Amid the flurry of new devices quietly launched recently, Google released a new Nexus accessory - a folio case for the Nexus 7 (2013). Despite my varied experiences with Nexus accessories, I'm always eager to see what Google thinks will work best with their devices. I'm particularly interested in tablet accessories. Tablets are meant to be super portable and usable anywhere, so making an accessory that retains the appeal of the device's form factor while also adding some utility is an interesting challenge.
Just in case you didn't see this in our enormous Black Friday deal roundup, we thought the discount on NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming device was worth highlighting all on its own. Today you can score the SHIELD for just $250, $50 off its retail price, plus some free goodies that shift based on which retailer you buy from.
The official NVIDIA SHIELD store has the device for an even $249, plus a free SHIELD T-shirt, a free first-party NVIDIA case ($40 on NVIDIA's store), and free standard shipping.
There is a growing selection of third party cases already available for the Nexus 5, but Google's offerings, tucked away at the bottom of the Play Store page, are poised to be the first ones many people see. There are two types of cases available: the official bumper case and the LG QuickCover. Liam provided a quick look at the former option already, but what about the latter? It's a solid, snug-fitting case that I strongly want to recommend, but at $49, doing so doesn't come easy.
Official Nexus accessories are always exciting. Not just because we get to have cool new official toys for our phones, but because Google has such a bad reputation for releasing official accessories (remember that Nexus 10 dock from the holiday video last year?) that when one does become available, it's like a treat.
It is with this in mind that I approached the bright red version of the official Nexus 5 bumper case, and decided to give it a review.
Flaming red and safety vest yellow might accessorize well if you're a firefighter with an insatiable enthusiasm for Nexus hardware, but they'll stand out like a sore thumb for anyone else. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you prefer your Nexus 5 protective case in a more subtle hue, Google just posted both black and grey versions of the bumper case to the Play Store.
Like the more flamboyant options, the grey and black cases are $34.99 each, and they cover everything except the screen and camera.
Android devices are a little under-represented in the area of high-end accessories, and when it comes to cases, you can't get much more high-end than Portenzo. But the Nexus 7 has carved itself a nice little niche, and the American case maker has extended its full line of book-style protective coverings to the Nexus 7 2013. With three case styles ranging from $35 to a whopping $145 (more than half as expensive as the base model Nexus 7 itself), these accessories are not for the feint of heart or the light of wallet.
Portable speakers and premium phone cases are two great tastes that taste great together, at least if you've got enough disposable income to afford both on top of your expensive smartphone. In a consolidation of the high-end accessory world, California-based case maker Incipio has purchased Braven, the Utah-based maker of a line of portable Bluetooth speakers.
Both companies tend to skew towards the higher end of the accessory market. Incipio likes to go for the low-hanging fruit of the iPad and iPhone (though they do have plenty of accessories for the more popular Android phone and tablet models) while Braven's Bluetooth speakers are device-agnostic in nature.
It took an annoyingly long time for ASUS' official case for the original Nexus 7 to become available, and even when it did, it wasn't all that great. For the 2013 version ASUS has created two cases: a travel case, which is made of a soft plastic material like the older "official" case, and a premium case, with a hard plastic outer shell, foldable cover/stand, and microfiber interior. This more functional case is now shipping from at least two Amazon vendors.
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices.
We've barely had the glossy white version of the Nexus 4 for a month, and now the 8GB model with its matching bumper seems to be gone. The US Play Store was just updated with the message, "Nexus 4 with Bumper (White, 8GB) is no longer available for sale." This isn't like the usual out of stock issue - the product listing looks like it's been retired. The more expensive 16GB white version (with bumper) remains available for purchase, along with both black versions.