Along with new technology, such as touch screen tablets in this case, often comes a plethora of new terminologies. Today I’m going to help explain what some of these terms and definitions mean. Keep in mind the majority of the following terms have in fact been around long before tablets existed, but they still apply to tablet computers nonetheless.
What Does API Mean?
API is an acronym for Application-Programming Interface. This is not to be confused with UI (user interface) and is better defined as a software-to-software interface. This consists of a standard set of programming instructions which grants developers access to what is known as a web tool or web based software application.
As far as tablets are concerned a good example would be the Android OS API. When a new operating system is released it’s necessary for developers to have access to the proper tools and API’s available in order to create custom applications for that particular OS.
In order for developers to create custom apps for Android based tablets, Google released a collection of Android tablet API’s. This has enabled programmers to develop plenty of innovative new Android applications. A few examples of what is primarily included with such API’s are access to:
- Java libraries
- Database development tools
- Background services
- UMTS technologies
- Key applications
- Graphical user interface tools
- Content management tools
- Tools to manage content and set alarms
…just to name a few.
What Does BlackBerry Bridge Mean?
The BlackBerry Bridge is a term used for syncing data in real-time between your BlackBerry Smartphone and PlayBook tablet over a wireless connection. This includes cross-platform access to items such as calendars, eMail, files and contacts.
With BlackBerry Bridge software you can also use your smartphone to access the Internet from your PlayBook. This is done using your existing cellular data plan.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a term used to describe the ability to access applications as well as data remotely from numerous different platforms. In other words you can store something from your MAC or PC for example on a cloud based server and access it from anywhere in the world from another device such as a tablet computer so long as you have an Internet connection. This helps reduce the need for additional hard drive space while keeping your data synced from one device to the next.
What Does LTE Mean?
LTE is an acronym for Long Term Evolution. You may have heard the term “4G Tablet”, which essentially is the same as LTE. Whether you call it 4G, LTE, or fourth generation, these are all terms referring to the same thing. It’s a specific type of technology or wireless broadband which is designed to support roaming Internet access for portable tablets or other handheld devices such as smartphones.
Monthly plans for LTE are more expansive but also a lot quicker than typical wireless connections. How quick exactly? Well, trials have shown that LTE connections support download speeds exceeding 300 Mbps. Mind you, it’s likely that carriers will not allow customers to obtain such speeds, meaning there will still be bandwidth caps put in place.
What Does OEM Mean?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. For example, a company that has their own custom tablet may not necessarily manufacture all of the parts that make the final product. In a lot of cases companies will outsource to OEM’s in order to have certain components mass produced yet still own the rights to the final product and can retail and brand their tablet pc however they desire.
What Does S/MIME Mean?
The actual meaning of S/MIME is Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. It’s a way for people to send/receive more secure and encrypted eMail messages using what’s known as a public key signature. In order to view S/MIME eMails on your tablet computer you need to have an S/MIME enabled eMail client or app.
What Does Tethering Mean?
If you have the proper software installed you can use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. Say for example you have a Wi-Fi only tablet, you are out in public and have no Internet access. You can tether (share) your connection from your smartphone to gain the access you require on your portable tablet. This can also be done using Bluetooth or a direct USB cable.
What Does Qi Mean?
Qi is the official universal standard for wireless power charging. An example would be inductively charged devices which most likely will include tablet computers in the very near future. It’s already being used for smartphones so it’s just a matter of time before tablets are compatible with Qi technology as well.
What Does Rooting Mean
Rooting is the method of obtaining full administrative privileges and root access to the Android OS. Recently I explained how to root the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and also pointed out that Android tablets are not rooted unless done so by the owner of the device. Android tablets do not come packaged this way, and by rooting your device you do void any warranty you might have had, but there are in fact many advantages to doing this.
What Does Jailbreaking Mean?
Jailbreaking iOS devices such as the iPad and iPad 2 is quite similar to rooting except in this case it’s referring to Apple related products. Jailbreaking basically gives you full root access and allows you to unlock features that otherwise would not be accessible. This ultimately gives you much more control over the performance of your tablet and what applications can be installed without requiring permission from Apple to do so.