Wednesday, 4 March 2015



Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s wonderful to see you as always! I hope that you’re well and making the most of your tech! I also hope that you are wrapped up warm in this chilly period! Don’t catch a cold!

Oooh! It seems that I was right for a change in that NVIDIA has just announced its Shield Read on! It’s a living room device capable of 4K playback and capture at up to 60 fps video including Android TV! The Nvidia Shield can run both local, and streamed games via its Nvidia Grid subscription based game streaming service, up to 1080p at 60fps! At $200 it’s great for gamers (I can’t play games for toffee) and great for media consumers! Would I get one? I am not too sure... I am still waiting on the Google Nexus Player to see what that’s about... I have ideas / wishes / wants for Android this year... Read on!

#Android #Applications #Androidbox #AndroidPC #AndroidTablet


Above: My Androidbox which is really an Intel Next Unit of Computing kit. But it could happen!

Let’s face it, the Windows PC is practically on its way out. Essentially my Galaxy Note 4 has a great deal more to it than my current PCs. For a start I can capture 4K video and edit it with the Samsung Movie Editor app whereby I can download many themed movie templates. To edit 4K video on my PCs would require some upgrades! I have been thinking of about bypassing the purchasing of another PC for an Android PC instead.

The truth is that Microsoft is at a crisis point in that it doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. So many $ Billions wasted on the Windows RT operating system where there was no call for it. Who’d want a tablet with a half baked operating system, huh? So, a bunch of Surface Windows RT slates was wiped clean just like that! I remember speaking to a representative of a well known PC manufacturer about a Windows RT tablet and when he told me how much it cost, £600-odd, my jaw almost hit the floor! I knew it wasn’t going to fly as you may as well be using a decent skinny laptop with a full version of Windows and some real software applications! The Surface Pro is a great idea badly implemented; had Microsoft used the wasted $1.2 Billion on a cost effective means of delivering a decent tablet with the full Windows OS it would have kept them (Microsoft) in the mobile device picture. Apple laughed at the Surface RT & Pro saying that “it didn’t know whether it was a PC or a tablet...” But that’s just it: a tablet IS a personal computer! And that’s where the iPad has stumbled because a) it has yet another operating system to contend with and b) cost-wise it makes more sense to get a Macbook Air rather than get a new iPad each year.

Android, as I have pointed out many times, does not suffer from any of the above; it is not a secondary operating system to a bigger one and there is a great choice for the consumer. I was looking at Intel’s Next Unit of Computing Kit and while I think it’s a great idea it works out to be expensive to get something worthwhile! Bah!

Enter the <insert manufacturer> Androidbox. What is it? Glad you asked... Essentially the Androidbox is a little computer that’s around height of a shoebox and half the length. It features a 3 – 4 USB 3 ports, 3 HDMI ports for TV, computer monitor and auxiliary device such as a Bluray player for example. Then there’s a speaker out that can connect to 2 way or 4 way set-up and microphone. Oh, you have a remote control unit for Android TV and games plus a keyboard and mouse input.

From the Androidbox I am able to cast to any screen with the Chromecast dongle for when I am not using the Androidbox as a computer.

I’d also be able to use Chrome OS when browsing the web and access the Chrome apps.

The CPU within is the NVIDIA Tegra X1 with 6GB RAM, a decent SATA hard drive (500GB) or solid state.

All of the above for around £350? Yes, why not?


Above: Magix Music Maker Premium 2015 for the PC; it could be ported to Android. 

Although the state of Android apps is getting better with some top players developing some powerful applications Google Play is still full of Mickey Mouse apps! What I mean by that is that they are silly apps that have in app purchases to make the application worthwhile. I would rather shell out for all that I need one time! One big player behind some potentially great apps is Magix! Magix are pretty big on the PC front hand have created a couple of decent apps for Android (and iOS) in the form of Movie Edit Touch and Music Maker Jam. I think now that the age of 64-bit Android is here Movie Edit touch should be able to handle 4K video editing. Samsung’s Soundcamp music composition application that can only be, for now, found on the Galaxy Note 4 shows that porting Magix Music Maker app is possible! I would love to see a version of Music Maker for Android. I would also love to see Synapse Audio do a version of Orion Studio for Android too! While we’re still talking about music I would love to see VST instruments and effects ported over to Android; gosh that would be something!

I would also like to see more powerful applications for desktop publishing – including web design. Android should be able to utilize PC fonts without first having to be rooted. It’s time for some decent web design applications; imagine being able to design a website while you’re travelling on a train... Wow!

We need powerful software applications as opposed to these myriad of crap apps that promise a lot and fail to deliver in spectacular fashion.

I feel that we haven’t yet tapped into the awesome power of Android.


Above: "The ARCHOS 101 Magnus Plus Plus, by combining it’s ultra-efficient quad-core processor and Full HD IPS screen with 128 GB of storage, this tablet is an HD media and gaming powerhouse. Amazing battery life and a stylish aluminium casing with dual-front speakers puts this tablet at the top of its class." Okay, but where's the 64-bit processor? Why is it running Android KitKat? Hmmmm...

At some point I would like to jettison my PCs. It would be great if I could just install Android OS instead of Windoze – I am sure it is going to happen someday. Hopefully someday soon! Again, I would be able to keep the VST instruments and effects that I have amassed over the years. Well, we can use JPEGs, PNG, GIF, WAV, etc so I do think that porting VST instruments and effects to Android is just a matter of time!

Anyhoo, I am still after a decent tablet and I reckon this is the year! We have seen some sterling efforts from Samsung, ASUS, NVIDIA and Sony – to name a few. And now it’s time to take the tablet beyond the power of the iPad once and for all.

We really should be doing much more with the tablet besides surfing the web, consuming media and social networking. Oh, not to mention making the odd voice and video call every now and then. If I am going to buy a tablet this year it has to be pretty decent one!

I can’t wait to see what Samsung, ASUS, NVIDIA, etc come up with regarding 64-bit tablets. Archos and Acer keep promising to deliver a substantial tablet but end up being a few steps behind – I feel frustrated on their behalf as they have some great ideas but not the power to back them up!

How can I forget Lenovo? I feel that they (Lenovo) have some great designs and features but the CPU doesn’t have the power to make the user interface a smooth experience. And that is the story for many Android tablet manufacturers: not enough processing power and RAM.

C’mon! Let’s have it!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse

Synapse Circuit for tech news, opinions, articles, reviews and competitions. You will find interactive PDF magazines, videos and links to free legal software! Check it out at Synapse Circuit dot com

No comments:

Post a comment