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#1 kbqwert

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:01 AM

Does anyone know of an Android tablet which has Android Market on it? Or Google Play as it is now known!

#2 PaulEden

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

Most of the top end ones have the full market. I bought a cheap Chinese clone at Christmas that claimed to have the full market, but it clearly doesn't. Most of the things it find in search are in Chinese and stuff that is found on my Desire HD's market isn't found on this tablet.

Realy, the only way to be sure is to read reviews.

#3 David P

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

I'm thinking of getting myself up-to-date and buying a smartphone (I might even learn to use Facebook on it!). However, it seems to be a real minefield, far worse than buying a new car, camera or computer.
1. Surely Android Market is just a website. Why cannot all phones access it?
2. Some phones now boast a screen resolution of 1280x720 (though it's difficult to find out the resolution on most of them) - the same as on most 15" or 17" computer screens. Does this not mean that if the resolution is used to the full, the detail is too small to see anyway?
3. I keep all my email in Outlook on my desktop. It seems that with Android it is reasonably easy to synchronise contacts and calendar, but can one synchronise email? I don't want the state where I have some mails on one system and some on the other.
4. I hardly use a mobile for making calls. I use about 3GB a month data on my desktop. Presumably a phone will always use wi-fi in preference to 3G when it is available. Any idea what package of data I might want?
I'll no doubt have a string of other queries if I get anywhere near getting my credit card out. Thanks for any useful pointers.
David P

#4 PaulEden

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

I'm thinking of getting myself up-to-date and buying a smartphone (I might even learn to use Facebook on it!). However, it seems to be a real minefield, far worse than buying a new car, camera or computer.
1. Surely Android Market is just a website. Why cannot all phones access it?
2. Some phones now boast a screen resolution of 1280x720 (though it's difficult to find out the resolution on most of them) - the same as on most 15" or 17" computer screens. Does this not mean that if the resolution is used to the full, the detail is too small to see anyway?
3. I keep all my email in Outlook on my desktop. It seems that with Android it is reasonably easy to synchronise contacts and calendar, but can one synchronise email? I don't want the state where I have some mails on one system and some on the other.
4. I hardly use a mobile for making calls. I use about 3GB a month data on my desktop. Presumably a phone will always use wi-fi in preference to 3G when it is available. Any idea what package of data I might want?
I'll no doubt have a string of other queries if I get anywhere near getting my credit card out. Thanks for any useful pointers.


1. Android Market is just a website, but it is operating system aware. If you visit it using a machine running Android, it behaves slightly differently then if you go there on a Windows machine.

2. If you view an entire webpage at 1280x720 then yes, you can't read much. Although the pixel size on these screens is much smaller than a PC monitor, you would normally view only a portion of a given page by zooming in and panning around. Some websites, such as the a.o.uk forum have a mobile (cut down) version.

3. No, you can't sync emails with Outlook on a desktop unless you run your own email server on it and that's really complicated. I use a webmail client to read emails and delete any I don't need during the day, then download them into my email client in the evening.

4, Yes, most phones will connect to wifi if it's available. This is the default behaviour. A lot of packages have unlimited data - mine does. It's hard to say how much you'd use on 3G, but it's likely to be less than a half a dozen GB, perhaps as little as 2. If you are a BT customer (and I see from your IP that you are) you get access to a lot of wifi hotspots, this cuts down your 3G usage a lot.

#5 Bawbag

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:50 PM

I'm thinking of getting myself up-to-date and buying a smartphone (I might even learn to use Facebook on it!). However, it seems to be a real minefield, far worse than buying a new car, camera or computer.
1. Surely Android Market is just a website. Why cannot all phones access it?


It is both a website and an app, and it's the lack of an app compiled for the device (for an app), or your Google account being linked to an incompatible device (for web access), that prevents Google Play (to give it it's new name) access. Google only allows certified devices Play access, and even then can and will restrict the offering by device capability, location and network, hence there is no single 'Google Play' access, only degrees of compatibility.

If a device has the 'native' Google apps (Gmail etc.) then it's usually considered to have Play access. As the OP mentions, most cheapo tablets don't have this but almost all official UK market phones will so it shouldn't worry you unless you plan on buying an unlocked no-brand Chinese handset.

2. Some phones now boast a screen resolution of 1280x720 (though it's difficult to find out the resolution on most of them) - the same as on most 15" or 17" computer screens. Does this not mean that if the resolution is used to the full, the detail is too small to see anyway?


In web browsing, yes, in properly designed apps, no. You can easily zoom in or set the default zoom level so there are no real downsides to a high-res phone screen and I'd go for as high a resolution as you can get, as a future-proofing measure if nothing else.

3. I keep all my email in Outlook on my desktop. It seems that with Android it is reasonably easy to synchronise contacts and calendar, but can one synchronise email? I don't want the state where I have some mails on one system and some on the other.


As PaulEden says, it won't really be possible to sync with a local Outlook account so if you do want proper syncing you'll either have to run your own Exchange server (*shudder*), or use webmail. I used to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort managing my own local email repository, made the jump to webmail (Gmail) about four years ago and haven't looked back since.

The benefits, even before seamless cloud-based syncing across multiple non-PC devices, far outweigh the negligible benefits of a (false) sense of 'being in control'. I thought I'd really need all those carefully curated emails (going back to about 1998) but in the end I only needed to access them a handful of times in the first year or so.

Basically, I would recommend that if you do get an Android device then you should take the transient pain of changing email platforms on the chin and switch to Gmail, or at least some other supported webmail platform. Mail, calendar and contacts are then automatically linked, sync'ed, backed up and available on almost any platform. No longer does changing phones mean you need to fear the reconfiguration/resetting that used to be required, and you can check and update anything from almost any device.

4. I hardly use a mobile for making calls. I use about 3GB a month data on my desktop. Presumably a phone will always use wi-fi in preference to 3G when it is available. Any idea what package of data I might want?
I'll no doubt have a string of other queries if I get anywhere near getting my credit card out. Thanks for any useful pointers.


I only use about 10-30 mins, 5-10 texts but can easily get through 500MB of 3G and 20GB of home broadband a month. You can get a GiffGaff SIM for £10 a month that covers this (1GB data), a contract data plan will likely be at least £18 a month for the same provision.

Switching between wifi and 3G is pretty much seamless so when you're at home it'll use your wifi, without impacting your 3G allowance.

As a counterpoint to PaulEden's advice though, I'd avoid BT Openzone/Fon public wifi like the plague for the following reasons:
  • You obviously have to be prepared to give up a portion of your own home bandwidth to other users. If you live in a remote location then this will never be a concern, but if you're near a coffee shop etc. then it'll be a common occurrence.
  • Any time I tried it the speeds were laughable, little better than the mobile alternative due to contention/throttling.
  • You have to trust the infrastructure's security. With various open router firmwares that could exploit a supposed 'secure' connection then using non-https logins across it could be a big risk.
I'd make sure you have at least 1GB of mobile allowance per month if you can, unless you plan on streaming a lot of audio/video or work away from home in places where you won't have wifi a lot, you can pretty much forget about it.

#6 PaulEden

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:37 PM

I didn't intend to promote Openzone as I've never used it, but I know people who do and they love it. Inside the M25, you're practically never out of coverage. I wouldn't worry too much about the security aspects.

A little more about email - this is how I do it. I have an email client (not Outlook, but Thunderbird - essentially the same thing) running on my home PC. I use it to connect to the mail servers of the domains that I own and download the emails. During the day, I connect to the same email servers using webmail. Webmail doesn't download the emails, you only look at them, and delete what you don't want. Occasionally I'll reply, but not normally - explanation soon.

In the evening, I use Thunderbird to download all the emails I didn't delete using webmail, sending any replies if needed. Now, and here's the rub, if, during the day, I used the webmail to reply to an email, it doesn't appear in my home PC's sent items because it was sent from a different machine. This is why I rarely reply (or in fact, compose emails) on the webmail client.

#7 David P

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:27 PM

There are several solutions to email but they are all a bit more hassle than a fully automatic sync. I have Outlook on my laptop set to downlaod messages but not to delete them from the server - hence, they are still there when I next use my desktop, which does delete them. Presumably you can do something similar with the phone. If I reply, and I want to keep that reply, then I simply copy it to myself.

I've never come across a usable Openzone or Fon with the laptop, but I tend not to use it in public places, just when I'm visiting friends. Domestic BT hubs don't have much range so are probbaly unusable even if next door.
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#8 PaulEden

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:53 AM

There are several solutions to email but they are all a bit more hassle than a fully automatic sync. I have Outlook on my laptop set to downlaod messages but not to delete them from the server - hence, they are still there when I next use my desktop, which does delete them. Presumably you can do something similar with the phone. If I reply, and I want to keep that reply, then I simply copy it to myself.

I've never come across a usable Openzone or Fon with the laptop, but I tend not to use it in public places, just when I'm visiting friends. Domestic BT hubs don't have much range so are probbaly unusable even if next door.


Ah OK, you don't delete messages from the server with Outlook. That's what webmail does too, normally.

In use, the BT hubs, which actually provide the Openzones work rather better than other hubs. For example, when I'm parked at the cargo area at Heathrow, I'm some fifteen metres from the nearest building, yet can often see 4 or 5 Openzones with strength of better than half.

Edited by PaulEden, 25 March 2012 - 06:54 AM.
changed 20m to 15m. Got a bit giddy there!


#9 kbqwert

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:55 PM

So... any recommendations on an Android tablet which has Google Play?
It's actually for my son, he plays sometimes on my Galaxy Note so I'd like to get him a 7" or 10" tablet but I don't want to spend too much on it.

#10 PaulEden

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:01 PM

The Chinese clones are not good value. After your Samsung, they'll all feel slow and clunky. Be prepared to by a premium price if you want a half decent experience.

#11 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:25 PM

With regards to the email sync issues, if you collect and send mail on the tablet/ smartphone using IMAP will that not keep the mail on the server along with sent emails allowing them to be downloaded by Outlook / Thunderbird later? That works for me using my Amersham domain and Gmail. (I send Amersham mail via Gmail and then can chose who I am when replying!)
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#12 PaulEden

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

Yes, Matthew. You can set your IMAP client (and indeed your POP3 client, as David does) to not delete messages on the server.

In short, the simplest way to keep a fully synced email is to use a webmail provider such as Gmail and connect to it using a webmail client such as the gmail website.