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View Full Version : Notes from an iOS User: My Week with a Google Nexus 7

Michael Knutson
07-23-2012, 09:30 PM
<p><em>"My first Android experience has been very, very positive, thanks to Google's Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). I received my tablet a week ago, and also received a $25 Google Play credit as an early purchaser. My initial thoughts were that I'd use the tablet primarily as a reader - but it's much more than a Kindle (Fire) replacement."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/adt/auto/1343075760.usr17748.jpg" /></p><p>As a longtime iOS device user, and like most modern device users, I have my biases, and have kept them firmly in mind when using an Android device for the first time. But, maintaining objectivity has been easy with this tablet. I'm guessing that skipping the earlier Android releases have saved me from some amount of frustration, just as skipping earlier iOS versions would have in the iDevice world. The bottom line is that so far I'm not finding much missing from Android.</p><p>I have several "must haves," including Banking, Browsing, Calendaring, Contacts, Dropbox, Email, Facebook, Foursquare, Kindle reader, LinkedIn, MS Office-type apps, PDF reader, Search, Skype, Text editing, and Travel apps. All present, and arguably equal to the iOS versions. Not as many app choices from Google Play, but all I need is one of each.</p><p>Things that I like so far, in no particular order: Android 4.1.1 - already one patch automatically downloaded to Jelly Bean; Battery life is very good; Customization is as simple as the iPad - the home screen is easy to configure; the display is very, very good - not quite up to the new iPad, but excellent for much less money; Sound quality is good; Security is good - face recognition login authentication can be configured to require a blink, making security stronger; Performance is excellent - I haven't noticed anything crapping out or any lags in performance, at the app or UI level; Shutting down running apps is a breeze, much simpler than iOS; Removing apps is easy; Reading is a breeze on this form factor - no more carpal tunnel holding and reading an iPad. Comfortable to hold and use. Many pros to this device!</p><p>Things that are less than stellar (and I admit freely that maybe I just don't know enough about Android yet): Apps on the home screen cannot be ordered or arranged for a whole screen - must be dragged and bumped individually; Setup options are not as rich as iOS; iCloud mail is handled a bit better in iOS, as one would expect; Google Play Store doesn't seem to have an easy way of selecting "tablet-only apps," aside from Staff Picks for Tablets. A pretty short list of cons.</p><p>Overall, a very positive experience so far, and, while I'm not dumping my iPad, my Nexus 7 is already getting more use than my earlier small tablets, a Nook tablet and a Kindle Fire, both of which were too restrictive for me, and were sold pretty quickly. For the money (I got the 16GB model), this is a superb tablet, and the Android experience is a pleasure. I like the fact that it is not "carrier specific," so it has none of the bloatware associated with subsidized devices. The Nexus 7 is a keeper!</p>

Michael Knutson
07-30-2012, 08:18 PM
A couple weeks after getting my Nexus 7, accessories are starting to appear in the market. I bought an inexpensive case (for a Kindle Fire) to protect the tablet, and, of course, the cutouts were wrong, and it wasn't a perfect fit, but better than nothing. I used a leather punch to add a camera cutout. Now there is a cover from Google, and I ordered one on Amazon, so this should help.

The physical size is perfect, and I'm using it around the house much more than my bigger and more expensive iPad(3). It's my TV-watching go-to device now.

I've learned a bit more about the UI and OS, and find Android easy to use, at least Jelly Bean. Apps are plentiful, and the only app that I'm really missing is iBooks, since I have purchased books from iTunes. But, I can't read 'em on anything but iOS anyway, so I'm finding that I'll buy all future reading from Amazon or Google, to avoid the annoyance.

So far, my 0-10 rating is: 8.5

Jason Dunn
08-01-2012, 05:47 AM
Cool, great to read a real-world review from someone I know and trust. I've been pondering picking up a Nexus 7, but never pulled the trigger.

Michael Knutson
08-11-2012, 05:41 PM
A bit more time has gone by, and I still really like and use this tablet, mostly for reading. Using the Kindle Reader (software), I can read everything everywhere. I bought a series of three books yesterday, and they were each cheaper on Amazon than on iBooks, so I saved money, and don't have the frustrations of not being able to read book(s) on my laptop(s) when necessary.

I'm finding web browsing with Chrome a bit of a chore, as the screen is small for dense content. The iPad is far better at this. Just got the Firefox beta for tablet, and it's pretty solid.

Email (iCloud) is easy to use, after a little setup tinkering.

I bought a couple cases to try, and am using Google's own right now, as it is the least bulky, and I can still shove the tablet in my pocket without looking like an aging porn star.

I'd say that if this tablet had 3G/4G/LTE connectivity it'd be nearly perfect. Right now I'm simply making local copies of anything that I need, and of course Android access to the file system simplifies everything.

I'm finding that my iPad is getting much less use right now, at least around the house. Android seems to be catching up.

The Yaz
08-16-2012, 06:15 PM
For your point about organizing apps on the home screen...

With Android you can either setup folders (serviceable, but not aesthetic) or look in Google Play for app launchers.

One that I like to use is Circle Launcher. You group apps into tables that appear in miniature on the screen. Press the group icon and it expands and displays all of the apps in the group.

Hope that helps!