For many of us, it's not enough just to get our hands on a new handset. We love Android, but we're just not big fans of the changes that manufacturers make to distinguish their phones from one another. Some manufacturer customizations, like Sense 5, are arguably more attractive than Google's own efforts.
The first ad for the 2013 model of the Nexus 7 was pretty perfect: combining a nervous nerdy kid and a common fear somehow made for an incredibly effective way to show off Google's combination of hardware and services. These two new ads aren't quite so good as "Fear Less," but they combine the same nearly universal sentiments with tablet-focused features.
The first uses a student to show off Google Now's auto-populating cards, Google Play Music, Google's contextual search, and the new textbook rental features.
It's been all quiet on the Android Open Kang Project front for a while, but the latest blog post from the popular ROM family indicates that there are big things coming. The AOKP team has been working on Android 4.3 ROMs (labeled JB-MR2 in the AOKP nomenclature) ever since the release of the latest operating system, and the first nightly builds of 4.3 have now been posted.
Last month, Geek.com's Russell Holly reported that ASUS would be crafting the next-generation Nexus 10 rather than Samsung, the manufacturer who brought us the first iteration of Google's ten-inch tablet.
The report was followed quickly by the rolling back of WSJ's Amir Efrati's previous statements, and relied on "multiple sources," among them a screenshot from Best Buy's internal inventory system.
Today the claim was given a bit more credence, with a PCWorld inventory screen snapped by PCWorld employee @Rage06 surfacing on Twitter.
Update: Verizon has responded to our inquiry about the Nexus 7 LTE registration issues. A company representative said that the Nexus 7 LTE would be certified for the Verizon network at some point.
That isn't much to go on, but it's certainly promising - it implies that Verizon is at least aware of the problem and taking steps towards upgrading the company's infrastructure to compensate. Of course, it could take any amount of time for Verizon to certify a new, unlocked device for their network (and Verizon isn't exactly known for speedy response when it comes to devices and software).
It has only been a few months since Asus announced the original PadFone Infinity, but the new version of the phone-tablet hybrid was just outed in Taiwan. This is a spec bump on the last PadFone, which moves from Snapdragon 600 to 800, but that's not all.
Just like the last PadFone, this one has a 5-inch 1080p screen, which is upped to a 10-inch display at the same resolution when the phone is in the tablet dock.
It is time to begin obsessively checking for updates on your 2013 Nexus 7. We're getting a number of reports of a system update to JSS15R hitting devices. Nevermind that there don't appear to be any user-facing changes, and it's only one letter away from the last minor update – this is new software and you must have it immediately, right?
The LTE version of the Nexus 7 2013 just started shipping to the US last week. If a week of running on a stock ROM is entirely too long for you, take heart: even while you read these words, modders and ROM developers are hard at work building all kinds of aftermarket goodies for your unlocked tablet. That's because Google just posted the first full factory imageplus binaries for the new model.
Update: And it's gone. 650 were sold in about 30 minutes. Hope you got yours.
Let's cut to the chase. You know what this tablet is, and you know this is $30 off the official price. The last time this deal came up, it was gone almost before we could tell you about it. So go. Go now.