Iâ€™ve worked out the bugs of this Nexus 7, and gotten used to the Android OS and its app environment, learned its quirks and foibles, and learned to make it work with my other gear. Itâ€™s been an intense past week of exclusively using it, and leaving myÂ iPad on ice for the duration. Iâ€™ve downloaded dozens of apps from theÂ Google Play store, and discarded a few. Iâ€™ve bought accessories for it as well: a nice case and a MiFi device (which is good for my other gadgets as well).Â I think Iâ€™ve worn out my honeymoon period and am ready to settle into a long-term relationship with this device.
A few notes as I go on with this Nexus chapter of my life.
The size is fantastic. Itâ€™s just right. I have no trouble using it in bed or in the car, and I have no trouble at all just slipping it into a pocket and stepping out on a light day when I donâ€™t have to do much. And if I have work to do, it isnâ€™t any trouble to pack up the mouse and keyboard in myÂ Crumpler bag and step out with that. (The bluetooth keyboard still repeats keystrokes a little too often for comfort, but I can live with that.)Â The diminutive size sometimes throws me though; I have to scroll around a bit to see all of a large webpage, and sometimes have to settle with a smaller-than-usual look of an app when I use one that hasnâ€™t been configured to be used on a tablet and still has the dimensions of the appâ€™s cellphone persona. But thatâ€™s getting rarer and rarer these days as the world configures and conforms to work with tablets more and more.
But the size is the reason why the Nexus 7 is so good. I have no trouble just sitting back in an armchair, holding the thing in one hand, and going through my Twitter feeds or surfing idly though the net. I got versions of my favorite apps likeÂ Flipboard andÂ Zite and bunch of other apps and they all work just fine. I can write on it, andÂ Skype and email and all the stuff I got accustomed to doing on my iPad. There are still some quirks that I have to live with, like how Tweetcaster, a Twitter client, usually jumps ahead of where I am every time I check out a link in its browser and then come back to the client, and I have to go looking for my place. Or after a long Nexus session. the tablet sometimes hangs for bit before registering any input, as if it was getting tired. That sort of thing. (Nothing that I’m not used to with Windows, really.)
The open architecture ofÂ Android is a whole new world for me too. Apps can be configured and adjusted no end, and the operating system is pliable and malleable; the world is open to the user, which is wonderful and liberating.Â Apps stutter and lag sometimes, when the thing runs out of available memory; times like that I have to use a memory manager app, or if that doesnâ€™t work, I have to turn the thing off and on to clear it. Sometimes the thing hangs for some strange, unfathomable reason (I guess the bane of most operating systems these days) and I have to reset it. But thankfully that doesnâ€™t happen too often.
I sometimes miss the big, clean, clear world of theÂ Apple iOS, where these sorts of things rarely happen. I miss the iPadâ€™s largeÂ Retina display, and the neat, orderly world of its app environment, where things are always in their rightful, tightly controlled place.Â What I donâ€™t miss is the iPadâ€™s weight and size, and ungainly configuration (it seems like that now, anyway; after using the Nexus 7, everything seems larger than usual). What used to be just fine for me is now bulky and troublesome; using the iPad has become sort of a bother after using the smaller Nexus 7. Heh. But I like the freedom afforded by the Nexus 7, the ability to constantly tinker with, and improve, the OS and its apps to your liking. That, and the more convenient size.
I suppose I could use an iPad mini, if all Iâ€™m looking for is my tablet to be smaller, but frankly, the lousy resolution throws me for a loop. I got used to the Retina display of my bigger iPad, and until the mini gets a similar display, I donâ€™t think I can consider moving to one. And there’s something not quite right about its sizeâ€”it’s just a little bigger than is comfortable.
So as it stands now, Iâ€™m caught between the two worlds equally. The iPad is great because of its orderly environment, stability and display, and the Nexus 7 is great because of its open architecture and size. Outside of these things, everything is a toss-up. To each his own. Me, Iâ€™m settling in between the two worlds for now.
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