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Tablet for note Taking


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#21 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5133

Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:44 AM


There is really no such thing as a "Google factory image."

Google would beg to differ ;)

Google has their factory image they send to their factory for their device, yes. It won't work on any other device. You can't build it from source, either. Android is not Android. The world of Android and mobile hardware is radically different from Windows and bog-standard PC hardware. Do not think the OEMs and carriers are happy with the current situation (and don't think the OEMs and channel resellers were happy with the PC/Windows situation, either). The only people who have been at all happy lately are the veritically-integrated concerns like Apple and maybe the console manufacturers. Why do you think Microsoft now has a tablet and an app store? Why do they have a games console and a walled-garden network experience?

As to the original thread of using a tablet for taking notes, yes, it can be done. You can be trained to use it for such a purpose, just as goldfish can be trained, and you can crow about it. But, just like many other simplistic demonstrations, when it comes to serious usage you'll find you need the right tool for the job. If by note taking you mean updating your Facebook status and sending tweets between looking at pictures of kittens, it's great. If you mean writing a few hundred lines of notes before looking up, you will quickly find your $700 toy is not the tool you're looking for and a $300 netbook is a better bet (and a $700 ultrabook is best). These are the prices in local money I've recently paid for these devices, your local mileage may vary.
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#22 zer0wolf   Members   -  Reputation: 1018

Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:05 AM

Note that if you can always get a $30 (or less) bluetooth keyboard for your tablet if you're going to wind up doing more typing that expected.
Also, Wacom sells really nice pens for $30 that work well for writing on tablets.
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#23 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 604

Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:36 PM

I would need it to work out mathimatical-esque problems, I cant do that with a netbook or notebook. Keep in mind I travel about 2.5 hours a day on public transportation, I would take out pen and paper and try to work out problems (if I can find a seat) but managing papers on a train can be annoying even if you have all the space you need. If there are no seats (which is the case alot of times if you live in a major city) I can't do anything but read. But the way i learn is by doing all the problems in the book as they come along.

The reason I thought a tablet might be convenient (though a expensive convenience) is because of the following things.

1. If I dont have a seat, I can not work out problems or jot down notes (I need something to press against and if I'm standing up I dont have a surface to press against). Now if I had a tablet I could even work out problems standing up.

2. Handling paper can be very annoying especially when one problem takes you 2 or more pages to complete. If anyone here has taken a high level physics or any science course for that matter (I'm also currently going to school partime to finish a degree in phsyics and mathematics) they know that many times problems span multiple pages, flipping back and forth between pages to complete one problem makes it easy for you to lose your place or train of thought. If I had a tablet I could simply scroll up and then, then constantly flip the page to its back side to see where I was going.

3. Trying to find old notes that you have jumbled in some pieces of loose paper or a notebook can be time consuming, I can search for text I wrote I can potentially save alot of time.

4. A tablet weighs less then a 200 page notebook.

5. I type faster then I write, so if I can type text while writing down equations (which I obviously cant type) then thats just an extra bonus.

6. If a teacher draws a graph on the board I can just take a picture of the graph instead of copying it and insert it into my notes.

7. I usually buy the college recommended textbook as well as getting some supplementary material, if I get a tablet it can also double as some of my supplementary material, whether its an E-Book, or internet material. It saves me from carrying an extra 5 to 7 lbs of supplementary text or laptop when going back and forth between work, school and home.


Please bare in mind that I travel ALOT, when there are no classes I'm still on a train for 2.5 hours, and with classes thats jumps up to 3 to 3.5 hours, That is alot of time I try to do my best to capitalize on. So the convenience and weight off my shoulder (literally) is worth its weight in gold for me.

The tablet Idea is something I thought could be a useful and convenient experiment/investment. I have been a long time android phone user, and sure android acts buggy from time to time, but honestly from my experiences atleast that's only 2% of the time and turning it off and on usually fixes those issues.

I feel like alot of these comments are more biased based opinions then fact based. I'm on the look out for things more along the lines of "From my experiences most tablets dont really have a battery life of 4 hours even if they say 9 hours...", "It is really easy to confuse the tablets surface when trying to write notes with your palm...", "I tried using it for notes but found it really inconvenient myself and quickly resorted back to paper...". I really do appreciate the comments and suggestions though as I have been made aware of more things, but would appreciate and objective point of view.

#24 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

It seems the x86 version of Microsoft Surface comes with a pen, so that could be worth checking out once it's out.

If you want to do handwriting or drawing, I think doing it with a finger on a capacitive touchscreen is an exercise in futility.

I agree that managing sheets of paper and pen is a little annoying, but so far there's no affordable consumer replacement in electronic form that comes even close to the precision you can get with a 0.5 mm pencil and paper.

#25 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 871

Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:47 AM

Google has their factory image they send to their factory for their device, yes. It won't work on any other device. You can't build it from source, either. Android is not Android. The world of Android and mobile hardware is radically different from Windows and bog-standard PC hardware. Do not think the OEMs and carriers are happy with the current situation (and don't think the OEMs and channel resellers were happy with the PC/Windows situation, either). The only people who have been at all happy lately are the veritically-integrated concerns like Apple and maybe the console manufacturers. Why do you think Microsoft now has a tablet and an app store? Why do they have a games console and a walled-garden network experience?


He was referring to standard Android, as is run on the Google branded devices, as opposed to the phones that run different versions.

Not that I'd say one should restrict yourself with the Google branded devices - all Android phones these days seem fine. Basically, Daaark's comment just seemed rather ridiculous, and not what most of us experience. Either it was problems with old versions of Android (which is about as relevant as criticising Apple for not being able to do copy/paste or run apps), or is was some terrible make of phone that they'd messed around with the OS badly.

Yes, the downside of open source is that someone can modify it in a bad way. But there are advantages to it too.

For the rest of what you say, indeed of course companies are happier when they get more control. MS has been doing this kind of thing for years; it's why Facebook loves its walled garden, and so on. For the OEMs, this is why Samsung continue to keep their options open with Bada, WP, and Tizen, despite their massive success with Android. But writing, maintaining and supporting an operating system, and getting people to use it, requires a lot of money and marketing, so there are good reasons why companies are better using other companies' products. (It's good for consumers too, avoids too much fragmentation in choice of platforms.) Also there's nothing special about Apple - despite using their own platforms, they are still dependent on other companies for hardware. Their products use the produce of companies such as Intel and major competitor Samsung. Samsung have expertise at making CPUs and screens, but defer to other companies for operating systems. Apple can build end hardware and develop their own OS, but defer to other companies for the CPUs and screens. I don't know if any of this is related to the original point about how good Android is, though...
http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#26 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:25 PM

It sounds like you want a Microsoft Courier! I know, I wanted one to... how is it Microsoft can kill off the courier, and release something like the Kin? What the hell were they thinking?



#27 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 604

Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:08 PM

@Tstrimple, that does look pretty kick ass, too bad it was canceled :-/

#28 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

Daaark's comment just seemed rather ridiculous, and not what most of us experience

Are you running a Samsung device? From experience they seem to be the most stable. You also posted the word PHONE and not tablet. The galaxy line is VERY popular, and people tend to make sure their apps run good on it.

Not a single thing I posted was made up or exaggerated. It's hard for people to see casually, because no one is running the same OS or often even the same Apps. Google Play allows you to upload various versions of your APK file, and people will see the specific version that is filtered for them, or none at all if they don't meet the requirements in the APK filters.

The last firmware update I got was a custom hack by Asus to make Chrome not crash on their devices (so I'm running a custom fork of an OS that only exists on my device with my firmware revision and it runs a custom hack of chrome.) The last 6 or so firmwares by Asus were just playing musical chairs with the catastrophic bugs. Phantom reboots, all apps bombing to desktop, keyboard not matching up with the one on screen, etc...)

It's the same crap over and over again, only the device names change. In the last while since the Nexus 7 came out, people have been updating them to be optimized for it, at the expense of breaking them for tons of other devices. Last week it was an app I have a lot of money tied up in that made it impossible to view the media we purchased because the new patch made it only work correctly on the Nexus 7 from then on...

It's impossible to discuss Android in a general sense like we discuss Windows and MacOS. Because all the users are in their own little eco systems. They have their own OS forks and often their own specially tailored version of an app. What is stable for one user can be a nightmare for everyone else.

Think of Android today like OpenGL a decade ago. Intel users were completely screwed. The hardware as bad and the drivers would report versions of OpenGL were supported even through they didn't actually support a single required feature. ATI users were hit or miss. Early versions of their drivers had special hacks for special games (like Ati Quake GL). HOWEVER, nVidia users were like the Samsung Galaxy and Nexus 7 users of today. They had it on easy street. Both because nVidia had great OpenGL support, and they were the number one brand. Everyone programmed for nVidia and then went back and tried to patch things up to cover for the bugs and inconsistencies on Ati and Intel.

#29 dimitri.adamou   Members   -  Reputation: 329

Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

A bit Off topic, One thing I find hilarious, "My paper ran out of batteries!"

#30 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 871

Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:52 AM

Are you running a Samsung device? From experience they seem to be the most stable. You also posted the word PHONE and not tablet. The galaxy line is VERY popular, and people tend to make sure their apps run good on it.

I can see that the more obscure Android devices may have the problems you describe - I'm just saying, it's not something people seem to experience with mainstream devcies likes those from Samsung or HTC. Also I think this is more a problem with older versions of Android, which was a lot less mature (and criticisms against that aren't really fair, we might as well criticise older versions of IOS, which were also immature). Standard Android 4 is pretty damn good, so there's no longer any need for manufacturers to tinker with it, unless they really can add value to it (as Samsung do).

It's the same crap over and over again, only the device names change. In the last while since the Nexus 7 came out, people have been updating them to be optimized for it, at the expense of breaking them for tons of other devices. Last week it was an app I have a lot of money tied up in that made it impossible to view the media we purchased because the new patch made it only work correctly on the Nexus 7 from then on...

It's hard to generalise from anecdotes. Yes, there exists at least one Android app that had a bug in a new version - there exist loads of those on any platform Posted Image

It's impossible to discuss Android in a general sense like we discuss Windows and MacOS. Because all the users are in their own little eco systems. They have their own OS forks and often their own specially tailored version of an app. What is stable for one user can be a nightmare for everyone else.

Not really - I'd say it's just the same situation as Windows PCs, as even though the software might be the same, you have lots of different hardware to support. I'd argue that a lot of the problems with supporting Android isn't the OS forks, but the hardware differences. (Plus, with different versions of Windows, you can have incompatibility problems there too).

Think of Android today like OpenGL a decade ago. Intel users were completely screwed. The hardware as bad and the drivers would report versions of OpenGL were supported even through they didn't actually support a single required feature. ATI users were hit or miss. Early versions of their drivers had special hacks for special games (like Ati Quake GL). HOWEVER, nVidia users were like the Samsung Galaxy and Nexus 7 users of today. They had it on easy street. Both because nVidia had great OpenGL support, and they were the number one brand. Everyone programmed for nVidia and then went back and tried to patch things up to cover for the bugs and inconsistencies on Ati and Intel.

Hardware differences are always a risk, whether on computers or phones. There are advantages and disadvantages to platforms that have lots of models (Windows, Linux, Android) or a few (like Apple, or consoles). Yes, difficulty of support is the disadvantage, but I like the advantages such as bigger markets and freedom of choice.

Plus even for Apple, you've now got lots of models due to Iphones and Ipads, and several generations of each. I've heard Iphone users telling me of problems that new versions of software no longer works on older Iphones, for example.

I'm not denying that things were probably poor for a lot of Android users in the early days (personally I happily kept with Symbian on my Nokia 5800, until 2012). But I think things are a lot better for anyone buying an Android 4 device from now on. Things will never be perfect, but then even today, it's still a problem on Windows that something that works for some people might be buggy or not work at all for others.

It's also, as I say, an inherent downside of open source, in that someone has the freedom to make a poor quality port of it. But I don't thnk that means open source is bad, as there are advantages to it too. Let the market choose - people have the freedom to choose the better quality devices, rather than the brands which mess around with Android.

I suspect this is one reason Google released the Nexus 7 - whilst Samsung were doing fine at the high end, the low end was either poor brands of Android tablets, or the Kindle Fire which Amazon were more intent on making their own walled garden with. Since a mainstream low cost Android tablet makes a lot of sense, Google have decided to do the job themselves (well, with ASUS's help).

Edited by mdwh, 22 August 2012 - 07:53 AM.

http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux




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