The trouble with all shortcuts is that they become outdated pretty quickly. But nobody wants to notice this. A little about the new iPad, an interesting transforming device from Samsung, a frameless smartphone from Sony and a laptop with two different operating systems at once
People are madly in love with sorting, classifying, sorting and labeling everything. And the more information is available to them, the higher the temptation to quickly divide everything into black and white, right and wrong, innovative and morally outdated. It is understandable – otherwise you can simply drown in the flow of information, choking on unnecessary facts, other people's impressions and irrelevant news. But most people simply do not have time and desire to study every news for a long time and delve into all the subtleties and intricacies, digging into the truth for forgery.
All this chaos needs to be somehow sorted out, sorting the information into the necessary and not so much in advance. For example, once and for all decide for yourself that the news of company A is of great interest, and that the news of company N is not worth wasting time, since there is nothing worthwhile there and cannot be. This immediately solves all problems – now any features and innovations in OS X can be automatically considered the standard of quality and set as an example to everyone, and facts about OS Y are obviously considered useless 'tricks', without wasting time and effort on unnecessary doubts.
This approach applies not only to brands, but also to specific technologies or even the devices themselves. Someone thinks that Android is a buggy and braking system, in every news and review looking for only confirmation of their opinion. Someone thinks that the only solution from Intel can be a 'normal' processor, and the rest is only suitable for 'dialers', no matter how many cores there are. And someone sincerely believes that the word Pentile automatically makes any screen terrible. Each of us has our own cockroaches in our heads, and there is no escape from this. All we can do is try to question conventional concepts from time to time, trying to figure out if the labels we have hung lovingly are out of date. And try not to give a discussion about the technical features of the devices to develop into a crusade or a witch hunt.
The other day an article of the same name was published, in which it was a question of several hypostases of the same devices. Somewhere for the same smartphone, the manufacturer prepares several different operating systems at once, somewhere it tries to make a transformer device out of a mobile phone that can replace not only a tablet, but also a laptop.
|Offtopic: mobile duality|
A very interesting idea sounded in the comments to the article – they say, there can be no question of any replacement for a laptop, because the vast majority of mobile devices are based on processors that do not support x86 architecture. And even if you insert such a smartphone into a special docking station with a mouse, keyboard, an additional battery and a large screen, it will not change anything – the laptop will still turn out to be defective.
The myth of low performance of mobile processors has lived and will live on. Indeed, if you compare the performance of a processor in a PC or laptop with a processor in a smartphone, the difference is immediately apparent. And I don't think that anything on this front will change anytime soon, at least until smartphones are equipped with giant batteries and water cooling systems. But who said that they need to be compared directly?
If one person is younger than the other by several years, then he will be younger for the rest of his life. But this does not mean at all that he should be considered an ignorant child until the end of his days. With mobile technology, the picture is exactly the same – maybe mobile hardware is inferior to similar components from the world of computers, but this does not mean that it is not suitable for full-fledged work.
An example is the news about the installation Windows XP on the smart watch LG G Watch. Of course, there is no practical value in this, and instead of the usual desktop, the user was greeted only by the command line window, but the fact itself is very indicative.
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To run it, we used a Bochs emulator and a lightweight distribution kit Windows XP weighing about 100 MB.
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The main question here is not the power of the processors, but the number of programs familiar to the user. Most mobile applications are not designed to work on huge screens. Yes, they usually have 'tablet' versions, but that's not it anyway. If you've ever tried running 'tiled' applications on a large computer screen with Windows 8, then you probably realize that the difference will be huge. How many PC users prefer the 'tiled' Skype to its 'desktop' counterpart? I have no statistics, but I suspect that there are only a few. The familiar x86 applications, which we are used to using on a computer, will not work without 'dancing with a tambourine' on ARM processors. Anyway, until the manufacturers come up with a really decent emulator.
As an example of such a situation in the comments, they cited Photoshop, which really cannot be installed on such a “telephone” ARM computer. Of course, there is such a thing as Photoshop Touch, but it's clearly impossible to call this mobile program a full-fledged replacement for the familiar version of Photoshop. She initially had completely different tasks.
|Photoshop Touch. Amateur experience|
Apparently, Adobe is thinking about the same thing. In any case, just the other day, company representatives announced that soon Photoshop Touch will disappear from Google Play and Apple Appstore, and it will be replaced by an application codenamed Project Rigel. It will be a professional graphics editor that can work without problems even with images with very high resolution. This is unlikely to be an exact copy of Photoshop, but it will clearly be something very similar to it.
Only one moment is alarming – the program will be free. With all due respect to Adobe, I highly doubt that the company has decided to do charity work … and I really hope that this is not the F2P model, with paid tools and other annoying restrictions.
But this is in any case a separate conversation and a completely different story.
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Of course, this is not about Photoshop per se. But this is a great example of the fact that mobile versions of well-known applications can easily catch up with their 'desktop' counterparts in functionality. Especially if manufacturers don't have to adapt their interface exclusively to the tiny screens of smartphones. If companies understand that all these transformer devices are not just nice words, but a real opportunity to make money, then software will appear.
Maybe someone would like everything to happen the other way around – first, a bunch of applications adapted for such a scenario appeared, and only then the devices themselves began to be sold. In real life, this does not happen, first the hardware comes out, then the software is optimized and adapted for it. The first multi-core processors or solutions with support for the x64 architecture also did not give much performance gain, all this came only later, when the software adapted for them appeared.
On the other hand, mobile technology manufacturers are increasingly looking towards processors Intel. Among the geeks who study in detail all the characteristics of the purchased smartphone, there is still a widespread belief about poor optimization of such solutions and possible problems with launching mobile applications. For the first devices on Intel, everything was really not very smooth, but all this is already in the past. Now, even the eminent A-brands, which clearly have plenty to choose from, have nothing against Intel.
For example, there are rumors circulating on the net about a new top-end Samsung tablet based on Intel Atom x5-Z850. This is a quad-core processor with a clock speed of 2.24 GHz, made on a 14nm process technology.
Other features of the device include 4 GB of RAM and OS Android 5.1
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But let's get back to the topic of 'transformers'. Apparently, the same Samsung has been working in this direction for a long time. In any case, this is evidenced by a patent recently published by the USPTO – the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent describes a device consisting of two parts – a docking station in the form of a laptop and a familiar Android smartphone. At first glance, it might seem that we are talking about an analogue of the ATRIX 4G, which could also be connected to a docking station with a large screen. But no, it's not that simple. The fact is that although the smartphone itself runs on Android, when docked it will automatically switch to Windows, allowing the user to work in a familiar environment.
Interestingly, the smartphone will not only act as the 'heart' of the device, replacing the processor and hard drive with such a 'laptop', but also can be used as a touchpad and 3G modem.
Let me remind you that all this is only a concept, whether such a device is being developed in reality is still unknown.
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A similar solution with dual loading can be found in more compact devices, which were not originally designed for connection to a large screen. An example is the Honeywell Dolphin 75e portable mobile computer, which is the size of a regular smartphone.
The device currently supports Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld and Android 4.4 KitKat, in the future it is expected to update to Windows Embedded Handheld 10 and Android 5.0 Lollipop. The device is designed primarily for corporate users who need not only high mobility, but also access to Windows applications. For example, such a device will greatly help in auditing, accounting and registering incoming goods and other things.
Other features of the Honeywell Dolphin 75e include a touch screen that supports glove operation and IP67 protection. Pre-orders will begin to take until the end of this month, and the device will go on sale in July this year.
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The idea of docking stations and all kinds of transformer devices is very impressive to me personally. But still, first of all, any smartphone is a separate device, valuable in itself, and not just a processor with a hard drive that needs to be plugged into a suitable docking station. And beautiful design for him is no less important than the power of iron.
But beauty is a relative concept. One likes one thing, another another. And everyone needs to please the producers in some way. For most companies, there are two ways out – either to release a discreet device with a standard design, which will not amaze the imagination, but will not cause irritation, or focus on fashion. After all, fashion, unlike beauty, is a pretty definite thing. And then let someone try to say that the record-breaking thin smartphone is ugly – they will immediately throw stones at it.
Of course, case thickness is far from the only fashion trend. Thin bezels around the display are now considered an equally important canon of beauty. And if now, for the most part, you will not surprise anyone with a thin body, frameless devices are still a novelty and may well cause a 'wow effect' among buyers.
So far, such devices have been produced mainly by manufacturers little-known in our country from Japan and China. But slowly heavy artillery from popular brands is catching up with them.
For example, judging by the latest leaks, a similar smartphone is being prepared by Sony. And I must say that even from the available images, the smartphone makes an impression. What prevented the Sony Xperia Z3 + from doing this is a mystery, it seems to me that thanks to just one fresh design, the interest in the smartphone would be several times higher. There will be only a few to figure out exactly how many “parrots” the processor installed in the novelty is gaining, but everyone will notice the bright design. Moreover, for those who are not familiar with frameless smartphones from other companies, such a design is not just a real breath of fresh air, but an example of that innovative and inimitable Sony Style, which has gradually begun to disappear from the company's products.
Other features of the device include an eight-core 64-bit processor MediaTek MT6752, 2 GB of RAM and 13-megapixel cameras: that is, both the front and main cameras have a resolution of 13 megapixels, which means this is another smartphone for selfies. Sony Lavender runs the operating system Android Lollipop and supports two SIM cards at the same time. It is not yet clear when the new product will hit the market.
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One way or another, the epidemic of 'the thinnest possible' is gaining momentum every day. Even special studies are devoted to this issue, where they study which manufacturer came closest to the mythical ideal.
So far, the clear leader is Sharp, which has reduced the bezels to a minimum, not only on the sides, but also on the top of the screen. And it is unlikely that in the near future someone will surpass it, both in dry numbers and in the impression of the device.
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Frameless smartphones can really look very interesting. But I really would not want everything to come down to labeling again. 'Framed', 'frameless' … in itself all this does not matter. This is just a design technique, a new tool, but not an end in itself. If you remove the frames from the smartphone, it will not automatically become a style icon. Until the effect of novelty has passed, all this is perceived with a bang, but what next? After all, at least at the moment, the real competitors of the same Sharp are not visible.
Rules of conduct for the gods of Olympus
Most of the stereotypes are in large companies, for example Apple. Someone thinks that every device of this company is continuous innovation, someone is outraged that they only steal other people's ideas. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between, but the disputants usually have no time to search for it, all their strength goes to their crusade.
Reputation is a great power. Even when smartphones with a completely standard screen diagonal for the market were released last year in Apple, connoisseurs of the brand perceived this as a real revolution. And in a sense, the revolution really happened – not only in the smartphone, but in the heads of the fans. Yesterday, such smartphones were a “crazy shovel”, and today it is already the squeakiest fashion.
The only question is how many more times such a trick can be turned. In a sense, reputation is as much a resource as time or money. It is not endless and needs to be watched. Otherwise, sooner or later the company will end up at a broken trough. If nothing really new and unusual is shown over and over again, then even the most dedicated fans will get tired of admiring the innovations of the second freshness and will go looking for a new object of adoration. The situation with Sony laptops and smartphones is a prime example of this.
Judging by the many leaks, one of the main 'chips' of the new iPad will be a 'smart' stylus, like the one that has been used in the Samsung Note series for many years. According to the published patent, the stylus will be able to track the angle of inclination and pressure, and will also receive at least one button.
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Apple is no stranger to taking some long-forgotten technology and presenting it in a bright new wrapper. As an example, we can cite the same fingerprint scanner, which at the time of the release iPhone 5 was completely forgotten and is not needed by anyone. And today it threatens to become a generally accepted standard, support for which will even appear in a new version Android.
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Here are just such a stylus – a thing by no means forgotten. The Galaxy Note series is on everyone's lips, and where this 'innovation' is growing its legs, everyone will understand. Perhaps this is just one of the features of the new iPad, but something tells me that apart from the stylus and the increased diagonal of the screen, it will not be any different from its predecessors. And such decisions do not go in vain.
It is said that what is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to the bull. The trouble is that the opposite is also true – I don't know how it is in ancient myths, but in real life the head of Olympus cannot afford to sink to the level of a mere mortal. Otherwise, it will become obvious to everyone that there is not such a big difference between them.