WildBill's Blogdom

Mongo only pawn, in game of life.

On Things Android-y and Googl-y

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So, back in February, I won a Nexus 7 tablet at the SCALE11x conference. After receiving the tablet, I fiddled with it a bit, then promptly wrote a Linux Journal article about it, then pretty much shelved the little guy.

Recently, I pulled it out, charged it up, and started playing with it again. Despite my affinity for iOS for things like tablets and phones, I find the Nexus 7 experience to be pretty darn smooth. The keyboard does make me twitch, mostly due to the layout differences between it and iOS, but I find myself hauling the Nexus 7 around the house a bit more. I’ve discovered a few things about using the Nexus 7 that are pretty neat:

  • Crossplatform apps like Evernote are available, which helps ease the pain of just picking the device up and getting to my data.

  • The Amazon app works great as an e-reader, just like it does on the iPad and iPhone. It’s great to jump from Kindle, to iPad, to Nexus 7, to iPhone and just pick up where I left off in the same book.

  • Dropbox, Copy, Cubby, Box, and Google Drive all have Android clients, so any data I drop “in the cloud” can be accessed on the Nexus. Nice to know.

  • There’s a read-only 1Password program which seems to get the job done, if not awesomely. Would love for it to be a full 1Password client.

  • DroidEdit is a pretty decent text editor. Matter of fact, I’m using it right now to write this blog post – from the Nexus 7.

  • There’s a Zinio app for Android, which is awesome, cause I can read HOT ROD magazine on it.

  • There’s also a Marvel Unlimited app for Android, so I can just cruise thru old Marvel Comics issues on a whim. For .CBR based comic-archives, there’s Komik or Perfect Viewer which get the job done.

  • Fair amount of good free games, like Jetpack Joyride, Real Racing 3, Angry Birds, and Heroes of Order and Chaos. Plenty of things to do to kill time.

However, there’s a fair share of things that DO annoy me:

  • No “Drafts” app for Android. Drafts is an app that I use ALL the time on iOS, and it annoys me that it’s not available for the Nexus 7.

  • Likewise, there’s no Day One journalling app. Yeah, I know there are journalling apps, but I use Day One on iOS and Mac, and I’m not going to change the format now.

  • Apps that just flat out don’t work on the Nexus 7, despite them being Android tablet apps. I’m looking at you, DirecTV.

  • All the Google-isms make me twitch a little, particularly with the PRISM stuff going on. But it’s as close to ‘pure’ Android as one can get, even if it does want to talk to the Big G every couple minutes. Dunno about that.

In all, though, it’s a neat little device. If I only had a couple hundred dollars and I wanted to buy a tablet, I’d pick one up. It’s worth it, despite the fact that it’s not iOS. ;)