The new Nexus 7 is a substantial upgrade over last year's model, as Google has managed to fit a 1080p resolution into the same 7-inch screen without destroying performance or battery life. This year's offering makes the leap to a new Qualcomm S4 Pro N7 processor, comes with a rear-facing camera, and has the latest version of Android available. What could make it any better? Wider distribution. That's why the tablet is now available for purchase in Canada directly from Google Play.
Since the launch of the refreshed Nexus 7, there has been quite the rollercoaster of good and bad news. Some stores jumped the gun on the release date, which inspired Google to get an early start, as well. That was followed by the revelation that the device would never be able to support Google Wallet. Then came the really shocking news that factory images may never be published, which was almost immediately resolved after JBQ announced he was leaving his station with AOSP.
This weekend's poll is easy - now that the dust has settled, the reviews have been published, and the bugs reported, did you buy the refreshed Nexus 7? I'm going to do my very best to accommodate you all in terms of poll answer choices, too, I promise.
Me? I didn't. I thought about it. I was actually determined to impulse-buy one if I could convince a Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, or RadioShack to sell me a unit a few days before they were supposed to go on sale (there were also AP-related motivations there, of course).
The great Nexus 7 ordeal of 2013 is now over after Qualcomm apparently agreed to the release of the factory image and all necessary drivers, only a day after lots of hubbub had been made about this touchy and unpleasant situation. Awesome, so now we have access to the factory image, meaning we can restore the tablet back to stock no matter what happens to the software on it.
Say, you had a bad flash and are now boot-looping.
It was just the other day when it came out that complications with Qualcomm licensing was keeping Google from posting the binaries and full factory image for the new Nexus 7 tablet. The issue was so irksome that Jean-Baptiste Quéru (JBQ), Google's Android open source manager, decided to leave that post. Well, that must have lit a fire under someone, because Google just posted the image and drivers for the Razor hardware.
Google's latest hot piece of hardware has certainly earned some high praise, but like many products, it's bound to suffer at least a few complications. Several people, myself included, have experienced problems with random reboots, freezing, and assorted Wi-Fi connection issues. Now, complaints are emerging about the GPS from quite a few owners of the tablet. Many people are finding that a good lock is achieved initially and persists for a while, but eventually drops out or gets stuck on a single location and can only be restored after some tinkering in settings or completely rebooting the device.
Update: Looks like we were right.
ROM developers and Android tinkering enthusiasts alike have probably noticed at this point that the new iteration of the Nexus 7, unveiled two weeks ago, does not yet have factory images or driver binaries posted on the appropriate Google Developers page. A similar issue plagued the Nexus 4 in its early days, though eventually images were posted. At the time, legal issues were speculated as a possible reason for the delay, and Android build maintainer JBQ - largely responsible for the images / binaries - said only this in response: "I can't comment."
With the new Nexus 7, JBQ has not outright said that legal problems with Qualcomm are preventing the factory images (and possibly the driver binaries) from being published, but a quick look at the relevant evidence makes it pretty duh-obvious that's what's going on.
We're at a crucial time for Android tablets. The little green robot is finally starting to gain some traction in the tablet space, manufacturers are beginning to realize what users want from their devices on many different levels (price, hardware, etc.), and the newest versions of Android work as flawlessly on large devices as they do on small.
The front runner of this Android tablet "revolution" was last year's Nexus 7, the flagship tablet from Google that literally changed the entire landscape.
Assuming you are not a shut-in who gets everything delivered via Amazon Prime, we've got a way you can save 20% on that 2013 Nexus 7 purchase. A new OfficeMax coupon allows you to save on a variety of items when you buy in the store, including printer ink, printing services, office supplies, eReaders, and tablets. You need that other stuff? Cool, but why not get the best Android tablet that's ever existed too?
I like tablets, and I love tablet apps. Don’t take that the wrong way - I love my Nexus 4, and I use it constantly, but there’s something different about tablets. A large, beautiful screen filled by an app that really shows off the functionality that comes with Android's design language is a great experience. Make that tablet super portable, fast, and priced right, and you’ve got my heart.
Okay, maybe that’s not all it takes for a tablet to win my heart.