All About Nexus 7 (Part 2)

11/3/2012 9:32:36 AM

Nexus 7 is the first that has come with Jelly Bean already installed though this OS is now released for some series of Nexus.

Google did choose right UI for Nexus 7, instead of common table’s UI which we have seen on previous 10inch tablets. This brings mixed results. By default, the display is vertically locked and it works well with a tablet’s size that can be held by one hand and controlled by another hand’s fingers. However, when you activate screen navigation, via clicking a button in status bar, this UI’s weakness appears. This is mostly relevant to the main screen which can rotate under any circumstance, thus when you quit a running app, you will see that main screen is turning in wrong direction. App’s window doesn’t rotate, either and it’s odd that each Google’s available app, as well as their optimized versions, all can rotate. Apps, like Calendar, People, Gmail and Currents all benefit greatly from wider screen size, only in core navigation screen of the operating system did you find your phone oversize. This was such a strange decision of Google.

Surprisingly, Chrome appears as a new Android browser. We have already enjoyed this browser on ICS-based phones but we didn’t prefer it on Nexus 7. It was design not as appealing as smartphone’s version and we felt it slower than expected. Speed of loading heavy websites was decreased during scrolling. This wasn’t a problem of hardware because we encountered similar problems when testing other browsers, such as Firefox or Dolphin (Dolphin was our favorite). To be worse, Chrome often loaded mobile versions of website by default and although you can reload desktop versions for each page. This was not the browser’s general setting that can change its behaviors, which was such a pity.

Jelly Bean’s new features are really excellent. New notification windows popping up, including operable notifications without opening relevant apps comes as amazement. Google Now has enormous potential, as a mean for your device to learn and respond automatically though some features are limited, in the UK, at present. Besides, functions for reporting sports and traffic are partly working yet we can see a development in the near future.

The machine is detecting new voices and compatible with offline works as well after you have downloaded language pack. It may not reach where you can write your document with only voice input but for searching webs and taking notes, it is a valuable tool. Keyboard is also improved, with word prediction similar to third-party Swift Key. Screen size is ideal for typing with both hands in portrait mode plus improved dictionary helps users to correct word quickly. In horizontal mode, it is a little big for thumb yet a bit small for fast-typing by fingers. Turning the screen horizontally results in more than half of the display is covered by keyboard thus you are recommended to use Bluetooth or wireless keyboard for longer typing adventure.

Jelly Bean still retains design and feeling of the old Ice Cream Sandwich but has deeper innovation, making it the most beautiful and interesting version of Android so far. A new lighter version of Roboto font enhances the fashion of display and menu while the consistency is flowing through screens and apps, bringing united experiences. This is leading to the fact that more and more third-party developers are accepting certain styles for Android to maintain their own consistency. It is also quite fast. Called as Butter project, Google’s attempts to make Jelly Bean incredibly smooth have shown its achievements when you tapping around the edges. With quad-core processor’s strength, it can easily process whatever task you may face. We did test gaming performance with Dead Trigger and Mass Effect Infiltrator, and in both cases, Nexus 7 all shone. This was surely the most elegant experience that we had ever dealt with on Android tablets and able to compete with the best smartphones existing.

Description: Nexus 7 is the first that has come with Jelly Bean already installed.

Nexus 7 is the first that has come with Jelly Bean already installed.

As a purely Android tablet, Nexus doesn’t have décor or external apps meeting Google’s standards. Many people think this may be a better way that Android will be presented. However, if you own a smartphone from Samsung, HTC or Sony, it may be deeply decorated and you will be shocked of how much purely Android experience has been abridged.

Nexus appeared quite excellent with streaming contents from Play Store but when we added some tested movies, we didn’t see them in existing video player (which only supports MP4 file). It was not hard to install Play Store and MX Player yet this reminds us of how many user-friendly details we got used to on smartphones provided by manufacturers instead of Android’s indispensible parts. For instance, smartphones of Samsung and HTC can play most files at first sight, and they come with a variety of nice and useful utilities, which Nexus 7 is short of.

This, itself, is not negative but it makes you more dependent on third-party apps to supplement software according to a way that you are not used to. You have full access to apps on Play Store – when we were writing this article, there were many apps unavailable for Jelly Bean – thus though you wouldn’t run out of features, there was absence for real apps optimized for tablets. Tablets’ apps is not separated in the store, you just need to download selected ones and if there is any UI support for tablets, that will be the way it is shown on your device. If not, you will have standard version of smartphone.

Play Store’s contents

One motive behind Google decision on manufacturing tablets is to promote Google Play Store as the only shop for digital contents. This puts Google in the direct competition with Apple and Amazon, both of which have owned prestigious stores as well as credit details of hundreds of users in their system. During introduction stage, Google gave Nexus 7’s buyers 24-dollar credits to buy their selected apps and contents, as a mean of acquainting people with buying thing from the store. However, for UK’s users, the store’s available contents have been limited. Meanwhile, users in US have full of services including buying and borrowing (via cloud support) music, books, magazines, broadcasts and movies. At UK, buying movies and books is all available. It is surely to be expanded in near future when permissions are passed but at that time, this makes Play Store unpopular with anyone who has intention of using Nexus mainly for communicating information.


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