So, I’ve got a dirty little secret. While I own a Galaxy Nexus….I’ve been using mostly iOS devices for the past few years. I had a good run on my Nexus, but it soon got relegated to collecting dust in a long-lost drawer as my fiancée and I got an iPhone, an iPad, and everything else i-related. While I wouldn’t say that we are or were fanboys by any stretch of the imagination, we fell into an Apple pit of despair that was perpetuated with our continual purchase of their products. Well, the chain has been broken and I’ve invested in a new Nexus 7 and the only problem I have is that I didn’t make the switch over sooner. Here’s a list of the things that I’m absolutely loving about my new Nexus device and how I’m adjusting with being back to Android.
I share my devices with my fiancée. Whether it be our computer or our tablets, the only really electronic device that is “our own” would be our smartphones. As such, I’ve got different profiles set up across my computer. However, with our iPads, this was never an option. We could have one account and link to one e-mail address. This means that we either had to have two tablets, one for each of us, or be constantly bombarded by the other’s notifications. Until I got my hands on Android 4.3 on the new Nexus 7, I never realized how much I needed and wanted this feature. No more Facebook notifications that aren’t for me!
While Google Now isn’t unique only to Android devices, it’s integrated in a more seamless fashion than its iOS counterpart. While the iOS version is hidden away in the Google App and requires a few more interactions to get it fired up, a quick swipe from the bottom of the screen and it’s active on the Nexus 7. As such, I find I use it much more often and am impressed with how accurately it can pick up on my voice and the search results. Being used to Siri and its hit or miss approach, I would rather just firing up Chrome and typing in my search instead. With Google Now, I find I haven’t had to search for anything and the results have all been exactly what I’m looking for. The only downside? At least Siri would tell you a joke.
More integrated services
I love Google. I love the services they provide and tried to emulate a lot of them on my iOS devices. Much to my chagrin, they were either set aside in a clunky fashion or required authentication each and every time I was using them. As such, other than having a link to my GMAIL account, I didn’t use them very often. Everything just seems like it flows together on Android. From Google Play Music to Google Play Books to Google Drive. Everything just sort of fits together and can be used across the board. I can upload a photo to my Drive account and then use it across multiple services.
Freedom and Control
While I haven’t rooted my device yet as I’m still exploring what stock Android 4.3 has to offer, it’s on my list of things to do next. I absolutely love to tinker with my devices and see what I can get out of them but I’m still being blown away with what I can control and do with my stock operating system. The simple ability of being able to download and install .apk files outside of the Google Play Store (yes, I’m aware of precautions behind this) is just amazing in my mind. I mean, I have a torrent client on my tablet that I can use to download (of course, the legal kind) torrents to it. As well, being able to see and control what apps are consuming what kind of power and what access they have is another great feature. I’m still exploring as I’ve been away from the Android garden for some time and I’m sure I’ll just be as astounded once I root it and try out another custom ROM.
Okay, I’ll admit. My home screens look a little overwhelming right now with widgets and I will be the first to admit that I have a problem. It may just be the honeymoon period with them, but I love widgets. I love them so much. Being able to have a quick view of the Reddit homepage, the weather, my inbox, and the weather is just amazing. At this time, the more widgets, the better.
Anyway, I’m going to go back to exploring my Nexus 7. Please, feel free to give me some input on things that I should be checking out or doing on my new tablet!