Google Nexus 7 Tablet Can Replace My iPad For Now

For two plus years people could accurately call me an iPad fanboy, but I’m going to try and go without using my iPad in favor of the Google Nexus 7 Tablet.

While I am a fan of Apple products, I’m also an Android user. I replaced my iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy Note and now the Samsung Galaxy S III, so it’s not an Apple thing. I don’t just pick the Apple product because I’m an Apple fanboy. However, I do love the iPad and won’t give it away any time soon, but lets see if an iPad fan can go Nexus 7 full-time.

Last summer I tried other android tablets, but they were all a no go. So, when I ordered the Google Nexus 7 Tablet, I wondered if it could replace my iPad full-time. I’ve only had it for one day, and so far it looks possible.

I opened the Google Nexus 7 Tablet and spent most of the afternoon installing apps and configuring the tablet. Last night I played around and tested things out like gaming, video, music and reading. I love my iPad, but its still sitting where I left it the night before UPS delivered the Nexus 7 – on my nightstand charging.

Apple iPad versus Google Nexus 7


Getting Online

Four hours into the first full day of my Nexus 7 only experiment and I’m pretty happy. I took my son to the eye doctor and wanted to check email, Twitter and Facebook as we waited for the doctor to call us back. His office doesn’t offer public Wi-Fi in, so I encountered the first snag. My iPad sports Verizon LTE but the Nexus 7 only offers Wi-Fi. Thanks to my Samsung Galaxy S and AT&T tethering I checked my email and social networks.

After the eye doctor we snagged some eggs at a local diner. Two years ago, I sat at the same diner with my Wi-Fi only iPad and couldn’t get online. Today, that small town diner offers free Wi-Fi. A device doesn’t need always on Internet as much as it used to thanks to the ubiquity of Wi-Fi. For those few times I can’t find free Wi-Fi, I can use the tethering on my phone.


Teaching and Making Presentations

As I plan my day I know that tonight I will teach a class at my church. I don’t use Keynote every week, but when I want too I can’t use the Nexus 7 as a presentation tool. Even if i converted to a presentation app on the Nexus 7, there is no HDMI out.

When I don’t use Keynote, I do use Pages to view my notes on the iPad so I don’t have kill trees printing my teaching notes. I plan to use QuickOffice to view the notes imported via SugarSync to my Nexus 7. The smaller screen concerns me some for looking at my notes when I step away from the podium. I usually enlarge the font to 24 point so I’ll just enlarge it a bit bigger in QuickOffice to make up for the smaller size.


The Good and the Bad

So far I don’t miss any of the apps I used on the iPad. I prefer a few apps over their Android counterpoints, but not so much that it keeps me from using the Nexus 7. Comparing the two devices, the $300 premium will motivate most people to settle for a slightly less functional experience.

The things I like most so far:

  • Perfect size for reading. Feels like a book in my hand.
  • Screen looks really nice
  • Interface feels smooth
  • Android goodness – customizable keyboards, launcher, widgets on home screen and more
  • Watching video feels very personal despite smaller size

Thins I don’t like so far:

  • I can’t rotate the stock launcher home screen
  • No external video hookup or Apple TV streaming capability
Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.


  1. Switch to QuickOffice and MS Office in general. Keynote, Numbers and Pages are for children. I switched to OpenOffice for 6 months and hated it. Then I tried iWork for a whole year before abandoning it (couldn’t do so many things that Office can). Android tablets like my Nook Color with CM7.2 work great syncing with Google’s services and even iCal, Mac Mail, and Address Book. For streaming use any of the Android DLNA compliant apps/software as, while they are not nearly as slick as AirPlay, are at least compliant with international standards and do work well. Depends on how much handholding and gratuitous eye-candy you need.

    Good luck with the switch. It’ll be interesting to see your final decision.

  2. Hi Kevin,

    You don’t need to root your Nexus 7 to get landscape rotation on your home screen. I use Nova Launcher with my Jelly Bean Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. It works just as smoothly as Jelly Bean stock but with many more options for personalization. I would at least try it before rooting your device unless you already did. The only downside to Android is that there are only two passable Bible programs. CadreBible and YouVersion (which is an online app, but very good). I have always used PocketBible from laridian, which is excellent on the iPad, but they are a long ways from finishing the Android version to match the IOS version. That is the only reason I have my iPad right now, but will keep searching and waiting for a better Bible app that can meet my needs. Have fun on your test. I will be watching to compare what I have found with your thoughts through this journey.

  3. Thanks for the great comments. I should have added in my post that I’m looking for a stock way to do the above at first. But now that I know I can get what I want via rooting or other launchers, I appreciate it.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this article. You don’t have to root your Nexus 7 to rotate the stock launcher home screen. You can do it by simply installing Ultimate Rotation Control app from the Google Play Store. There is a 7-day trial version ( a fully licensed version for $2.99.

    I was debating weather to root my Nexus 7, and this app was mentioned in a post on the XDA-Developers forum. Hope this helps.

  5. @Wooster. Yes, that works for most everything but the home screen.

    Kevin, great post.I just received my nexus 7 2 days ago and I’m really enjoying it.would you mind elaborating on your process for tethering your Nexus 7 and your phone. I’m also on At&t and wanting to figure out how to do that. feel free to email me directly if you’d like. Vapor321 dot Hotmail dot com.

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