see the commercial here. looks fun!
the connectivity will be a huge plus for buyers, if the price point is good. my friend Stephen Hackett over at forkbombr links to some great info on the device and its data plans. incidentally, if it’s tech info you want, Stephen’s your guy. you can follow his @forkbombr twitter to be updated about new posts to his very informative blog. while i often post about tech stuff, i’m mainly interested in how it pertains to the filmmaking world, so let’s dive into that.
it looks pretty cool, but nothing real innovative. Android seems like it would scale up decently. though Google has said it’s not ready for tablets (see the forkbombr article linked above), it’s clear they’ll be developing it in that direction. i don’t think you should hold things that are likely software updates against a device, even if it may take a few months (AHEM iOS 4.2).
the size is nice for a PDA, i suppose, but it’s a bit small for film production stuff. i like the size of the iPad when i’m on set. the screen is basically the size of the printable area of a piece of paper, so going through paperwork, scripts, overheads, etc. feels very natural. Â but the Tab IS 16:9; the openness (read: developer opportunities and/or hackableness) of the Android OS means that someone might develop a way to use it as a monitor for ACing or playback (a 30-pin dock connector gives access to HDMI and USB). overall, i don’t think the 7-in size Â is big enough to be advantageous over a smartphone.
it has some specs the iPad doesn’t. a microSD slot (takes up to 32GB) means your data could be interchangable, but if you have a 64GB iPad, it doesn’t mean more space. the obvious differences are the front and rear cameras. on set, this would be great for continuity photos, video conferencing back with this office maybe. still, i can do those with my iPhone 4. other than some references to third-party apps like Fring, i didn’t immediately find anything about what kind of videochat tech/software/protocol the Tab is using. FaceTime hasn’t caught on yet, and neither has anything else. the press release does suggest that it works over 3G, however.
but the Galaxy Tab (and Android in general) still lacks a few things that iPad (iOS) DOES have, namely apps. the following is a list of some filmmaking apps i use often which only exist on iOS (as far as i know):
- everything from Chemical Wedding (Artemis, Helios, Toland)
- cinemek Storyboard Composer
- Scripts Pro
- pCAM Film+Digital Calculator
there are probably some similar apps on Android i’m not aware of. and no doubt some of these developers are working on Android versions, but Chemical Wedding’s answer to this question in their FAQ for Artemis gives a bit of perspective:
Yes, we are working on an android version, but to be honest it’s a huge job. We have to almost start all over again. The problem is that on set the iPhone is king so it’s not giving us as much incentive to spend time learning new languages.
though i said before you shouldn’t hold potential software updates against a device, i don’t think this applies in the realm of apps. until developers have an incentive to go to Android, iPhone remains king of us artistech (see what i did there) filmmaker types.
so the Tab looks great, and could probably be used to do a lot of the stuff i do on set. but for now, i’ll stick with the iOS apps i rely on and the larger screen size & longer battery life of the iPad.