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Nexmas

It’s Nexmas!

In case you haven’t heard, in the early hours of this morning Google announced their two new modules in the Nexus Smartphone range – the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P.

The 5 will still be packing a lot of the punch that the 6 will be, but holding out on the alloy case that the 6 will be hosting.

Both phones will be sporting the new material look with Google’s updated OS Mashmellow.

The phones are available for preorder and are due for shipping around the end of October… so for those of us in Australia – we might be lucky to get it by Christmas!

For more information – check out Derek Ross’ post with the leaked presenter notes for the 6P and the Nexus Camera.

Check out Google’s blog post about it all.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Best Selling Cell Phones

It’s the month of Holidays, and shopping for gifts is inevitable. Buying your loved ones cell phones is always the nicest of ideas. So Brad and I have decided to go over a list of phones that you might want to consider as Christmas presents.

5. HTC One
HTC One
When it comes to a gorgeous looking cell phone, HTC One comes in my mind first. Its eye-catching sleek aluminum body with a dominant quad-core processor is like a living beast on your palm. The HTC UltraPixel Camera feature takes up to 20 photos in single command, and the BoomSound feature with a dual frontal stereo speakers powered by built-in amplifiers delivers bigger sound with less distortion. Its BlinkFeed feature makes you go heavier on social networking, and the interactive TV guide will help you to be notified for all your favorite programs in a friendly step-by-step manner. It’s not very expensive and it’s a beautiful cell phone to carry. So if your loved one is into social networking and TV shows, HTC One is the phone you should order

4. Google Nexus 5
Google Nexus 5
Nexus 5 delivers a simple design and showcases a spectacular full HD display. Best par to its display is that it comes in black and white too. Inevitably it comes with rich Google features and specially networking with Google+. Nexus 5 has a solid build and has a long battery life. LTE for multiple carriers, it makes crystal clear calls. And not to mention it comes with an excellent affordable pricing. It’s a very solid phone to carry as it performers smooth and has a high-end specs. If not among other brands, Nexus 5 is clearly the best Nexus phone till today. Fast, stunning, and filled with useful features, Nexus 5 is the phone I’d personally buy to my loved ones, so why not you?

3. Apple iPhone 5S
Apple iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S is easily the fastest and most advanced Apple smartphone to date. Powered by a next-gen CPU and motion tracking chip, iPhone 5S is also equipped with an improved camera and a clever fingerprint sensor. iOS 7 includes few nice features including AirDrop that comes very handy for file transfers, and iWork app suite absolutely free. Its 64-bit processor is considered as the most powerful processor to date and has a huge potential to become the very smartphone gamers crave to carry. Apple is never cheap and so isn’t iPhone 5S. But if you want to buy something elegant this Holiday, my recommendation will be this beautifully furnished smartphone.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
With its elegant and massive screen, blaring quad-core processor, and refined S Pen skills the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is definitely among the top cell phones of this time. It also comes with a long battery life and great picture taking features. Features such as Air command, Action memo, Scrapbook and S Finder take its usability to a greater stage. In addition to these Galaxy Note features Samsung has added new features such as the S Note that helps you compose and your thoughts easily. And the new Easy Clip feature is a handy addition for instant photo editing. With more improved security features and control, Galaxy Note 3 is worthy of a gift.

1. Motorola Droid Maxx
Motorola Droid Maxx
Even with its high price it’s definitely a good cell phone comes with an outstanding battery life. With a big and colorful screen, Motorola Droid Maxx also comes with a striking design. Feature such as power without the plug, quick camera functionalities, improved voice command, free 50GB of Google Drive storage, and many more are massive addition to this cell phone. If you are willing to go a little extra over your budget, there’s no second choice then Motorola Droid Maxx.

So that’s all for today. Buy yourself something nice and to your loved ones. We wish you Merry Christmas and happy Holidays.

Amaya Ai,
Gifu, Japan

Noteworthy Nexus 5

By Kim F

When I made the transition from iPhone to my old Galaxy Nexus I was pretty excited about the flexibility I had with the phone. The numerous ways I could customise it, tweak it, change it, play around with it. Little did I know that I would become a big fan of the Nexus range to the point of now actually finding myself reviewing the new Nexus 5.

A little background for you might be required as you will find this isn’t a very ‘technical’ blog or one written by a hard core geek, designer or programmer. In fact, I’m just like you – a curious every day user. This is my second Android phone and while I’m passionate about technology, I’m not someone who can rave about their standings in the technology industry. So I’m writing this post for the every day user who is looking at the Nexus 5. If there is something that I miss that you might be interested in, let me know as I’d be happy to have a play around and see if I can find you an answer. The other thing is, I’m not going to root it, or change from the stock software this time around. For the non-technical person, rooting your phone can be a messy, confusing and continuous process that can often leave you concerned that you’ve busted your phone once and for all. (Side note: for all the Australians out there, yes, that is indeed the term they use for the Android phones).

As this is my first review of something like this, please hang in there with me. Hopefully I will be answering as many of those initial questions you might have before considering the purchase of the Nexus 5.

The Size:
The size is quite similar and insignificant to note when it comes to comparing it with previous phones (such as my Galaxy Nexus) or an iPhone.

What does make a difference, is the slightly more square build of it, that it tends to sit comfortably in your hand without slipping with the slightest of movements or gestures you might make. The matt back of the phone supports this as well, and the phone feels a lot safer and easier to hold on a whole. In the pocket, again, it really doesn’t stand out as too big or too bulky. If you’re use to the average size of smartphones in your pocket these days, then you won’t have a problem adjusting to the Nexus 5.

There isn’t a “lip” on the edge of the phone so if you placed it face down you may find that it could scratch – but with the new Gorilla glass that is the screen, this tends to be a somewhat small chance of happening as sand is rumoured to be the only thing that would damage it. That being said, the moment you add a reasonable cover on it you will find this becomes irrelevant.

The Screen:
The screen is clear and crisp, with a slight shadowing on the top and bottom from the software. And of course, Kit Kat is extremely responsive. No lag (sorry Galaxy Nexus but you’re time is up). Google Now has moved to the far left screen and loads seamlessly. No more having to hold the home button (although you can do this too from the lock screen).

Screenshot_2013-11-06-17-23-24   Screenshot_2013-11-06-17-23-12

IMG_20131106_161846I’m initially a little hesitant in regards to the integrated Hangouts/SMS feature…
The reason for this that Hangouts, while one of my favourite Google+ features, is still extremely messy with “conversations” happening multiple times over. Add this to all my SMS conversations and BOOM – things are going to be missed. However, over the last couple of days I’ve been warming to the idea. While it does require me to keep myself organised, hey, that’s what technology is for, right? In this case, all my conversations are in one place and I never have to go searching for the multiple different places someone could have said something to me. Keep in mind though, this is an opt-in feature at this time. So if you feel it might be too much to handle straight away, you can say no.

Hardware:
It comes as a pretty basic setup in regards to the box. You get your phone, the USB cord and wall adapter as well as a small pin to pop out the SIM card tray. While it feels a little flimsy at first (I freaked out thinking I was going to lose the tray), once you’ve placed your Micro SIM in there, you’ll forget all about it and never have to worry again.
The only thing I feel is missing is headphones and a new ringtone… but then, I shouldn’t be lazy and find one myself.

IMG_20131106_155840 IMG_20131106_155636

Battery:
I’m running 4G, WiFi, location services, syncing (including Gmail, Google+, Foursquare, Instagram and Facebook), I’ve received 4 phone calls of roughly 1.5 hours of call time and as at 2:07pm today I am on 77%. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty happy with that. On an average day I’ve managed to get into bed at around 10:30-11pm and it will be looking low enough for me to put it on charge for the night. But do you know what? I haven’t had to charge it during the day! So to me, I couldn’t be happier. So those concerned about the battery life of their #nexus5? I can honestly say I am having more trouble trying to prove the battery is bad, when it is, in fact, the opposite for me.

Screenshot_2013-11-06-17-22-57KitKat:
So while I’m a little concerned that Google jumped on a brand name here – the operating system is great. It’s super smooth and much clearer and clearer than the last (Jelly Bean). The only confusion I get occasionally is which app to use for editing my pictures. You have the option of now using the new Google+ Pictures or using the original gallery.  The new updated inbuilt gallery editor is pretty cool – so I usually stick to that and then head over to Pixlr when I want to achieve something special. I think with time the Google+ pictures with outweigh this and probably become stock, but until then, I use the gallery for consistency.

The Camera:
In comparison with my Galaxy Nexus, the camera is gorgeous. (My Galaxy Nexus was the pictures of the Nexus 5 being unboxed above). You could find things to pick out about it, such as that it’s still not great in low light, but frankly, you’re looking for an argument. If you like everything else about the phone, then you’ll be happy with the camera.
Here are a few photos I’ve taken on it so far:

I might also add that apparently there are voices floating around saying that the camera taking multiple pictures takes longer than the original Galaxy Nexus. I ran a couple of tests and found this wasn’t the case either. The camera was happy to keep shooting (in focus) while the previous picture was still flying to the top right gallery. This is Buzz Lightyear faster than my GN.

Lastly, there has been a few complaints floating around about it not being a hardcore Nexus phone anymore. Take it or leave it really. It is a beautiful phone that is easy to use and has pleased me endlessly. I think there are always going to be complaints from someone about something such as the camera (it’s not a DSLR folks!) or the battery (won’t be great until someone invents a smart battery for smart phones) so you just have to find something that suits you. 

That’s me. Over and out.

In case you’re curious you can find me here

GooglePlus-Logo-02 About.me_icon

The “Ghost Town” that is Google+ is coming!!

Article originally posted here

by Brian Booher of Modern Day Computers

Google-Plus-Logo

Let me get it out first…..I LOVE GOOGLE+!!!!

I think Google+ is the best social network on the planet!  I have met so many different people through Google+ in the 1.5 years I have been on it.  I find it so much more stimulating in being able to reach out to people of the world than I could with Facebook and Twitter.  I have more followers on Google+ than I do on Facebook and Twitter COMBINED!!  The introduction of the Google+ Hangouts is totally awesome as I can video chat with people from all over the world.  I see no reason why I should go to another social network, even though I am on Facebook and Twitter already even before joining Google+.

Hangouts and “Hangouts on Air” (HOA), are what makes Google+ better than Facebook as Facebook only allows for 1 to 1 conversations.  HOAs are really great as I can make recordings that will then be sent automatically to my Youtube account.  I don’t have to record it locally and spend the next 2 days uploading the video to Youtube with the way my Internet speed is.  Regular Hangouts are fun because I can get together with some friends and just chill out, talk about current events, discuss about tech, etc.  This is what blows Facebook out of the water, though it’s not much of a big bang as I would hope.

obamahangout1

Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has used Hangouts on Air to meet with people and get a message out.  Whether you like him or not, it’s great to see a leader of a country taking advantage of this technology.

There is a problem I do see with Google+.  That problem is the amount of exposure that Google is promoting it.  As compared to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ pales in comparison when it comes to advertising.  Google’s cash cow for revenue is web search, so I don’t think they take Google+ very seriously.  That is kind of sad as Facebook has been growing so much over the years that eventually they may overtake Google as the search king.  In about 10 years, I would not be surprised if the mindset of society changes so dramatically that when people want to do a search on the web, they will facebook it, instead of google for it.

It has only been a couple of weeks since this writing that Google launched Google+ sign-in capability for apps.  This is the ability to use your Google+ credentials for a login for new apps that allow it, much like what Facebook and Twitter have allowed to do for years.  it took Google almost 2 years to create this?  Get with the times Google!

I also believe that Google is dragging their heals when it comes to promoting Google+ because of Facebook’s “Like” button.  Sure Google+ has the “+1” button, but it is not as well as promoted by companies.  Facebook gets TONS of advertising reach with companies who make commercials and say stuff like “Follow us on Facebook” or “Like us on Facebook”.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial where a company said “Follow us on Google+”.  Can anyone name a commercial that did something to promote Google+ in a commercial?  Anyone?   Beuller?  Beuller?

Google is also extremely hesitant to allow app developers to create third party apps with Google+ integration.  Take Tweetdeck for instance.  As of this writing, Tweetdeck is an app that allows you to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, though in a few months Twitter will kill off most of that ability since competition has become fierce.  I would love to have an app that would allow me to post to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter at the same time.  The closest thing I can do is using “Friends+me” which scans my Google+ profile for new public posts and sends them to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  This is nice, but still a cumbersome process to setup.  If Google wants to be like Apple and control the whole user experience of Google+, that is a losing war.  They are in NO position to be that controlling, considering that Google+ is not the number 1 social network.  Facebook can and is doing just that because they are the number 1 social network.

Google+ on mobile is also a disaster.  When it comes to being able to do hangouts with a mobile device, I can understand that Google will favor Android devices to be able to enter Hangouts on Air, but to restrict iOS users from being able to do that is unacceptable.  Unless Apple’s strict requirements are in play, Google is seen by many iOS user as being uncaring towards them.  Google should explain why iOS users are not allowed in Hangouts on Air, regardless of who is at fault.   If it’s Apple’s fault, then that is understandable considering how much Apple thinks it knows best for its customers.  If it’s Google decision in regards to promoting Android, that is a disaster right there.  As I said before, Google+ is in no position to determine where it can work if it wants to become a world leader.

The Google+ mobile app is not very consistent either when it comes to Android and iOS.  I present two photos that I took of the same post I made on iOS on the left and Android on the right.

iOS                                                Android

Photo 2013-03-26 02.16.27 AM          Screenshot_2013-03-26-02-09-07

As you can see, they are very similar in most ways.  The big difference between the two are the 4 icons at the bottom.  The differences are that iOS has the “Link” in yellow while Android has “Mood” in yellow.  Why the hell would anyone on Android want to put their mood on a post?  Google actually had to do an update to give Android users the ability to link websites, though it can only be done when tapping on “Write”.  The iOS version had already been able to do that.  I also will grill Google on the length of time it took to make an iPad friendly version of the Google+ app.  Facebook was able to do that sooner with their app.

Wow!  I sure have written a lot now, so I guess I will wrap it up here.

As much bashing on Google+ as I have done, I do it because, as I said before, I love Google+.  I want to see it succeed and be able to become the king of social networks.  Facebook is great, but it’s not very social as for meeting people without first having to friend them.

If Google is serious about making Google+ into a great product, they need to get things rolling faster NOW!  Facebook is growing too fast to stand back and figure out a strategy that could last long term, but there are too many dynamics to be able to understand.  Google needs to promote the hell out of Google+.  Many of my friends that I know personally and have met in real life have no idea what Google+ is, they only know Facebook.

It was once said that Google+ was a “ghost town”.  At the time it was laughed at because of all the people using it, but now about a year later, things have changed and Google+ seems to be slipping away as Facebook gains more popularity.  If Google does not do much in promoting, I may just have to leave and go for greener pastures if I want to get better exposure and access.

Come on Google!  Wake up and smell the bacon!  Mmmm!  Yum!  Now I’m hungry.

Have fun and geek out!

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianBooher

Follow Modern Day Computers on Twitter: @ModernDayComps

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Nexus 7 – G.B.U. Review

by Brian Booher of ModernDay Computers

I have had the Nexus 7 for about 2 weeks now and I will say I am amazed at what this little device can do.  To make it short, I like it.  There, it’s done!

Oh, you want more information on this?  Sure, I can do that.  I’ll give my good, bad, and ugly (G.B.U.) review on this for you.  First off, lets get into the specs.

The Nexus 7 is Google’s first pure Android tablet.  It is made by Asus, who also makes the Transformer Prime.  The tablet has a 7 inch screen with a 1280×800 pixel HD display, front facing camera, volume rocking switch, and the ever important power button.  It is equipped with a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer.  It also comes with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Inside is a Tegra-3 quad-core processor made by NVidia.  It contains 1 GB of RAM and has  8GB or 16 GB of storage, depending on the model you get.  The model I am reviewing with is the 16GB version.

There are other goodies packed into this thing, but I will save those for later, which won’t be long.

Let’s set the record straight right here, this device is not an “iPad-killer”.  The biggest competition for the Nexus 7 is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which I also have.  This has the ability to blow the current Kindle Fire out of the water, as in the first generation Kindle Fire in case you are reading this sometime in the future.

So enough blabbering on, lets get into the good, bad, and ugly stuff of the Nexus 7.

 

THE GOOD

Additional Features

Well, it’s now later.  So I guess you want to know what else is in this box?  It has Wifi 802.11 (b/g/n) connectivity, bluetooth, a microphone, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and NFC (Near Field Communications) for Android Beam.

The screen is only 7 inches long horizontally, like all other electronic screens are measured. The display is 1280×800.  The pixel density is 216 ppi (pixels per inch).  The best thing is that is it capable of playing HD movies, though it would be in 720p.  The 80 more pixels are used for the screen controls, which are persistently shown when using it.

Android OS

The big attraction that makes the Nexus 7 way better than all the other tablets on the market is that it ships with the most current version of the Android OS.  It contains a pure version of Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean.  Jelly Bean was announced in mid-June as the update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  Every other tablet on the market has an older version that is usually customized heavily to match the company’s needs.  The Amazon Kindle Fire uses a heavily customized version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread that you can’t tell what it is.

Jelly Bean improves upon Ice Cream Sandwich that it is kind of hard to really set them apart.  Since I do not have a pure version of Ice Cream Sandwich, I have the T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, I really cannot give point to point differences since Samsung customized Ice Cream Sandwich to work with Touch-wiz interface.

Google Now

The biggest point that Jelly Bean has that ICS does not is Google Now.  Google Now is kind of like Siri that is found on Apple iOS, but not quite the same.  You can talk to it to ask for sports scores, weather info, travel information like flights, traffic conditions, and public transit info.  It won’t carry on a conversation like what Siri can do, but there are apps in Google Play Store that can do that.  If you’re looking for the official Android version of Siri on Google Now, you won’t find it.  I like it because all I have to do is name a sports team, in my case the Cincinnati Reds, and it will tell me the score of the most recent game.  It does have a voice to go with it too and it sounds more human than what Siri is.

Google Now is great for doing voice searches and it is pretty accurate with how it heard you and transcribed into text.  I just did a voice search for “ingredients for portal cake” and it brought up several search results on how to make the cake.  “The cake is a lie!” – geek humor right there.

If you say something like a place, like “Eiffel Tower”, it will bring up a map of the location in Paris, France and give you the option to make traveling directions with Google Maps.

Since Google Now is fairly new, there is a lot of room for improvement over time.  You might read articles from famous reviewers who will say that it’s crap because it isn’t like Siri since they feel that a product will only be successful if it can beat the competition on day 1.  Google Now will be improved over time and I am not in a rush, and neither should you.  If you want the Siri experience so badly, then go get an iPhone.  To me, Siri is boring compared to what kind of Android apps can do plus more.  Siri works in a walled garden, like all other Apple products.

Price

With all the features that is in this device, you might be thinking it would cost a pretty penny, much like what an iPad does.  Well, it doesn’t.

The 8GB model costs $199 and the 16GB model costs $249.  That is of course before tax and shipping rates are applied.  This is the same price point that the Amazon Kindle Fire is at, but the Nexus 7 has a ton more features.  With the Nexus 7, you can get the best of both worlds as you can read Kindle Books and use the Amazon Appstore.  I installed the Appstore the day I got the Nexus 7 and it works great.

Pure Android Experience

With the Nexus 7, you are getting the pure Android experience that Google has made.  This is not a version of Jelly Bean that has been heavily customized by the phone carriers, who like to strip out certain functions to add their own versions and add a bunch of non-removable crapware that can really slow down the system.  The biggest advantage is that when there is an update to Jelly Bean, whether it be to fix bugs or to update to the next version, which would be a pastry with the name beginning with K, you will not have the wait that long as compared to carrier versions who have to do the whole process again, which can take several months if you’re lucky that they even want to update your phone.  The carriers prefer not to update existing hardware, as they really want you to buy a new phone and extend your contract.  I speak of course about the carriers in the U.S., since that’s where I live and have to put up with.

 

THE BAD

Now I turn to what is bad about the product.  These are the topics that can be the make or break decision for some people.

Camera

The Nexus 7 has only 1 camera and that is a front facing camera.  The camera is only 1.2 MP which is good for video chatting.  I tired it on a Google+ hangout and it looks really good.  Though it may look good for hangouts, I do not think it would be useful for people who intend to take pictures with it, but there is a problem there too.  There is no camera app on the Nexus 7 like you would find on smartphones and other tablets like the iPad.  You can get camera apps from the Play Store, but there is no stock camera app to take pictures.  To me, I do not make it an issue since I carry my smartphone with me anyways, though it would be nice to have one on the Nexus 7.  Maybe in an future update Google might put a camera app on.

Storage

Though 16GB of storage does seem a lot, it can be a setback for some, especially for those people who have iPads with 32GB or 64GB of storage available.  Though I wouldn’t put my music collection on here, I would make use of the cloud, which is what this device is aiming for.

Do realize that for $250, 16GB of storage is great compared to a 16GB iPad 3 that starts at $500.

Hardware buttons

The only hardware buttons on the Nexus 7 are the power and volume controls.  The home, back, and open apps buttons are software buttons on the screen.  So if an app locks up, you may not be able to hit the home button as it is locked up as well.  I have not had that problem yet, but it is something to think about.

It is getting harder to find what is bad about the Nexus 7.  I guess probably I just haven’t come across more yet.

 

THE UGLY

This section is about features of the Nexus 7 that are not bad, but either they make using the device awkward or something in the software needs improvement.

Headphone Jack

To put it simply, the Nexus 7 is basically a giant iPod touch, minus iOS, a physical home button, and the shiny aluminum back.  If you have an iPod touch, the headphone jack on both devices  is on the bottom next to the port for data transfer and charging.  It would have been nice to have it on top like what the iPad has since stock Jelly Bean desktop does not use the accelerometer to switch between landscape and portrait mode.

User Interface

Stock Jelly Bean does not take advantage of the accelerometer to switch between landscape and portait view of the desktop like you can on the iPad.  It also is limited to 5 home screens, which do not jump from 1 to 5 or 5 to 1 automatically.  In that case you have to scroll through 2-4 to get to the other side.  I overcame this problem and installed “Go Launcher”, which allows me to scroll back and forth, make up to 9 home screens, and can view in landscape and portrait modes.

App Compatibility

As with other Android devices, there are apps that are incompatible with the Nexus 7.  Now it is understandable if an app that works with the phone won’t work since there is no phone function on the Nexus 7, but I am talking about apps that the developers just have not updated to say that it is compatible.  Techrepublic and ZDNet, both owned by CBS Interactive, are notoriously known, at least to me, to be “incompatible” with certain Android devices.  Luckily I can side load them and they work fine.

The Nexus 7 basically has all the features of an Android smartphone, minus the phone part.  So most of the apps should be compatible, it’s mainly the developers who choose what they want their apps to run on.

No 3G/4G

The Nexus 7 is a WiFi model only.  If you think about it, adding 3G/4G capability would only add to the cost of the device, which can be seen in the 3G/4G capable iPad models.  I know some people would be willing to pay more for that ability, but then you get into the costs of service and where you can get service and all that other nasty stuff.  For basically $200 or $250, you’re getting a good deal.  For me, I would just use the tethering function on my phone.  Easy as that.

Screen issues

Some people have reported that the back of the Nexus 7 has been coming off.  One person investigated and found that the screws that hold the screen shut were not tightened all way, as in just turning the screws a couple times so that they are in the hole, but still have more turns to go.  I have not experienced this problem yet and I hope I won’t have to.

The issue that I face is when I am reading stuff on the Nexus 7 in bed with the brightness turned all the way down.  I can see when viewing webpages with a lot of whitespace the screen flicker a little bit as if its trying to stay lit.  It is not a big issue as I don’t see it during the day as there is a lot more light around me.  I’m hoping it is a software issue where a patch can be made to fix the problem.

NFC/Android Beam

The Nexus 7 comes equipped with an NFC chip to be able to do data transfer using Android Beam.  Basically you take the Nexus 7 and have it touch another Android device that uses Android Beam and you can send webpages, apps, music, etc. to that other device.  This technology is also being used for Google Wallet, which is loaded on the Nexus 7.  I tried to get it to work with my Galaxy S II and was only partially successful.  I think either it was because Samsung uses a slightly different version or else that my phone was rooted that it didn’t work too well.  I will say that the Nexus 7 responded very well when it detected my phone, but it was hard to get the phone to send data to the Nexus 7.  If I had a Galaxy Nexus, it probably would work better since that is a pure Android phone.

No Micro-SD Slot

Many other Android devices allow you to expand the storage capacity with the addition of a micro-SD memory card that you can move apps to or hold music and movies on.  The Nexus 7 has no slot for that as it would impact upon the performance and security of the device.  Some developers don’t want their apps put on an SD card and also it can slow the system since the card has to be read for data, which may not take very long, but it might eat up battery power over time.  I do not know the official reasons, I am only giving my thoughts on it.

No Flash!

OMG!!! THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!  HOW CAN WE SURVIVE WITHOUT FLASH?!?!

Well, in the 2 weeks that I have had it, I haven’t felt the loss.  Many of the websites have been converting to HTML5 so it can be accessible on iOS devices.  Also Adobe will not be working on mobile Flash anymore, so it’s good that Jelly Bean was built to not worry about it.

 

CONCLUSION

Well, that is a big description of the Nexus 7 in the good, bad, and ugly.  There are a lot of other features that I probably should point out, but I don’t want to give away all of them, that should be done by you.  The Nexus 7 is a very fast, compact, and fun tablet to use.  I’ve been using it more than my iPad.  The Nexus 7 is a lot nicer to read in bed as it doesn’t weigh as much as an iPad, which I hear from a lot of people as being a problem.  I can hold the Nexus 7 solidly with one hand and it won’t come out.  It’s also nice to throw into my bag and take it to work or other places.

So if you have an iPad already, I say go out and get this tablet and experience the best of both worlds.  If you’re looking for an awesome Android tablet for the first time, go for the Nexus 7.  It is priced right and you get a lot of power.  While other manufacturers make bigger tablets, the Nexus 7 is currently the only Android tablet with the latest OS version.  This way you can keep up to date on new and existing apps that will run on Jelly Bean, unlike the others where they become obsolete so quickly that the number of apps that support the older versions of Android are falling.

This is a good buy.  You can find the Nexux 7 at the Google Play Store here.

You can also find the Nexus 7 at several retail stores in your area.

HAVE FUN AND GEEK OUT!!!

Follow me on Twitter: BrianBooher and ModernDayComps

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Nexus 7: Anticipation/Actualization/Aftermath Part 3

This is going to be a three part review to the new Google Nexus 7 tablet running Jellybean version of the Android OS.

Part I: Anticipation
Here I’ll talk about what it’s like before I get device, what I’ve heard, and what I’m looking forward too.

Part II: Actualization
My first hands on experience with the tablet, how fresh it feels, how it compares to my other Android experiences and of could compared to the iPad

Part III: Aftermath
And after the glow of ‘new toy’ wears off what are we left with, will I be a hard core user, maybe get a bump up to medium, or will it be regulated to the occasion check in when I think about it.

Part III: Aftermath

Okay so we’re heading into one week with the Nexus 7 and I am still in love with the device.  It’s just the right size for single handed operation, and the sound issue is an actual hardware problem with my unit and Google is looking into replacing it.  Although it sounds like it might be a while, as they have have been so over whelmed with orders for the 16gb version they have actually STOPPED taking new orders and instead give you the option to get on a mailing list for when the do start again.

Now that COULD also be due to the amount of replacement units that are needing to go out to replace the variety of issues that have been plaguing these first GEN devices.  I’ve read reports of screen separation, ghosting effects, charging issues, touch detection problems and even microphones not working.  Luckily my sound, actually let me correct that my speaker issue is easily worked around until my replacement arrives.  I can use either headphones or Bluetooth to re-route the audio to none blown speakers.  So I’ll stop whining for now.

All of these issues point to a lack of Quality Control, and you’d think with ASUS’s experience they would have know better, but it is what it is.  I just hope every other Android manufacture out there is paying attention.

The Nexus 7 is exactly what the doctor ordered to jump start the Android tablet market.  Google needed to put out a device that showcases the best of what they can do.  And while the Nexus 7 isn’t perfect, it hits in all the right spots where it counts.  Easy to hold, easy to use, and great experience once you know what you are doing.  It would never be something my Ma would learn to use, but if I had to I could configure it for her and she could learn to use it.  She wouldn’t take the time to figure out all the bells an whistles.

And now most of the games she would be interested in playing are available on Android.  In fact because of my previous investment trying out Android on my ASUS transformer and my Kindle Fire I still haven’t touched my $25 Google Play credit I’m tempted to use it to buy content but I can’t for some stupid reason access my Google Play Movies on my Google TV, go figure.

But the Nexus 7 is great for sketching,  it’s just the right size, for at least my doodling.  The face recognition does work better without the blink detection but it’s not as secure since a photo works too.

Google Now is an interesting bit of software.  But to compare it to Siri is really not fair.  To me they are different things.  Google Now helps you find things where Siri is more of an assistant.  Now I am running the Beta Version of Siri so mine has a few more features than what is currently publicly available and with it I can actually have Siri Tweet, post to Facebook, and even launch applications.  None of those thing can be done with Google Now, but GN can find things and pretty quick too.   One of the annoying things with Siri and security is that in order for her to be able do those things you have to unlocked the device first.  But with Google Now I can hit the button look at the device, it will unlock and then I can fire off Google Now and it presents me with the answer.  So I use them for different things.  And I’m sure much like a parent I have room in my heart for both without having to favor one over the other.

The most asked question I’ve been getting is will I switch.  At this point no, I’m still going to keep a foot in both camps.  I see the benefits of each for various reasons.  If Apple makes the iPad mini and it’s easy to hold in one hand it’s really gong to be tough.  That could kick the Nexus 7 into the Kindle cradle where currently the Kindle Fire sits as an my audio book player for when I rest for the evening.

I use to wake to my iPhone and go to bed with my iPad but now the Nexus 7 is the tablet that I go to bed too and the one I wake up with.  It’s nicer to have the larger screen size vs looking at my iPhone however this is no Retina Display.  Don’t get me wrong it’s a great screen, but I can still see the pixels when I’m looking up close and when I doodle I take my glasses off and get nice and tight to the screen just like I like to do when I draw in the real world.  When you are that close you can see it, it’s a lot like looking at my MacBook Air or my 27″ iMac screen.

I really do like that I can customize the interface, I just don’t like that I haven’t been able to figure out how to control how often then widgets refresh.  But I’m sure in time I’ll learn more about that.  I do hope that Jellybean will rolled out to the original Transformer.  Regardless I’m still going to revisit my Transformer and these widgets.

I’m going to really enjoy this journey into Android, and I’ll be blogging it along the way. I hope you’ll join me.

Bily Foster

PS I just got my notice from Google about my replacement > excitement squeal<

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