Is Linux too dull and boring?

Today in Open Source: Is Linux boring? Plus: How to Find Android tablet apps, and Crunchbang Linux is a minimalist's dream distro!

Is Linux Boring and Dull?

TechRepublic says that Linux needs to be more fun. This begs the question: Is Linux boring and dull? Jack Wallen thinks that Linux developers need to spice things up, and take a page from the Google Play and iOS App Store.

For the longest time, I was fairly certain that in order to finally (and truly) conquer the desktop, what Linux needed was for Adobe to port Photoshop, for Microsoft to port Microsoft Office, and for Intuit to port QuickBooks. I no longer believe that. What I believe now is that Linux needs to start creating really popular apps instead of one killer app. Linux needs a social app, an app to create memes, an app to turn kittens into conquering Vikings. The collective attitude of “we're better than you” needs to be dropped and, in its place, the whole of the community needs to develop a “we're more fun than you” attitude. Why? Because people like to have fun. People like to enjoy their time in front of their monitors, and that means Linux developers need to start focusing on what those billions of users really want.

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While I'm not sure on the whole "viking kittens" thing, I think Wallen does raise an important point. It's not always about productivity or development tools or command line utilities. Sometimes people just want cool apps that are fun to use and that are focused on a particular need, and that need might have nothing to do with work or anything else related to producing anything.

On the other hand, it might be a bit dangerous to assume that what works for mobile platforms like iOS or Android might also work for desktop Linux. One could make the argument that when somebody sits down at a laptop or desktop they want to do something more than what they'd do on a mobile device.

I can understand that thinking, as I know that my own habits are different on my laptop or desktop computers. When I'm using a mobile phone or tablet, I tend to hop around from app to app, and I'm not usually doing anything productive. But when I'm using a laptop or desktop, I generally want to work. Playing with doodad apps ends up just wasting my time.

What's your take on this? Is Linux too boring and dull? Would more people use Linux if developers focused on fun apps?

How to find Android tablet apps

Gigaom has a helpful story about how to find Android tablets. It's surprising that Google hasn't made it easier to find them in the Google Play store. If you own an iPad, it's incredibly easy to find iPad apps in the iTunes store. But that's definitely not the case with an Android tablet.

This story started off as an app comparison between Android tablets and the iPad. But it quickly became clear that searching for Android tablet apps is no easier today than it was when I first laid my hands on the original Samsung Galaxy Tab nearly three years ago. Why? Unlike in the world of iOS, there’s no clear, simple separation on Google Play between phone apps and tablet apps.

It became clear I’d have to take matters into my own hands if I was going to find some genuine Android tablet apps, and I’ve outlined the best strategies I discovered while doing so here. There won’t be a foolproof way to search for tablet-optimized apps unless Google provides a distinct separation between the two in Google Play, but these tips are your best bet for finding what’s out there right now.

More at Gigaom
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