As a happily married man, falling in love again is not generally thought to be a good thing. However last night I did. Not only that, but my wife was not happy. I had better explain…
We are going away soon to the US so that I can be best man at my best mates wedding. Elizabeth and Jet are coming too, and we thought that as we will spend a lot of time in planes, and waiting around that being able to distract ourselves with a good film or two would be a good thing.
We looked around a bit (quite a bit actually) and it came down to a decision between getting an iPad2 and an Eee Pad Transformer. We knew exactly what we would get with the iPad2, but the Transformer was a bit of an unknown. After deliberation, we opted for the Transformer. The reasons? It is cheaper – significantly – something like £200 all in, the ability to read websites as they are meant to be (flash) and we read many many good reviews from very well respected websites.
Out of the box the Transformer is amazing. After a quick charge, and logging in with your Google account, it knows exactly who you are – not only that but your contacts are downloaded, your photos are there, and all docs. The unit itself is slick, image amazing and clear. The Honeycomb UI – no problems with it at all (I haven’t experienced yet any of the problems with 3.01 that others have).
So what nearly caused us to return the Transformer only hours after receiving it? The things we wanted to use it for (films specifically) are so blinkin difficult to get on it! I spent hours last night looking for ways to transfer films on, and woke up early again this morning to do the same thing.
The problem isn’t the unit specifically, it isn’t even the OS that runs on it. It is with Google. I can see why people crow about the iPad. The simplicity of having a store where you can select a film, and download it is just what you need. The time and angst trying to find the right file coding for Handbrake, working out how to transfer it on to an SD card (which is not as easy as it sounds) is very close to not being worth the hastle. Google need to address this, and quickly. There are companies such as Netflix and Amazon who in the US allow for file download. The closest we have in the UK is BlinkBox which just allows download to PC. It is a conflict that goes to the heart of the Android ideology – freedom to use which app you like, when you like with little control from an equivalent App Store, with amazing multitasking etc. etc, but when the main competition is Apple, that likes to hand hold you through every process you have a problem. it is not good enough to be good enough, you need to be the best, and sorting out this problem soon is critical.
Luckily, I have managed to find the right package to sort out the films – it isn’t perfect at all, but I can live with it until Google get their act together. And I can stay with the tablet I love 🙂