Linked by the_randymon on Tue 29th Jan 2013 01:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Samsung's recent Android 4.1.2 upgrade for the Galaxy Note 10.1 adds power and flexibility to the company's unique offering of Android multiwindowing features. With this update, the Galaxy Note 10.1 can run up to 16 multiwindow-enabled Android apps at once, Windows/Mac-like, on a single screen. Apps endowed with Samsung's multiwindow technology are usable in three viewing modes: full screen, dual view, and cascade view." There are already some complaining this represents a dangerous fork of Android. I thinks it's a step in the right direction.
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RE[7]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

What "new space"? Unless the resolution is higher on the larger screens, there isn't technically any more space - it's just a lower pixel density. However to answer your point, Google did put a lot of work into supporting different screen sizes and resolutions.

The Android SDK is developed in such a way that each application can have different layouts for different screen resolutions and dimensions. So a 10" screen can display a slightly more tweaked interface than a 7" and a 4". (I expect you're already be aware of this much though).

All this has been in place since Android 2.0, but even with the maturity of the APIs, sadly not all developers write adaptive apps - which is why you see some that look scaled. This is then the fault of the app developers rather than a lack of support from Google (however I wouldn't go too hard on the app dev's, for reasons I'll explain later on).

It's also worth noting that a lot of phone / tablet OS's could not, until recently, handle different resolutions. Remember when the iPad was first released and apps had to be scales up? Then when Apple changed the aspect ratio on the iPhone and implemented the laughable "black bar solution" for existing apps. And WebOS (as much as I love that platform) was even worse; it wouldn't even scale up apps built in the same aspect ratio. So phone apps would literally have a huge amount of black space surrounding them when run on a tablet (if I recall correctly, HP designed a picture of a smart phone that the app would sit inside - to reduce appearance of the huge back frames - but even that looked tacky).

So if you really want to argue about wasted space, then perhaps you should look at how badly some of the competing platforms handle different resolutions and then how well Android phone and tablet applications coexist. And then if you still want to kick off at Google, then blame them for allowing Android to get so fragmented; because the real issue here is developers being overwhelmed rather than Android not bothering to take advantage of higher screen resolutions (and I can say this from personal experience having written a few Android apps myself).

<sarcasm>
But all of this is moot because it's so much easier for anonymous online personalities to whine about the lack of one feature that is almost entire useless on 99% of installs and not even present in all bar one of the competing OSs.
</sarcasm>

edit: and I realise I'm probably coming off as a bit of a Google-fanboy. I'm genuinely not. I just you're "making a mountain out of a molehill" (British expression, not sure if it's known else where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_a_mountain_out_of_a_molehill ).

There's much worse issues with Android than the lack of tiling. So I'd rather Google spend their time addressing them first.

Edited 2013-01-29 18:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Comment by Laurence
by plague on Tue 29th Jan 2013 20:33 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Laurence"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

I never tried WebOS, but I have started looking into the Enyo framework they used for the WebOS apps and afaik the only WebOS device they released was running Enyo 1.0?
Enyo 2.x seems to be doing a very good job scaling between any number of resolutions. It has, like Android, built in support for making different layouts for different resolutions.
I have only started messing with it however, so I don't know yet how much it handles by itself and how much must be done by the app developer..
But it's atleast a very interesting framework imo. ;)

Anyways, I agree tiling could be useful on some Android devices, but cascaded windows is a big nono. Hell app-windows at all are a big nono on touch devices imo. Tiling have some advantages if done right (ie: not the way Microsoft did it with Metro+Desktop apps).
But if it should be done in Android, it should be standardised upstream, not bastardised by Samsung, leading to even more fragmentation.

Edited 2013-01-29 20:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by Laurence
by dragos.pop on Wed 30th Jan 2013 12:11 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Laurence"
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

I do not want to argue about Android's implementation on handling different screen size and resolutions. I do consider it the most advanced in mobile space.
But:

What "new space"? Unless the resolution is higher on the larger screens, there isn't technically any more space


The display has the role to convert digital information into something humans can sense. My eyes barely make the difference between two high DPI resolutions and they don't care about anything over retina display. And my hands... they care even less (and I don't have the biggest hands in the world). So the raw size of the screen technically can influence a lot the handling of an app (and android knows that or it would not care about DPI).

This said, Samsungs idea is good, and while I am not whining about the fact that google has not implement it yet, I do think it would be a nice addition. I haven't try it yet but an official, well thought implementation would be nice. So I would not bash Samsung for modifying android in this way. Android history proved that google learned a lot from it's OEM and integrated there best ideas.

Anyway, am I the only one who thinks that fragmentation is not a problem for android. Well it is regarding the updates, but not regarding different devices that do use the latest version of android.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by Laurence
by some1 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 15:00 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Laurence"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

What "new space"? Unless the resolution is higher on the larger screens, there isn't technically any more space - it's just a lower pixel density.

Do you even know what Nexus 10 is? Nexus 10 has 2560x1600 resolution at 300 ppi. So yes, "technically" it has a ton of new space compared to Nexus 7 (and pretty much anything else). But your argument is completely wrong anyway. Screen space is measured in cm, not in pixels. Lower ppi just means lower quality rendering. Just because, say, Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 have almost the same resolution doesn't mean you want to use the same layout on both: the screen size difference is too big.

However to answer your point, Google did put a lot of work into supporting different screen sizes and resolutions.

Way to completely miss the point. Android is fairly good at showing apps at different resolutions. It does not automagically optimize apps layouts to different screen sizes. Bigger screen means that you can show more controls, add/improve sidebars, show more information in list elements etc. Android as a platform supports doing so, but app developers have to actually put an effort into thinking through and creating these layouts.
What you forgot is that Google is also an app developer, not just a platform provider. My point is that Google didn't do much in their own apps, which if you haven't noticed they ship a whole bunch, to use the new space on 10".

So if you really want to argue about wasted space, then perhaps you should look at how badly some of the competing platforms

Why would I want to do that? I don't plan to buy devices with them or develop for them.

But all of this is moot because it's so much easier for anonymous online personalities to whine about the lack of one feature

Nice ad hominem attack.
The only people whining in this thread are ones like yourself, who argue Samsung should not be allowed to modify Android. Everyone else is happy some progress is being made.
And sure, Android has a long list of issues, and tiling is not even on top of that list. Having a 10" Nexus tablet was not top of the list either. So what? No one should be allowed to work on non-top priority items? What's your point? Never mind. I don't think you have one.

not even present in all bar one of the competing OSs.

Stupid Google, why did they introduce multitasking in Android 1.x and multiuser support in 4.2, when no competing OSs had/have them? What a waste of time. /s

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 30th Jan 2013 17:03 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

But your argument is completely wrong anyway. Screen space is measured in cm, not in pixels. Lower ppi just means lower quality rendering.

Fair point. ;)


Just because, say, Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 have almost the same resolution doesn't mean you want to use the same layout on both: the screen size difference is too big.

I didn't say you do want to use the same interface at that screen size. Quite the opposite in fact; this one of the few arguments we've seen eye-to-eye on.

Way to completely miss the point.

I think we're both missing the point to be honest. But that's what happens when any discussion on here reaches this many replies.

Android is fairly good at showing apps at different resolutions. It does not automagically optimize apps layouts to different screen sizes.

I never said it did. In fact I repeatedly said it was developers that did that. Repeatedly

Bigger screen means that you can show more controls, add/improve sidebars, show more information in list elements etc. Android as a platform supports doing so, but app developers have to actually put an effort into thinking through and creating these layouts.

Which is what I said. Repeatedly.


What you forgot is that Google is also an app developer, not just a platform provider. My point is that Google didn't do much in their own apps, which if you haven't noticed they ship a whole bunch, to use the new space on 10".

I hadn't forgotten that Google is an app developer. I've just not used their apps at that high a resolution before and, until just now, nobody had mentioned that problem.

The only people whining in this thread are ones like yourself, who argue Samsung should not be allowed to modify Android. Everyone else is happy some progress is being made.

Actually that was never my point. I was saying that Samsung's implementation is crappy. If you have issue with the other peoples comments then take that up with the people who made them.

edit: that is unless you're on about my flippant remark I said at the start of the thread. "Sometimes I really do wish Samsung left the software development to Google."?
What I meant about that was that Samsung's additions are almost always crappy - so I wish they shipped stock ROMs. I'm not suggesting that Google should not allow Samsung to make modifications; I'm just despairing at how bad their modifications are.

I suspect you're reading a little too much into my comments ;)

And sure, Android has a long list of issues, and tiling is not even on top of that list. Having a 10" Nexus tablet was not top of the list either. So what? No one should be allowed to work on non-top priority items? What's your point? Never mind. I don't think you have one.

My point was quite clear when I said you were making a mountain out of a molehill. You're basically bitching about trivial things.

Stupid Google, why did they introduce multitasking in Android 1.x and multiuser support in 4.2, when no competing OSs had/have them? What a waste of time.

Multi-tasking on phones and PDA's existed long before Android and it's definitely a non-trivial feature.

You have more of a point about multi-user support though. Personally it's the biggest new feature I want to see on Android as many households share a tablet. But that's just my opinion.

What I was thinking more about when I cited Android's woes were:
* a clampdown on malware (I'm not even sure how Google would go about this, but there is a serious issue there)
* fixing their abysmal emulator in the SDK
* addressing the fragmentation issue (and I don't mean stopping companies like Samsung from adding Windowing - I mean companies shipping incompatible ROMs)

That's just off the top of my head and thankfully Google are addressing the last point. But I think the malware issue should be given priority above all else. But again, that's just my opinion. You might considering tiling of greater importance.

Reply Parent Score: 3