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  • migfig - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    And your closing statement for TouchWiz on Honeycomb is about Appple? smh Reply
  • zeagus - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I think it's a valid point. The only competition is Apple, and the ending thought, though perhaps strangely structured is that the author hopes this helps Android devs to be able to do amazing things to compete and to keep the level of competition high so we, as consumers win. They need to do something, since the numbers backtracking game shows that something like 964 of every 1000 tablet pageviews on the web is viewed from an iPad. Reply
  • amf66 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Did you even read the last paragraph? It's about how competition is good and how he hopes that innovation in Android will force Apple to innovate as well.

    Lurk moar.
    Reply
  • FlyBri - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    TouchWiz is not the first skinned Honeycomb experience...the Asus Transformer had the first skinned Honeycomb experience. It might have been lightly skinned, but skinned nonetheless. Reply
  • mlj11 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    "Samsung is also launching a device recovery service, courtesy of their Samsung Dive website... This service is premiering on the 10.1 but will be available on future Samsung handsets and tablets."

    Incorrect. This has been available on my international SGSII out of the box.

    Also, I think Samsung's Bada phones may have had access to it even earlier.
    Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Yeah. It's been available on the original SGS (international version) for a while as well. Reply
  • solipsism - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    … it's about the competition getting a real slice of the tablet market. The way things are going and the aggressiveness Apple showed at their iPad 2 special event earlier this year points to Apple wanting the iPad to be another iPod in market dominance, not an iPhone.

    Even though the iPhone does take 2/3rds of the world's handset profits Apple move is clearly to make the tablet market an iPad market with not only revenue and profit domination, but unit marketshare domination. A natural monopoly. The window for non-Apple tablets is closing.

    If Apple can release a 2048x1536 iPad for the same price points it's a done deal for the foreseeable future.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    We're hoping that's not the case. As Brian has pointed out, the lead time on tech innovation has typically been about 15-18 months. This appears to be getting faster. In addition, the fierceness of the competition has made each of these manufacturer's try harder, both in the phone and tablet space. HTC is putting out some stunning designs with a variety of body types and construction techniques. Motorola has produced consistently effective designs and strived to stretch Android beyond the phone with WebTop. Samsung has produced a stunning device that will, eventually, be available on every US carrier, as it did with the first Galaxy S. Even LG has strived to innovate with the first dual-core phone (ostensibly) and the first 3D phone.

    So basically, as much as my review ends on a bit of a down note, every single one of these manufacturers is running on all eight cylinders. They are racing to the finish, and we're going to get to enjoy the ride.
    Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link

    You're assuming that people buy tablets because of the hardware. This seems a dubious assumption.

    What Apple HAD in the past was
    - hardware that worked well and did not feel cheap. The competitors are headed there but aren't there yet
    - software that worked well. The competitors aren't close to that (read this review, which is full of apologies for crashes, slowness, poor resource usage), and by the time they have reached where Apple is now, iOS will be at version 5.
    - a media infrastructure that works well. Android still doesn't have that; what they have is a bunch of more or less lame media player apps, and a completely fragmented media market.

    What Apple WILL have soon is iCloud, not in the stupid sense of a smarter dropbox, but in the sense of an infrastructure (servers, protocols, APIs, design patterns) to allow apps on multiple devices to synchronize their behavior. Naturally Android (and MS) will try to copy it, but once again they will be lagging Apple by a year.
    Reply
  • cr1b - Sunday, August 07, 2011 - link

    Win 98 is fast but its very ugly. The same on iOS. Comeon man iOS only have to show 5 screens of icons with no widggets or animations and for the price of the devices its the minimal result that they can deliver.

    I give you the web browsing experience witch in better but no more.
    Reply
  • fforblack - Monday, August 08, 2011 - link

    you think iOS is very ugly? Have you seen the devices called honeycomb tablets? Just because an operating system doesn't have widgets doesn't mean its winnows 98. No one is going to be staring at widgets all day after they buy a tablet. People want applications. People want something that's fast and responsive. People want something that's pretty. That's what the iPad offers. Animations? Have you ever used an iOS device? I feel like you don't even understand what you are saying. If anything acts like old software, go and study Android's operating system. Study the methods it uses for rendering. Study how it was rushed out for mass release. Personally, I think that for how it was rushed, google did a very good job. But that didn't stop it from being laggy and slow, not to mention the broken UI. I understand you like android, but don't without valid points, criticise an OS you haven't experienced because of a bias you have. Reply
  • kylewat - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I find the insinuation that the tablet wars, or for that matter the smartphone wars will be dominated by iOS and Android. Proclaiming such nonsensical opinions, especially from a review site is disheartening. The future of the tablet will be determined by the buying power of the consumer and enterprise, just as the Apple II was a success at the beginning so may there similar tablet brethren. Anyone who has used Windows Phone or WebOS knows they are worthy competitors and perhaps all they need is some enterprise backing which they are both capable of achieving. Or perhaps consumer taste will change...

    Even more fitting however, for both the public and the industry would be a more platform independent world. It's hard to see any single OS dominating when you look at it from the standpoint of why they came to power. Why has OSX succeeded as of late? Is it because they got developers to create true compatibility with windows? Yes and no, computing has really moved to the browser and developers have stopped developing for the OS. This has enabled people to move to phone browsers as well--- I don't care if it is a two horse race or not- but to hear such close minded comments from a review site... it just doesn't work for me.

    I'm not a Windows Phone or WebOS backer either. I have an iPhone and iPad.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Look at how the world standardized on Windows. It's just easier when the same software works everywhere. I agree, there are some major downsides when that happens. Reply
  • zeagus - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I don't think it's a question of dismissing them out of hand - this site is known for having a big soft spot for WebOS. However, the fact that the TouchPad price was slashed and with coupons can be had for $299 today makes me worry that HP is shrugging about WebOS instead of gearing up for battle. I don't think it's ridiculous to say that the two largest players currently (and one of them dominates to the tune of 20:1 or more right now) will remain so for the foreseeable near future. HP needs to get serious and MS needs to actually get in the tablet game; it seems MS is waiting on Windows 8 and betting the farm on people wanting a full-blown desktop OS on their tablets. We'll see how that works out for them. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Have no doubt, I'm not happy with the situation, it's the reason why each of them has to advance and innovate as quickly as possible. But the zeitgeist of technology is much like the zeitgeist of soda or politics. There's Coke and there's Pepsi, there are the Democrats and the Republicans. And there are Android tablets and iOS tablets. This is the way it is. And it takes time for transitions to occur, unfortunately history tells us this usually happens explosively and destructively. (The whigs imploded in 1856; that's how we ended up with the two party system we know today.)

    The good news, the tech industry moves faster than the political industry. The Republican Party is a little over 150 years old, Coke is a little over 100 years old and Android was first dreamed up a little under 10 years ago. When Android was born, RIM, Palm and Nokia were the dominant powers in smartphones. RIM, HP (nee Palm) and Nokia are treading water. Will Windows Phone and WebOS have a chance at breaking through and netting big sales? You bet. But both of them have a long way to go before that happens. Did I leave RIM out of that last question? Yes, because based on their QNX roll-out we shouldn't expect them to be major players in this space for several years.

    I'm sorry you were disappointed you with our analysis, but I won't apologize for our analysis. The WebOS experience has inspired Google and Apple to improve multitasking on their OSes, and I love it. The Windows Phone experiences will hopefully inspire each of them to streamline their UI's, embrace minimalism and simplicity over fancy animations and neon lights. But I can talk about Android or Apple till I'm blue in the face without ever bringing them up, because neither of them have moved the conversation this year. And Android will have had three major OS releases before the year is up (Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich).

    In the meanwhile, please remember that we appreciate your comments immensely. And we will always invite you to contribute them. This dialogue is important. It makes us work harder to innovate. It makes us work harder to our jobs better. So keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • kc77 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I'm still trying to figure out about when this sluggishness is supposed to occur. I've got the 10.1 and at no time am I locked waiting for the tablet to perform. Same goes for forced closes. From the core apps.... sorry it just doesn't happen. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I'm glad you've had a flawless experience with the 10.1, and there's a reason we generally recommend it over other tablets. Samsung spent a lot of time trying to refine the experience so that there was less of the sluggishness and bugginess seen on other Honeycomb tablets. Our review sample has been a joy to use, both before and after the update. But we have experienced FC's and sluggish behavior. For me the most consistent FC was when deleting lots of e-mails in the Gmail app, thankfully that behavior's gone since the update. If you manage to get through the year without an FC or ever feeling like your device is sluggish, please send it our way for a teardown and some analysis. We'd love to see how they managed to cram a horseshoe in there.

    Jason
    Reply
  • fforblack - Monday, August 08, 2011 - link

    LOL! Reply
  • kc77 - Sunday, August 14, 2011 - link

    Thank you for taking the time to include more information within your comment to me than the actual review itself. It's nice touch that I'm sure we can expect in the future.

    "I'm glad you've had a flawless experience with the 10.1, and there's a reason we generally recommend it over other tablets."

    Did I say it was flawless? Nope but it surely isn't the buggy sluggish nightmare you're trying to make this product out to be. Most of the issues with Honeycomb tablets have been around 3.0 not so much with 3.1.

    "Our review sample has been a joy to use, both before and after the update."

    Hmm really? I couldn't tell from your review. Maybe it needed more words.

    "For me the most consistent FC was when deleting lots of e-mails in the Gmail app, thankfully that behavior's gone since the update. "

    So that would be FC's within a specific application. Don't you think a review should have actually mentioned WHAT application it was? Since the OS is pretty good at telling you what crashed it would have been nice to know. Rather than saying a general statement on page 1 making it sound like it applies to everything, while not really mentioning it on page 2. On that page you've recognized that lots of apps running = sluggishness. Thanks for putting that epiphany to text.

    "If you manage to get through the year without an FC or ever feeling like your device is sluggish, please send it our way for a teardown and some analysis. We'd love to see how they managed to cram a horseshoe in there."

    Now why would I give you my unit when you can't bother to be more specific within a review with the hardware you have? That's a end user problem, and not so much a hardware problem. If you spent a little less time FUD'ing the article and a little more being specific as to what exact applications caused problems I'm sure sending you my unit wouldn't even be necessary.

    But thank you for responding and thank you for your hard work. It's been lovely seeing additional detail here that didn't make it in the three pages of the review. It's been eye opening.

    -K
    Reply
  • MrSewerPickle - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Just my two cents but I wouldnt describe the media hub apps UI as just "tolerable". In fact in my opinion its one of the smoothest, most qualiity media applications avaliable on Android right now. Was the author frustrated about having to write a review on TouchWiz? I know how I can be when asked to work on something that I could honestly care less about..... Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I'll be honest, the low bar for me in terms of the media software UI is iTunes and the peak is a searchable file system. Is this smooth and well organized? Yes. Is it comprehensive? As much as any of the others out there. But here's what I want? I want to type Battlestar Galactica into the search bar of a media software and get a list of options that includes the reborn series, the original series, the spin-off from the reborn series, the special features vignettes from the respective DVDs and at least three similar or otherwise related series. Yeah, I want to watch TV the same way that I search the web.

    So, was I frustrated about writing a review of TouchWiz? I have been reading technology websites for almost fifteen years and dreaming about writing for them for as long. I love new toys, I love software updates and I managed to produce over 1500 words over several hours about this one, a decent chunk more than the competition.

    That said, I'll kick this around and see if anyone else wants to give this a try. In the meanwhile, please send me your thoughts on what makes Media Hub better than the alternatives. Thanks.
    Reply
  • MrSewerPickle - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link

    That is indeed a good point on content searching and aggregation and I do agree that most media applications do not contain the best of both worlds like having a very well done UI and excellent functional features.

    In actually and getting to my real disappointment with the review: Anandtech is quite possibly one of the last few truely untarnished tech websites. Not by reviewers opinions on this OS or that smartphone but by major sponsor manipulations. The articles written and read here at exceptionally well done and always cover a "different" aspect of a product.

    I would have very much liked to have seen an "Anandtech Review" of TouchWiz. One that covered what the overall performance increase/decrease was in regards to TouchWiz. One that included detailed and helpful benchmarks this site is known for in addition to the feature rundown that other sites covered.

    Its not about word count or length, its about being what makes AnandTech the best.

    Thank you for your initial response and to all of the authors responses to thr readers. It is yet another reason why Anandtech isnt just another Tech website unsuccessfully hidding their profit driven media conglomerate parent company.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link

    Ok, well if it's data that you want, here you go.

    % delta of benchmarkable performance pre/post TouchWiz: 0.00%

    Believe me, I checked. If TouchWiz had any data driven performance deltas to report, we would have. We haven't, because there weren't any.

    I'm new to Anandtech, and this was my first chance to actually review something. In the two days that I had the update I played with every widget I could find and tried to cram as much of it into a reasonably easy to read piece as possible. Here's what I've learned: you can't please everyone. I hope we win you with the next one, and that you keep coming back for the one after that.
    Reply
  • GTVic - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I saw a smart phone commercial today that showed how I could use my smart phone while at a beach to tell me when it's going to rain. Then I could run and take shelter inside a giant Bell sign and the phone would tell me when it would turn sunny again so I could go back to the beach. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Love it. Reply
  • Cleanskin - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    "...now present within the Notification shade, allowing users to manipulate all the devices radios, volume, screen brightness and vibrate functions with just a press. Hardly revolutionary but a good way to bring up some settings that were previously buried in menus."

    Stock Android 3.1 already has most of these same settings available in the notification shade. Just tap on the system clock and they show up below.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    So, yes, this was readily apparent when Samsung's Gavin Kim did a side by side comparison showing both the 3.1 shade and the modified shade. I do like this iteration better, though. Reply
  • SaigonK - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I would have been more impressed if Samsung woudl have gotten off their arse and gotten Netflix and Hulu deployed to the device...

    compared to my Ipad-2 the 10.1 is nice, but it isnt as refined and doesnt provide the media experience that i have become used to with my Ipad-2. No matter of UI enhancement is going to fix a clear lack of decent tablet based apps and a lack of media giants such as hulu and netflix...
    Reply
  • vision33r - Sunday, August 07, 2011 - link

    For any company to call themselves "enterprise ready.." they need to have a premier support division available 24/7 that any business can call free or charge to handle priority business needs. Microsoft and RIM both got this covered. I have yet to see anybody match up to their offering, not even Apple.

    As for this review, I got news for all the Android suffering vs iPad comparisons...

    You ever look at the typical desktops of most people? It's got icons and shortcuts scattered over it, people don't organize their stuff or use App launchers anymore. They just go for the easiest thing to dump their icons on the desktop.

    While Android allows for this too, it is not a clean and smooth experience when you have widgets blocking it and slowing down performance.

    That's why Steve Jobs understands this simple reason and kept the iPad as basic and clean. It needs to operate like a book for average person to use it quickly for consumption.

    Anytime I pickup WebOS, Playbook, and Honeycomb. It is utterly a huge fail for these companies to try to make things advance and turns to be huge learning curve for people. They don't need fancy widgets or cool multi-tasking app previews, that's for 1% of the population called geeks.
    Reply
  • Belard - Monday, August 08, 2011 - link

    Yep....

    By all means, I think WebOS is quite good. Its multi-tasking is easier than iOS 4.x (we'll see how iOS 5 improves when its officially released) - but it has some areas in which its more difficult than it should be.

    I'm not happy with Apple's sue-happy mentality... it makes me want to by a lenovo ThinkPad tablet... I'm not happy with Samsung's Android support on their phones - so I'm NOT expecting anything better on their tablets - no matter how great they look.

    But I'm not a fan of the 16x9 screens on Android tablets... And HP's Touchpad's hardware feels like the cheap plastic crap that it is. It feels cheap, it feels nasty once the back is covered with finger prints... I'll live with a few scratches on the back of an iPad - which is... ON THE BACK which I don't see - but do feel.

    So with all this in mind... I think an iPad3 is more likely in my future than an Android tablet - even thou I hate and avoid using iTunes as much as possible.
    Reply
  • fforblack - Monday, August 08, 2011 - link

    Personally, I think that the best multitasking implementation is owned by WebOS. I like the cards idea...never really understood the stacks concept till I actually used one(found it a little bit useful actually)....But I didn't like how the touchpad denied us the gesture bar. I thought they would have done something like swipe right or left for next application or something. But whatever. When I saw this wasn't implemented, I got an iPad instead. I think I should have waited till now to make a choice, but whatever...I'm an apple developer, so I got gestures on my 2, and noticed the swipe left to right gesture. It offers to some degree a mini-version of what I wanted in WebOS's gesture area. If they could reduce the unfreezing latencies to about half of what it is now, I feel like gestures would make the iPad the coolest device I've ever seen(especially if you consider that the apps aren't really running in the background). If hp does something about this, the touchpad 2/3 might be my next tablet. Otherwise, I'm sticking with apple... Reply

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