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3/21/2012
01:30 PM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
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8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do

Have we really entered a post-PC world? The new Apple iPad and its tablet rivals still come up short on a few important measures.
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Unfair? After all, the new iPad's Retina display and quad-core graphics make Apple's third-generation slate a fine platform for swiping games, including Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and Apple's demo-fave, the Infinity Blade series. But the iPad's touch display can't match the options of a gamepad or keyboard, and slates aren't ideal for first-person shooters. Bottom line: FPS fans won't abandon the PC, Xbox 360, or Playstation 3 for the tablet anytime soon.

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stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2014 | 2:41:17 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
I just wanted to report back that I've found a pretty good text editor/browser combination. It's called Editorial and is insanely more powerful than I'm able to use, but makes an excellent text editor, with a quick side-swipe access to built-in browser. It also has Python fully integrated, so it's incredible for automation and expansion.

While I mentioned Side-by-Side, I don't really use it that much due to the horrible UI. But, at least it shows the possibility. I'm hoping iOS 7 opens up lots of better apps in this category. 
AdamFort
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AdamFort,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 6:07:51 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Agree with Stevew928, it starts to be complicated to use tablet when you need to type a lot. On phisical keyboard you can finish your task 2 times faster. As for 2013, average typing speed is 41 wpm (source) and it's quite enough for every day typing tasks.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/16/2012 | 4:05:38 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Please - I'm still waiting for the one-click version of this article.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2012 | 5:08:01 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, use WiFi... or tether to a smartphone.
rtfortier
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rtfortier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2012 | 2:32:58 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Great article. The good news is, things are not as dire as they may seem when it comes to printing. EFIGs PrintMe Mobile has done a lot to simplify mobile printing and address most of these issues. www.efi.com/printmemobile
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2012 | 8:57:32 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
re: #4 - heh, no kidding. If you happen to work at a desk/desktop that is properly setup ergonomically, than their argument might be true. But, if you're comparing it to a laptop (or other mobile device), I don't see their point. Yea, good call!

re: #5 - I also just don't get gaming on tablets, phones, etc. If I'm going to waste time gaming (hey, I do it, love it, but it is rather wasted time... there are usually better things to do), I'll play real games on a console or gaming PC. I suppose with AirPlay and external controllers, it changes things a bit, but tablets will never match consoles or gaming computer setups.

re: #6 - People still print?!?! (That said, the iPad really does need built-in print to PDF)
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2012 | 8:47:34 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes. The biggest challenge to this is the connectivity to the cloud. It's just too darn expensive at this point for the average user, so most have to rely on wifi or be fairly wealthy to sign up to the services. Hopefully that will one day get better, rather than worse once the telcos figure out they are ISPs, not content resellers.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2012 | 8:44:24 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, that would be really handy! There are some apps that allow you to do some of that functionally. One I use is "Side by Side" which allows you to split the screen by up to 4 sections, where any of the panes can be browser, notes, or a file (from, say, Dropbox). It's a bit confusing to use at first, and could have better Dropbox support, but the concept is solid and solves a lot of issues in my workflow when I need to reference another document while I'm researching/writing.

But, having iOS actually allow 2 apps side by side would be awesome. I suppose it would be a bit of a UI nightmare though... but maybe this could be solved by each 'pane' being either scrollable for apps with a fixed size, while some apps (like a browser or text editor) could easily be 'pane' aware. It wouldn't be super elegant, so I'm not sure Apple would go that route, but I'd find it quite useful.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2012 | 8:38:37 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, I agree that it isn't nearly as nice typing on a tablet screen as it is on a physical keyboard (as you noted, one can be used, and I do take a BT keyboard with me if I envision any serious typing in my workflow). That said, the iPad isn't THAT bad (15 words), as I often type much more than that in answering an e-mail or responding to a blog post, etc.

I can type about 30 wpm consistently on the iPad, which isn't that horrible (my speed on a physical keyboard is consistently 50-ish), well at least when copying stuff for a speed test... I think I'm considerably faster on either when just typing my thoughts. But I do find the task more tiring on the iPad and more frustrating.

But, the plus side is that I can pull out a tablet and be in a program, entering data or using the UI much more quickly than I could get out a laptop, open it, wait for it to be ready, find a place to set it or try to hold it for typing, etc. In those moments (which actually happen quite often when I'm mobile), the speed of entry usually isn't as key as the speed of being ready to use it.

If I'm in a meeting or lecture, etc. where I know I'll be taking notes, or doing research/writing type work, I just use the external keyboard. With the external keyboard added, its only slightly slower to work than with a laptop w/ trackpad (a trackpad, IMO, is still superior for text selection and positioning, etc. but not by nearly as much as a mouse on a desktop box.).
Pitchy
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Pitchy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/23/2012 | 2:55:25 AM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Stop trying to sell pet rocks (PC laptops) and come to the future. Slide 2 - cloud computing Slide 3-Security? There's probably an app for that. Plus PCs and Viruses are like pb&j slide 4- Post PC pain...ha ha have you ever lugged around a PC laptop for work. I'm sure there are millions who are shorter on one side of their body because of it. Yeah, an iPad causes more strain than crouching in at a laptop. I'm sure you've also got an ergonomic sundial to sell me so I don't hurt my eyes looking at my watch. Slide 5 - yeah iPads stink and gaming but so do laptops. You know what games look great on...my 50 in TV. Slide 6 - you put this in to make a deadline,right. You're telling me PC driver software for printing was a calming, easy experience. Are you serious? Slide 7- be a grownup and stimulate the economy. Have someone upload all that crap oh I meant important information stuff to carbonite and never look at it again. Slide 8-Power software is where we agree it sucks for the iPad. But that's where the money is...cloud software is what the iPad will do best. Product cycle folks are getting ready to start the carpet roll. Oh you PC people will need to own your software..hope you have a big cd rack ;) Slide 9- Jeff, Jeff, Jeff your hand on your coffee as you wrote this story was hotter than any iPad. They figured out swipe, touch screen technology, gorilla glass, but they won't solve heat dissipation. Well I'm off to the future you enjoy your PC paperweight and your AOL account.
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