1. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Hi all! I've been using my Surface RT for about three weeks now and just wanted to give my thoughts on the experience from the perspective of a Google Services (and Android) user perspective. This is my first (and only) Windows 8 device. I also have a Nexus 7 and ASUS Transformer Prime with keyboard dock in my household. Both of those are also Tegra 3 devices like the Surface RT.

    First, I have to say that I'm impressed with the build quality of the tablet. Fit and finish is amazing, materials are awesome, and the display quality is good. I also have the touch cover, which took very little time for me to adjust to. Overall, I'm very satisfied with what MS has done with the Surface.

    From a software perspective, again, I'm impressed. I know it's not fair to compare Android to Win8 in any form, but the smoothness of Win8 on the Surface RT compared to Android is noticeably better. The SoC is the same, so this can be attributed to either faster NAND (a known performance issue on the two Android tablets I have), and better software optimization. It's likely that it's a little bit of both, since MS and nVidia worked closely on optimizing Windows for Tegra.

    If I was a MS services user exclusively this post could end there. But I'm not. I'm a Google services user. I use Gmail, Google+, Youtube, Maps, etc. I have a long history with Google, and they know how I behave on the internet. They have my search history, +1's, and who knows how much more data on me. I'm ok with that, it makes my online experience better. (I'm not a huge ZOMG-big-brother-is-tracking-me kinda guy).

    There is a total of one app made by Google that I can find. Search. That's it. I can get my Gmail through the mail app, but the rest has to go through IE, which isn't a terrible experience, but also isn't as optimized as a dedicated app would be.

    So my question is this....am I missing something? Are there apps that I'm just not finding? I would love a better Google experience on this tablet. Are there better email apps for gmail than the built-in client? I would love to hear how other people are handling this, because surely I can't be the only Google Services user with a Surface RT.

    Thanks!
    04-09-2013 01:56 PM
  2. spaulagain's Avatar
    While I haven't actively looked for Google apps since I'm more of a MS services person, I don't believe there is much yet FROM Google. In fact, Google has pretty much said screw you to supporting any Windows apps, etc.

    Windows 8/RT did support Google calendar/contacts syncing but since Google dropped EAS support, etc. That integration has been lost. MS does have plans to update integration.

    That being said, if you are a Google services person, than I think you're going to struggle integrating MS products. I understand why you use their services, but Google is turning into quite the ********* in the industry, so you may have a harder time.
    Last edited by HeyCori; 04-10-2013 at 03:12 PM. Reason: language
    04-09-2013 02:17 PM
  3. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    While I haven't actively looked for Google apps since I'm more of a MS services person, I don't believe there is much yet FROM Google. In fact, Google has pretty much said screw you to supporting any Windows apps, etc.

    Windows 8/RT did support Google calendar/contacts syncing but since Google dropped EAS support, etc. That integration has been lost. MS does have plans to update integration.

    That being said, if you are a Google services person, than I think you're going to struggle integrating MS products. I understand why you use their services, but Google is turning into quite the ********* in the industry, so you may have a harder time.
    I think what I really want is a better way to get my Gmail when I am using the Surface. I can deal with the other stuff being web based, honestly. Having an app that can use the labels and support the "basic" Gmail features is almost a must have for me, though.
    Last edited by HeyCori; 04-10-2013 at 03:12 PM. Reason: language
    04-09-2013 02:24 PM
  4. nasellok's Avatar
    For Google Music - GMusic app works great
    For Google Drive - I use Filebrick (can also access all of your other cloud accounts)
    For Gmail - I use the regular mail application, or ie.....after all - how do you use Gmail from a PC - through the web....same for 90% of things on the Surface RT.
    Im not the biggest fan of Google these days - Ive begun to migrate all of my services to MS - Outlook, Skydrive, etc.

    Surface RT, in my opinion, is the best thin client solution for anyone that wants to be productive with portability. Its a slick, new quality device, excellent screen, excellent build, and the ports, and driver support out of the box, expandable memory, etc. Android tablets kinda suck - Ive owned a Galaxy tab, and Transformer Prime (I returned both of them), and have an iPad2. Everything i can do on an android tablet, i can do on the phone in my pocket, and I really am an Apple hater, so my iPad is basically a learning tablet for my 3 year old son (and the occasional game, or Time Warner Cable tv streaming device - because MS blundered and didnt give the Surface RT support for Silverlight).
    04-10-2013 02:10 PM
  5. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    RE: Browser vs dedicated app. I prefer dedicated apps whenever possible because performance has usually been tweaked to be better for the specific hardware the app was designed to run on. For example, the Netflix app is far smoother than www.netflix.com. Plus you can't watch Instant on the browser, it forces you to the app (most likely due to hardware specific optimizations).
    04-13-2013 01:38 PM

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