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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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Yes, you can print from your tablet, but the process usually requires some sort of proprietary solution rather than the hardware-agnostic, cross-platform simplicity we've come to expect with PCs. Apple's AirPrint, for instance, allows wireless printing from the iPad to AirPrint-ready printers, including models from Canon, Epson, HP, and other vendors. On the Android side, there's a Wild West assortment of printing options, such as Flipdog Solutions' Easy Print app, which lets you print documents and email via Google Cloud Print. The industry needs to come together and simplify the mobile printing muddle, however.

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Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:53:51 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
You can plug it into a docking station at your desk with a monitor and an external keyboard.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:50:36 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, or just don't use Hotmail... forward all e-mail to Gmail. This probably isn't a Flash issue. Microsoft probably uses their Silverlight competitor to Flash for Hotmail. It is more likely Microsoft just deciding not to support iPad because they don't like iPad.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:48:10 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Agree, the DVD item just points out the lengths they had to go to find problems for the iPad. New products commonly don't support antiquated storage methods.... The PC doesn't support tape cartridges, the tablet doesn't support DVDs.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:45:53 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, or don't manage the external storage at all, just store it on a file server in a data center somewhere.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:44:04 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yes, as with PCs, any application which requires serious processing power, memory or storage will reside on the server. The application will be processed on the server and the data will be stored on the server. If the internet doesn't exist, iPad is going to be worthless. If the internet continues to exist, it won't be a problem.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 11:40:52 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
All of these "problems", apart from those that are ridiculous on the surface (e.g. tablets will hurt your neck), are only problems if you are not aware that servers/internet exist. PCs do not run software that requires serious hardware spec, they all run on a server and the client device (PC, tablet, smartphone, whatever) only exists to present data. That is why you can sort petabytes upon petabytes of data through Google from your tablet. The tablet isn't doing any of the processing, nor is the PC, it is just connecting to a server that does the processing. You are able to have boat loads of video and mp3 files, or any other file you like, on your tablet because nothing is stored on the local device, it is stored behind a server on a SAN at Apple or Google or your corporate data center.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:06:45 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Bigger problem for me on tablets is keyboard (which CAN be augmented). I can touch type on a keyboard. Tablet for anything fairly serious, even email if you have to type more that about 15 words, starts to get laborious.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:05:16 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
One that still supports Flash ? ;-)
FritzNelson
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FritzNelson,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2012 | 7:04:37 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
One thing I'd still love -- and really need -- is to split the screen between 2 apps (no more than that, though; space won't allow) so I can see things side by side or move data between two apps. I *THINK* that there's a tablet that does this -- maybe it's the new Tabs from Samsung.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2012 | 6:46:23 PM
re: 8 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
Yep, the big problems on a tablet are screen realestate (which, as you noted is also a problem for laptops). It's basically a tradeoff that there is no way around unless you have incredibly good eyes (the iPad3 has more rez than your desktop most likely).

The other problem, similar to the lack of workspace, is working between two applications with data. For example, write a document where you have to do a bunch of calculation with a calculator. On a tablet, it's rough, on a desktop, no problem. There are a few solutions, but this is overall, an efficiency killer in the tablet world. But again, there are some fairly substantial efficiency/convenience gains that many (including myself) are willing to trade for that when mobile (such as battery life, portability, easy of getting to a task much more quickly, etc.).
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