It was Steve who first pointed me at Sony’s new digital tablets. Its impressive but of course I don’t read japanese, even with google translate. But of course others do and did the work for me.
Although it looks amazing, I can’t help but think about the software.
Using the digital pen, users will be able to annotate PDF documents, as with the previous version, but the compatibility is still locked to that format, so you won’t be drawing on anything other than PDFs unfortunately.
Maybe I’ve been slightly spoiled by the Eink tablet I bought, which runs Android 4.3 allowing most Android apps to run smoothly. I can’t imagine living within Sony’s view of the world hoping someone will hack it. It reminds me of the Ipad pro in more than just looks.
Jason pointed me at remarkable which I hadn’t seen before. Its also pretty pricey but looks very nice. The worry is lack of support for 3rd party applications and their FAQ doesn’t really encourage any joy.
The reMarkable will not initially ship with an officially supported SDK. We might initially, however, release an unsupported SDK for developers we choose to work with.
Shame… but interesting tablet regardless.
I’m now on my way back from Japan (mainly Tokyo) about to land in Dubai and its amazing to think about all the experiences I had with Japanese people.
There certainly is a massive language barrier, there is no way of avoiding it. Now you can spend time learning Japanese which will take some serious amount of time (especially for somebody like me). Or you can rely on the services which come about using connected devices.
Google translate came to help me many times while in a sticky spot and I’m not the only one. While sitting in the maid cafe (as mentioned before) I got talking to TAHK0. He was telling me how he climbed a crazy mountain and when I asked him about his Japanese, he admitted he knows a couple of words and thats it. He then went on to talk about Google Translate.
We shared stories of use and of course I had a few of my own.
I had a serious problem with the Airbnb apartment I had for the 2nd week, which meant moving all my stuff to somewhere else. To do this, I needed to be a couple of taxi rides. Unfortunately the taxi driver didn’t speak any english whats-so ever. I was trying to explain to him that I needed to go to a place, get him to wait for 5mins and then go somewhere else. To make things worst the place where the Airbnb shared room is, wasn’t near any landmark I knew of or could find on a map. I showed him on Google maps, but that didn’t really help. In the end I had to direct him from the back seat by typing and reading aloud from my tablet. Google translate worked just well enough for me to get the main point across.
The point is, it worked!
When talking to the lady/girl during my unsuccessful attempt to get to Nagashima Spa-land the first time. We used Google translate to talk quite a bit. It wasn’t exactly free flowing but at points it wasn’t so bad and we laughed quite a bit at the slight errors Google would make. The crib sheets I printed never got used and wouldn’t have be anywhere as useful.
Even when I sat in a restaurant trying to understand a Japanese menu items with Google translate. The chef used Google translate to attempt to understand what I was actually asking for. It was one of those moments which was unbelievable. Likewise when going clubbing on Saturday night, the taxi driver pulled out his two sided Android phone got my translation and put the results into his Google maps navigation system. It was a thing of beauty, honestly…
I’m not saying Google translate means you shouldn’t learn the language and to be fair without 4G/LTE wireless the whole process would have been terrible. What I am saying however is, the world is so much more accessible due to the internet and services like Google and I understand this is the trade off I have to make.