks great but …

TechCrunch has taken a considerable next step in the development of their web tablet concept revealed earlier this summer. As you can see in this video it’s actually quite functional, quick and looks pretty nice.

Assuming they develop this device further, and that’s a big if at this point, it may end up as a ‘tweener which is not a good thing for CE devices. The netbook market and this tablet have massive overlap both in function and price. For the $299 price you can get a very capable netbook that offers a considerable amount of capablity through a real keyboard. The screen resolution on the CrunchPad (as it’s being called) is higher than any netbook 1024×768 (pages fit without scrolling) and it’s also 12″ which makes it larger too. Weight seems comparable in it’s current proto state to the 10″ EeePC.

What the CrunchPad seeks to do it apparently does it quite well. I thought the performance in page loading and video playbook looks awesome! It tends to takes a higher end netbook to do the same stuff at that speed… Coming back to the keyboard though I think being able to tap out email and IM is really important for people – let alone posting to blogs, Facebook and other social sites. On screen tapping is not going to be very fun …