Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maybe you don't really need an app for that...

[caption id="attachment_154" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Upload to Picasa"][/caption]

I had about an hour to kill as I was waiting to pick my wife up from work, we started car pooling so we could spend a little more time together.  I have a Clear 4G Hot Spot device and in the city I can get really good upload speeds compared to my home DSL, so I thought it would be a good idea to upload the pictures and videos off my PlayBook.

It's somehow been planted into my thought process that when ever I want to do something on my device, I go and search for an app to do whatever it is that I want.  Following this natural response, I went to the App World to see what was available for Picasa or Flickr apps.  I was very disappointed to find that there was literally next to nothing available, and the apps that did exist were basically glorified browser replacements.  My next step was to hit up google and search for "upload images to Picasa from PlayBook."  To my amazement, the answer was as simple as got to the Picasa site and upload them just like you would from your browser at home.  I was literally blown away, not by the fact that it was such a simple answer, but by the fact that my first thought was to search for an app instead of just trying to upload the images from the browser.  It worked like a charm, and I had 70ish images uploaded in minutes.  Here is the link if you're interested.

[caption id="attachment_153" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Uploading to Google Docs"][/caption]

After this revelation I thought to myself, I wonder if it works with other web apps?  So I fired up a new browser tab and went to my Google Docs Library and decided to try to upload an exported PDF from the GroovyNotes app.  I crashed the browser the first time, but the second time it uploaded without any issues and so did downloading documents.  I went nuts after that, downloading voicemail messages from Google Voice, and trying other web applications with similar features.

To be fair, when I got home I tried to do the very same thing on my iPad2 and it was a big no-go.  I'm not sure if it is a lack of flash support or something to do with the file system (my guess) but it the Safari browser did not pass muster.  On the other hand, when I went searching for Picasa related apps there were 58 for the iPad and 130 for the iPhone ranging from limited free versions up to $5.99 in price.  Call me crazy, but I like the Google web apps because they are free; not that I am unwilling to pay for a good app.

Perhaps the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" holds some truth here.  The only shortcoming being that you would have to remain connected to the internet to accomplish such tasks, but that would be the case in any app that sync's or uploads.  I am curious about the possibility of getting Google Gears working on the PlayBook for offline functionality.  My Bold 9930 will only allow me an EDGE connection and not 3G, so while I am tethered, the data speed is just plain awful.  I'm really hoping the 990 is released soon for AT&T , if not I may have to consider a Torch 9810 for HSPA.  I am going to take my PlayBook with me to an AT&T store and test it out with a floor model before I go that route, I have difficulty with the Torch keyboard and I really do love my Bold.

This is really a revelation for me and affirms some of the thoughts I have had about how being a "Fan Boy" can really get you into a mindset that is very limited.  I now have a whole new avenue to explore as I go about my switch and my mind has opened that much more.  I have been told many times to expect frustration and disappointment when using the PlayBook platform, but thus far it has been the exact opposite.


Thanks for reading,






  1. It's great that you are having a good time with your PB and Blackberry ecosystem!
    For me is the most powerful tablet in the market even went there is still a lot that have to be improve. What you say about apps is true. We are so used to download an apps, that we forget that sometimes we don't need an app for do something and the PB is the prove of that.

  2. Thanks for the comment Mike. I agree with you about the power, although my only other personal experience is with the iPad (1&2) and the Nook. Some of the Android Tablets out there have impressive specs, but not in the 7" form factor.

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