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Nexus 7

Why I gave up my iPad mini

The lifespan of products in our household generally go from me, to Matt, to Ma and then the family in Vietnam. And while I love the iPad mini, I am very frustrated with it’s lack of GPS and always on Internet. Yes, I can use my iPad as a hotspot so the mini can get online, but if I’m carrying it already and have to pull it out to turn on the hotspot, why wouldn’t I just look at its gorgeous retina display screen? And while most things Apple ‘Just Work’ the Linking is a less than perfect of an experience.

Despite what people say, there isn’t always free wifi available where ever I go and even if there is, I don’t always like to be on the same network with a bunch of strangers.

The lack of GPS is also a real pain. I was constantly getting can’t locate your position type messages that it became a side adventure to see all the different dead zones there are.

So I say good bye to my iPad mini and Matt is now enjoying it (since he mostly plays games and checks Facebook on it and doesn’t use it much outside of the house). I am currently debating on picking up the cell version. I’m just going with it out for now, and if I don’t miss it I may just hold out until the next revision to see if we get a retina display.

Don’t get me wrong I am ‘That iPad Guy’ and I will have another iPad mini because I LOVE the form factor. I’m testing if I’ll miss it considering I have the iPad and my Nexus 7.

In the meantime I’m off to play with my new toy, the Kindle Paperwhite. Details to come!

Bily Foster – That iPad Guy

N.O.V.A 3

Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3 or N.O.V.A 3 is the 3rd installment of Gameloft’s NOVA series and is a first person shooter.

Now I’m normally not into first person shooters, especially on tablets because of the lack of physical controls. But somehow Gameloft has taken this into account and I was actually able to play this version.

I will say however loading it on my Nexus 7 was a real PITA, first I purchased the game and I guess it downloaded a quick shell to download the rest of the game because after I launched it another 1.2gb of data had to come down. So I had to wait until the next day to give it a whirl.

24 hours later and it still took me another 20 mins to get into the game as it didn’t install the 1.2gb that it downloaded. Once I was finally through that it was about 5 to 10 minutes of painfully trying to get through the opening scenes which skipped, dropped out of sync with the audio and really was so painful I watch TV until it got through the opening.

Thank goodness once everything was loaded the game did play smoothly. Now I’m a newbie to the whole NOVA universe so I went in with fresh eyes, and now that I was through the painful loading I really started to get into the game.

You play the role of Commander Kal who has been called to Earth, which has evidently been abandoned by humans due to the Earth becoming uninhabitable. But there is an artifact to help transform Earth back to its former inhabitable state and that’s why their are a team of NOVA troops that you need to assist.

Now in the few hours that I’ve played I didn’t get very far, but a lot farther that I have in other first person shooters, and the game breaks down what you need to deal with into small bite size steps to ease you into what needs to be done.

It’s nice that the aliens all stand out so there isn’t confusion on who you need to shoot, and the targeting really makes it easier for a novice like me to enjoy the game without being a sharpshooter. My favorite part is when you zoom into the scope view to fire a perfect shot.

The graphics are phenomenal, and probably part of the problem with the intro, but you’d think those kinks would be worked out by now. All in all I’m glad I picked it up, there is nothing like ending your day blasting away at some aliens to release the stress of the day.

If you are into Sci-Fi and FPSs then I suggest you pick up NOVA3 it’s available in the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. Be patient with the loading it’s worth it in the end.

Bily Foster – That iPad Guy

You’re Doing It Wrong – But You’re Getting Better

Google’s latest attempt at building a device for the general consumer market is, unfortunately in my eyes, another failure. I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but hear me out.

They got the marketing right, the commercial sells it just like it needs to. It hits the right emotional points, and is clever and fun at the same time. I even like the subtle extinguishing of the ‘Fire’ as a poke at Amazon.

I’ve even seen print advertising hitting all the right places. I even want to say they have customer service right. I’ll even dare to say that they got the hardware right. But the Nexus 7 is a fantastic tablet that is it is built like a piece of crap.

You might be wondering “how is it possible that the hardware is good but it’s a piece of crap”. I’m talking about the actual build quality, the thing that holds all of the parts and hardware together. It’s the last essential piece of making a device. These small little details are what’ll really make or break a device in the eyes of the general consumer. Something as small as what epoxy they use, which is my unprofessional opinion >is< the current problem, is the kind of detail that Apple/Steve Jobs will spend hours on solving.

In case you weren’t aware I’m going on my third Nexus 7 tablet and not even a week in and the screen is starting to separate on this unit as well. Interesting point this is happening on the right side instead of the left now, and in case you missed it the first tablet came with a blown speaker. I placed a call to the nice people at the Google Play store and they almost overly insist that this is a “small percentage of units that have a problem” and they were willing to exchange it for yet another unit, they also even offered me the option to get a refund so I could try and pick one up at a local retailer.

Obviously they are trying desperately to save ‘the sale’. I assured him that while I appreciated the variety of options for me to return and exchange the unit. I was not going to be doing it again with this one. I called more to let them know that the problem still exists, and to document it, in case it becomes a bigger issue down the road. I do not have the time, nor the patience to go through exchanging yet another unit.

I’m keeping this unit because I do need an Android device so that I can properly do reviews and because I keep saying this I really, really, really want to love Android so that’s the purpose of this rant.

Google either needs to build these Nexus products themselves, or at the very least to the move manufacturing to the Motorola division that they recently purchased. The Motorola Xoom was a major bust and now that Google owns them, this is the opportunity to straighten that out and Motorola knows how to build quality devices, they just need help with everything else these days.

Google has got to learn to control the quality of the products they build and I don’t want to hear that you get what you pay for in a $200 tablet. You do not expect it to fall apart. The Kindle Fire is $200 and it holds together just fine. Yes, it doesn’t have as good of hardware on the inside but the build quality is still solid.

I know I’m going to be called an Apple fanboy, which I’ve admitted, but I say these things because I want Android/Google to be better. They need to realize that the general population does not have the same tech tolerance level as someone who is heavily into technology. I know several people who were very excited about the Nexus 7, picked it up, had problems and took it back, and then swore off getting another one. Also realize the tablet has not quite made the same impact as far as importance yet as the computer to the general population. Most people still see it as a luxury device. So when someone spends $200 and it starts to fall apart, they question whether or not this is really a device for them. And it taints them from getting anything at that price point, leading them to believe ‘you get what you pay for’.

The Google versus Apple versus Samsung is great entertainment and fodder for those that are into technology. Of course the only ones who really wins are the lawyers involved, but here is a real shocker. The general population doesn’t care. They just want something that works. For example my mother still calls her first smart phone, which was an Android phone, her old iPhone.

Most people can’t even tell you what kind of computer they have. When doing support and I asked people what computer they are using, I generally get and answer like a laptop. If I’m lucky I get Windows or Mac. The reason Jobs kept chanting “it just works” during his presentations, is because it did. And that’s what people wanted to know. Sure >we< want to know the specs, the details, the ins, the outs. When iFix it tears it apart we’re drooling over the components and lusting after knowing how much ram and cache are on board. And we squeal knowing the processor speeds.

But the general population? They don’t care, they just want it to work. There isn’t one moment that I would have even thought about worrying if something I purchase that was made by Apple would fall apart.

I hope I’m wrong but I predict that the Nexus 7 is going to have a big splash and then fade away. I just don’t see it holding a steady pace of sales beyond the ‘new device’ grace period that tends to happen when a tablet gets released.

Next Google need to resolve the issue with fragmentation. This is going to be a bigger challenge considering that Android is an open source system. Something got to be done to try and streamline it so that the average person can understand which version a device is without needing to really focus on comprehension of what the differences are between different builds.

Another example of an issue with fragmentation, more on the hardware side, is that not all apps are compatible with all devices. Or even if the app will load it may not function 100% for example Facebook on the Nexus 7 the camera does not work. Now of course it’s up to Facebook to update the app so that it has support for it, but again this is something that doesn’t generally happen in the iOS ecosystem. And I could see why this as a deterrent for an app developer to even want to dabble on the Android side.

Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jellybean are all great code names for us in the tech world. But it means absolutely nothing to the general public. Sure I was willing to go through a fourth device if I had the time to deal with it, but most people again do not have a high tech tolerance threshold and maybe they would have done one return but I doubt most would go through a third.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Google is going to sell a ton of these tablets but if they want the Nexus brand to really become a household name they are going to need to step up the game a little more. If they want to build loyalty they need people to fall in love and STAY in love with the device. The Nexus 7 had earned a spot in my daily routine, but now because of my experience, and my concern it will stay together I am not going at be carrying it around with me.

So instead of staying a part of my work routine Android has once again fallen to the side and will be more of a novelty device. Just as my ASUS tablet has become basically a single purpose device, I use it as a monitor for my Dropcam, the Nexus 7 is going to be used to test Apps and play games. But it won’t be something I’ll want to rely on.

This is my third Android device that I’ve kept. I have tested a few additional devices and generally they just haven’t hit the mark for one reason or another. The Nexus 7 has taken care of all of those hardware issues and at the very least this may be a turning point for the Android ecosystem. But until the developers really embrace Android, which more and more are each day, Android is going to have a tough battle. And when I mean more developers I mean ones who make games on par with Infinity Blade 2. A sign of that changing is Gameloft’s Asphalt 7 and Vector Unit’s Riptide GP, but there are only a handful of games like that.

And because I like to end on a positive note, I do want to commend Google on the transformation they are undertaking, it is no small task what they are trying to do. Being a leader in the mobile space is a really rough job. There are razor thin margins, hardware vendors issues, developer relations, carrier issues and then are the end users to deal with. On top of all that they have had to learn to have a customer interface beyond just a web site. And I must say that has improved DRAMATICALLY since the first Nexus device was announced back in 2010. And I want to also praise Google for pulling the Nexus Q until its ready for consumers. It’s a good sign they are paying attention.

Also with the recent success of the OUYA Android Game console, expect the Android Market to get ready for a major shift. Developers are going to be able to develop games for mobile devices, tablets and soon the big screen all with one central code base. If OUYA takes off in the consumer market it could be a real boon for the Android Ecosystem as a whole and could create the same type of halo effect the iPod did for Macs. I could even see Google turning the Nexus Q into a potential OUYA competitor.

But I digress maybe in time my Nexus 7 will earn a place back into the routine, I really am hoping to use it to join Hangouts on G+ and I do have it loaded up with a Super Nintendo Emulator with some of the old games I had back in the day. It’s been great revisiting Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong all over again. Although a little tough to play on the touch screen, it brings back great memories of late nights after working at Babbage’s staring at the boob tube working to save the Princess or Zelda.

I’m still a fan of Android, but it’s remaining a mistress that I only toyed with. I can’t commit to it just yet.

Bily Foster

Nexus 7 Redux

Okay I am completely torn up over the whole situation. It’s like that significant other you really, really, really love. But they’re crazy and you just can’t be with them. Google and ASUS makes for a love hate relationship. Google has got the best damn piece of crap tablet out there. And the big part of the problem is hardware.

My first Nexus 7 tablet came with a blown speaker, and while annoyed I was pleasantly surprised when I the replacement came and it sounded much much clearer I was relieved, over joyed in fact. I took to the web and started announcing my joy.

And then I actually started to use it.

First the software that can be, or on the way of getting fixed. While you are told that your devices is backed up to your Google Account it is not. Your ‘cloud’ items are backed up but no settings or application data UNLESS the app supports it. So I was left to manually reconfigure the new device. Okay not really THAT big a deal I only had it for a week, it’s not like I had that much loaded that I wanted to keep. I also tried a couple different things that I figured I’d skip this time around.

And now the real problem, as I was loading up the Apps from the Google Play store I kept hearing this sticking sound. Further investigating revealed on the left side of my Nexus 7 the screen was starting to separate from the bezel.

So I called Google and we are working to resolve the issue, however it is very upsetting that I’ll have to send back another device. And the folks at Google sound just as upset over the situation and are throwing ASUS under the bus for the build quality. So yeah I’ve stop telling people the need to check out the Nexus 7 until they can resolve these hardware issues. And what this really means is Samsung, Sony, Acer and any other Android tablet maker can take the lessons learned here and step up the game. It also means Apple and Amazon get an opportunity to grab the 7′ tablet space.

I didn’t bunch Amazon in with the other tablet makers since they have tweaked Android to the point at the average user doesn’t get the kind of access you do from real Android experiences. On that note if Amazon does come out with an upgraded Kindle Fire with all the bells and whistles but not have Jellybean, I don’t know if I’ll be as interested. I have come to love the customization of Android and secretly I long for a 10″ tablet running Jellybean too but more on that later.

I’ve heard some people complaining that the bevel on the Nexus 7 is to large and I have to say I disagree. There are times where I keep wanting to hit the non existent home button, but after doing some gaming and actually using it in the real world I’m actually glad that the home button is gone. I am less prone to hit it. And while I do not have the biggest hands I still occasionally grab to much and trigger touch events on the edges so I disagree with that assessment.

On the unit with the good speaker the sound was much better, clear and crisp so let’s hope once the bugs are worked out of the manufacturing the Nexus 7 will earn a buy recommendation again.

In the meantime it’s back to the grind stone for me, but coming up are some App reviews! Did you get a Nexus 7? If so did you have and issues? What did you spend you $25 Google Play credit on? Apps, Music, Movies or Books and Magazines? Let me know on my G+ account!

Bily Foster

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.



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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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!


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.



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.


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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