Tablet: The Bad that comes with the Good

Of course, in addition to the good — solid OS, and overall positive experience from all sides — there is some bad that comes with the owning of my new tablet.

Lacking Apps

  • No Netflix. I said about 2 months ago that I’d run into my first real pain from DRM — not being able to move files from a broken Wii to a new Wii. This Netflix disaster is another one. Apparently there’s some software issues that prevent this, but the biggest reason that things seem to be stuck is simply because ensuring playback remains DRM-safe is harder than it should be. Netflix support exists on certain Android platforms, and there are a bunch of hacks out there to make it work on the tablet I have, but it’s not currently possible without rooting it.
  • No Hulu. Same as above. Hulu just gives a “No streaming support for your device” message when loading it in the browser, and there’s no App for Android. I’ve really enjoyed the fact that over the past year, more and more of my video watching can be done completely legally, and the lack of support for the tablet is forcing me to back off of that position overnight, which is a shame. (I’m happy to watch adverts, let people track me, even give feedback on how much ads appeal to me — if I can actually get my content. Since I can’t…)
  • No Facebook app? Not really sure what’s up with that, since it doesn’t seem like Facebook would be that hard, but there doesn’t seem to be an official Android Tablet app. I did grab a copy of “Friend Me”, which seems like it’s providing a reasonable replacement.
  • No support for DivX video playback out of the box — but easily solved with a number of other video players on the device, it seems. (Sadly, my personal favorite, VLC, isn’t yet publicly available for Android.

Hardware/Tablet Nits

The Tablet doesn’t seem to support USB mass storage. It does support the “MTP”/Media Transfer Protocol, so I was able to use an app called “XNJB” to copy files over to it, but not being able to use the built in filesystem tools in the OS is pretty unfortunate.

It’s not possible to connect to ad-hoc wireless networks, like those created on mobile devices using software like Joikuspot. It seems like there are (again) some workarounds to this — replacing wpa_supplicant on a rooted device — but nothing that you can do out of the box. (I hate turning ‘toys’ into ‘work’, so I’m trying to avoid rooting if I can.)

No charging, not even trickle charging, over USB. I really think this is unacceptable: even if you can’t increase battery power over USB, there is no reason that you can’t prevent my battery from draining as fast if I’m plugged into USB.

I’m sure I’ll run into more; this is just what I’ve run into so far as I go through. Overall, I’m still 100% happy with the purchase; it is so far looking like it will definitely be worth it for me. But I also recognize that it’s not a perfect tool, and there are improvements I wish could be made.

(As an aside: does anyone have any recommendations for a good Flickr *browsing* application, both my photos and others, on Android Tablets? “Flickr Viewer HD” is … suboptimal in the way it navigates, and browsing contacts photos seems hard to impossible.)

One Response to “Tablet: The Bad that comes with the Good”

  1. Lazoto Says:

    Seriously what tablet are you using? You can get lots of apps this days on Google marketplace if you are using an android tablet