Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Sep 2012 11:26 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The rise of the tablet has heralded changes big and small across the tech ecosystem, from a booming market for cloud storage to the fall of Flash. If the computing industry was a stagnant pond in late 2009, the introduction of tablets a few months later was less akin to a pebble flicked from the shore and more like a boulder hurled from 10 feet up. The ripples have been widespread and lasting." Simple question: if an ordinary user used her laptop to check Facebook, the news, and read a few blogs, and now uses a tablet to do the exact same thing - how much has really changed? Are any of the things mentioned in this article - the rise of HTML5, streaming video, and internet storage - really the result of tablets?
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 11:36 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Simple question: if an ordinary user used her laptop to check Facebook, the news, and read a few blogs, and now uses a tablet to do the exact same thing - how much has really changed? Are any of the things mentioned in this article - the rise of HTML5, streaming video, and internet storage - really the result of tablets?


I think tablets have helped, but also mobile phones.

Plus people keep moving between devices during the day, from desktop to tablet to phone and back. This makes it much easier to show people the benefits of cloud storage and convince them to use it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I think that the way many smartphone and tablet OSs prevent users to do what they want with locally stored content also helped.

Lots of people around me, as an example, seem to use Dropbox as a replacement for proper file management on iOS.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I do that too, but I also do it for files I only use on my desktops. In fact I use Dropbox on iOS more to access these files to look stuff up, not to edit them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Plus people keep moving between devices during the day, from desktop to tablet to phone and back. This makes it much easier to show people the benefits of cloud storage and convince them to use it.


This was already the case anyway with laptops, desktops, work, home, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, but I think to a lesser amount. Now we use your mobile phones wherever we are. It's hard to walk the streets or sit in a public place without people staring at their mobile phone.

Also I think people did work at work and private stuff at home. Now lots of people do private stuff at work and work after hours from home.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by smashIt on Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

It's hard to walk the streets or sit in a public place without people staring at their mobile phone.


and before the smart-phones it was hard to walk the streets or sit in a public place without people typing SMS' on their dumb-phones

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by moondevil on Mon 10th Sep 2012 15:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This makes it much easier to show people the benefits of cloud storage and convince them to use it.


I always have to laugh when I see people complaining about not being able to access their precious files due to connectivity issues.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

They just need to hold their phone differently.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 15:12 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I think the most amazing thing about tablets is how fast they became part of our every day lives. People quickly got one, business quickly adopted them and they show up on television programs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Mon 10th Sep 2012 16:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Did they, fast? Tablets were around for more than two decades (GRiDPad is a 1989 thing; and then the first IBM Thinkpad was a tablet, no keyboard) - it's only the latest wave that gained wide acceptance...

Alternatively, WRT "and they show up on television programs" - yeah, I remember them being quite prominent in Stargate Atlantis, almost a decade ago now. And in Star Trek, among others, before that (even those probably did influence public acceptance)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I meant fast after the iPad. The iPad and what followed were a next generation, one that did catch on and when it did it caught on real quick. What came before the iPad wasn't (by far) not intended for the general public.

Yes, I do spot tablets on tv actually being used for real, unlike the ones in tv shows. If you watch Formula One on BBC you've seen an iPad every race this season and last season. This summer I spotted several musicians using them either for lyrics (it does make you look ill prepared) or musical notes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by gan17 on Mon 10th Sep 2012 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Yeah, I've seen newscasters use em, F1 and MotoGP people too. A few aftermarket motorcycle ECU makers offer Android APKs at their sites for different map settings. iPads make pretty useful MIDI or EFX controllers in music production environments as well. Not sure if they're ready for serious image/photo editing work yet, due to the large RAW file sizes from current SLR cameras, but they probably will in a few of years (Adobe and Corel probably have their own versions of tablets on the drawing board).

But for most people, work or play, they're still pretty much luxury items right now. Laptops are probably considered more "essential" for a business on a limited budget, simply because they can do a lot more "traditional" tasks faster.

I'd argue that smartphones (even before the iPhone) have contributed much more to this "change" we're speaking of. This is especially true for lower income people in developing countries. They'd have never thought of buying a desktop/laptop + home internet connection, but by replacing their old dumbphone (most of these people never had landlines before) with a cheap smartphone and decent prepaid plan, they're at least "connected" like the rest of us now without having to break the bank too much or resort to a cybercafe. For me, making basic rights (I consider internet access a basic right) more accessible to everyone is much more "life enriching" compared to giving a rich baby-boomer who felt lost in the "keyboard + mouse" age a 7 or 10" touchscreen so that he can feel empowered again.

Edited 2012-09-10 23:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by gan17 on Tue 11th Sep 2012 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Just to add,
I realize my point above doesn't directly relate to the topic. It's more about "changing the way you use tech" rather than "changing the tech we use", but I just wanted to throw that in there anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by dragos.pop on Tue 11th Sep 2012 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

I'd argue that smartphones (even before the iPhone) have contributed much more to this "change" we're speaking of. This is especially true for lower income people in developing countries. They'd have never thought of buying a desktop/laptop + home internet connection, but by replacing their old dumbphone (most of these people never had landlines before) with a cheap smartphone and decent prepaid plan, they're at least "connected" like the rest of us now without having to break the bank too much or resort to a cybercafe.


While I do agree that smartphones have contributed to this "change", people in developing countries that could not afford a PC+Internet did not change their dumbphones with smartphones.

Mobile internet is more expensive than home internet and a PC is not so expensive. But I don't know the situation in Africa or rural parts of India for example.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Tue 11th Sep 2012 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I think the OP's point was that in some countries that never had a reliable landline phone infrastructure to begin with, mobile internet connexions can be cheaper, faster, and have more coverage than the wired ones.

Not sure how this makes people ditch PCs for smartphones for everyday internet access though. Even in developing countries, a desktop or laptop with an EDGE/3G connexion sounds like a cheaper and more powerful choice for work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by gan17 on Tue 11th Sep 2012 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Not sure how this makes people ditch PCs for smartphones for everyday internet access though. Even in developing countries, a desktop or laptop with an EDGE/3G connexion sounds like a cheaper and more powerful choice for work.

That's because you're comparing it to how we (I hate to use the term "power users") use the internet. A lot of people can make do with a lot less.

I'll give you an example.
I currently reside in Singapore. Like many developed countries, we often require people from poorer neighboring nations for many 'hard-graft' jobs. Some time ago, I was at a construction site discussing something with the owners and architect (interior design project) of the building. Noticed a lot of foreign construction workers there, many of whom seemed were Nepalese, I was told. During lunch, one of them was having a VOIP video chat on his smartphone. After which he proceeded to do what looked like checking/replying email. Took a chance and decided to chat with him, hoping he spoke some English, and turned out he did. He said he was communicating with his wife, who also was using a mobile connection. Told me that it was just too expensive to get a laptop, and it was risky since he shared a flat with other workers he didn't really know. He said he paid approximately $SG60 a month for data and calls (phone cost SG$40 with the plan - 2yrs). Hardly went above that rate per month since his needs seemed to fit within the data limit, and he used wifi from restaurants and public-service areas whenever possible. Said his wife did the same. Seems they still use some form of ADSL in Nepal which requires a land-line subscription, which according to him, is simply impossible for most lower-income people there. He told me he even managed to improve his English and pick up some Mandarin just by surfing and using some apps from the Android market. He did admit that it was still pretty expensive for most people in Nepal to own a smartphone + data plan, but it was a cost he was willing to bear (since he sent money home) to hear his family's voices, and it was still much, much cheaper than getting a home internet connection over there.

I doubt he cares if he's running Gingerbean or Jelly Bong, I doubt he torrents Japanese cartoon-porn by the terrabyte, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't need to compile stuff. But that budget smartphone has become his internet-capable computer now. An internet-capable computer he'd have never had if computers were still the traditional computers (desktops/laptops) you and I do most of our work on.

Edited 2012-09-11 12:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Tue 11th Sep 2012 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You're right that it depends on what kind of work one does, and that I focused on the more intellectual kinds of jobs that I and my relatives do. My mistake.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 12th Sep 2012 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I doubt he cares if he's running Gingerbean or Jelly Bong


Why, it's almost as if the sound & fury over "Android fragmentation" is largely just manufactured faux-outrage...

But that budget smartphone has become his internet-capable computer now. An internet-capable computer he'd have never had if computers were still the traditional computers (desktops/laptops) you and I do most of our work on.


It's also worth mentioning that he would never had that computing device if Apple had there way, and were able to limit that technology to the only the richest segments of the richest countries - by keeping their prices artificially high to maintain profit margins that most loan sharks would be embarrassed of, and by attempting to use the legal system to block competition.

TL;DR summary: Apple hates the poor.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 11th Sep 2012 11:44 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Revisionist history ahoy!

It's a caveat of progress that the past gets progressively simplified. I doubt students today know anything about what came before Windows, or that there were any GUIs other than Mac and Windows.

In another hundred years, everything happening now will have been simplified down to "Apple invented the computer". :|

Reply Score: 4

ABSOLUTELY
by Kwashic on Wed 12th Sep 2012 06:40 UTC
Kwashic
Member since:
2012-09-12

i believe the majority of people will not need laptops since most use them simply for reading, internet, emails, video and photo viewing etc. and they are cunbersome. Smartphones will take over for viewing. Tablets will take over for those in meetings reading documents and taking short notes. laptops and desktops will be left with those of us who have to do things like video editing, which requires a good big screen and top processors. Though even these will one day be possible in tablets. All you will need is a bluetooth keyboard wallet and enough memory on the side. At the recent Rio+20 world conference on sustainable development virtually everyone was using a tablet (except me with my electronic waste of a laptop)so much that they did not provide power outlets at the desks. i have to get a tablet by all means for my document reference and minor typing. the laptop can remain back at the hotel for my bigger projects. they too heavy anyway!

Reply Score: 1

RE: ABSOLUTELY
by Neolander on Wed 12th Sep 2012 08:06 UTC in reply to "ABSOLUTELY"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I agree with you from a conceptual point of view. Tablet hardware, with the right input peripherals, could be used to do a lot of things which we do on laptops nowadays. All it takes is for manufacturer to give up on the brain-dead idea that touch is good for everything.

A separate and major issue, though, is that of tablet software. As an example...
-As long as tablets will be obsoleted one to three years after their release, they won't be a reliable investment as a work tool. (As of today, it's tablets, rather than laptops, that qualify as "electronic waste")
-As long as they will not provide a filesystem-like abstraction that lets you easily manipulate and share your work, they won't be very useful as a content creation tool.
-As long as tablet devs focus on superficial glittery over actually useful functionality, it will be difficult to find some truly complex functionality ported on a tablet.
-As long as tablet users won't be ready to pay more than $10 for productivity software (on which the OS developer will take a cut for some weird reason), they won't get more than simplistic toys.

And so on... Tablets have potential, but the current OS and software ecosystem around them must be thrown out before they reach full maturity.

Edited 2012-09-12 08:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2