Observations about tablet computers & browsers

Kindle Reader for Android

Amazon’s Kindle Reader for Android may be just about the buggiest widely-used piece of software I’ve met. (And I don’t mean that in the “spying on you” sense of the word “bug”.) When the Reader display fades to black and stops responding while reading an ebook … but nothing else on the tablet has display or response problems … it’s a Kindle Reader problem. Sometimes fixable by uninstalling and reinstalling. Sometimes fixable by upgrading your Kindle Reader version. Sometimes fixable by DOWNgrading your Kindle Reader!

My wife’s tablet has had that problem several times. Uninstall and reinstall has fixed it so far.

Fortunately, she’s not had the other commonly-reported problems: completely losing your Kindle library and all content you had in it, or no longer being able to connect your tablet device to your Amazon account. If that last one happens to you, you must create a new Amazon account. If you must do that, you get a shiny new account without — you guessed it! — any of the content you bought through your original account.

Despite updates, the various bugs are still around.


Speaking of buggy software, there’s a zero-day hole in Internet Explorer versions 8/9/10 (and 11 if I recall correctly) currently being exploited. Microsoft has a workaround and (I hope by now) patches for it. Or you could be sensible and use a non-Microsoft browser:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Chrome (which neatly avoids that pesky concept called privacy by doing away with it entirely)

Linux users have additional options to the above:

  • Konqueror
  • QupZilla
  • Many other browser projects spun off from Firefox, Chrome, etc, etc.

Thinking about tablets for writers-on-the-go

I was thinking that a 10″ tablet would be a useful mobile writing tool. But by the time you lose screen real estate to the touchscreen “keyboard”, it no longer shows enough text for me to get much done. Adding a wireless keyboard gets around that problem, but then you’re toting around just about as much hardware as a netbook or an ultrabook. Guess I’ll stick with my laptop computer and real keyboard for now.

A tablet for artists-on-go

This tablet sounds great for mobile artists – painting, drawing, etc: Cintiq Companion Hybrid. $1499 with 32GB of storage and NOT crippled with the weight of Windows 8. I’ve used Wacom graphics tablets for a long time now, and they’re the only ones worth considering.

An observation about touchscreen displays

Finally, touch screen displays (tablet or smartphone) and sunscreen/hand lotions don’t go together well.