Saturday, March 5, 2011

Jolicloud a week later

I've been using Jolicloud almost exclusively (aside from an event that required OneNote) on the Archos 9 for over a week now, and I'm really liking it. I find it to be a good balance between the totally cloud based ChromeOS and the heavy slowness of Windows 7. Jolicloud is responsive even on the limited resources of the Archos.

Having a Cr-48 to test ChromeOS has helped pushed me even more into the cloud. Jolicloud offers a similar interface with icons representing "apps" that are mostly just links to websites. However, with Jolicloud you get real local apps in addition to the web based ones, access to local file storage, and greater control over the system in general.  I have even installed wine and have both the nook software and the evernote desktop client, complete with inking, up and running. 

Sadly, I still haven't figured out sleep, so it's not as mobile as I'd like, but as a secondary system on the desk, it's great. I've always been a fan of a secondary system rather than just a secondary monitor. I keep it off to the side with the weather app and seesmic open. While video playback can be hit or miss, it's mostly good enough to run videos off to the side while I work on the "big" computer. The nice thing is, I can grab the video and take to the kitchen with me while I cook lunch, which wouldn't work if it were just running on a secondary monitor.

All of these big icon driven interfaces (Jolicloud, Meego, Ubuntu's netbook remix, and probably even ChromeOS) are great to use on a touchscreen tablet in contexts like couch sufring. The biggest drawback is that the internet is actually not very finger friendly. Most links on webpages are hard to hit, and it mixes up whether you're trying to scroll the page or click a link. The browser is probably one of the least used apps on my Android phone. I think Google is getting this figured out now as the Google web apps are probably some of the easiest to use with just a finger. Forums are some of the worst with their tiny little "view new posts in this thread" buttons.

All in all, I'm enjoying the speed boost over windows, while having more functionality than just the cloud only ChromeOS can offer.

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