Recently, I’ve been experimenting with tablets. No, not the sort that make you dance for hours or think you’re reeeeeaaalllly interesting. The sort that glow enticingly and give you something to swipe at on train journeys. That’s right, this is going to be a fairly geeky post.
I want a device onto which I can load a large number of images, sorted into albums, then run a slideshow with nice smooth transitions to show to prospective wedding photography clients. Let’s say that I had a couple of hundred images but would also want to be able to add new images or remove old ones fairly easily.
Preferring the Open Source option, I tried a couple of Android tablets including the Asus EeePad Transformer. Getting the images onto the device was easy: I just pushed a microSD card pre-loaded with the images into the appropriate slot. After waiting a minute or so, there they were in the gallery app. Unfortunately neither of the Android tablets I tried displayed images at a high enough quality. It’s not the resolution of the screens, but it seemed that the bit depth of the image was too low. It might have been something else, some automated image scaling perhaps or a limitation of the display, but it looked like old school bit depth problems.
My friend Alan kindly lent me an iPad. I’ve been impressed with the screen quality of iPads in the past. What I hadn’t tried to do before is get a large number of images onto an iPad. There’s no card slot on an iPad, you have to buy what is essentially an SD card reader (but Apple call a camera connection kit) for £25. Even then I’m not sure if you can copy the files off the card onto the iPad itself. If you don’t have one of those card readers (I don’t) you have to get your thinking hat on!
I tried downloading a zip file from a webserver, but Safari didn’t like that. I could save individual images from within Safari, but it’s not a great way to manage a couple of hundred photos! I tried Dropbox, but you can’t select all the images in a folder and save them out in one go. It’s one image at a time again. All the images end up in a single “Saved Photos” folder too, making managing them a bit of a pain.
Andy Stanford-Clark suggested I used an app called iZip to open zip files, which worked for smaller zip files through Dropbox or Safari. Finally, a solution of sorts! But it would be a lot of hassle to load new images this way.
Of course, I’m grateful to Alan for lending me his iPad, and I had a great time playing Where’s My Water, Tap the Frog and Angry Birds. But the Android tablets made it so much easier to perform a simple task than the Apple offering. It’s just a shame the display quality isn’t good enough on the Android tablets. Of course, I’m keen to see Ubuntu running on tablets soon. It’ll be interesting to see whether I run into the same rendering issues as I experienced with the Android ones.Pin It