Lenovo Ideapad A1 – Incompatible apps

Incompatible1

(image taken from http://thesignalinthenoise.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/121)

A list of Android apps not compatible (for various reasons) with the Lenovo A1 tablet:

  1. Opera Mini Web Browser
  2. Posterous Spaces
  3. QRDroid
  4. FXCamera
  5. Google+
  6. ES File Explorer 1.6.1 update (1.6.0.4 is already installed!)
  7. Dolphin Browser HD (Mini is compatible)
  8. AirTickets.gr

It seems that other people started wondering about the same issue, but still I haven’t found any solid answer to the cause of this incompatibility.

A1-dolphinhd

Strange, huh? Can be installed in my cheap Android phone but not in A1… 

**EDIT – 06/02/2011**:  It seems that a large part of the incompatibility of A1 with Android apps was due to a strange combination of changed screen density to 200dpi (instead of the native 240dpi) and the new version of the Android Market. So, when I changed the screen density back to 240 dpi & uninstalled the Market update, I could install my long missed apps, like Opera Mini, Airtickets.gr, FXCamera, Google+ etc. The issue was solved by XDA user TippyTurtle, to whom I am grateful!

**EDIT – 21/02/2011**: I just installed Popsci and realized that it works both in 200 and in 240 dpi! Yay!

Apps still incompatible with Lenovo A1:

  1. Quill (Requires Android 3.1)
  2. Google Goggles
  3. Handy Scanner Free PDF Creator

List will be frequently updated; please make sure that you come back soon and contribute to this list with your own incompatible Android apps!

 

** Last Update: 21/02/2012 ** 

 

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Lenovo A1 tablet: Facts

Ideapad-a1-tablet-hero1
Pros:
  • CPU: Cortex A8 1 GHz – fast enough for common tasks.
  • 16GB of storage
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 7-inch capacitive screen, 1024×600 pixels
  • Charging via micro-USB port – no additional chargers/plugs/ports.
  • Sturdy construction, feels solid in hand.
  • Hardware GPS receiver / works without 3G/WiFi

Cons:

  • No HDMI port /no video out (so no watching on large tv screens…)
  • Android 2.3.4 – it should be upgraded at least to 3.2 for tablets. A rumor exists about upgrading directly to ICS!
  • Annoying Skype issue, which shows the users video image upside down. The issue has been acknowledged and the Skype team says that they are currently working on it.
  • No USB host functionality (so far, maybe it is the cable so still investigating it…)
  • Various useful apps are not compatible with A1, such as Posterous Spaces, Google Goggles and Popsci (apps already installed in my ZTE Blade mobile phone). See a detailed list here.

How to solve various issues:

  1. USB Host mode: There is at least a post at Amazon by a user stating that even Android 2.3 devices without native (hardware) USB host mode support may be able to connect to other USB devices and transfer data from them, but a really special cable will be needed… too hard to even test that!
  2. Incompatibility with apps: It seems that a large part of the incompatibility of A1 with Android apps was due to a strange combination of changed screen density to 200dpi (instead of the native 240dpi) and the new version of the Android Market. So, when I changed the screen density back to 240 dpi & uninstalled the Market update, I could install my long missed apps, like Opera Mini, Airtickets.gr, FXCamera, Google+ etc. The issue was solved by XDA user TippyTurtle, to whom I feel grateful!

Everyday use includes (Updated 13/3/2012):

  • Checking emails: I download my last batch of emails before leaving home/office and check them on the road (in the train), so that I can be ready to reply as soon as I get home. Sometimes I reply on the fly and send the emails when I connect to my home/office network.
  •  I catch up with the latest Lifehacker/PopScience/Engadget articles using the corresponding free apps, doing the same trick: Updating them before I leave home/office so I have all the time to relax and go through the full text articles while I am offline in the train.
  • I read some ebooks using Kindle app or a pdf viewer. Mostly manuals and handbooks that I can refer to, while I am away from the office, as well as literature.
  • I browse heavily the web while I am at home, sitting on my couch and too bored to use my laptop.
  • Retrieving files that I have shared/uploaded using Dropbox or Sugarsync (this has been a lifesaver in a couple of project meetings, when I didn’t have my laptop with me).
  •  Web 2.0 tools: Updating my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. status and checking updates of my friends using the corresponding apps.

I haven’t tried to watch any movie yet, but I am pretty sure that it will happen within the next weeks. I have read a guide on optimizing the file before sending it to my tablet.

Rooted in order to install specific useful apps:

Useful links:

 

Lenovo A1 and Android ICS!

 

This post will be updated often, so make sure that you come back and see any additions/revisions

** Last update: 13/03/2012 **

Sucker for tablet

I have to admit that I am a sucker for a tablet: During the last months I have been searching for information on specific models, reading reviews, checking prices… they’re still damn expensive! After evaluating two different iPads (9.7 inch screen), I think I will go for a 10-inch Android tablet, probably no 3G (to save money – it adds to the price) but with a dual-core CPU @ 1GHz (at least) and 8GBs or more of storage (apart from the SD card).

There are some rather cheap solutions out there (like the ZTE V9 and the Huawei S7 Ideos) but they feature a 7-inch screen, low resolution (480 x 800) and a rather slow processor. Since I haven’t seen any of these in action I am a little worried about their performance. On the other hand, these may be sufficient for my everyday use, therefore saving me a significant amount of money!

Huawei IDEOS S7 (photo taken from http://www.gsmarena.com)

It seems that I will have to wait for some months more… in some cases, these weak machines are even more expensive than a fully-featured laptop! I think that this will changed in the next months…