Camangi sent the updated Webstation back today, and there are some good improvements. It also looks like some things haven’t changed at all. Nevertheless, the Camangi Webstation is one of the only Android tablets that has managed to appear in the USA, so the question is: If you didn’t buy an iPad, and you’re holding out for something Android based, is the updated Camangi worth it?
Let’s start with what didn’t happen. It didn’t get upgraded to a new version of Android, so it’s still stuck on 1.5. However, Camangi now claims that any future changes are user-upgradable. Hope the Webstation enjoyed its road trip!
Camangi says they’ve improved the WiFi and wake from sleep. Well, I came home, set it up my WiFi, and then had to run back out again. When I came back, the Webstation had gone into “coma mode”, where it wouldn’t wake from sleep and needed to be soft reset. So much for the improved sleep mode promise! WiFi did start up right away though, so they’re 1 for 2 so far.
The user interface was also updated slightly. Instead of the bland row of boxes of apps, and a buggy scrolling action, it’s a prettier version of boxes and scrolling! The nice bit is that it has arrows to control moving side to side, and there are dots indicating how many pages of apps there are. Overall, it’s sort of Android meets iPhone meets knockoff imitator. It is far better than their first attempt, and at least it gives users the option to set their own wallpaper on the background.
Finally, Camangi dropped FBReader and added Aldiko for ebook reading, and pre-installed Fring for VOIP. They also added a Google Search bar along the homescreen. The browser feels a bit faster, and overall the whole thing just seems to lag slightly less; that doesn’t mean the lag is GONE, just that it’s lessened considerably.
I will give Camangi credit for a few things. One, they were FAST with the turnaround on this service. I mailed it out just about two weeks ago, and it’s already returned, in excellent condition. They even applied a screen protector and covered the back with clear plastic to keep it from damage during shipping. Buggy software or not, they’re trying in their own special way.
Having said all this, my verdict on the Camangi is the same. If you’re looking for an ebook reader with a web browser and moderate flexibility, the Camangi is a good deal (better now that Aldiko is pre-installed.) If you’re looking for the Android version of the iPad, keep waiting…the Camangi isn’t it, even with this much needed update.