Friday, 3 June 2011

[Review] Androids Revenge #asustransformer #android #asus


So now I have had the Asus Transformer, which shipped with Android 3.0 and recently updated to 3.1, for almost a week I should say something about apps, and in particular how they run on the Asus. I already have one Android device, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. This shipped with Android 1.6, before making the jump to 2.1 some time back in October, and now awaits to be updated to 2.3. I'm not one to go on about Android versions like they are the second coming of Christ, for the simple reason that people should appreciate that they even have a smart phone that lets them web browse.

So apps. What do I use on my Asus so far?

Well the Asus ships with the Polaris office suite. This is a very cut down version of something akin to MS Office. You can edit documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations. So far I have just been typing using it, but to be honest I am very happy with the fact that this software exists, as it means the Asus can really be a netbook when you wish for it to act as one. One gripe. No spell check function. Maybe this a feature to make us better writers?

The next app that I really like using on the Asus that I have used on the X10 is Pulse. Pulse has gone from strength to strength, becoming better integrated with google reader. Over time it has made easier to mark items that you have read or like in google reader. Compared to other RSS readers it is more visually appealing to use, and more fun to browse items with. But it really comes into its own on the tablet.

Next is MyZine. Again it is an app by Asus for the Transformer only. The aim is to neatly bring together in a single widget a slide show of your images on the machine, weather information, a quick link to your ebooks, a link and alert to email, and a recently played alert for music and a recently broswed alert for the web. It just seems nice and fresh to use and acts as a good summary.

Speaking of ebooks. Two apps I make use of are focused on that. The first is RepliGo pdf reader. Why this rather than the Adobe app. The ability to highlight and save the pdf. This is a god send for my own work or reading scientific journals so I can highlight and even annotate pdfs for later use. The other app also ships with the Asus only, and is MyLibrary. This also read pdfs. But I have found that it is much more able to read rather large pdfs (like those for rpgs).

Other apps get a make over in Android 3.0+. The Android Market it much nicer to use. Youtube looks stunning. BBC iplayer however is still not ready for this version, but with flash not a problem you can watch iplayer in browser. Evernote is of course even easier to use now that you have the option of a physical keyboard.

Tip: When typing make use of the mouse on/off button on the Asus. It will save you the pain of accidentally selecting and then editing that text already written. Instead just reach out and move the cursor by hand (literally!).

So there you have it, another brieft over view of things. I will give more of an update soon on using the device in games.

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