Sunday, November 28, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab Android Tablet, continued Part 3

I did not use the device very much in the last day. But here are a couple points I did find memorable. You will see a number of Galaxy Tab vs. iPad comparisons below, and I will report that I give the nod on most of them to the iPad. As I indicate, I need to give the Galaxy Tab some more time, I have used the iPad for almost seven months now and it has a real experience lead. And that does not always equate to being better:

* Voice command of the Android phone is very good for web and information searching. Using the combo of the Android 'microphone' and Google cloud to both convert your speech to text and do the search is a real powerful set. To my comparison mode with Android vs. iPad/Phone in this area, the Apple voice command system seems focused on two areas; voice dialing and iPod music control. Yes you can do other commands with Apple voice command, but is seems less useful and reliable once you leave the dialing and iPod control commands. On the Android, I've yet to figure out what [if any] commands will do a voice call. I think you can do it but is not obvious. However web searching and other commands like SMS texting are as close to 'natural' as I've seen on a voice controlled device to date.

* The power button location is on the right side on the Galaxy Tab. I need to be careful of my long time iPad owner bias, but so far I do find the iPad power button location on top more fluid.

* My comparison of hard buttons of the two tablets continues to the 'Home' button. So far, I find the iPad's concaved home button easier to 'find' and also it serves a better roll in helping 'orient' the tablet when you first pick it up. I use the power button on the Galaxy Tab for this orientation task [you often do this when you pull the tablet out of a bag or from a table where you have no idea how it was put down]. I realize that both tablets do have a autorotation function to make 'any side' up. But on both, I find this slows me down.

* More on buttons. On my first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, the four standard 'hard' buttons had physical feel and feedback. On the Droid and Galaxy Tab, these are capacitive buttons with no feel. See the pictures below. I'm sure as I use the Galaxy Tab more, I will remember my finger placement, but having the feedback here is very nice in a mobile device. There is a usability factor that I am starting to get a stronger understanding of when you use a mobile device. When you first start a set of steps on a mobile device you often start using the device in an unstable or awkward position, having buttons and other physical feedback items gets your brain through these insecure first few moments of interaction and lets  you get to the 'value' steps faster.


Motorola Droid









android-galaxytab.jpgSamsung Galaxy Tab


android-g1.jpgT-Mobile G1



* On a side note of the four physical buttons that are installed on almost all Android phones, different hardware manufactures seem to have the license to place the buttons in whatever order they want. Granted, not many folks are going to be regularly using two different Android devices, but I am. And as you can see between the Droid and Galaxy Tab pictures above, Motorola and Samsung have put three of the four buttons in different locations. G1 is different as well. Very difficult on my memory!

* On the auto-rotation function on the Galaxy Tab, I find it a bit more 'squirrely' then on the iPad. Both can be pretty annoying and I often find I've locked the orientation on both devices and then just 'deal' with turning the tablet. To this 'solution', that is why right now I find the iPad a bit quicker from 'on to usefulness' with its physical home button.

* Belkin Grip Vue silicon [or something like silicon] case. $29.95 at Best Buy. I like the product for two reasons; first the fit, finish and functionality of this cover is outstanding. This is not a full case for the Galaxy Tab, it only covers the back and edges of the unit. Nothing over the glass front. But it significantly enhances the 'grip-ablity' of the device. Second, kudos to Belkin for selling something that I doubt costs them more than dimes to make for THIRTY DOLLARS! Far too much markup, but what can you do.

I first purchased one of these for an iPad, I do want to report that the fit and usefulness of the Grip Vue is better on the iPad. On the Galaxy Tab, it does fit snugly but warps out along one edge and the fit around the power and volume buttons are not as useful as on the iPad. Also, because the iPad has more mass, the security you get after you start holding the iPad in the Grip Vue is greater. Still on the Galaxy Tab I feel better about 'one handing' it with it in the Grip Vue, but I really felt that way on the heavier iPad.

* Keyboard feedback. I am not sure as yet how to control this feature, but as you press 'keys' on the on screen keyboard on the Galaxy Tab, you get a 'vibrate' feedback. This is much better than the 'click' audio feedback on the iPad or iPhone. It does not tell you you're hitting the right key, but for some reason the vibrating feedback makes me more confident while typing.

1 comment:

  1. and this: