Android Supporters Pin Hopes on Non-iPad Competitors Because the Competitors Suck

Finding tablet-oriented apps for Android is a hunt, a chore, and a grind.…

Things get even worse when you realize Google Play shows different apps on its website and on individual tablets; even though the Google Play website claims some apps run on an Asus Transformer Prime, the apps didn’t show up on Google Play on the Prime.

And just because an app claims to run on tablets doesn’t mean it was designed for tablets. Often, after you download an app you’ll discover that it’s ugly or nearly useless because it was designed for a 4-inch screen.

via The iPad Wins Because Android Tablet Apps Suck: An Illustrated Guide.

And on and on. This is why Android supporters claiming it’ll overtake Apple in tablets are nuts, dreamers, or wading chest deep into a river in Egypt.

The Android crowd is waiting for non-iPad competitors like the Amazon Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble Nook to sell in enough quantities to claim “Android tablets” outsell iPads. Setting aside that the Kindle Fire is not even a real Android tablet, these color e-readers don’t compete against the iPad except maybe in the most superficial way. An iPad sale “lost” to one of these is something Apple wasn’t getting anyway.

Android fans will fool no one but themselves and the usual Apple bashing crowd. It’s there own private echo chamber they’re talking to.

The iPad is for readers

What I’ve mostly been doing on the iPad is reading, because this much-ballyhooed harbinger of the future turns out to be the ideal device for that most old-fashioned of leisure activities.

With all the back-and-forth questioning whether the iPad can do “serious work” (it can), here’s a great take on one of its other capabilities.

This is what I’m most looking forward to when I get mine. Yes, I plan to do most of my writing/blogging on it, but I read on my iPhone all the time, and think the iPad will be a huge leap over that already enjoyable experience.

Apple Preparing For Great eBook Experience, Amazon Preparing For… What, Exactly?

I like Amazon, and though I don’t own a Kindle I use the Kindle iPhone app often. I also love the Stanza eReader. You’d think the Amazon name, the Kindle app, and Amazon’s acquisition of Stanza would allow them to be impressive competitors to Apple in the software eBook arena, but instead I see Amazon about to get steamrolled… Continue reading

Amazon Speaks: iPad Kindle App Will Be Cool, But Late

Amazon promises that the iPad version of the Kindle app it is working on will be cool, but it won’t be ready when the first Apple devices show up April 3. That’s because the e-commerce giant, like most other developers, hasn’t been able to test the app on a real device. And it’s going to wait until it can do so to finish the software.

They’re stupid not to deliver on April 3. With no Kindle App why not try Apple’s iBooks? Which is just what many will do.

It’s hard to believe they’re really waiting for the physical device to test with. Very few developers have the physical device yet there will be thousands of native iPad apps available on opening day. Besides, this is just an eReader, hard to believe the physical device will make that big a difference. Get the app in the store, and if the physical device makes a difference push an update out ASAP.

I think the real reason is that it’s simply not ready. Amazon dragged their feet since the iPad was announced. They’ve focused on agreements and posturing with content providers, an SDK for the Kindle, and pushing out a weak beta of Kindle for the Mac. All those things should have taken a back seat to the iPad.

Only thing left is for their late Kindle iPad app to kick ass. Early looks seem promising. If the buying experience isn’t significantly improved over the iPhone version, they blew it. Big time.

Good: Kindle For The Mac. Bad: Kindle For The Mac

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Amazon very quietly released Kindle for the Mac (beta) yesterday. I think the reason they were so quiet about it is that it’s a pretty poor first effort. 

On the iPhone Kindle app, which has been available for a year, I can utilize fullscreen reading and modify the text color/background from one of three styles. Wouldn’t you think I could do at least that much on the Mac version? Well, you can’t. Seriously, they’ve had a year for this, and this is what we get? It looks like something Amazon slapped together over a weekend.

I love reading Kindle on the iPhone. As for the Mac, I’m glad Amazon took the step, but disappointed in the effort. It’ll be hard to get immersed in a book when the trappings of a computer (menu bar, etc.) are all around you.

Barnes & Noble Is Smart. Hello, Amazon? Anybody Home?

Designed specifically for the iPad,” the company said, “our new B&N eReader will give our customers access to more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers in the Barnes & Noble eBookstore

Very smart of B&N to do this; the sooner they get it released after iPad launch, the better.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard nothing from Amazon on their plans for the iPad. Do they have any? They seem to be too busy licking their wounds instead of modifying the Kindle app for the new device.

Hello, Amazon, say something. Do something. You should beef up Stanza while you’re at it. I want as many good eReaders on the iPad as possible and you control two of the most popular. I love the iPhone for book reading; the Pad could be that much better. Don’t blow this.

Tech Headlines From The Last Week.

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More tech headlines to chew over, with my comments.

Nokia and Universal Give Away Music. Not!

So today Nokia announced a new service that allows those who purchase certain Nokia phones will be able to download music “free” for an entire year.

What kind of music? Well, it should come as no surprise that Universal is all over this, which makes it all the more clear that this music will hardly be free. This is simply the first fruit borne of Universal’s Total Music initiative, which I wrote about here.

This music is heavily DRM’ed — no subscription model can function without it. I suspect the idea that you still “own” it after the year is dependent upon one’s definition of the word “own”. I don’t think I’ll like Nokia/Universal’s definition.

When the full details come out, I bet we’ll discover that unless you continue a Nokia “Comes With Music” contract on a phone (in which case you’re still paying for the subscription), or never change the PC you’re using when the phone terms expire, you will lose the music. And good luck burning a CD.

There is simply no way Universal is going to let you download tunes for a year and keep them forever.

Sales of iWork do impact Microsoft.

There’s plenty of proof that iWorks 08 has been a hit. But some claim that even though it’s taken 16% of the Mac market it won’t effect sales of Microsoft’s Office come their new version in January (or whenever they ship it).

I don’t necessarily disagree that the number of copies sold won’t be impacted much. However, the profit on those sold will be impacted. Look at the deals MS has felt compelled to make on Office lately (e.g., Pro edition to students for only $69; buy Office low now and get Office 2008 for only $7.95).

Bottom line is iWorks doesn’t need to impact Office sales so much as profits. Office is a major cash cow for MS, and taking a bite out of that begins to reduce the free money MS gets to print.

Thurrott Loves the Kindle.

Paul Thurrott wrote a glowing review of the Amazon Kindle.

What bothers me about the review is that he glosses over the real vendor lock-in represented by the device, yet howls frequently about Apple’s alleged (but non-existant) “lock-in” with the iPod.

Another Apple-basher says Leopard’s just like Vista (*yawn*).

This is getting old. It started with the usual MS apologists (Wilcox, Thurrott, Foley), and now we have PC Magazine’s hit piece.

The article is ludicrous, and like most of them simply mentions a personal experience and what was found on various message message boards as “proof” that Leopard’s just as bad as Vista.

But what about all the great reviews of Leopard (even from non-Apple-friendly sources)? He simply doesn’t mention those. Well, I’ll correct his oversight. In fact, I already did so when calling other MS apologists on this silly argument (see the link for numerous links to great Leopard reviews).

And what about all the horrendous news about Vista (from the day it was released up to right now)? Well, he doesn’t mention those either. I’ll correct that as well; there’ve been so many I’ll just pick a few:

I picked the last three because they were written in the last four weeks. I did this in case an MS apologist wants to use the “Joe Wilcox” Vista defense. This is the claim that somehow all of Vista’s problems were early, and have since been cured (though Joe never specifies how they were cured). Well, he’s wrong. It still sucks.

It wouldn’t be hard to bring up another 40 or so articles praising Leopard or denouncing Vista or talking about them both where Leopard is judged superior.

Jermaine Dupri tells us what a good album is.

I’m a music lover, and I like albums, so reading this drivel was especially painful to me. A few thoughts on Mr. Dupri’s screed:

  • You do not get to define what a good or great album is. I would like to think that most artists who create an album at least think it’s good anyway, don’t they? Don’t they?
  • Only history can truly decide what albums are great, but good ones to the general public are noticed pretty readily. It’s already clear American Gangsta is not in that category.
  • So it sold 425,000 units? What’s your point? If singles were allowed it would have sold, what, 250,000 of those? That’s the equivalent of 25,000 more albums whose money you left on the table. And much more importantly, it’s as many as a quarter-million potential new fans to enjoy Jay Z’s music, perhaps attend a concert, buy more of his work, etc., all because they got to buy one song and then wanted more. Do you get it now? You didn’t just shutoff immediate sales, but people who could become actual fans.
  • To drive the above bullet point home, in case you didn’t get it: You need exposure. Selling a single song is a great way to gain that. What will you use instead, radio?
  • You cannot tell your customer how to consume your product. Not in this day and age. You’re as out of touch as the record labels whose credo you’ve adopted.

As for all the crap about how you guys created iTunes, blah, blah, blah, you’re delusional. Sure, iTunes (and Amazon, Walmart, etc.) have nothing to sell if you don’t produce, but without them who’s going to sell the stuff? You? Um, no. You need an outlet for sales, and you need to connect with your fans. Crapping all over iTunes while telling me it’s all or nothing for an album is not the way to do it.