First look: Galaxy Tab 10.1 brings much of the iPad to Android
Samsung's sleek, 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab is finally an Android tablet that even an Apple fanboy could loveFollow @MobileGalen
The Futuremark Peacekeeper benchmarks showed a marked improvement in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (score of 1,063) versus the Xoom (score of 897), increasing the gap with the iPad 2 (score of 807 with the iOS 4.3.3 update installed). But Adobe's Flash Player 10.2 continues to suffer from the problems it experienced on Android 3.0.
Although it's not Google's or Samsung's fault, a lot of websites -- including InfoWorld.com -- see the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as an Android smartphone, automatically substituting their smartphone-optimized pages when you go to them, resulting in an unsatisfying presentation on the tablet screen. (Hint to developers: Look for the user agent string
Android 3 rather than just
Android to determine that the device is a tablet. You can use InfoWorld's free Web tool to check the user agent from any device.)
But you can criticize Google for the lack of iTunes equivalent for backup, media management, and the like that makes any Android tablet less part of a complete ecosystem than an iPad. That's one of the iPad's major strengths, though it's often unappreciated by users who've not experienced it.
And Android apps still lag behind their iPad equivalents. As an example, the Kindle app for Android still doesn't display pages in two columns when the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is in landscape orientation, resulting in overly wide text columns. Likewise, the Twitter app offers none of the finesse of its iPad version, and instead provides a hard-to-read, too-wide window in landscape mode. Android developers need to pay a lot more attention to both user experience and quality -- this Microsoft level of quality should not be tolerated by anyone. There's also no note-taking app on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a dumb omission common on Android devices.
But Android developers and users alike finally have a really nice tablet platform for their applications. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first tablet that can truly compete with the iPad 2 -- and one that even an Apple fanboy could love, not just respect. Now if only the Android apps could do their part.
This story, "First look: Galaxy Tab 10.1 brings much of the iPad to Android," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
InfoWorld executive editor Galen Gruman analyzes the latest issues in mobile technology.
Send your tips on mobile news, issues, secrets, and so on.
Galen is author of iOS 7: The "Just What You Need" Book, OS X Mavericks: The "Just What You Need" Book, MacBook Pro Portable Genius, and iBooks Author For Dummies, as well as lead author of Exploring Windows 8 For Dummies. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen and at Google+.