I bought an Android tablet.
It’s nothing fancy, although in fact it actually looks better than my daughter’s iPad: it’s a Lenovo Tab M10 gen3, if I got the branding order right, and I bought a Lenovo because haha, it’s a Lenovo and all our laptops at home are Lenovo. But it’s certainly not a high end tablet. My use case is going through my RSS feeds while having coffee and with my cat in my lap (according to the Law of the Cat if he’s in my lap, I can’t prioritise having a laptop there instead), and then maybe some light Reddit browsing. For this, I could justify a 200-something euro 10″ Android tablet; I could not have justified an iPad.
So I bought an Android tablet.
Reentering the Android world is a somewhat weird experience from 2 aspects.
Aspect 1: the Android ecosystem
I used to be an enthusiast back in my androidportal.hu days (obviously), then fell out with Google over privacy concerns. Now I’m using a tablet that is not (yet) rooted/custom ROMmed, and I switched off / disabled as many of the system apps as I could, deactivated/unconsented location and other Google crap as much as I could too. (At one point I disabled the GBoard, not realising I haven’t yet installed an alternative keyboard app. Oops.) I’m looking for the alternatives of stuff from F-Droid (which, suprise, just solved the issue of repository updates taking forever last week – yay!) Luckily my use is very limited, but I already see that my RSS reader of choice (Inoreader) is not available there. This being RSS, and OPML being OPML (and being), I’m possibly facing an RSS reader change. In the immediate aftermath of Google Reader’s death there were not many good cross platform alternatives; now there are.
Aspect 2: the Android tablet ecosystem
It is an interesting excercise, putting my faith into the Android Tablet ecosystem. The last time I used Android, tablet mode was still an improving thing. It had real promise of taking on Apple’s hegemony with the iPad. App developers cared about it. Hell, even Google cared about it! There was (if I remember correctly) a separate section in Google Play for tablet apps.
Now, from what I see, there’s no care at all. I thought the Vergecast was exaggerating when they said Android tablet app ecosystem is dead, but they were not. For the most part, apps don’t seem to have tablet mode anymore, apart from a few exceptions, and the Android tablet experience is mostly just “hey you, with that 10” phone, your eyesight must be very bad, here’s our phone ui in 4x size”. Even some apps that I could have sworn had tablet mode ~8 years ago discontinued it.
That does not bother me much, as (like I said) my use case is really basic: I want to go through my RSS feeds while having cofee and with my cat in my lap, and then maybe some light Reddit browsing.
But my challenge then becomes a cross section of 2 challenges actually… I could picture it like this:
Well that, and (eventually) playing with a custom ROM.