Windows tablets are PCs, and sometimes that's the problem

Windows tablets are PCs, and sometimes that's the problem

Google has made its app translation service available to all Android developers to enable them to offer their apps in different languages.

The service, first previewed in May at Google I/O, allows developers to purchase professional app translations through the Google Play Developer Console from third-party service providers at prices ranging on an average from US$75 for a small app to $150 for a large app per language.

Google ran a pilot service of the program before making it generally available. It is part of a toolbox offered by Google to developers so that they can distribute their apps around the world through its Google Play store.

The Internet giant claims that every day more than 1.5 million new Android phones and tablets around the world are turned on for the first time. "Each newly activated Android device is an opportunity for you as a developer to gain a new user, but frequently, that user speaks a different language from you," it said in a blog post Monday on its Android Developers Blog.

During the pilot, one of the participants RV AppStudios, the developer of a game called Zombie Ragdoll, used the tool to launch its new game simultaneously in 20 languages in August, according to Google. As a result of combining app translation with local marketing campaigns, it found that 80 percent of its installs "came from non-English-language users."

Google, which has its own automated Google Translate service, recommends to app developers professional translations rather than automated translations that "are less reliable than high-quality professional translations and may not produce as good an experience" for users. Translations purchased on Google's app translation service are described by Google as a direct business agreement between developers and the vendor. "You'll need to work directly with the vendor to manage the translation process and deliverables and resolve any support issues," it said.

Developers have to get their Android application package file (APK) ready for translation, including ensuring that the strings.xml file "is well organized, well commented, and accurate," and select the languages to target for translation. The app translation service figures in the Developer Console at the bottom of the APK section

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I adore my ThinkPad Tablet 2, it's a great tablet. As Microsoft is fond of pointing out, like all Windows tablets it's also a PC. Unfortunately, that's not an advantage over the competition when things don't work as they should.
Tablets are very different from other forms of PCs. They are designed to be pulled out of the bag and have the user doing needed tasks in just a second or two. That's the way Android tablets work, and the way iPads work. That's usually the way Windows tablets work, except when things go awry.
Take my Tablet 2. It had always worked the way it should until recently. Three times I've taken it out of the bag to find the Frowny Face of Death (FFOD), shown in the image above. The tablet was dead with that screen frozen in place. Each time it required a manual hard reboot with the power button to get back to business. Not the way tablets are supposed to work.
In addition to this new problem, the Tablet 2 has started taking up to 10 seconds to wake up from sleep with the display flashing. It used to wake in a second or two but recently started hesitating before waking. Again, not the way tablets are supposed to work.
A fair bit of investigating has pointed to the sources of these two new problems. The FFOD seems to be the result of the microSD reader hanging while the system is sleeping. It worked before, works most of the time now, but occasionally fails completely.
Sources online think it's a driver from whomever makes the reader. Some with the problem (and there seem to be quite a few) claim a driver found outside of the Windows ecosystem fixes the problem, but others say it doesn't. I will have to do additional research and experiment with drivers to see what fixes it. That is hit and miss since the FFOD only occurs sometimes.These tablet problems that interfere occasionally with operation are due to the PC under the glass. They are full PCs, which is a good thing, but that leads to grown-up PC problems.
The hesitation in waking problem is a bad video driver, according to Tablet 2 owners who have been troubleshooting the issue. They've uncovered a video driver from Intel, the company that makes the integrated graphics, that they claim fixes the problem. The support forum has postings from those now free of the issue, but also from others who state this didn't fix their problem. It's not clear what I need to do to address my own situation but I'll do further research to figure it out.
I've used over a dozen Windows tablets and have run into issues like these on a number of them. The fact is, these tablet problems that interfere occasionally with operation are due to the PC under the glass. They are full PCs, which is a good thing, but that leads to grown-up PC problems from time to time.
To be clear, I don't blame Windows for these problems. The problems can probably be laid at the feet of Lenovo. Or maybe the component makers. I am beyond the blame game and just want the tablet to work as intended.
Taking a Windows tablet out of the bag to do something quickly, only to find the tablet won't wake up, runs counter to the whole tablet thing. When the PC inside raises its ugly head and prevents the owner from using the tablet as intended, the PC inside becomes a problem and not an advantage.
I've used dozens of Android tablets and several iPads and they have all worked as expected when waking them up to do stuff. There have been no reboots, hang-ups, nor driver issues. They have all turned on in a second and let me check my email or whatever.
Tablets must be easy maintenance and easy to use or consumers will run away. One single PC issue and the whole experience is ruined. I love my ThinkPad but I no longer recommend Windows tablets to family and friends. I have no desire to support them through problems like the ones I am having.

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