No matter how hard Google and their seemingly endless list of hardware manufacturers try, they just cannot steal the tablet crown away from Apple and the iPad 2, but could all of that change with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich and the newer quad-core generation of Android tablets?
Are Android tablets ready for prime time?
The Android Honeycomb operating system that Google made specifically for tablets was rushed to market, and because of this it was sloppy and it under-performed in almost every area, mainly because Google did not optimize Honeycomb to use multiple cored processors, but millions still flocked to the Android side of the tablet market despite the performance issues.
Android Honeycomb tablets sold well, especially the Asus Transformer TF101 and the Motorola Xoom. Given the fact that all Android tablets running Honeycomb were actually more powerful than the iPad 2, it should have meant that the user experience should have equaled, if not bettered that Apple’s juggernaut, but Android tablets just could not offer the same level of performance. This just proves the point that better specifications do not necessarily mean a better device.
Android lovers have been longing for a tablet that could be labeled the first real ‘iPad killer’ and are now pinning their hopes on the second generation of Android tablets. Many are praying that Google, and the tablet manufacturers can deliver the goods.
Ready to rumble – Round 2
December 2011 will see the release of the latest generation Android tablets. Asus will be releasing a new Transformer tablet, the Transformer Prime. The Prime will be packing a new Tegra 3 (Kal-El) Quad-Core processer, 1GB of RAM, an 8mp camera, super IPS screen capable of 1080p, and the latest version on Google’s Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. The Prime will also carry the same price as the iPad 2, $499.
On paper, the new Prime tablet absolute wipes the floor with the iPad 2, but will this be a case of better specifications do not mean a better device all over again?
Google and the plethora of manufacturers that back Android will be hoping that the new operating system is ready for prime time, but will it be enough to topple the reigning tablet champion?
We have already seen that Android is power hungry, but even with fantastic specifications, the operating system still struggles to give the performance it should. Unless Google has fixed all of the issues within Android the answer to the above question will be no, and the iPad 2 will still be the king of tablets, but if Google has figured out how to harness the raw power of the new quad-core chips and fast RAM, Apple will have a real fight on their hands.
Is this Google’s last shot?
The beauty of Android is its open source, and customizable nature, but Android has left many users longing for a more stable and much snappier user experience. One has to wonder if this is Google’s last shot at delivering an iPhone, and iPad killing software.
If Google has figured out how to harness all of the power from the improved hardware then the sky will really be the limit, but if Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) fails to deliver the kind of performance that the iPad 2 can deliver on half the processing and RAM power then users might really start to question whether Google can deliver the experience that Android deserves.
With the knowledge that the iPad 3, and Microsoft’s Windows 8 powered tablets will be hitting the market in 2010, Google knows that time is running out.
At the end of the day great specifications mean nothing if the operating system cannot get the most out of them. It will be interesting to see if Google can finally harness the power of its new tablets, and if Android 4.0 can deliver the user experience adopters have been waiting for.