My Nexus 7 arrived yesterday and I’ve had plenty of time to play with it. No point in doing a full review because those have been all over ther net for some time now. Here are my personal impressions:
1. I bought it mainly to use as an ereader since I no longer like reading e-ink and my iPad, while a wonderful ereader, is too heavy and large to be easily portable. The 7 inch form factor of the Nexus is just perfect for an ereader. It’s light, easy to hold and can even fit into some of my pockets. A definite win. All my ebooks are now duplicated on the iPad and Nexus.
2. The machine is speedy and smooth the latest version of Adroid is very nice. The machine streams video from Netflix and Crunchyroll just fine. It is much smoother than my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and doesn’t have all the annoying stuff that Samsung put into its tablet. I found the Galaxy to be too annoying to be useful and it wound up on a shelf. Android 3.2, which is what it uses (no update available – a far too common Android complaint) is not well suited to tablets.
3. Battery life is excellent.
4. Kindle for Android works like a charm.
5. Android 4.1’s notification system is so far ahead of iOS that it isn’t funny. It is the best part of the Android ecosystem.
1. When compared to iOS, Android sucks. It is much harder to use and not at all intuitive. I have more than one non-techie friend who have absolutely no problem using their iPads and they simply cannot figure out how to use their new Nexus. Very few people call me for iPad advice, but they do call for Android advice. FAIL. I emphatically DO NOT recommend Android to anyone who is not a bit of a techie.
2. Application support is a mess. Many of the applications I have that run on my Galaxy Tab will not load on the Nexus. “Your device is not compatible with this version” is something you get used to seeing. FAIL
3. Applichations, themselves, aren’t so hot. It is interesting – every single application I have that is duplicated on Android and iOS is better on iOS. The Android versions are quite often more primitive in both features and execution. The complete lack of consistency in the user GUI from Android application to Android application is very annoying and sometimes quite confusing. Say what you like about Apple being a tyrant, there is no question that their curating applications makes for a much better user experience.
I will be the first to run out and buy a small iPad, if such is really in the works. In the meantime the Nexus will make a great ereader but won’t be used for much else.
I predict that Google, despite the plaudits from the techie press (who don’t understand that it is the non-techie, non-computer savvy purchaser who makes up the market) will not end up making the Nexus a success. Android is just too hard to use for the average person and the GUI of their Play store has been designed to keep people out, not let them in.