Over the past few months, while sitting on the couch watching TV, I jump back and forth between devices depending on what I am wanting to do during that time, or sometimes what is closest to me.
If you asked me what was the perfect device for home use, I would have to get a qualifier depending on what you want to do.
If you want to play games or read a book, then I would suggest either a smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android) device.
If you want to surf the net, it’s much easier on a laptop or netbook of some sort. (The full browser makes this much easier)
If you don’t want to have to deal with viruses or installations of any sort and amazing battery life, I have a Chrome Netbook that works really well.
So, “It depends” is actually a valid response because my dad has completely different uses for his computer than I do.
So, with tomorrow’s Google I/O conference beginning at noon, I would like to put my idea of the perfect couch computer out there.
Ideally, I would want all of the above in one device so that I could play games and work with apps, but also have a full browser with a file system, extended battery life, and no problems with viruses.
I know this is a lot to ask, but Google’s operating systems together actually are so close to fitting my criteria that it hurts.
Think about it, Android is not very good with battery life, and the browser is rough, but you have apps and a great e-reader, it has a file system, and has a lot of functionality.
Chrome OS doesn’t really have much of a file system since it is supposed to be just a browser, but it has amazing battery life, a full keyboard for typing, an amazing browser, and no problems at all with viruses.
So if you could put all of the features together here, it would really be an ideal world and wouldn’t take near as much work considering they are owned by the same company.
There are two ways that I could see this working.
- Create an Android version of the Chrome browser that would do all of the things we know and love Android for, but would give you a full browser with extensions and access to the file system.
- Create a dual-boot device that shares the file system of Chrome and Android. So upon startup, you would choose either Android or Chrome OS depending on what functions you want and you would have access to the same file system so that if you were working with a picture on Android, you would be able to upload it at next boot on the Chrome browser to Facebook.
As far as hardware goes, I really like the Xoom. I played with one for a short amount of time at Staples last week and really liked it. It was a really nice device with a really good feel. I don’t think you can get rid of the touchscreen because for gaming and many new applications, touch is the easiest way to navigate and get the job done, but for those who need a little more user input control through a keyboard, I believe it would be beneficial to have a real keyboard. I personally would like to see a flip and swivel keyboard. What this means is that if you were wanting to use Android as it is today, then I would just have the touchscreen to work with, but if I wanted to write this post on the device, I would just unlatch the keyboard from the back of the device and swivel it around to be more like a typical keyboard on a laptop. This would allow me to have the best of both worlds, especially if the weight, size, and battery life were similar to the CR-48 I currently have at home for Chrome OS.
So, overall, I think Google has a couple of great products, but in order to create a device that does it all, the Chrome and Android teams need to work together to integrate the platforms. I know that Eric Schmidt said that Chrome is for regular computers and Android is for touchscreens, and I agree with that to a point. But if they want the home user market to sit in front of the TV with a device, it’s going to be hard to outperform the iPad. If I can get my extensions and bookmarks on my Android device’s browser and include a real keyboard, then you just might see me move to one device instead of piecemeal depending on the function of the day.