Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Why Chrome OS is better suited for the classroom

I want to reiterate in this post on just why the Chrome OS in a tablet form factor makes sense. The key, in my view, is the versatility of Chrome OS that can run on different form factors. Previously I noted my skepticism that a tablet running a mobile operating system can function as a laptop replacement (Apple marketed this idea when it first released the larger iPad Pro). However, with Chrome OS now supporting Android applications, I think it can serve the dual purpose of a laptop and tablet.

Apple's iPad Pro essentially runs a mobile OS and Microsoft's Surface 2-in-1 devices runs a desktop operating system with some tablet features built-in. In contrast, Chromebooks that come in diverse form factors are better suited to make use of two different focuses of a mobile and desktop interface. When required Chromebooks can now run mobile-based applications and for other tasks, there is a desktop interface.

This cross-pollination between a mobile-centric operating system and web-centric desktop operating system offers the best of both worlds in education. In the case of Android, there are useful applications for the classroom, e.g., Google Arts & Culture and Google Expeditions. Further, many Chromebooks now support touch and pen input that could make use of the different features in these applications. The desktop interface, on the other hand, works better for multi-tasking between tabs and extensive writing in Google Docs.

Another issue to consider is that many Chromebook are ruggedised and spill-resistant. To contrast, the Apple iPad requires the extra purchase of a rugged keyboard combo if it is to be feasibly used in the classroom.

Chrome OS has matured into a versatile operating system that works across different form factors. Neither Microsoft nor Apple offer anything similar to Chrome OS and I predict Chromebooks to continue to dominate and expand in the education sector.

Friday, 25 December 2015

The Pixel C is meant to be experimental

The Pixel C, on many dedicated technology websites, is being compared to the iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface range of devices. First, as posted before, it is a mistake to compare the iPad Pro to the Surface devices. Similarly, it would be a mistake to compare the Pixel C to either the iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro. A docked tablet, for enhanced productivity, is nothing new and I don't believe Google intends this to be something different, in that way (docked Android tablets was first made mainstream with the Asus Transformer range). Nevertheless, it can be stated, that the metallic keyboard dock released by Google is genuinely its own product, compared to other manufacturers.

The Pixel C is part of Google's Pixel range, in which full ownership is taken for hardware and software. The Nexus range of products, on the other hand, are partnerships with other manufacturers, with Google taking ownership of the operating system. There is also a difference in purpose - the Pixel devices are more experimental, while the Nexus ones are more finished consumer products. Further, Ron Amadeo, at Ars Technica, may be correct in his speculation that this may have been an experimental Chrome OS convertible device; however, where he goes wrong is to point to the mismatch between hardware and operating system features to then buttress his speculation. I believe this mismatch is intentional and is consistent with what Google aims to showcase with the Pixel products. In other words, the Pixel range is meant to show the potentials of Android and Chrome OS, as is the case with the Chromebook Pixel - the Pixel C is just another example. Further, there appears to be a design in the the current mismatch; for example, from aspect ratio to four microphones, the idea is to future proof upcoming features such as enhanced voice recognition to split screen multi-tasking.

To sum, this isn't meant to be a productivity device compared to Apple's iPad Pro (Apple explicitly markets the iPad Pro as a possible laptop replacement) but is part of Google's attempt to develop both hardware and software, in-tandem, with the Pixel range being an experimental showcase for Android's future direction. Even with this experimental ethos, it can still be argued that the Pixel C, at this moment, is the best Android tablet out there and one that will only get better with future updates