I think it’s been a little under a year since I got my wife a Nexus 7. I mainly got it for her to read her library of ebooks that she gets for free from Amazon.com and for the most part it’s done its job. However the time has come to say goodbye to the Nexus so that I can get her an iPad Mini 2 when its released this fall.
There have been a few problems mainly with the OS that I just can’t seem to overcome. The biggest one is the charging issue. It just takes forever to charge the device. My daughter also likes a lot of apps that are on her own iPad and iPhone that she uses and instead of lugging that around she can use my wife’s iPad Mini. I played a bit with the Nexus a little and I wasn’t that impressed. The Nexus was a lot like using a PC, it required a lot of tweaks here and there to get it working just right. My wife prefers using her iPhone for most things because she is familiar with the apps and it just works. I happen to agree with her on that part which is why I’m probably getting the upgraded iPad Mini for myself too so I can take a more lightweight device with me on the road. iOS 7 is going to help a lot too since I’m not upgrading my iPhone 4S until a jailbreak, if any, will become available. FaceTime over 3G is a big thing for me since I need it to see my family on the road.
Normally I would have kept the Nexus but there isn’t any use for it at this time and it would just collect dust like all my Treo’s that I still have. I decided to try out Gazelle to sell the Nexus 7. The good part is that I used points to get the thing and Gazelle will potentially give me $55 for it. I look at it as a $55 profit since in got the device for free and my wife can use that for even more books. I figure the $55 should keep her busy for maybe 6 months, it depends on the number of books being released that she wants this year.
Only 3 weeks till I send the Nexus away, can’t say it was the best decision I ever made from a tech perspective but I at least can say I tried it for a little bit.
On Friday I received the Nexus 7 that I bought for my wife as an eReader. My wife and I are pretty active book readers (she reads way more than me though) and for quite a while my wife has been reading her books on her iPhone. I did buy her a Kindle 3 a year or so ago but that reader requires a light source and since she reads the most at night she needed something that she can use in the dark. She didn’t like the iPad because it’s too big and heavy for her and I’ll admit that it is a bit large to use late at night when you’re sleepy.
The setup for the Nexus 7 was pretty straightforward from my point of view. It just asked me a bunch of questions regarding a google account and it was up and running. One of the more important things is that I needed to be able to load mobi and ePub books that we already had. I downloaded the Kindle and Nook apps for this purpose and a decent amount of our books area already on Kindle so it made sense to use that app. During my research I also discovered that my local library does ebooks which is pretty sweet. I had to download an app for that as well but that wasn’t such a big deal for me.
There is a lot more functionality that the tablet can do but since it is meant to be an eReader, I didn’t download that many more apps beyond Facebook which I doubt will get used. I’ll admit that using the Nexus 7 took some getting used to because it didn’t use the App store or have most of the apps that I normally use on my iPad and iPhone. I did have an Android phone about a year ago and while it wasn’t bad, the user experience wasn’t the best. The Nexus 7 is pure Google though and the experience has gotten a bit better from what I can tell. I haven’t put any movies on it and I most likely won’t anyway. If I can pry it from my wife’s hands I’ll test it out a bit more but so far so good. At least I know we’re going to keep it and not return it. Now to see what Apple pulls out of its hat in September and if they really will announce an iPad mini.
The tablet wars a definitely heating up this year with some strong contenders in the form of Amazon and Google coming out with some great tablets in the form of the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7. I’m already an owner of the iPad 1 and iPad 2 and I don’t regret either purchase. The next tablet purchase actually isn’t for me, it’s more for my wife. Recently my wife has really gotten into reading ebooks but she doesn’t like my iPads because they’re too heavy and too big for her to use while she reads in bed. I can sympathize with this because I don’t read in bed much either with my iPad 2. My wife mostly reads her books on her iPhone but she has recently said that it would be nice to have a bigger screen to read her books but not be as big as an iPad. In addition to the iPads, we have a Kindle 3 that I bought for my wife a year or so ago that she used to use but since you need a light to read the e-ink screen she doesn’t use it as much as she used to.
Enter my new dilemma. There are going to be 3 tablets for me to consider (well possibly 3) for the fall or the Christmas season at the latest and this new tablet wouldn’t be for me but for my wife to read books. From what I hear the two “new” tablets that might be coming out that I’m going to have to consider will be the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 or an iPad Mini. I almost know for a certainty that the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 is a certainty but it’s all a matter of what version of the software is on the Kindle Fire and what it will being to the table. I’m partial to the a Kindle Fire since a lot of the books that we buy and read use the Kindle app. What concerns me the most is upgradeability of the new Fire a d how long it will be usable beyond a year. Right now the iPad Mini is just a rumor and I don’t even know if this will be a reality. What is intriguing is if this becomes a reality. I am pretty heavily invested into the Apple ecosystem right now with the iPhones and iPads that I have currently. I an iPad Mini became a reality I could use all of my apps on it that I have already purchased over the last 3 years.
My current front runner is the Google Nexus 7 that was just released. While I am not the biggest fan of Android devices given my previous experience with them, I have to admit that the Nexus 7 definitely fits the bill. Right now it’s at a decent price point and delivers everything I want in a tablet, it has different ebook apps which I need including the Kindle app. It has the right form factor that I’m looking for, but the only thing it might not have is the familiarity that my wife will probably want since she has been an iPhone user for so long now. I think I can wait a couple more months to see what Apple decides to release to market regarding a new iPhone and a possible iPad Mini. If the Kindle Fire 2 is really cheap, and I mean cheaper than anything from Apple and Google, then I might get that. Right now only time will tell!