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Six things we hate about the Google Nexus 7

Ross Catanzariti | Aug. 10, 2012
Google's 7in Nexus 7 is one of the best Android tablets on the market, but does this mean it comes without flaws?

Of course, there are two solutions to solve the 3G issue. Firstly, you could tether from your smartphone to the Nexus 7. Secondly, you could purchase a 3G/4G Wi-Fi modem, like Telstra's pre-paid Wi-Fi 4G, for example. However, both of these solutions aren't the most seamless. Constantly tethering your smartphone will quickly drain its battery, while most Wi-Fi modems have a battery life of around three or four hours -- capable, but certainly not enough to last a full cycle of the Nexus 7's battery life. A 3G/4G Nexus 7 would eliminate the need for these half-measures and open up the tablet to a potential new user base.

The lack of built-in 3G means surfing the Web on the go is limited.

4. That home screen

We love Google's Jelly Bean software on the Nexus 7. It's the fastest, smoothest and most functional version of Android yet. However, we find it incredibly annoying that Google hasn't allowed users to rotate the Nexus 7's home screen into landscape mode, even though many Android apps will.

It appears Google is intent on encouraging users to hold the tablet in portrait mode, except when viewing multimedia content. While the natural tendency is to hold the Nexus 7 this way, is it too much to ask for a bit of flexibility? Not every person will use the Nexus 7 in the same way.

5. Android apps and Google Play

The Nexus 7 is a good introduction to the world of Android for first time users, but it also highlights the fundamental flaws with Google's fragmented ecosystem -- that is, most Android apps haven't been designed specifically for tablet use.

This means many apps in Google's Play Store won't work as well as they should on the Nexus 7. Some, like Spotify, won't rotate into landscape mode and can only be used in portrait orientation. Others, like the official Twitter app, are simply blown up smartphone apps, stretched to fill the screen of the Nexus 7.

There are, of course, examples both ways. The the Pulse Reader app, Pocket, Instapaper, Flixster Movies and Evernote all work fantastically well on the Nexus 7. The excellent Flipboard media aggregator also works reasonably well, though it won't rotate into landscape mode, either. On the other hand, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Tango, Instagram, Dropbox and Spotify all work, but there are instances where it is painfully obvious these apps were designed for a smartphone rather than a tablet. Many of them won't rotate into landscape and are often filled with lots of white space and small UI elements.

Some Android apps work perfectly well on the Nexus 7, but others are simply blown up smartphone apps.


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