The Nexus 7 is the first Android based product I’ve owned and surprisingly i think it’s an amazing product. That’s a hard thing for me to say because I’m an Apple fanboy at heart. I’m going to share my thoughts about the Nexus and do a brief comparison between it and the new iPad.
Jelly Bean OS & Google Play
Having never owned an Android device before i didn’t really know what to expect. Out of the box the device was very easy to setup, the Nexus detected my wireless network immediately and connected to it within seconds. Following this I had to register the device using my Gmail address. If you haven’t got one, you can create one on the same screen. Finally, I was greeted with a screen offering me a tutorial and explaining that I had £15 credit to spend on Apps, Movies, or books and within minutes I started downloading Apps from Google Play. The £15 credit included was a bonus!
In the Google Play store there are three categories to choose from; Apps, Books and Movies – with magazines and music to follow in the future. I was surprised by how much content was available to purchase from the store, although it has less apps than Apple’s App Store,it still gives you a varied choice and most of the apps available on the App Store are available in the Google Play store. The only App missing from the Google Play store was Tweetbot. This is slightly disappointing because it’s an excellent piece of software. The official Twitter client isn’t as nice on the Nexus tablet either as it seems to be like an enlarged web page. When using the Google Play store, I was confused by the inconsistency of the prices. Let me give you an example. On the App store most apps are usually priced at £0.69p, whereas Google Play store apps are priced at £0.62p, £0.67p, £2.34, and so on. This was particularly odd.
I use iOS devices everyday and have come to believe that all apps should be created to a particularly high standard. Unfortunately, some of the apps on the Google Play store are low quality and look like they’re stretched phone apps but for the Nexus. This is true for apps like Twitter, BBC News, Sky News, Instagram, and others. A lot of the game apps are high quality and look no different to the games on iOS devices like the new iPad and the iPhone 4, both with their retina displays.
Jelly Bean is the Nexus 7’s operating system. The successor to Ice Cream Sandwich and Froyo, seen on earlier Android phones and cheap tablets. The OS comes with a lot of apps built-in to get you started. Some of these include Maps, Navigation, Google Earth, Chrome and YouTube to name but a few. Thousands more apps are on Google Play store with many ad-sponsored choices available. Overall the device is excellent to use with no lag on videos, “buttery smooth” animations and incredible overall responsiveness.
The tablet is excellent for everyday use and the form factor definitely has something to do with it. (I can’t fit the iPad into my coats inside pocket). Being able to hold the device in one hand and type easily with both is great. It doesn’t weigh much more than a paperback book and has a familiar feel of Amazon’s Kindle. If anything was to let it down when compared to the iPad, it’s the lack of a rear-facing camera and 3G connectivity.
Based on my personal experiences with the Nexus 7, I would be happy to switch from the iPad to the Nexus on a full time basis. I’m very pleased with the Nexus as a day-to-day device but it might not be suitable for everyone. Office based applications are available but might be a bit more difficult to use. If you are considering buying a Nexus 7 tablet, I hope you found this Google Nexus 7 Review article useful.