No one is quite certain what Android tablet for kids makers truly have in mind when they are designing their machines, but one thing is for certain, the consumers are driving the innovation in Android tablet uses. I know that when I first heard of the tablets I had yet to see one so in my mind they were much larger than they actually are. I imagined them with a screen about the size of a magazine or sheet of paper, when in fact the original mass produced tablet, the iPad, and its immediate Android successor tablets were much smaller, they had a 9.7? diagonal screen whereas as a magazine can easily have a diagonal viewing area of 15?.
Slowly Android tablet manufacturers have been increasing the size of tablets such as with the Samsung Galaxy Tab with a 10.1?, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer at 10.1?, and the larger 12? screens from Fujitsu and the Asus EP121. Smaller Android tablets have also appeared, many like the Barnes and Noble Nook Color and Blackberry PlayBook come in at 7?. Why all of this focus on size? Because for many the size of the machine drives the ways in which people think to use the Android tablet and the convenience of using it while “on the go” versus in more stationery environments.
The most obvious use for most Android tablets is to use social networking, read blogs, read news, and to do casual web surfing. This is currently the core of the Android tablet market. Consumers love the tablets because they are small and portable, they are as stable as a cell phone, and they feel they do not need to be quite as careful with them as they are with a full notebook, webbook, or laptop computer. It has been found that many consumers actually use the tablets while doing other things such as watching television, eating breakfast or while getting a cup of coffee. In this way the Android tablets have taken the place of the magazine, newspaper, or other hard copy written media. In the past these were all situations where someone would be found with written media, they are now using Android tablets.
The next place that tablets have been found is with those that simply do not want to be bothered with the seeming complexity, size, or perceived difficulty of using a full computer. Even though the Android tablet itself is simply a flat panel computer with a touch keyboard, there seems to be a large perception of those that are not computer savvy, such as the top end of the baby boomer age range that are embracing tablets, that the tablet computer is much simpler and easier to use. This group has been jaded with bad experiences on computers or simply have avoided them altogether. You have to remember their first encounter with a computer was probably an old Wang Systems network that crashed more than it worked.
But this group has grown accustomed to the conveniences of a cell phone, and the Android tablet to them is simply a large cell phone. Something easy to use and that cannot be easily broken if you touch the wrong keys. This psychological leap has been an interesting trend not mentioned by the tablet industry, though it may have been some small consideration in the back of the mind of Steve Jobs when introducing the first iPad.
Industry has been quickly adapting the Android tablets to use in many different ways. For years engineering, science, police agencies, and medical professionals have been using custom built tablet personal computers for use to assist in their daily tasks. These machines were highly customized and very expensive. With the proliferation and open source nature of the Android tablets these industries have been able to quickly abandon their expensive and difficult to use custom machines for the more stable and versatile Android tablets with industry specific software. This has been a great cost saver and has encouraged the use of these machines to a far greater extent than previously possible. For the previous manufacturers of the pre-Android tablets, many of these firms have quickly adapted their software to the Android tablet systems.
The Android tablet uses will continue to increase as more machines are made in various sizes and more companies embrace the portability and their ease of use. These are game changers in the marketplace and in the area for capturing the consumers attention. It is yet to be seen how these machines affect the smart phone market as we see if very many consumers begin to use an Android tablet in lieu of their smart phone features and then opt for a phone that is less expensive and more usable as an actual phone, something that smart phones do not so well. Or it may be that the consumer simply adds the tablet’s to their lives and in the end begins to slowly abandon the desktop and laptop pc’s for the portability, stability, and convenience of a tablet. Certainly the laptop and desktops will remain for their more powerful processors and larger screens and for writing, programming, analysis, and regular work, school, and serious applications, but for casual use they may be abandoned, or at least become a much smaller part of the lives of many. Time will tell but one thing is certain, the quick acceptance of the Android tablet computer is going to alter the ways in which we spend our daily lives.