Android Tablet's future is in the USB

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by allenaxon, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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    don't want to hi-jack OffWorld's tread on "Tablet without a future?), I am those of "it is half full" kind of guy, so here we go.

    I read a lot of comment about all kinds of Android driven tablet both here and there, mostly are concern with spec, this or that don't work, compare As to Bs etc.; I see it differently, it is a versatile appliance that can perform a lot of functions with grace and ease.
    Firstly the form factor, ever try to use you laptop while you are sitting on the throne and read the comic? the tablet wins hands down.

    And there is the USB port, the future of Android Tablets is in the USB port.

    On a more serious note, the USB port is the life line between the Android (cpu) and the outside world; my vision is when all kind of dongles are available to plug in the USB port and do a specific function, example: a wireless transceiver dongle to control TV, DVD player etc. the Tablet will morphed into a universal remote. You can argue about the laptop can do it too, again the form factor win.

    What about a dongle to take your pulse? With the camera onboard, your doctor can do some consulting without leaving his/her office.

    Dream on, folks! Come up with something along this line, see what you got!
     
  2. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    USB support has been sketchy at best on most Android tablets that I've seen. Usually it just isn't well tested or documented. There's the problem of underpowered USB ports because some devices draw so much power, and also the issue of missing driver support for most USB devices. It just isn't very straight forward, and Android doesn't handle USB hosting well right now. Maybe it will improve with future Android versions, but this is one of the key reasons Android isn't quite ready to be a tablet OS.

    I want to be able to plug in a webcam if my tablet doesn't have one, use a USB printer. Being able to use alternate input devices like styluses would be nice too.
     
  3. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    If Android had a decent suite of USB device drivers, and a full USB host that let you connect more than one device at a time (either by having multiple USB ports or by recognizing a hub) I'd be inclined to agree. But Android doesn't have many drivers rolled into its kernel, and I have yet to hear of one of these tablets supporting hubs.

    Bluetooth sounds like a lot better solution. It doesn't require adding more physical ports to a device that barely has room for one in the first place (or lugging a hub around with you), and it seems like Android's support for Bluetooth devices is pretty decent, and out of the box it supports a network stack for multiple connections. The problem is, these low-end tablets generally don't HAVE any kind of Bluetooth interface.
     
  4. pbrauer

    pbrauer Administrator Staff Member

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    There is also the issue of power consumption and requirements for USB devices. While things are moving to standards they are still all over the map which makes board design in a smaller form factor a challenge. I believe once we get some stabilization in the tablet market we will see more USB accessories.
     
  5. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Offworld captures almost exactly my thoughts. The future is NOT connected via cables or wires. But now the problem though is outlined thoroughly by Xaueious. The USB port and also the BT standards convention just does not have it together yet. and that includes USB v3 or BT 3.0 standards.
    This is compounded by the CPU and OS integration of Android. Android is a port. It is advancing very quickly. In my honest opinion, there will be a next gen OS which will be be a non-port successor to Android. This will operate off of the Linux core kernel if we are lucky. And something unconsidered but open in design and API if we are very lucky.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

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