Tech Spelunk - Google Nexus 7

10/1/2012 4:48:13 PM

Jelly Bean. These two words of zest and tastiness forms the spirit of the Google Nexus 7, the first Pure Google experience for the latest Android version. But there's a lot more to the Nexus 7 than just a juicy operating system, so we grab our pickaxes to dig deeper in this issue's spelunking.

Better notifications

The pull-down notifications have been given a face lift, as well as added functionality. You can use two fingers to expand a notification to review additional information and options. For instance, expanding a missed-call alert gives you options to either call or text the person back right from the notification panel. You can also expand to reveal email details, or to share captured screenshot images.


The 7-inch IPS display manages a 1280 x 800 resolution with 216ppi, and is protected by Corning glass. A 1.2 megapixels camera face the front, but there's unfortunately no rear camera.

Description: Screen


Magic widgets

You can toss widgets onto the screen, as usual, but now they automatically move each other to make room for the new ones. And if the new widgets are too big, they resize themselves (to the best they can) to fit on the screen. One whole new way to customise the home screen

Description: Tech Spelunk: Google Nexus 7

Tech Spelunk: Google Nexus 7

Android Beam

The Nexus 7 supports NFC, and uses Android Beam to facilitate instantaneous content-sharing by just bumping two NFC-enabled Android devices, and them tapping whatever's on the screen to share them. You also pair up Bluetooth devices using the Simple Secure Pairing standard by tapping them together.

Tegra 3 at heart

Built by ASUS, the Nexus 7 sports an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad- core processor, which has a 4-PLUS-1 CPU design that offers an additional processor core to handle the less-demanding processes, thus saving battery and increasing performance. Google states that the Nexus 7 is built with gaming in mind; the 12-core GPU sure helps, and the gyroscope and accelerometer enhances the experience.

Speed increased

Jelly Bean gets a speed bump, which offers a fast and more fluid experience. It's much more apparent when Google showed how fluid it is using a slow-motion camera; things are smoother and every pixel flows like butter. Google achieves this by having Jelly Bean automatically boosting the device GPU when the user touches the screen, and then turning it down when you need the battery life conserved.

Battery longevity

The Nexus 7 is said to have a battery life capable of handling over 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing and 10 hours of e-reading. The stand-by time can go up to 300 hours. To achieve this, a 4,325 mAh battery is used.

The new Google experience

Jelly Bean has a redesigned Google Search experience that uses Knowledge Graph to better show you the results. Instead of simply showing the Web results, Jelly Bean's search setup gives you information cards with detailed answers about what you want to know.

Description: Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7

The Search is also more thoroughly integrated into the Android system; you can get to the Android search tool from the lock screen by swiping upward on the slide lock, or by swiping up from the virtual home button.

Most impressively, however, is the revamped voice search system, which allows for more natural types of queries. Questions such as "How is tomorrow's weather?" or "How tall is Yao Ming?" will yield answers, which come in voice form (spoken to you) and in graphics. You can go onwards to ask about good food locations nearby or any other web-accessible information.

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