Android New of the Week

6.7.2013 Benjamin Gubler

The Nexus Tablet has been Confirmed;

Galaxy Note Sales;

More bytes for your buck

The Google Nexus tablet that has been the subject of many a rumor lately has taken one step closer to becoming reality this week. A Wall Street Journal report confirmed Google’s plans. The idea is that Google needs to draw back the attention of customers for a second round; it strived to do this in 2010 with the Nexus One, the only problem was that the concept didn’t change the way consumers percieve and consume phones as Google had hoped.




There’s a key ingredient in the mix this time, however, as Sascha Segan rightfully points out at PC Magazine: Carriers won’t be anywhere in the mix.

Instead of that, Google will market the tablets over the web and send them to consumers; and that’s the end of that. With the Nexus One, carriers had to be involved to some degree as the phone would need a carrier plan and so would be using the carrier networks. But a Google Nexus tablet, however, would most likely be a Wi-Fi only device, so this means that the customer relationship would be directly between Google and its products’ users. Google doesn’t necessarily need to rely on the internet alone, because it could just as well sell its tablet through retail stores such as Target, WalMart, BestBuy and others, very much in the same way Amazon sells its Kindle slates. 



So it’s almost definite that that this tablet won’t have cellular data usage capabilities. This means that the cost of the devices will be kept down, and even more so as it is expected to be built initially by Asus, and then later by Samsung. If the tablet isn’t exactly like the Asus MeMo slate shown off at CES — with a reported price of $249 — it should be quite resembling. I’d expect at least  a dual-core processor, 7-inch display, not too high of an internal memory — probably around 8- or 16 GB — with microSD expansion, Android 4.0 inbuilt, front and rear cameras, and also support for high-definition visuals on larger screens. That might lure some buyers away from the Kindle Fire from Amazon, especially if they price it below the $199 mark, but Amazon has used a simple interface and a broader variety of digital content, so suffice to say it’s going to be a close call.



A device that isn’t challenged is the Samsung Galaxy Note; even with the “dreaded” stylus, Samsung has sold 5 million of the large phone / small tablet devices.



The out of the ordinary handset is possibly picking up momentum overseas as AT&T has been the sole dealer of the device in the U.S. for the past 2 months. Samsung is, and smart for doing so, utilizing their stylus as a way to edge themselves out of the oncoming wave of Android tablets. The manufacturer has already announced that when it upgrades the Galaxy Note to Android 4.0 in the next three months, it will add more functions based around the stylus and so we can expect that this might become  a standard, what with the sway of 5 million users and counting.





But whether or not your smartphone has a stylus, you can now skim down on your data usage when surfing the web: Opera has released a stable version of their Mini 7 browser early last week and it is an awesome alternative to all the other browsers out there as it compresses pages and throws them at you faster and with fewer bytes. The browser boasts 90 percent data savings and this all happens in mere milliseconds, so there’s no delay (conceivable when compared to other browsers) in the experience, despite the fact that you are providing Opera with your browsing history as a result. I use Opera Mini in my two-browser tactic : For basic short bursts of using the web, I’ll hit Opera Mini. When I’m going to trawl through large amounts of video or other large media files, I grab my Ice Cream Sandwich device and boot up Chrome.


 

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