Posterous dies on 4/30/2013 so I've moved all my content and switched to Blogger.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Google Nexus 7

Just got a new Google Nexus 7 at work.  $200 for a super thin 16GB 7" tablet running newest Google Android OS, Jelly Bean.

Sorry for not detailing the entire unboxing, blog fans;-(  

It took about 15 minutes to unlock, root, and clockwork mod using the super-awesome Google 7 Nexus Toolkit available here

$25 credit with Google Play store email notification popped in my Gmail Inbox seconds after I signed into the Nexus!  Nice!!!!

Second thing I did after rooting was enable landscape in HomeScreens.  Being forced to use portrait really got on my nerves.  This article helped with that

Gotta root your Nexus 7 before these steps will work

1.Get a file explorer such as root explorer or es file manager(go to settings allow mount rewritable and root access)

2.Then go to system(es file manager just go to the star button on the top left hand side and click on the phone button and you will see the system folder)
3.You will find a build.prop file make sure to make a copy of it and save it somewhere just in case for a backup.
4.Then click on the build.prop and open it with a text editor. (ES file manager has its own)
5. Now scroll down to “ro.sf.lcd_density”, or something with lcd density(sorry im at work so i dont have my n7 with me)
6. Now the original lcd density is 213 so the best result for tablet mode is going 170 and below.
7. Save the file by press the menu button.
8. Reboot your N7 and then you got Tablet UI.


Ahhhh!  That's better




So far here's some impressions, workarounds, and things that I did to make my Nexus mine.

  • Jelly Bean (JB) isn't much different than Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) -- It's just faster and "buttery smooth"
  • Video is fast and sharp and amazing  -- streamed video fast and crisp from a share on my Ubuntu lappy over Wifi G home network and didn't even get that upset when I'd advance to the middle and then switch back to the beginning of a timeline
  • Google "Voice Search" has come a long way (If you are in a quiet room it rarely misses on guessing exactly what you said -- even spelled my last name correctly so it obviously ties into the contacts database)
  • Not much bloat to speak of
    • A bunch of advertisement widgets on stock homescreens that launch Google's appz
    • "Google +" & "+ Messenger" (I'm not a fan of circles)
    • "Maps" "Navigation" and "Local" (I like all of those)
    • "Latitude" (I don't use it)
    • "Play Books" (I've used it but I can live without)
    • "Play Magazines" (this is new to me)
    • "Play Movies & TV" (Integrates your local video files with a Play Store interface to show for movies and TV shows--comes with Transformers: Dark Side of the Moonmovie -- nice touch)
    • "Google Currents" (I like this one)
    • "Google Earth" (WOW! The video chip is strong enough to run that!!!)
    • "Google Wallet" (haven't opened this yet but I've used it online
  • "Chrome" is the default browser!  Yay!  It behaves just like it did in ICS and syncs all my desktop bookmarks magically.
  • What didn't come installed it surprisingly?
    • "Google Drive"
    • "Google Sky Maps"  (I love this app!)
    • "Camera" (WTF?  There's screen facing lens pointing right at me for video Gtalk or Skype or whatever.  But there's no Camera app for taking pictures and videos???)
  • Other peeves
    • GTalk doesn't show up in the Share menu when you try to share a hyperlink in Chrome;-(
    • No improvements to ICS launcher in JB that I could make out
      • 5 homescreens can't be reduced -- I only need 2 or 3
      • I installed "GO Laucher EX" because it does all the things I like that stock launcher won't
        • Create multiple desktop shortcuts at a time right from the App Drawer
        • Run however many home screens you want
        • Resize widgets
        • Includes an app drawer that show on every homescreen (like a phone)
    • Stock "Video Player" doesn't seem to want to play MKV files
      • No biggie, one of my first Play Store installs was "MX Player" anyway
    • Stock keyboard is dumb
      • Need to switch between letters, symbols, and numbers screen
      • No swype
      • No controls like up, down, right, left, end, home, select, copy, paste, etc
      • Installed "Touch Pal" which solves these issues but runs a little wonky in JB and crashes everytime you try to use voice input
    • "Enhanced Email" app that I use for work email uninstalls your account settings everytime you reboot
    • Lots of apps that I want to install aren't available yet for JB, e.g. "Garmin Connect", "Weather Channel"
      • I'll be sideloading these with posted apk backups from my phone or other tablet ("Garmin Fit" seems to have sideloaded succcessfully;-)
    • Many other apps that I'd like to fork over some of my $25 Play Store credit towards aren't yet available to upgrade from the FREE (which does run on JB) to the PRO which isn't fully tested and stamped for approval yet, e.g. "tTorrent"

There you have it.  A recap of my first 24 hours with the Nexus 7 from Google.

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