The next Nexus (Part 2)

1/11/2013 6:03:48 PM

Multiple users

Each user of the Nexus tablets will be able to customize it so that the home screen, apps, games, backgrounds and widgets are individually tailored for them when they log in.

Android 4.2: Eight awesome features you’ll love

Android 4.2: Eight awesome features you’ll love

New keyboard

Android 4.2 uses Gesture Typing which allows you to glide your finger over any letters you want to type, lifting your digit after each word. It will also predict your next move.

Photosphere camera

You use the camera to take photographs in various directions and then produce a photo sphere which pieces the whole thing together. They can then be shared or added to Google Maps.

Google Music

Google’s cloud Music service launches in the UK with a hot new feature. It will scan your music collection and automatically add the tracks to your cloud so you don’t need to upload them yourself.

Screen savers

The Daydream feature allows photo slideshows, headlines from Google Currents and much more to be displayed when your device is idle.


You can share whatever is on your device whether it be a movie, a YouTube video or something else on your display with your high definition compatible television as long as your HDMI-enabled TV has a wireless display adapter.


Android Beam has been enhanced so you can share even more content simply by touching two compatible devices together.

New search

Searching via Google has got even more intuitive. You can search using your voice and then hear the results read back to you. The Knowledge Graph imparts precise answers if it feels confident to give you them. You’re going to love it!

Anatomy of a Nexus 4

What makes this phone so good?

It has certainly led to an interesting pre-Christmas, opening up a tablet war of a magnitude not seen over the past two years. Apple has been dominant for so long, but the tide is turning. This hasn’t been greeted with unanimous praise one developer we spoke to who asked not to be named said the smartphone and tablet market did not show a new direction and pointed out the existence of other four-inch and ten-inch Android devices but the fact Google has attached its name to these new products will set the market alight.

Generic upgrades they are not, and the fact Google is selling them so cheap is sure to have an impact. What we’re seeing here is a re-evaluation of the price of tablets and, more importantly, their value,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. The Google Nexus 10 is priced below that of the competition and the Nexus 4 smartphone is a very competitive device. Where this differs from other cheaper gadgets is the Google name which people trust and it is why the Nexus 7 has sold more than a million units to date.

Generic upgrades they are not, and the fact Google is selling them so cheap is sure to have an impact.

Generic upgrades they are not, and the fact Google is selling them so cheap is sure to have an impact.

As part of this new range of Google devices comes Android 4.2, which brings extra magic not only to those fresh gadgets but to existing ones too. Asus pledged, just days after the announcement, that the Google Nexus 7 tablet would get Android 4.2, which was reassuring for the early adopters.

And it’s a good thing too because this latest increment brings so much to the table. Google understands that tablets in particular are not used by just one person and so having the ability for different people to access their own accounts on one device will ensure that entire families will be able to make it a focal point of their life. Android 4.2 also has a better notifications system and there is an ability to output video via Wi-Fi from a device to a high-definition TV. Throw in panoramic camera options and a much-improved Google Now and you can see where Android is heading.

Throw in panoramic camera options and a much-improved Google Now and you can see where Android is heading.

Throw in panoramic camera options and a much-improved Google Now and you can see where Android is heading.

What Google is doing is producing a content machine that it wants to place right in the center of everything people do. It will become the one-stop destination for leisure and productivity.

The Nexus brand is there to represent the epitome of what the Android operating system can do,” says Charles Golvin, the principal analyst of Forrester Research. “It’s supposed to be a shining example. It’s true to say a lot of consumers don’t live and die by gesture control or panoramic cameras but it matters in that it continues to demonstrate innovation and leadership.

“The Nexus 4 will appeal to small segments who want the latest and greatest and it helps that it is very aggressively priced which could make more of a difference than previous models. The Nexus 10 will have more impact. It’s a much better demonstration of the Android tablet experience than Nexus 7 and it comes at the right time when there is competition from Microsoft’s Surface.”

The Nexus 10 will have more impact.

The Nexus 10 will have more impact.

There will always be some skepticism, however. Some developers worry about the constant refreshing of software and hardware going on at the moment. “What is important is that the market settles down and stops 90 per cent of all development work being a total waste of time,” says games developer Jon Hare. “Non-centralized technological change is nearly always bad for development companies as it generates even more work to put your title to market with absolutely no guarantee of success or long-term stability to offset the extra risk.”

And yet without this sort of work, there would never be progress. After all, we’re seeing the ability for UK users to buy films from Google Play and the introduction in Europe of the brilliant Music service that allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud for free. These can then be accessed on any Android device or web browser.

“Content is an important part of what the Nexus phones and tablets are all about,” says Christopher Kassulke, CEO of HandyGames. “We are more than happy about the new part of the Nexus family. The price of the devices are outstanding and I personally believe we will see a huge audience of new users thanks to Google. They offer great quality products. Supporting Android is the key for the global mass market.”

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