Interested in the new Android-powered Galaxy Tab? Of course you are, who isn’t? The iPad is a great device, but more competition in the marketplace makes every product better – Apple products included. Some people have been heralding the Galaxy Tab as the second coming, essentially, and Samsung’s marketing hasn’t helped matters much. Don’t get me wrong, of the flood of Android tablets hitting the market, the Galaxy Tab is probably one of the best – if not THE best – to make it to broad production, but it’s not quite ready to take on the iPad on its own turf just yet, and DVice understands why.
The trouble with the Galaxy Tab isn’t so much the hardware – I can overlook some of the things they dislike about it; even the egregious error of putting better hardware in your mobile phone than you’re putting into your tablet (especially when Samsung has admitted the Galaxy Tab will be much more expensive than the iPad,) but the reason problem here is the same problem the T-Mobile G1 faced in the early days of Android: apps.
There’s simply no wealth of apps for tablet versions of Android, and Google itself has acknowledged that Android simply wasn’t designed to run optimally on tablets and larger displays. That doesn’t mean it won’t be, and that doesn’t mean there won’t be apps, but it does mean that right now you can’t even do the old iPad trick of downloading an iPhone app and blowing it up to 200x to fill your iPad’s screen.
Unfortunately, until Google can get a version of Android that supports tablet devices out (which we’re hearing will come in Android 2.5 or 3.0, codenamed “Gingerbread,”) or app developers step up to the plate and start developing tablet apps for Android (which a number of developers, even Electronic Arts, has said they want to and are committed to Android, but hesitate to for lack of a coherent payment and storefront platform,) Android tablets will largely be Web-surfing and e-mail-checking tools for Apple haters and people who really just want an alternative to the iPad for ideological reasons, not technological ones.
A side question though: whither ChromeOS in this new age of tablets (and potentially the post-netbook era?)