Will Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean solve Android's tablet problems?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | August 13, 2012 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Ed Burnette says the Jelly Bean-powered Nexus 7 changes the tablet game. Jason Perlow sees the same old same old.

Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette

Yes

or

No

Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow

Best Argument: No

64%
36%

Audience Favored: Yes (64%)

Closing Statements

What's not to like?

Ed Burnette

According to Jason, Jelly Bean won't make a difference to Android tablet adoption because not all tablets will be upgraded. By contrast, he claims, "all iPads in active use will be running iOS 6" in a few months. As the owner of an iPad 1, which was still being sold new as late as last year but won't run iOS 6, I can attest to the fallacy of that argument. A developer from Epic Games recently told me how painful it was for them to support the Unreal engine across a wide range of iOS versions, but they still had to do it because some people don't or can't upgrade. Sorry, Jason, but iOS isn't as homogeneous as you think.

The Nexus 7 will get timely over-the-air upgrades direct from Google, just like the Nexus S and Xoom before it. But even if that stopped, the over 4 million members of xda-developers.com will continue to support you with custom, officially blessed Android distros for years to come.

Next, Jason argues that Android is flawed because phones and tablets "do not have the same user interface". Give a Galaxy Nexus owner a Xoom, he says, and they won't know how to use it. Ok, I'll grant you that one shows the time at the top of the screen and one shows it at the bottom of the screen. But I think he's underestimating the intelligence of the average tablet user if he believes they can't make the adjustment.

Does the 7-inch form factor have legs? Probably not, says Jason. Unless Apple makes one. Then it's a great idea and its "staying power is absolutely assured". Right.

The fact is that the Nexus 7 is a great little device that fills a need we didn't know we had. Steve Jobs said nobody would want a 7 inch iPad because the iOS user interface would be too tiny on the smaller screen. But thanks to Android's scalable UI architecture, well written Android apps can adapt to screens of any size.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is an incremental update that brings better performance and features like Google Now. Between the new PDK (Platform Developers Kit) initiative and direct sales of their own branded devices, Google is making every effort to get new versions such as 4.1 in people's hands as quickly as possible. What's not to like?

Too many issues

Jason Perlow

While Jelly Bean brings a number of improvements to the Android operating system, most of which fall in the areas of system performance, the fundamental and well-known issues with Android still persist, which include a less user friendly UI than its competitor, significantly less apps than its competitor (few of which are tablet optimized) and a fundamentally broken relationship that Google has with its device OEMs and and wireless carriers which inhibit the OS updates of tablet and smartphone devices.

All in all, if these issues are not resolved in the near future, Jelly Bean will not significantly improve Android's position and market share as a tablet device operating system, sales from 7-inch tablets from Google and Amazon notwithstanding.

The winner is...

Lawrence Dignan

Although the Nexus 7 has garnered strong reviews, it's hard to buy Ed Burnette's argument that it is a big threat to the iPad. As Jason Perlow argued, the Android ecosystem is improving on tablets, but there are significant weaknesses. The winner of this debate is Perlow.

Talkback

120 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Not good enough

    With iPad's dominance and Win 8 tablets coming out... Android tablets will be out of place.
    Sunovavic
    Reply 18 Votes I'm for No
    • Windows?

      Windows will not break into the tablet space. Not yet, anyway. I see surface going no where. Android is plagued by diversity but it will do just fine. It's becoming the Windows 95 of the tablet arena and will continue to build, though not likely ever conquer, iOS. Apple's forthcoming mini iPad, though, will suck all the air out of the room if it's priced right. Windows is about to dumb-down its desktop in leu of tablet glory it simply can't achieve in the near-term.
      jpolk84
      Reply 18 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Still no 'phone connectivity

        The only problem I have with tablet devices is that they're not 'phones! Why can't they have a bt earpiece ... I don't want to have to carry multiple devices around with me.

        I wont be buying any tablet until this feature is added. I don't need a portable play system, or something to keep the kids occupied I need a useful device!
        Pastabake
        Reply 7 Votes I'm Undecided
        • 5" tablets are here

          Take a look at the Samsung Note. Excellent 5" tablet with phone built in.
          Mark Jahansouz
          Reply 6 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Yeah

          Check Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" what has GSM chip so you can make typical GSM calls and send SMS. You can either use tablet speaker mode, tablet headset with cables, bluetooth headset or even hold it as phone.

          Galaxy has taken count that some people would like to have tablet but use it as well phone (rare cases) with bluetooth dongle.

          And Asus has done same thing with Padphone. When you attach your smartphone to tablet (and tablet to keyboard dock), you can use its bluetooth pen as phone.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlBCTdFV1Uw

          So your answers has been answered long time ago but people don't like to search it. :)
          Fri13
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • Yeah

          Check Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" what has GSM chip so you can make typical GSM calls and send SMS. You can either use tablet speaker mode, tablet headset with cables, bluetooth headset or even hold it as phone.

          Galaxy has taken count that some people would like to have tablet but use it as well phone (rare cases) with bluetooth dongle.

          And Asus has done same thing with Padphone. When you attach your smartphone to tablet (and tablet to keyboard dock), you can use its bluetooth pen as phone.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlBCTdFV1Uw

          So your answers has been answered long time ago but people don't like to search it. :)
          Fri13
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • Yeah

          Check Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" what has GSM chip so you can make typical GSM calls and send SMS. You can either use tablet speaker mode, tablet headset with cables, bluetooth headset or even hold it as phone.

          Galaxy has taken count that some people would like to have tablet but use it as well phone (rare cases) with bluetooth dongle.

          And Asus has done same thing with Padphone. When you attach your smartphone to tablet (and tablet to keyboard dock), you can use its bluetooth pen as phone.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlBCTdFV1Uw

          So your answers has been answered long time ago but people don't like to search it. :)
          Fri13
          Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided
        • Jellybean lets you have some of that.

          It lets you tether to phones that support internet sharing via BT. Meaning that you can actually use the net with your tablet anywhere, via your wireless connection, without having to pay for another data plan. Now thats what I call integration.
          Jimster480
          Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
        • BT Phone App

          There's an app that you can install for a phone in the Google Play store.
          Lisa White
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • Its a PC and not a handset

          Tablets are personal computers, but appears as big handsets. Initially handsets evolved from computers and now appears tablets evolved from smart phones. A powerful personal computing tablet has to focus to processing units and chip sets for performance, not on silly things like 2g/3g connectivity. See that they have WiFi and Bluetooth using with we can tether to even a 2G handset.
          Louis Kurian
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided