We've been eagerly awaiting information on when the Nexus 7 will be shipping to individual customers. Well, it looks like the wait is nearly over. If you were to call Google's help line right now, you'll get an automated message saying that orders have started shipping now and that all pre-orders should ship within the next 3 business days.
Here's the full message:
"We're now shipping Nexus 7 pre-orders. The first wave of orders are going out today and all pre-orders are scheduled to ship within the next 3 business days. Once your order has shipped you will receive a confirmation email and tracking number.
You thought you knew everything there was to know about the Nexus 7? Well, you thought wrong. A curious owner of the device started doing what any totally rational person does with a brand-new tablet: expose it to magnetic forces. The results yielded an as-yet hidden feature in the Nexus 7, in the form a magnetic smart cover sensor. Simply take a magnet and put it up against the front or back of your Nexus 7 along the bottom left-hand side while in portrait mode with the display on, and you can see the effect for yourself. Or, you could just watch this video of our tipster doing it:
When a new Nexus device is released, there are a few things that can be expected: a new version of Android, a stock user experience, and a certain three ninjas unboxing the device in the most ninja-way possible. These three facts also ring true for the Nexus 7, and this time around the Ninjas are up against more than just each other - UFC welterweight Georges St Pierre takes on the role of Dr. Paul to unbox (and defend) the Nexus 7 in a way that only a badass such as himself can do.
Like previous Ninja's Unboxing videos, stop-motion master Patrick Boivin handled the direction work on this one, and even took the time to throw in a few hidden Android/Nexus gems.
Our I/O Nexus 7s just received update notifications that a new software build is available for download - this is very likely the final retail build users will see when they receive their devices.
While a "changelog" of sorts pops up with the update notification, it's stock dialogue from a full-on Jelly Bean upgrade, not something specific to this particular update for the Nexus 7. More than likely, this OTA just irons out some bugs and turns off some unnecessary data logging and pre-release testing tweaks.
There are three things I have noticed so far on the updated software, though:
The unlock action from the lock screen was previously a little sluggish and presented a slight pause.
Jelly Bean was announced at Google I/O just recently, but a posting from Google's Android open source guru, Jean-Baptiste Queru has confirmed that Android 4.1 is hitting the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository right now. Time for the developers among you to update your clients to get all the official bits.
This release will be tagged as android-4.1.1_r1 in AOSP. While the source is going live now, the full proprietary binaries for Google-blessed devices won't be rolled out until later. Google plans to directly support the Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Xoom through AOSP. Be aware that the addition of the Jelly Bean code to AOSP doesn't mean any OTA updates are on the way.
The initial draft of this editorial went off on what was, frankly, a pretty stupid rant about piracy or something. I don't know - I wrote half of it at 1AM and upon receiving commentary from readers and colleagues, it was pretty clear this needed to be revised and heavily edited. So that's what I've done. Enjoy - and know that I always read and consider everyone's feedback, even when I disagree with it.
Over the last week, I've read seemingly countless complaints about the lack of local storage on the Nexus 7. "Why isn't there a 32GB version?" "Why isn't the 16GB version cheaper?
Android tablets, for the last year plus they've existed, haven't been anything to get excited over. At least that's my opinion on the matter. And even if you've wanted one (a good one), most of them have been sort of expensive. But now that Google has unveiled the first true Nexus tablet (XOOM who?), for a mere 200 of your dollars, you can get in on the computing revolution. At that price, Google isn't shooting for the premium market. It's targeting first-time tableteers, boldly going where only Amazon and various Chinese knock-offs have gone before - into the sub-$200 slate market.
The contest is now over. Here are the winners, selected at random:
Congratulations - you will be contacted for your information in the near future!
Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on TwitterFacebook, Google+, and RSS.
The Nexus 7 was undoubtedly the biggest announcement to come out of Google I/O. And for good reason, too: it's the new face of Android. This next-gen Android slate is the future of things to come for our favorite OS, as it finally puts an incredibly powerful, yet affordable tablet in the hands of the masses.
ASUS Response: We've received a response from ASUS that they're unable to replicate the problem on production units (I/O units are, technically, pre-production), so this may have been sorted out in time for the initial consumer run. It appears, then, that this problem is at least affecting only some units.
Update: Here are some more comparison photos from a different Nexus 7.
Some have suggested this is a native behavior with IPS displays called "image retention." I did a side-by-side of the same image with a Transformer Prime and Trasformer Pad 300 - both of which have IPS displays.