Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Apr 2011 18:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless I couldn't get into it yesterday, but today is a new day, and I've got my coffee ready. So, let's dive into reviews of RIM's new toy, the PlayBook. Since my overall opinion on the whole tablet thing can be best summarised as 'meh', my interest regarding the PlayBook focusses mostly on its QNX operating system. As a long-time fan and even regular user of this wonderful piece of technology 'back in the day', I'm interested in what the reviews have to say about it.
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iPad and apps
by WorknMan on Fri 15th Apr 2011 19:07 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

How can you honestly mark a device like the Playbook down because it doesn't have many applications available for it? And why wasn't this criticism levelled against the first iPad when it came out?


As I recall, the iPad already had a lot of high profile apps out when it launched (or very soon after), including Netflix. Not to mention all the iPhone apps that ran on it. As far as 3,000 apps on the Playbook, well.... we'll see if they reach that number, and how many of them are things that people really want.

But the lack of apps isn't the only criticism I've read about either. Although the hardware seems ok, the reports I've read is that the software feels rushed and very rough around the edges, same as with Android's Honeycomb. And with the Xoom being a complete embarrassment (launching with hardware features not working out of the box), I think somebody needs to tell these fools that if you want your tablets to compete with iPad in this space, you need to actually FINISH the f**king things before you release them.

In short, although I can understand not having many apps when you first launch, pushing something out the door that is unfinished and clearly needed a few more months in the cooker is unforgivable.

Edited 2011-04-15 19:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm....
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Apr 2011 20:14 UTC
rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

It is one of the most popular operating systems in the world, and also one of the most lauded ones. It treads where others do not dare tread; it powers everything from VCRs to nuclear power plants, medical equipment, and things that go into goddamn space. The attention to detail when it comes to its development environment, tools, documentation is stunning.


Then later ...

Reading all the reviews, I just don't know what to think. I obviously don't own a PlayBook, nor do I intend to buy one, but I am a little shocked by the odd expectations people seem to have of a brand new device with a brand new operating system.


And finally ...

For instance, the PlayBook runs an updated version of QNX 6.5, and the PlayBook-specific changes made to the operating system will be merged with what will become QNX 6.6.


Perhaps the problem is that people generally don't like buying things that aren't finished. Although you can't seem to make up your mind as to whether this stuff is new or not, when OS X.0 was released Apple didn't recommend people to use it. It wasn't until OS X.1 that OS X was preinstalled on Macs and it wasn't until at least OS X.1.5 that it was the default boot option. And OS X would run (virtually) all OS 9 apps out so, although it was missing native apps, there was a large software library available. The iPad already had years of iPhone familiarity to build on and launched with over 1000 native apps, including very high profile desirable apps. In other words, both platforms already had user base who were familiar with the basic idea and a developer base interested in and already working on the platform.

The Playbook will run Android apps, someday, will run J2ME Blackberry apps, someday, will have a native email and calendaring client, someday. The Xoom launched with a (still) non-functioning SD card slot, the promise of Flash at an unspecified time in the future (still not out of beta) and a promise of a 4G upgrade if you mail the thing back to Motorola. If you can't even manage to have all the features on the box working the day you release it, don't be surprised when the reviews point out that your product is kind of crap. If you can't even manage to have all the features on the box working the day you release it and you can't manage to price it below the market leader, expect the reviews to point out your product is kind of crap and for no one to buy it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hmmm....
by rr7.num7 on Fri 15th Apr 2011 21:24 UTC in reply to "Hmmm...."
rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

Of course QNX is not a "new" OS, but it had never been used in tablets. Obviously it has received some modifications. At its core it still is QNX, but I assume you understand the difference between tablets and mission critical embedded systems (people don't install "Angry birds" in their medical equipment/nuclear plants/whatever, you know?). So, while the BlackBerry Tablet OS should be very reliable and mature on the inside, as far as tablets go it is a new system, and the lack of apps (among other things) is to be expected.

So no, there's no contradiction between the statements you just quoted.

Edited 2011-04-15 21:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hmmm....
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Apr 2011 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm...."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course QNX is not a "new" OS, but it had never been used in tablets. Obviously it has received some modifications. At its core it still is QNX, but I assume you understand the difference between tablets and mission critical embedded systems (people don't install "Angry birds" in their medical equipment/nuclear plants/whatever, you know?). So, while the BlackBerry Tablet OS should be very reliable and mature on the inside, as far as tablets go it is a new system, and the lack of apps (among other things) is to be expected.


From the original article:

The attention to detail when it comes to its development environment, tools, documentation is stunning.


From RIM (http://twitter.com/BlackBerryDev/status/50260512461692928#):

We are targeting a summer beta release for the Native SDK. See a tools demo live at BlackBerry World


I'm not sure you're actually disagreeing with me. The Playbook is (like the other iPad competitors) a half finished product, which is the reason why this contradiction exists. Which is really bad because people don't like to buy half finished products.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmmm....
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Apr 2011 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm...."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's because the PlayBook has a different set of development tools than QNX itself. For example, Windows has Win32 and .Net. QNX Momentics is very mature, extremely polished and very well documented. RIM's new set of dev tools is new and not yet done.

Edited 2011-04-15 22:59 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmmm....
by Not2Sure on Sat 16th Apr 2011 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm...."
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Umm, don't think so. The native SDK for Playbook will be Momentics. If you're referring to the WebWorks or the Adobe AIR SDKs that are part of their current shipping platform, I suppose you can say yes those are different but not really immature.

Adobe/Flash has been the default method of creating industrial and automotive user interfaces on QNX for years.

They haven't created a sandbox model for "native" apps yet to fit into this weird Blackberry Bridge model they have going because obviously there is no VM or browser host when writing native apps.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmmm....
by No it isnt on Fri 15th Apr 2011 21:35 UTC in reply to "Hmmm...."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

The iPad might have had years of iPhone development before it, but the iPhone didn't even support MMS when it was launched. Come to think of it, most of the features implemented in iOS since then were already implemented in Symbian.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hmmm....
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Apr 2011 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm...."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

The iPad might have had years of iPhone development before it, but the iPhone didn't even support MMS when it was launched. Come to think of it, most of the features implemented in iOS since then were already implemented in Symbian.


And why is this relevant?

Edited 2011-04-15 22:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmmm....
by No it isnt on Fri 15th Apr 2011 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm...."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It's relevant because the iPhone got immensely popular long before it was even close to the maturity of the competition. It was lacking in almost every basic area; all it had was a decent browser, really.

Maturity just doesn't matter, as long as you get a few want-to-have features right.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Hmmm....
by rhavyn on Sat 16th Apr 2011 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm...."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

It's relevant because the iPhone got immensely popular long before it was even close to the maturity of the competition. It was lacking in almost every basic area; all it had was a decent browser, really.

Maturity just doesn't matter, as long as you get a few want-to-have features right.


Maturity doesn't matter as long as you get a few must have features right and you don't have real competition. I'm sure in 2007 lack of MMS was a potential competitive advantage for Apple's competitors. Unfortunately for them, instead of duplicating what was right about the iPhone and leveraging their already existing advantages they, well, mostly did nothing. Apple, on the other hand, quickly filled in the small gaps that were left and now look at where we are. The chief competition back then was Blackberry OS (EOL, being replaced with QNX), Symbian OS (EOL, being replaced with Windows Phone 7), Windows Mobile (EOL, replaced with Phone 7 after years of dev work) ... they all got wiped off the map.

Now it's 2011. The iPad is on it's second generation. The iPhone is on it's fourth. That's what RIM, Google, Nokia, MS, etc. need to compete with. So far it's not looking so great.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hmmm....
by WorknMan on Sat 16th Apr 2011 01:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm...."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The iPad might have had years of iPhone development before it, but the iPhone didn't even support MMS when it was launched. Come to think of it, most of the features implemented in iOS since then were already implemented in Symbian.


See, this is something that geeks still don't understand... it's not a lack of features that will doom your product, but a lack of features that matter for most people, and also a lack of polish... both of which the Playbook suffers from.

To illustrate my point, when the iPod first came out, geeks turned their noses up at it because it didn't come with an FM radio, voice recorder, etc. And you see how much all that stuff really mattered when all was said and done with. You can talk all day about what the iPod didn't have, while at the same time ignoring the one thing it did have which put it on top, and that one thing was iTunes.

Edited 2011-04-16 01:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmmm....
by No it isnt on Sat 16th Apr 2011 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm...."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

iTunes? The only reason why people needed iTunes was to get songs onto their iPods. What the iPods had was a stunning design and a fairly simple user interface, whereas the early competition had crappy user interface and disgusting design (Creative) or sabotaged their players by not accepting mp3 files (Sony).

Basically, Sony conceded the Walkman market to Apple when they decided the music industry's wishes were more important than the customers' needs. iTunes, coincidentally, is far more tuned to Apple's needs than to the customers'.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmmm....
by jackeebleu on Sat 16th Apr 2011 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm...."
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

...You can talk all day about what the iPod didn't have, while at the same time ignoring the one thing it did have which put it on top, and that one thing was iTunes.


I think you missed on this one. What the iPod, iPhone, and iPad had at launch despite the dearth of features was not iTunes, but rather USABILITY. Thats where Apple puts the premium, usability. Can the average village idiot pick this thing up, and use it to have "aha" moments without having to pickup an instructional manual. With the iPod it was a 1000 sings in your pocket. While a marvelous claim, people then wondered, I can barely organize my physical CDS collection, how in the hell am I gonna do that on this thing? And Apple showed the world how a scroll wheel interface could do it; simply.

Don't take my word for it, look at the numbers. It's not all "hipster" doofae that sitting in coffee shops buying/using their products, its regular people generally loving what they bring to market. Grandparents to 2yr olds are using and enjoying Apple products. One might even venture to say, Apple doesn't bring every feature to market in its products, but what does bring, it executes very well. A fact that pundits, professionals and tech geeks alike, all seem to miss.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmmm....
by WorknMan on Sat 16th Apr 2011 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm...."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think you missed on this one. What the iPod, iPhone, and iPad had at launch despite the dearth of features was not iTunes, but rather USABILITY.


Yeah, and iTunes was a huge part of that... for the tards who couldn't figure out how to drag and drop, it gave people a way to actually get their music on to the device, not to mention the iTunes music store. It was a perfect synergy I guess. Or 'ecosystem', as some like to call it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmmm....
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 16th Apr 2011 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm...."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

its regular people generally loving what they bring to market


Back then, yes.

Today? Not so much. iTunes is universally hated around here (it's useless in The Netherlands), and the reputation of the iPhone is anything but stellar. The argument all regular people love iTunes because it's so easy is absolutely bogus these days. It's not just a slow and bloated piece of crap for us geeks, you know - that goes for normal people as well.

Android doesn't have iTunes, yet it sells just fine without it. Proof enough people don't need something like iTunes.

Edited 2011-04-16 16:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hmmm....
by jackeebleu on Sat 16th Apr 2011 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm...."
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

" its regular people generally loving what they bring to market


Back then, yes.

Today? Not so much. iTunes is universally hated around here (it's useless in The Netherlands), and the reputation of the iPhone is anything but stellar. The argument all regular people love iTunes because it's so easy is absolutely bogus these days. It's not just a slow and bloated piece of crap for us geeks, you know - that goes for normal people as well.

Android doesn't have iTunes, yet it sells just fine without it. Proof enough people don't need something like iTunes.
"

Thom, Back then and now, people are still loving what Apple brings to market. Again, look at the sales, iPad's are still hard to come by, and even on VZW, a "crippled" iPhone 4 is selling quite briskly despite Android. And let's be real, the reason Android is selling is not because people love using or choosing it and having "aha" moments, but rather because Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, et al, have hitched their wagons to Android. It was licensed to them for FREE and allowed them to immediately compete with smart phones in a burgeoning market without a huge R&D investment on their part. Google did all the heavy lifting so they could build phones selling as cheap as $.01 to high as $399. The majority of "smart" phones sold at retail are <$99, not Apple's playground. Research has shown consistently, given the choice and opportunity, people would choose an iPhone overwhelmingly. Hence why the complaints and general vitriol when the device was solely mated to AT&T.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Hmmm....
by viton on Sun 17th Apr 2011 08:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm...."
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Today? Not so much. iTunes is universally hated around here
itunes is a comfortable way to buy, download and manage music/software. I can have a lot of data installed on host and only have the subset on device that I really need now.

it's useless in The Netherlands
Yeah, for the PirateBay users it is especially useless.

Edited 2011-04-17 08:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Hmmm....
by stippi on Tue 19th Apr 2011 09:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Hmmm...."
stippi Member since:
2006-01-19

You are probably right about iTunes being useless for PirateBay users, but there are perfectly valid (in a legal sense) reasons to consider iTunes a blocker.

My girlfriend and I have recently made a purchase decision pro iPad *despite* the fact we would have to use iTunes. It almost tipped us against buying an iPad. However the device has many other selling points and it looks to be more polished than the competition.

At the same time, I've made my purchase decision against an iPhone, and iTunes was the biggest reason. I love the display and the battery life, but in the end I've got a Nexus S. I can actually copy music and videos onto the device from Haiku, where I have stored all my media because of the meta data features of Haiku. I have a rather large collection of DVDs and ripped a lot of them for the increased convenience. To get some movies or music onto an iPhone would have been a lot more complicated/inconvenient for me. Now that I have the Nexus, I actually started to see a lot of points where I find the usability actually better than what I saw during my short encounters with an iPhone. The AMOLED display is great in its own way, but the battery life sucks and the interface is not perfectly smooth at all. I can live with it.

To give this post an on-topic twist, I'd just like to say that 1080p HDMI out would actually be a major selling point pro the Playbook for me. But since my girlfriend will mostly be using the tablet, and especially because of all the content available for the iPad platform, we've decided not to wait with our purchase any longer.

Just some insights into what matters for customers from personal experience... :-)

Reply Score: 1

Post Is Disaster
by Hexadecima on Fri 15th Apr 2011 22:36 UTC
Hexadecima
Member since:
2010-09-01

1. You say number of applications is important to a prospective buyer but is not a major area of your concern—and then spend two paragraphs complaining about how people are giving the PlayBook a hard time because of its (apparently) small software library. This is excessive belabouring of a very obvious and clear point that you successfully made in one sentence, and just looks like padding.

2. You say you're interested in the OS, and then belittle a breakdown of the kernel structure in favour of comparing version numbers, a user-interface tweak for multitasking style (any OS that fully supports iOS4's behaviour can handle true multitasking already!), and mentioning the boot-up checksum process as a means to glorify QNX's natural boot time.

Thom, I've been reading OSNews for years and generally, I value your articles because of their ability to pick up on esoteric subjects that never make it to sites like Slashdot. But I really think you need to think this one over again.

There's nothing wrong with having an obsession with an operating system, but this post lacks depth, and it was a waste of time to both read and write. I'm replying because I don't want you to keep wasting your time, and ours, on this shallow squee-ing. It's obvious that you care a great deal about the material involved; why don't you put effort into it?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Post Is Disaster
by mistersoft on Sat 16th Apr 2011 01:30 UTC in reply to "Post Is Disaster"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Hate to have to agree, but he's got a point Thom.
I've read OS News for years and do very much rate the site and most of your posts. But this one lacked any real novel input from yourself or real(substantial) information (on either os/hardware) ; felt entirely like padding. Another single 'linker' paragraph like yesterdays might've been more appropriate is this case.

Edited 2011-04-16 01:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

New spicy McChicken is a disaster
by nt_jerkface on Sat 16th Apr 2011 06:22 UTC in reply to "Post Is Disaster"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Well that is a bit of an exaggeration. I just plain don't like it. I like the double cheeseburger better.

Reply Score: 2

Agree, but Apple has changed things
by runjorel on Fri 15th Apr 2011 23:06 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

I completely agree with you about maturity time and truthfully I hope the PlayBook and the future HP Web OS tablets have time to flourish as well. I wish the market was more patient, but unfortunately I think Apple has set the standard for consumers in a lot of ways. When they released the iPhone and iPad, there were apps already out there to be downloaded, etc.

As a pure 'consumer', I love and appreciate that Apple, for example, took the time to develop the device as well as make headways into its ecosystem. However, as a geek, I hate this because it means the manufacturer has greater control over the device and its ecosystem. It's a shame to me that the more free-market ecosystems don't seem to be as popular with the average (non-tech) person.

Now, having said all that, it is disappointing to see a lot of companies release things to market that are not feature complete and the PlayBook falls pray to this. For example, right now there isn't a native Email or Calendar app, but it will soon be coming. I feel like for a device like this, that's pretty essential for a lot of users looking for a tablet. There are other tablets that have been released where you'll read about some feature with a "coming soon" tag next to it and that just makes me feel like I am looking at a product that was rushed to market and not ready to be in the hands of users. Maybe I'm just being too conservative here.

Reply Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Now, having said all that, it is disappointing to see a lot of companies release things to market that are not feature complete and the PlayBook falls pray to this. For example, right now there isn't a native Email or Calendar app, but it will soon be coming. I feel like for a device like this, that's pretty essential for a lot of users looking for a tablet.


This.

I honestly find it mind boggling that RIM, of all companies, is launching their new tablet platform without built-in messaging. It's the one freaking thing they do better than everyone else,,though even that gap has narrowed substantially, and really, it's the main thing keeping them in business now.

It would be like Apple launching the iPhone without a music app, or Google launching Android without a web browser.

I hope HP is sitting back, watching this carefully and taking notes. At this point they're my last hope that someone other than Apple is going to figure out how to produce and market a viable tablet by the end of this year.

Reply Score: 2

Geeks of today and expectations
by wargum on Fri 15th Apr 2011 23:32 UTC
wargum
Member since:
2006-12-15

The paragraphs about the geeks of today and expectations was spot on. Thank you very much, Thom! You expressed my feelings exactely!

Every review should start by telling you, what the PlayBook isn't right now and can't be and then go on to cover stuff that's actually there. There is a lot to like about the PlayBook IMHO, and on the other hand many deficies of the iPad 1 and 2 weren't even mentioned or seen as in the same light as deficies of competing products. For example, the very fact that a Post-PC device like the iPad is dependent on a regular PC ruins it for me. Heck, even John Gruber complained about it, today! It's telling.

Just imagine it would be the other way around and Apple would be the only one to have an open platform, over-the-air updates an the likes. My mind explodes when I try to think of the giant mock-fest that Apple fanboys would hold, day and night.

Another thing I am totally full of is people saying things like 'You only get 7" vs 9.7" screen real estate for the same price'. WTF, really? Not only is the iPhone itself tiny in comparison, yet more expensive, but I remember a time when small things were actually exciting and a lot more expensive than standard sized gadgets. You just can't compare the 9.7" iPad to an 7" tablet, they serve different usage scenarios. I think both form factors have their fans and a right to co-exist.

Edited 2011-04-15 23:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Sat 16th Apr 2011 00:20 UTC
t3RRa
Member since:
2005-11-22

Another private blog post! I hoped that Thom got the device early to test and reviewed.. and now very much disappointed. As someone already pointed out, it was a waste of time. Not an article, not a news, not a review or preview. I do not get what the point is. You cannot judge a whole experience of a device solely on your private experience of QNX.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by t3RRa
by stippi on Tue 19th Apr 2011 09:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by t3RRa"
stippi Member since:
2006-01-19

I also found the blog post rather personal and negative. The only reason why it wasn't a time waster for me is that I got aware of how close to release the PlayBook is and I've read the Anandtech review because of it. Even though the review was mentioned alongside the negative reviews by Tom, I've found it rather ballanced, well written and informative. I didn't find it negative at all and also found the conclusions perfectly justified and fair. I don't get Tom's point, though I understand his lack of interest for four pages of information on the camera quality of tablets...

Reply Score: 1

Hard to place faith
by wocowboy on Sat 16th Apr 2011 09:41 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

3/4 of the article is about how Thom considers the entire tablet category of hardware to be useless, and how he just wants to review the OS. Then in the last 1/4 of the article he proceeds to do nothing of the kind. It is very difficult to place any value at all on a "review" of this nature, as the vast majority of it is just a simple rant on the device category. Nothing really to see here.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hard to place faith
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 16th Apr 2011 11:17 UTC in reply to "Hard to place faith"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Where did I claim this was a review?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hard to place faith
by thavith_osn on Sat 16th Apr 2011 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Hard to place faith"
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

He did put "review" in quotes, so I guess he was highlighting the fact that maybe it's not.

I think I do understand what you were thinking though. I do think it's hard on those trying to break into this market to find a product that will work right from the get go, and negative articles that pounce on them doesn't help their cause.

I have followed QNX for many years now, but have only had limited exposure to it. It would have been interesting if Apple had chosen that over Darwin. I think it's brilliant that RIM is going with it and I think the future will be bright if they can get the numbers behind the next few releases.

Having said that, I don't think the Xoom or this device should have been released yet until a lot (not all) of the bugs have been ironed out, or if you needed to really get them out there, then do what Apple did with OS X 10.0 (which you did refer too) and state that it's not for the public as such, but for early adopters. I don't believe either product launch did this, but if they did, then I apologise. OS X originally was a very slow buggy OS, but showed a lot of promise.

I think Apple did remarkably well with the iPad, and launched it with what they were ready with. Most of what was needed was there right from the launch, and the iPad 2 cemented this (adding some of the other features such as camera support). There are things missing of course, like better multitasking support, wireless sync etc, but they aren't show stoppers (well, not for the hordes who have bought one (I haven't for the record)).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Sat 16th Apr 2011 12:06 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

So basically you are saying you wish everyone was a "real geek" like you think you are. This story doesn't really say anything much else. OS News has changed with the times. When there is something interesting going on with nitch OSes they cover it but they need more content to keep the page hits up.

Reply Score: 1

Well.
by Hexadecima on Sat 16th Apr 2011 12:11 UTC
Hexadecima
Member since:
2010-09-01

I, for one, am glad that at no point did Thom claim it was a review. At least we've got that cleared up.

Reply Score: 1

you see qnx for first time in 2004 ?
by kovacm on Sun 17th Apr 2011 01:22 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

very hard to read!

you see qnx for first time in 2004 ?!?!? lol! - god for you ;)

"I miss the days when Apple could release Mac OS X 10.0, and everybody was entirely understanding about the fact that it was a new operating system with kinks to work out and performance issues and what not"

"The 'geeks' (and I'd hardly call them that) of today, on the other hand, somehow don't seem to understand anymore that a brand new operating system needs time to mature" ...

at the end: what does QNX offer more than Mac OS X??


btw I see that you are thrilled with QNX and Mac OS X "back in the days" …
Atari had MiNT in 1993 - mix of BSD kernel and Atari TOS API - something that Apple done with Mac OS X, ONLY 7-8 years later…

Reply Score: 1

My 1/50th of a dollar...
by sewerraccoon on Sun 17th Apr 2011 04:20 UTC
sewerraccoon
Member since:
2011-04-17

Interesting read. I've been looking at some of the reviews so far, and most of what I've heard is the Playbook is solid but has a few flaws, most of which can be fixed with a possible software fix. What I've been reading in the comment sections however is a world apart from that. iPad and android fans declaring the tablet DOA, people still bashing on the concept of a tablet, and others complaining about the lack of apps on a new platform. Considering that RIM has had no prior tablet experience and mostly lackluster touch based experiences, I have to say they seem to have done pretty well with their first tablet.

I thought it was interesting that you drew a parallel between the original OS X launch and the iPad launch. I find myself thinking about the Windows Vista launch, and even before that, the XP launch. There was a lot of outcry from users about incompatibilities there. I find it interesting that the Apple user base is willing to put up with growing pains a little more.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My 1/50th of a dollar...
by rhavyn on Sun 17th Apr 2011 05:51 UTC in reply to "My 1/50th of a dollar..."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting read. I've been looking at some of the reviews so far, and most of what I've heard is the Playbook is solid but has a few flaws, most of which can be fixed with a possible software fix. What I've been reading in the comment sections however is a world apart from that. iPad and android fans declaring the tablet DOA, people still bashing on the concept of a tablet, and others complaining about the lack of apps on a new platform. Considering that RIM has had no prior tablet experience and mostly lackluster touch based experiences, I have to say they seem to have done pretty well with their first tablet.


If the Playbook was the first to market it would probably look pretty good (no native email client for a RIM device is still insanity, though). But they aren't, so of course they are going to get compared to the market leader and compared to the market leader they are in big time trouble.

I thought it was interesting that you drew a parallel between the original OS X launch and the iPad launch. I find myself thinking about the Windows Vista launch, and even before that, the XP launch. There was a lot of outcry from users about incompatibilities there. I find it interesting that the Apple user base is willing to put up with growing pains a little more.


Apple did an amazing job with compatibility between OS 9 and OS X. Between Classic mode and Carbon they made it incredibly easy to run with OS 9 apps on OS X and to port your OS 9 app to run natively on OS X. The iPad uses the same development tools and APIs as the iPhone and it runs iPhone apps natively. If you are going to make major platform changes (either OS or CPU architecture) Apple is by far the company to emulate.

Reply Score: 2

I disagree with you Thom
by JPisini on Sun 17th Apr 2011 18:34 UTC
JPisini
Member since:
2006-01-24

It's not that I expect a million apps on day one but I expect a fully usable product for the price they are expecting the Playbook to debut at. I like Haiku yet it is short of quite a few apps the difference is price I can try Haiku for free, same with most versions of Linux and if I don't like them I lost a little time (but hopefully learned something from it) but I am not out any cash. Yes some will say these devices are cheap and for some they may well be I am not one of those people. I have a wife with cancer, a kid in college, a mortgage, insurance and many other things and if I am paying out anywhere between $400 and $600 I want something that works on launch day not someday.
That is just my two cents you can take it or leave it.

Reply Score: 1

Thank you Thom
by dvhh on Mon 18th Apr 2011 01:56 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

I'm also guilty of being off topic, but it's nice of you to remember us that this website focus on the underlying OS at first. Rather than gadget.

QNX still have some of my interest but sine they closed the sources, and the SDK for the playbook is no freely download-able for everyone, my interest for this OS is rapidly fading.

Reply Score: 2

Tablet devices are all about UI
by abdavidson on Mon 18th Apr 2011 11:18 UTC
abdavidson
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's the only thing that matters with the form factor since it's designed to be manipulated directly (or semi-directly in the case of resistive touch screens) and yet you disregard the UI as somehow irrelevant? Something not sophisticated or technical enough for you and this bizarre blog piece.

You seem to be disappearing with ever increasing pace up your own fundament Thom.

Reply Score: 2

robco
Member since:
2006-07-16

I find it interesting that we're supposed to cut RIM some slack for bringing a mature OS to a new form factor (as Apple did with OS X to iOS) but they can tout how much better the PlayBook is compared to the iPad. You can't have it both ways. If a company is going to frame a device as a competitor, it should be able to compete. I think the largest disadvantage is essentially requiring a Blackberry smartphone in order to fully utilize the PlayBook. The synergy between the two is neat, but I think the PlayBook should be able to stand alone. Perhaps future versions will. I think they'll sell quite a few to enterprise customers who have made considerable investment in the Blackberry platform already, but as with their smartphones, I don't think they'll gain a lot of traction in the consumer market.

As for the original iPhone, it was superior in many ways that mattered. I wasn't an early smartphone adopter, but several friends and co-workers had Blackberries and Treos. I borrowed one to look up something online and it was an awful experience. It's easy to dismiss Safari as a mere line item on the original iPhone, but delivering a mobile browser people actually wanted to use (and has since provided the underpinnings for every other mobile platform save MS) was huge. Web apps designed for the iPhone were developed quickly. Even with the legion of apps available on the App Store, having a usable browser is still incredibly important. I use apps on my iPhone, but use Safari a lot.

As for iTunes sucking in other countries, that isn't entirely Apple's fault. Getting content for each country and region is a huge PITA. Apple merely delivers content, they don't create it. Hashing out distribution deals for each country is no picnic.

Reply Score: 1

RIM should make can openers.
by Cartman6 on Tue 19th Apr 2011 10:46 UTC
Cartman6
Member since:
2010-08-18

Being the proud owner of a Blackberry Storm, I would never ever consider buying anything from RIM again.
Sorry guys, but after two years of updates, I am not the least bit impressed.

If the Playbook is anything like the Storm, it will get updated once, have 2000 apps that do exactly the same and then there will be no more QNX. Maybe next time they will buy palm and dig out BeOS or something.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by leos
by leos on Tue 19th Apr 2011 16:36 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

I miss the days when Apple could release Mac OS X 10.0, and everybody was entirely understanding about the fact that it was a new operating system with kinks to work out and performance issues and what not. People back then accepted and understood that it was new, untested technology that would need some time to mature before it could be compared to the big boys of the time.

Wow. Were you paying attention back then? That is some serious rose-coloured distortion of history. OS X was lambasted for being incredibly slow, feature incomplete, and unstable. The general response was certainly NOT "oh well, it's new, it's to be expected"

Reply Score: 2

It's not about geeks
by tetek on Wed 20th Apr 2011 07:59 UTC
tetek
Member since:
2010-10-04

It's not about geeks. It's consumer level product. Supposly "iPad killer" (yeah, I know...) and it fails to make good first impresion. Last one which did that was Motorola Xoom. And they closing production now...

Reply Score: 1