Tag Archives: Nexus 7

What Makes the Nexus 7 So Great?

In my opinion, the best Android tablet on the market is the 2nd generation Nexus 7.
The hardware may be a little on the fragile side, but under normal use it won’t be a problem. Especially when you consider the advantages the Nexus 7 has over other tablets:

– It has the best display on the market.

– It has premium specs at a budget price.

– It gets updates to the OS immediately

These OS updates are great. Have you ever tried to update Android on another device. It’s a pain if it’s even possible. In the video below, check out how easy it is to update Android on a Nexus.

I received a notification that said System update downloaded, touch to install.

When I did, it let me know that this was the Android 4.3 System Update. There was a button that said Restart & Install…so I did, and the Nexus 7 did the rest.

The Nexus 7 is powered off and rebooted on its own, then it began installing the system update. It took several minutes, so be patient.  When it’s done installing it continued to boot for a few more seconds. The Nexus splash screen appeared for a few seconds as well. When the device is done booting, it will begin upgrading Android:
– First it will optimize your apps. The length of this step will depend on the number apps you have installed.
– Then it will start your apps, upgrade contacts and media databases, and finish booting.

…and that’s it. You can unlock your screen.

If you look in the notifications you’ll see that apps are still upgrading so your tablet may be a little sluggish until its done.

*Update Description:
This software update will upgrade your Nexus 7 to to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which improves performance and stability. Create restricted profiles, for example, to limit family members’ access to apps and  content on your tablet or to secure a tablet in kiosk setting. Capture your thoughts on the go with Google keep. To find out more, visit http://www.android.com/about/jelly-bean/

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Google Drive – Spreadsheet and Docs on a Nexus 7

I wrote a post last summer describing my experience using the spreadsheet editor in Google Drive’s Android app. My opinion was that editing existing spreadsheets was acceptable, but creating new ones was not very intuitive.

However, the spreadsheet editor is now much more user friendly. Here are some screenshots of Google Drive on my daughter’s Nexus 7.

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I find thumb typing in portrait mode very comfortable on the Nexus 7.

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I prefer landscape view on an iPad, but on the Nexus 7, you can’t see much of the document.

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Google Drive has a very clean, attractive user interface.

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Here’s a YouTube video showing a Google Drive Spreadsheet on my iPad.

…and here’s a Google Drive Document on my iPad.


Gadget Fever and the Holidays

Don’t you hate it when you write a post on your mobile device, publish it, and it disappears forever!  Does this happen to anyone else?

I’m writing this post (for the second time) on my Toshiba z835 Ultrabook. I wrote this post the first time on my Nexus 7.

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I was going to ask for the Nexus 7 for Christmas, but I got a severe case of gadget fever this summer and pre-ordered one from Google.  I use my Nexus 7 for a few hours every day, so I’m getting my money’s worth.  I watch videos on Netflix and YouTube, read the news, and browse gadgets on eBay.  I had hoped that I would be able to do some of my school work on the Nexus 7, but it turns out that productivity is much easier and more reliable on my ultrabook, or a real computer of any kind…(I’m still stewing about the lost post!)

I realize that no matter how well a device meets my wants and needs, I get bored with it and begin looking a new devices.  I think its a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  My gadget fever really hits its peak about the middle of summer when I start thinking about going back to school, and this time of year, when the new has worn off my back to school gadget.

Well, this year, when I started feeling the twinges of holiday gadget fever, I started looking at old-school PDAs on eBay.  I ended up getting a Palm Tungsten E2 with a charger, leather like case, and a 64MB SD card for $20.

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For the record, this is the best Palm device I have ever owned.  I had planned on using it as a journal / graphing calculator / alarm for school, but it seems my pockets are too full to accommodate anything else. I guess I could just leave it setting on my desk…I may give that a try next week, but I might be tempted to play Space Trader (my favorite Palm game) when I should be grading papers.

In the midst of me enjoying my new Palm, Microsoft released the Surface.

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If I were in the market for a tablet right now, this would be the one – it’s got a full version of MS Office – everything I have been looking for in a tablet.  I’m ashamed to say I actually thought about selling my Toshiba z835 to get one on these.  If I didn’t already have a laptop, I would probably get a Surface and be happy, but I think ditching my laptop for a Surface would leave me constantly frustrated with all the things I couldn’t do.

I made it through the release of the Surface without succumbing to temptation, then Apple drops the iPad mini.

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I had endured the months of rumors without the slightest hint of desire.  I have owned an iPad 2, and it is a wonderful device for media consumption. But my dream device has a productive side (maybe the Surface is my dream device).  Well, then I saw the iPad mini.  I can honestly say, I love the Surface for Its brain, but I love the iPad mini for its body.  I’m infatuated with the iPad mini’s design.

I considered selling the Nexus 7 on eBay and getting an iPad mini, but I really need to get my gadget spending under control.

I went to Best Buy yesterday and actually touched an iPad mini.  It was nice, but I resisted temptation.  Instead, I got a nice notebook from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples.

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I’m excited about using it as a journal. I’ve gone through gadget phases and paper phases before.  For the sake of my bank account, I’m hoping this is the beginning of a long paper phase.


Google Docs – Spreadsheet on a Nexus 7

I’ve owned a few tablets and the usefulness of Google Docs has improved with each successive device. Before I bought my latest tablet, the Nexus 7, I tried to thoroughly research the software that I would be using.  Usually this involves reading user reviews and watching hands-on YouTube videos.  I found several news article describing the evolving offline functions of Google Docs, but video demonstrations were virtually nonexistent.

Since I got my Nexus 7, I’ve been playing with Google Docs and this is what I think about the spreadsheet app:

The mobile view is not very intuitive.

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When you create a new sheet, this is what you get.  I was able to add a row of cells, but how do you add a column?

I was happy to find that you could switch to desktop mode.

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By tapping Go to spreadsheet view then “Continue to desktop version” you get he spreadsheet view that you’re probably used to.

It’s easier to edit a spreadsheet than to create one.

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I’m a high school math teacher, and I use a spreadsheet to plan my lessons.  I could have created the whole thing on the tablet, but it was less cumbersome to design the template on my laptop, then add lesson plans as needed with the tablet.

Landscape view does not appear to be very practical.

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…that’s OK with me.  It looks like it would be easier to type in portrait view, plus you have the option to use voice dictation.

You can make a spreadsheet available for offline viewing (…but no offline editing…yet).

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I’ve been in a situation where the internet was down at school and I didn’t have access to my lesson plans.  Now I will be able to view them on my Nexus 7.

If you want to see a hands-on video of the above info, check out my review on YouTube.


My Nexus 7 Has Arrived…FINALLY!

For the last 3 weeks I’ve felt like a 9 year old child waiting for Christmas.  But at long last my wait is over and the new Nexus 7 tablet has arrived at my door.

Lots of people have been complaining about a “shipping scandal” and the “lack of communication” from Google.  However, when I pre-ordered my 8GB Nexus 7 from the Google Play store, it was clearly stated that the tablet would ship in 2 to 3 weeks.  I received a confirmation via email shortly after I placed my order then another email notifying me when the tablet shipped and included a tracking number.  My tablet was delivered exactly 2 weeks after I ordered it.  I’m satisfied with that service.

The Kid and I did an unboxing that you can check out below.

Nexus 7 unboxing video


My Nexus 7 Is On The Way!

I pre-ordered Google’s new 7″ tablet, called the Nexus 7, from Google Play.  It should arrive in 2-3 weeks (July 16-20?).

Earlier this summer I almost bought an iPad 2 (again).  I heard rumors that Microsoft was making an Office app for the iPad and I got iPad fever. Unfortunately, it was just a rumor.  MS has their own tablet in the works, and they’re hinting that the “Pro” model could cost as much as an ultrabook laptop…I’m not interested.

However, on June 27 at Google I/O developers’s conference, Hugo Barra announced the Nexus 7…starting at $200…I’m interested!  So I started comparing the Nexus 7 to the iPad:

Exterior Design:  The Nexus 7’s display is made of a scratch resistant Corning Glass instead of Gorilla Glass like the iPad.  I don’t know what that means in terms of durability if dropped, so I’m glad the Nexus 7 has a non-slip textured back instead of a slippery aluminum back like the iPad.

Operating System:  I used Apple’s iOS 5 when I had an iPhone and I’m currently using Android 3.2 Gingerbread on my Galaxy Note.  I like using both, but Apple has a better system for getting updates out to all users.  The Nexus 7 that I just ordered comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and since it is coming straight from Google, I’m hoping that I will be able to update the OS each time a new one is released – like Apple devices.

Apps Store:  In order to download apps or even browse Apple’s App Store you have to download iTunes to your computer or you must already own an Apple device that has the App Store on it.  I like to browse an app store before I buy the corresponding device.  If I can’t get the apps I need, I don’t want the device.  For example:  The Blackberry Playbook was an awesome device with a horrible app store.  Fortunately, Apple has a great App Store.  I like Google’s app store, called Google Play, because it is online, you don’t have to download it, and I could check out the app selection before I ordered my Nexus 7.

Apps:  Apple has a larger selection of apps, but I’m happy with the apps offered by Google.  Plus, the Nexus 7 uses Chrome as its browser so I’ll also have access to Chrome’s Web Store with its selection of web apps.

Portability:  I like the 7″ form factor for a tablet.  I had a Blackberry Playbook and I took it with me everywhere.  When I had the iPad, it stayed at home.

Storage:  Neither the Apple iPad, nor the Nexus 7 come with expandable storage.  That’s fine with me.  It keeps the cost down and with all the cloud storage that is available, I don’t need it anyway.

Price:  I had planned on getting a 16GB iPad 2 for $320 – this model is refurbished by Apple and includes a 1 year warranty.  A 16GB Nexus 7 costs $250 and comes with a $25 credit at Google Play.  I ordered the 8GB model for $200 and it also comes with a $25 credit.