Tag Archives: tablet

WordMix on tablets, learning Japanese

A recent WordMix update brings much improved support for Android tablets as well as experimental support for Japanese dictionary.

Improvements to the layout for 7″ and 10″ Android tablets were long overdue, fixing some issues where activities and controls looked out of place because they were initially created and optimised for mobile phones.

WordMix in Google Play Store

Further I based the App’s theme on Holo for Android 4 and on Material for Android 5, ditching the DeviceDefault as a recommendation. In my experience, vendors quite often ship a DeviceDefault implementation, that is inconsistent, incomplete and quite often breaks visual appearance. In order to work around inconsistent presentation on some Android devices, I have decided to pin the theme to a set of known appearance with some custom styling, bringing a consistent look across all Android 4 and Android 5 devices (Android 2 and 3 support has been removed).

WordMix Pro in Google Play Store

Only new feature is the experimental support for Japanese as a language, including a Japanese dictionary (needs to be downloaded after installing the App). Japanese is particularly difficult to implement in this game due to the high number of different letters and combinations. Similar sound combinations have been combined as single letters, allowing to choose the specific sound by tapping on the dice. Feedback is appreciated!

As always, get it in Google Play Store, while it’s hot!

Sony Xperia Z2 still touch screen issues

Still looking for a high-end Android tablet with software navigation buttons (which rules out pretty much the whole Samsung product range), the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet still beats the competition by far.

The situation back then

In early June this year I bought a device like that only to discover soon that there seems to be a systematic problem with the tough screen that’s troubling lots of users, including me.

  • In certain situations the touch screen would not detect multi touch events, e.g. it would skip keys when typing on the onscreen keyboard
  • It generally has a problem with two touches that are aligned on a straight line, i.e. two fingers with the same y-value or with the same x-value, resulting in erratic touches, which would be interpreted as random tap events
  • Occasionally the device would not recognise touches at all or they need to be very hard / firm. Turning the display off and on usually helped for a short time.

A lot of users complained about this in online forums, some reviews mention it and youtube videos demonstrated the problem:

It was unclear if this is a grounding issue or something that could be fixed with a software update. The software update 17.1.1.A.0.402 came but even 4 month after the device was released by Sony, this issue still wasn’t fixed.

The situation now

Firmware 17.1.2.A.0.314 was released middle of July. Even though news sites repeat the release notes that the issue has been fixed, users are still reporting problems with the latest version:

Users in forums still complain. No solution is known. And the worst:

Sony has not even publicly acknowledged the problem.

Local stores still sell the Z2 with the flawed touch screen, but no information anywhere if this problem is known, analysed and will eventually be fixed.

Inexistent product support

This inexistent product is incredible. This product has been released half a year ago and is still the top tablet on the market as of today and an incredible device. I can’t believe Sony still hasn’t acknowledged a problem or provided a fix that makes this device actually usable. Sony here seems to sell a broken device despite of many users complaining about the poor touch screen but without any hope that Sony will fix the device. Instead Sony decides to work on the Z3 and Z3 tablet compact, while the Z2 still has so much potential to be actually bought.

Not only can’t I buy the Z2 because it is basically broken by design, I must hesitate to buy any Sony product at all because of their poor customer service and product quality.

I can’t believe how bad Sony’s customer and product service is and can only recommend to not buy any products from companies, that care so little about their users.

Unfortunately there is no matching tablet on the market as of today so all I can do is wait.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet with touch screen problems

Last week I decided to buy a tablet with Android. After looking a while I decided to go with the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, which in my opinion is an awesome tablet. It is powerful, light, high quality finish, even waterproof and incredibly thin. Being definitely in a high price range, this is a professional tablet, which cost me roughly 420 EUR.

Only after buying and using it at home for a while, I occasionally experienced erratic touch screen behaviour. Touches would be not recognized, sometimes swipe gestures would be detected as taps, multitouch gestures would stop and break in the middle and sometimes middle touches would only be detected, if pressed very hard. And even then the touches would not be detected reliably, resulting in random taps, performing undesired actions. This is usually with the tablet laying on a flat surface, quite often over night. I know that electric fields while charging a device quite often disturb the touch screen, but with the Sony Xperia Z2 this happened without the charger connected. I had the latest available software installed, the 17.1.1.A.0.402, which obviously did not fix the issue.

Turning the screen off and on usually fixed the situation temporarily, but that is not a solution as it would randomly happen again.

I downloaded a touchscreen test app and also found that the tablet has a very hard time recognizing touches, when two fingers are exactly in a horizontal or vertical line. It would simple drop both fingers. This is not acceptable multitouch behaviour, where one touch affects the other.

Confused I searched the Internet and found quite some people reporting the same issue, even a YouTube video demonstrating the problem, making me believe this is a systematic design flaw, not just a flawed device:

Sony Support recommended me to install the latest software (this was already the case) and then said, my device might need repair. This issue has apparently been around since several month and still Sony did not confirm the problem.

But I believe my device wasn’t actually broken but suffered from design flaws, I returned it for a refund. I am not willing to try different devices until I find one that actually works. Not with so many people complaining about the touch screen. Not for this price.

Sorry, Sony, you made the Xperia Z2 Tablet too thin and you have problems to get it to work properly. I’m sorry my first experience with a Sony mobile device had to be a negative one and with this issue not even publicly confirmed, I can’t recommend buying it. Too bad, it could have been such an awesome tablet.