How Apple is preventing me from getting Android Kitkat on my Galaxy Note 10.1

090814_1700_1.jpgCaveat: This is a rant.

I am the proud owner of a 32 GB Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. I bought it around a year and a half ago when the latest version of Android was Jelly Bean 4.1.2. Three major updates to Android have come and gone and my Samsung tablet still has Jelly Bean 4.1.2.

I don’t know how much of an improvement Kitkat 4.4 would be over what I currently have. But I have to assume that with continued updates there are improvements from which I could benefit. But alas, I am still waiting.

There are many things that I don’t like about Apple, but one one thing that I do like is the way they do not orphan devices for several years after they are sold. When Apple releases OS updates, they are pushed to their older devices along with their new ones. Samsung obviously does not think that this is a priority for them.

Why is my tablet stuck at 4.1.2? When this question is raised on the Samsung support site, the tech support bots simply parrot back the following response:

Thank you for contacting Samsung.

While we appreciate your curiosity and interest in Samsung products, we cannot speculate on the release of updates to our products. We recommend you connect with us via our social media channels for future product & software announcements.

https://www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA

https://twitter.com/Samsungtweets

Thank you for being a Samsung customer!

The Samsung Online Support Team

The social media channels have no more information than the support site. They are nothing more than advertising channels for Samsung products. They are useless for the purpose of getting answers about OS updates.

If my tablet is not going to be updated, then perhaps Samsung should just come out and say so. If it is going to be updated, how hard would it be to give a target date?

But then again, if Samsung did follow Apple in the quality of their customer support, it is likely that Apple would file yet another suit against Samsung.

Therefore I can only assume that I have Apple to blame for being stuck on Jelly Bean 4.1.2.

An open letter to ESPN and Verizon

I would love to watch Monday night football. I like ESPN, but don’t like it enough to spend $30 per month to get it. Verizon will only allow me to get ESPN if I buy a bundle of channels that I don’t want to get the one or two channels I do want.

As large as ESPN is, perhaps you might negotiate with Verizon so that I can buy ESPN a la carte. Or, since I have a smart TV and fast internet, perhaps you could develop an app so that I can subscribe to ESPN like I do with Netflix or Amazon Prime. I would like to watch your stuff, but I don’t want to watch it bad enough to spend $360 per year on it. Out of the 17 weeks of NFL football, less than half of the games are interesting matchups and since I live on the East Coast and have a job, I can only watch until halftime anyway.

Verizon, I would think that with web enabled televisions, more people want the flexibility of picking their own channel lineup instead of being forced to subscribe to a bunch of channels they will never watch. I’m sorry, but I really don’t care what Oprah says or wants me to watch. I will probably never watch the Military Channel, MSNBC, CNN or HGTV. I get weather updates on my smart phone so the I haven’t watched the weather channel in years. The list of channels that I won’t watch is much larger than the ones I do watch.

With web enabled TV’s and the flexibility they provide, I would think that it is time for Verizon and other “cable” providers to rethink their bundling strategies and allow consumers to pick (and pay for) only the channels they want.

Learn the lesson of Blackberry. If you fail to innovate, you will be left behind. The old cable TV model won’t work in a web enabled world.

I Finally made a decision

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1I finally made a decision with regard to a tablet. I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. There are several reasons I went with this tablet:

  1. I went with Android because I recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung GS 4 and thought that using the same OS would be a plus.
  2. I like the fact that the GN 10.1 has a slot for a Micro SD card to expand the memory.
  3. I like the idea of the stylus that may help with productivity (although I haven’t invested sufficient time to really understand how the sylus can do this).
  4. I like the look and feel of the tablet.

Of course, I am typing this post on that very tablet. I did also purchase a Bluetooth keyboard to allow for quicker typing. The keyboard is a little cramped but not too difficult to get used to. I can type nearly as fast on the tablet as I can on my laptop.

I’ll keep you posted as I learn more abou the tablet and how it improves my workflow.

To iPad or Not to iPad, that is the question

I’m thinking about buying a tablet computer and have begun researching my options. Because of the rich app environment and stability of the Apple platform, I have a slight bias toward the iPad, but not enough of a bias that I would pay more to get an Apple product.

From what I can see in reviews and from playing around with the tablets at Best Buy, I have three basic choices, the iPad, Google Nexus 10 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

The price for the two Android tablets is around $400 – $450 for 16 GB models and $450 – $500 for the 32 GB models. If I want to get a tablet with 64 GB of storage, I would add a 32 GB Micro SD card to a 32 GB model. Therefore the price point for a 64 GB Android tablet would be $480 – $530.

A look at the Apple web site shows that I can get a refurbished 64 GB iPad 3 (with retina display) for $550. So for just a little bit more money, I could have an iPad with the same storage capacity.

My question is, if I can do this analysis after a few hours of investigation, surely the marketing departments of Google and Samsung can do the same analysis. If they want to establish themselves as iPad killers, why do they price their tablets so high? If you want to sway people away from the market leader you have to do one of two things:

  1. Provide a clearly better product at the same price (neither Android tablet is clearly better)
  2. Provide a similar product at a price low enough to attract people away from the leader

It seems to me that neither Google or Samsung has done either of these.

I haven’t made my choice yet, nor have I fully determined that a tablet would really help my productivity.Two questions:

  1. Is it worth it to plunk down ~$600 for a tablet? Is there sufficient benefit to make this investment?
  2. If so, which way should I go, Apple or Android?