Google presented the latest version of their Android operating system yesterday, which is codenamed Honeycomb. The presentation has been posted on YouTube.
I must admit that there were some nice touches in the User Interface of Android 3.0, particularly the use of hardware accelerated graphics. The UI is finger-driven, of course, and watching the demo really drives home the point that a Windows Tablet just isn’t designed for fingers. If Microsoft still haven’t grasped that fundamental point, and continue to insist that Windows Tablets, in their current form, can compete against Android and iPad tablets, then they will fail miserably.
Watching the presentation also drove home another couple of points to me. First, how much I loathe and detest marketing-speak. I’m afraid watching people with false smiles saying how excited they are to be here today to tell you all about their “cool” and “awesome” products has never been one of my favourite pastimes. Secondly, I am so clearly not in the target markets. I might just as well be from another planet. I think that was exemplified by the gentleman from Disney Mobile gushing excitedly about something called Tap Tap Revenge, which has probably earned the Disney Corporation more money than the GDP of most small countries.
And then there was the team from CNN showing their news application for the Android tablets. Quite apart from the fact that quality journalism is already a threatened species, CNN seem to be wanting to drive it further into extinction by introducing something called iReport. Essentially, CNN want to fool us into submitting news reports to them, for free, and my bet is that the rights subsequently belong to CNN, and not to the originator. I suspect that the quality of the majority of the stories will merely underline the veracity of Sturgeon’s Law. For example, on the page of news stories being demonstrated was one concerned with the fact that the iReporter’s miniature dachshund was caught in a recent snowfall.
I was left with the feeling that if Sturgeon were to redefine his Law today, he would probably revise the estimate of 90% (of everything being crud) to a number that would be considerably higher.
Still, looking beyond the fact that I am an old curmudgeon, it will be interesting to see how the Tablet market develops. This challenge from Google with Android 3.0 looks to be a good one.