What am I missing about ICS and WebTop 3.0?

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR' started by surferdave, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. surferdave

    surferdave New Member

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    I've been thinking about getting an HD Station and using my RAZR MAXX with some peripherals at work; the interface shown on videos (pre-ICS) looks appealing with a full size browser and virtual image of the phone on the screen.

    But when I activate WebTop using an HDMI cable on my TV, the result looks nothing like it; it looks less useful than just mirroring the phone image to the TV. I hate to think that's all I would get from the $100 HD Workstation.

    I searched the forum and found mixed reactions to Webtop on ICS (most of the posts were about leaked versions prior to the official release so I took them with a grain of salt). It looked like all of the positive reviews came from people using the LapDock, not the HD Station.

    Can anyone who is using Weptop now with ICS confirm whether it has lost functionality with the update? Can you still get a desktop/laptop like experience using the Moto accessories, or is it now more like displaying your phone on a bigger screen? Is it different for the different accessories? thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
  2. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator
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    Webtop has been completely revamped with ICS. Instead of an awkward proprietary UI, it's now the tablet version of ICS. The previous versions looked more like a traditional computer interface, but it really didn't function very well. The tablet-style interface with ICS works much better than it previously did in my opinion. While it's not far off from it, it is a little bit more than simply mirroring the phone. The tablet version of ICS looks similar to the phone version, but there are ways in which is functions differently. One of the big ones is that apps will display as they would on an ICS tablet rather than as they do on your phone. Using accessories, you'll still get a desktop/laptop style experience out of Webtop. Have you ever used one of the Asus PadFone or the Asus Transformer tablets with the keyboard dock? That's almost exactly what Webtop is now when used with a Lapdock or when connected to a TV/monitor (Webtop itself functions in the same way on the Lapdock or when connected to a TV/monitor). Personally, I think Webtop on ICS is a vast improvement over the previous versions.

    The only real loss in the update is the desktop version of Firefox. It's no longer there. I know this is a big deal for some people out there, but for me, and I'd venture to say for most people, it's a trade-off that's worth it given the all around improvements. The various browsers you can download from the Play store work well for me in what I need.

    As for the HD dock, unless you want the convenience of quickly inserting and removing the dock and not having to worry about hooking up cables every time, there's really no reason to get the dock just for Webtop. Before ICS, you had to use the dock, a proprietary adapter, or apply a hack to the phone in order to get Webtop to function on an external monitor or TV. But now, all you have to do is plug in a HDMI cable, and once you've connected to a TV/monitor, you're given the option of using Webtop. It's exactly like using the dock, except for a heck of a lot cheaper. You can still use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse as well. There's also the HD multimedia dock, with three full-size USB ports. It's harder to find now (and might be the one you're referring to since you mentioned the $100 price tag). It's definitely a more appealing accessory since you can use a mouse or keyboard via USB, hook up external storage, and maybe even use a USB game controller. In that case, you'd have to decide if the price is worth the added functionality of the three ports. I know I use the full size USB port on the keyboard dock of my Transformer all the time for external storage and a wired 360 controller.

    So essentially, Webtop is now the tablet version of ICS. It doesn't look as different as Webtop did previously, but I think that's a good thing. Just because it looked different before doesn't mean it worked very well. The biggest loss is the desktop version of Firefox, but personally, I'll gladly give that up for everything we're getting in return. I've had all three of the Asus Transformer tablets, and I can honestly say that a person can be very productive with the tablet version of ICS when you have the right accessories (particularly a keyboard and mouse). If I were you, If I wasn't able to find any in-depth reviews and videos of the new version of Webtop, I'd take a good look at videos, reviews, and discussions on the Asus PadFone and the Transformer tablets if you haven't already. Those will give you a great idea of what Webtop is now and what it is and isn't capable of.
     
  3. surferdave

    surferdave New Member

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    Thanks for the explanation, that helps quite a bit. I'll look for some examples of the Transformer in use.
     
  4. altbrian

    altbrian New Member

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    The other side of the story.....

    I had the Razr Maxx for a couple of months before I picked up the HD Station.
    When I plugged the Maxx in and started playing around, I was like a kid in a candy store.
    I had full desktop version of Firefox, able to use several tabs, that even downloaded and saved a couple add-ons, specifically and Ebay sniper add-on.
    I could bring up in another window that was a copy of my phone.
    I could surf the web, text one friend while talking to another, AND have my Maxx running WiFi for my old Droid X2!!!!
    All at the same time!
    I was in tech-nerd heaven!

    I did not have any 'buggy' issues with Firefox or the Maxx / HD Station interface.

    While I do like the ICS update on the phone, webtop 3.0 is an absolute and complete disappointment.
    Check that, it actually annoys me.

    I bought the HD Station,($90), specifically for the full version of Firefox, the rest of the functionality was just beautiful icing on the cake.

    Webtop 3.0 is more or less your phone on a bigger screen.
    You can access it just by hooking up a $7 HDMI cable, so I see no need for a $95 HD Station.

    Anybody else want to chime in with their thoughts?
     
  5. jtpowell

    jtpowell Member

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    I actually prefer the new WebTop to the old. Even The ICS Chrome browser is better than the Firefox lite. That Ubuntu based desktop before was just toooooooooooo slow and laggy. It's snappy with ICS. It's not just mirror your phone on a bigger screen if you are using it in WebTop mode. It's as the first response said operating just like a proper ICS tablet would. So if you are in mail for example you are not seeing the version your phone uses but the version a tablet would use. It's a big upgrade speed and performance wise of any app that runs in tablet mode.
     
  6. dperreno

    dperreno New Member

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    I'll have to say that I agree with altbrain. I don't like the ICS tablet presentation on my lapdock. Had I wanted a tablet, I would have purchased one. I liked the concept of using my phone as a mini-laptop. The problem with ICS tablet on webtop is that it really wants you to have a touchscreen to work well. With a touchpad or mouse, it is awkward at best. Perhaps if there were a tablet-like accessory that turned your RAZR into a large tablet, compete with touch screen, then this version of Webtop might well be excellent. As a laptop replacement, it fails.
     
  7. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator
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    I guess I don't have the dislike for it that many have because I'm already used to using the tablet interface with a keyboard/trackpad/mouse from my Transformer tablets and docks. When docked, I very rarely use the touchscreen on my TF300. So for me, the ICS version of Webtop is extremely familiar and very usable with the lapdock.
     
  8. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider Member

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    I never used Webtop before the 3.0 beta that was in the ICS leaks so I can't comment on the differences between pre and post 3.0 but I like the interface on my Lapdock 500 except for the trackpad so I use a wireless USB mouse.
    I have used different browsers on my Windows laptops and desktops through the years and once Chrome was available I have never looked back so I don't miss Firefox and actually one of the reasons I never tried Webtop before 3.0 is I don't really care for Firefox and didn't want to be tied to it. With Chrome all of your bookmarks are synced across all the machines that you sign in on, Laptop, Desktop, Tablet, Phone... no need to transfer or save bookmarks on each machine.

    Put all your documents in Docs to Go, QuickOffice or Drive and there is no need for a windows laptop.
     
  9. surferdave

    surferdave New Member

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    I've connected my RAZR to a monitor with an HDMI cable and I'm using an EasyBlue keyboard & mouse dongle to use my computer keyboard and mouse. I've also installed Chrome as a browser. So far it seems a little awkward since a few things work differently from a normal computer environment but it's much better than I thought it would be when I started this thread.
     
  10. SerenityNetworks

    SerenityNetworks New Member

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    I love the new WebTop - with the exception of loosing the full version of Firefox. I use the WebTop primarily for browsing and the loss of the full version of FF is a significant loss. Dolphin browser has LastPass and XMarks add-ons, but I much preferred just using FF.

    95% of the time I'm using the WebTop on the LapDock designed for the Atrix (a really easy mod to get to work with my Razr). The interface is very smooth and works well with either the built-in touch pad or an external mouse. (Yes, it is a 'tablet' interface that works well with a touch screen, but it also works very well as a 'desktop' with mouse and keyboard - and although there are a couple oddities, once you learn them then it works just as fast as any other desktop/keyboard/mouse interface.)

    Overall, I'm happier with the new WebTop, but with the loss of FF it's a close call.
     
  11. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator
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    After the success of the first Asus Transformer, Google added in several additional features specifically for using a tablet with a keyboard and/or mouse, along with features for a keyboard style dock that includes a second battery, just like with the the lapdocks. There are a number of things that are a bit different than most people will be used to coming from a dedicated computer, but once you learn how it works, it's rather easy to use.
     
  12. lovemyram4x4

    lovemyram4x4 Member

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    Webtop 3.X is better than 2.X & mirrored in almost every way.

    Webtop 2.X IMO would be much better if it was so stripped/locked down & our Razrs had enough power to run it. Some have ran full featured Ubuntu systems in place of the stock one, which gives great over all feature packed function. Both run too slow due to needing a bit more RAM & CPU.

    Webtop 3.X although is just a tab interface or basically a high resolution version of you phone, it's not like the webtop 2.X really offered anything more since there wasn't very many desk top apps for it unless you hacked in your own Ubuntu. With the high resolution tab interface you can now enjoy using all your apps visually, unlike the stretched out ugly stuff from mirrored mode(or phone mode on lapdocks). It also runs much better on with the available RAM & CPU, so no more lag & low memory errors.

    My ladock went from this really cool thing that just sucked to use to a really cool thing that's actually OK to use now. There's a few bugs that really need to be fixed, for me it's a huge annoyance now I have to toggle accessibility settings for my apps that use them every time I go in/out of webtop if want them to function.

    So in short, on webtop 3.X you lost a few things that didn't really work in the first place & the rest is improved.

    [​IMG]
     
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