Skip to main content

A Week Without Windows – Day Two, Week One

tabs_multiwindow

Day two of my Windows-free week and the first serious challenge to the idea of using Android away from the office. The challenge of using an 8” screen as your interface for a day I’ll put to one side for the moment, because the challenges would be the same on a larger screen.

Whilst I have access to my business applications through a Citrix VDI session and the Citrix Receiver client is pretty good on Android, there were come serious challenges to using Android as my only tool, which certainly reduced my productivity.

Mainly this meant having to use web based versions of some applications that I take for granted on Windows. This felt awkward and clumsy at first and jumping on and out of browser tabs seemed rather more difficult than it should be. However with some re-arrangement of how I do what I do I was able to find a way of working that allowed me to get things done almost as efficiently as when using Windows.

There were some bonuses too. For example, rather than having to open a browser tab to login to my bank I was able to fire up its Android app and be back to what I should be doing in no time at all. I would have happily traded some portability for a larger screen though.

A larger screen wouldn’t fix Android’s clunky multi-tasking, or more accurately in this case Samsung’s, because as yet no official Nougat build exists for any Android tablet and therefore only those provided with a vendor multi-tasking capability will allow two apps on screen at once.

That multi-tasking capability is further harmed by Android’s lack of support for multi-monitor setups. If I plug my Tab into my DisplayLink dock in the office I get three very useful replicas of what’s on the device display. Not great.

With my Windows laptop I’d have a very neat multi-monitor setup, rather than a single screen solution. Even when casting to a WiDi or Miracast device the Tab S2’s screen is just mirrored on the larger display.

Having PushBullet installed on both Samsung devices I was able to ignore my mobile phone completely, responding to messages directly from the Tab’s screen and attached keyboard.

The last problem I came across was shortfall in ports. The Tab S2, like most Android tablets, has one micro-USB port, with support for USB-OTG, That means you can plug in a keyboard or full DisplayLink dock solution but there’s no option to charge whilst your doing so. I found that under heavy load there was no chance that the battery would last the whole day and found that I had to alternate between full productivity and topping the battery off. The lesson being, if you’re going to do this you’ll need a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to make it viable.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.