New Nexus 7 Flaws: 5 Potential Dealbreakers

While we love the new Nexus 7, we’ve got some complaints about it, including problems with apps and hardware issues.

As an owner of the original Nexus 7 and someone who loved the tablet, the new Nexus 7 couldn’t come soon enough. With high hopes for the new tablet, the old Nexus 7 found a new home with a friend who didn’t own a tablet. We waited expectantly for Google and ASUS to finally release the new Nexus 7. Our local Staples store started selling them a little early and we barely got our hands on one, buying the last 16GB model left in the store with no 32GB models available.

App Compatibility

New-Nexus-7-Hands

HBO Go usually gets installed early on when we get a new phone or tablet. Not with the Nexus 7. The Google Play Store reports that the app won’t work because “Your device isn’t compatible with this version.” This happened with the first Nexus 7 too. Some apps just wouldn’t work because the app maker didn’t update in time for the launch. This could result from the Nexus 7 running Android 4.3. We expect a solution soon, just as we found with the original. A user at the XDA Developers Forum contacted HBO and got a response which said the update would come soon.

hbo go in google play

Tivo for Tablets originally didn’t support the device, but now installs fine, so most apps will likely receive updates to work soon.

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Strangely, one incompatible app comes from none other than Google itself. The Google Wallet app won’t work on the Nexus 7 and probably never will due to a lack of a “Secure Element.” Search the play store from the tablet and Wallet won’t even show up in the results. Here’s the word from Google’s Peter Hazlehurst commenting at Android Police.

Hi folks, there is no Secure Element in the new Nexus 7 (or the HTC One Play Edition) which is why Google Wallet isn’t supported.

Poor Quality Tablet Apps

Android developers made great strides in the past year tablet specific apps. However, we can’t find good apps in a few categories, like handwritten note-taking or inking apps. On iOS Notability ($1.99) does a great job with:

  • fluid inking
  • note organization
  • note exporting and syncing
  • typing and inking
  • page layout with inserting photos
  • zoom feature for fine inking

That last feature means the most to those who take notes in their own handwriting. Notability gives users a zoomed in box that lets them write in large print, but shows up on the page looking more like fine print written on a real paper tablet. The app shrinks the words and places them at the insertion point for precision inking.

Some Android apps give us a close facsimile to Notability, but nothing works as well on Android. Here’s a few apps, mostly free, with potential, but they’re frustratingly not close enough.

Papyrus

Papyrus offers fluid inking but no zoom feature.

Of those, Note Anytime (below) offers the best hope, but it’s still not good enough to replace Notability.

note anytime

Note Anytime offers more Notability features than any other Android note taking app

Lack of LTE at Launch

We knew they’d leave out LTE at launch, but it still frustrates some users. The ability to jump online any time regardless of available Wi-Fi makes LTE tablets useful for mobile users.

Phone hotspots solve the problem, but they’re not as convenient, even with Android widgets that toggle the phone’s hotspot on and off. The iPhone hotspot feature doesn’t work as well since it forces the users to toggle it on/off every time from within Settings. iOS 7 promises to fix this, but it’s not proven and months away.

Hotspot drains the phone battery faster and could create a security risk.

An LTE version of the new Nexus 7 will come shortly, but impatient gadget freaks don’t like waiting. Apple had this problem with their first iPad, but the later versions dropped the same day as the Wi-Fi only models. Google needs to fix this with the next version.

Sensitivity of the Touch Screen

The display looks awesome on the new Nexus 7, but the touch screen’s sensitivity causes problems. Tapping and holding icons to drag them, like when a user wants to move an app icon, proves difficult. The screen is so sensitive that the finger must remain perfectly still. Any movement at all keeps the tap and hold feature from working.

Battery Life

The new Nexus 7 battery runs about as well as the old Nexus 7. We get about 8 hours with average to above average usage. On an iPad mini one can expect about 8 hours, so the Nexus 7 doesn’t run as long. We’re not too upset over an hour’s difference. Just keep it in mind if deciding between the two devices.

Not All Bad

While some people found the build quality suspect, we didn’t. It feels like a solid low-end tablet. We’ve played with other tablets that feel like they’d likely fall apart quicker than the Nexus 7. The original Nexus 7 held up well, so we’ve got high hopes. The iPad mini sat in a drawer for a few days while exclusively using the new Nexus 7. A full review will come later, but these were the few issues discovered early on.

  

Comments

      • Tim Rarick says

        This review is extremely biased. For what most people use tablets for, the iPad and Nexus are almost the same. This shouldn’t be a comparison of the apps available on Android vs iPhone. I am sorry to see Kevin (the author of the article) is a spitting image of an apple fanboy.

        • Tim Rarick says

          Also, 9 hours of battery life is not a “flaw” as you say. I think that is more than the average tablet will last, and more than most people need.

          Nexus 7
          Up to 9 hours active use

          iPad Mini
          Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music

      • Christian says

        I would have to say it is higher end than an iPad mini as it has much better pixel density, processor, and when it comes down to the LTE version about to release, your not looking at buying a different tablet if you switch carriers. I’m surprised these aren’t selling for more, but Google’s looking at the long term.

    • iFun Instigator says

      “A solid low end tablet…” and you think that’s funny? You just gotta be as whacked an Applewellian Fangirl as this writer! lol….

      BTW…. “A solid low end tablet” for Apple is the iPad Mini Me Too… Copycat smaller is better size device. The real description of “A solid low end tablet” for Android is one made by the same Chinese who make iPad Mini w/ it’s inferior to plastic cheap recycled beer can Die Cast Aluminum that scratches easy and will crack a bare handed bent smile easier than you can crush the original beer can it’s made of. At least the far cheaper Android powered tablets are made of far more durable Polycarbonate for around $100 that doesn’t do the iBendOverEasy thing like Apple’s iPhone 5! hahaha…

      To anyone with a brain of their own and not a “I Bleed 6 Colors for CrApple” iDiot knows that the aluminum Apple is now using is not Airgrade Grade or even still in the same state it was as a beer can. No…. Apple decided since their users couldn’t tell the difference anyway, to forgo high pressure extrusion and heat treatment for their new Soft Pot Metal AlumiGate Quality Cases!!! :DDD ……..why? Because it puts more profits into their Long Term Foreign Held Securities Share Holder Future Retirement Fund and convince you fools that they are a better company serving YOUR NEEDS… when they’re not even considering YOU in their long term wishes, wants and needs! ;-P

  1. Tech says

    Not sure how it makes the tablet not as good just because some apps are not 4.3 ready. The developers will catch up soon. There are tons of apps compatible with the new Nexus 7. It is a great device.

  2. utter drivel says

    Does this site exist solely to knock Nexus tablets?

    This article is a pile of drivel

  3. jessicagayle says

    Gabriel. I see what you mean… Stephanie`s c0mment is impressive, I just got a great Fiat Panda from earning $4124 this past five weeks and-even more than, 10k this past month. with-out a doubt this is the best job Ive had. I started this 3 months ago and almost straight away started bringin in over $78, p/h. , w­w­w.B­A­S­S33.c­o­m

  4. yes says

    Let’s face it, either you buy an Apple vending machine with lesser hardware and a higher price, or you buy the Freedom Tablet which lets you put anything you want on your tablet… I opt for Freedom… No 1984 Steve Jobs vending machines for me…

  5. gb says

    Damn do I go for the poorer 8 hour life of a nexus or the longer 8 hour life of the iPad mini.

  6. Steve says

    Let’s see. The new Nexus has a much better screen than before (and one that’s way,way better than the iPad mini) more memory (4x that of the mini), it’s lighter, has better sound, a faster processor, wireless charging etc and you knock it because it doesn’t run an app you have on the mini?

    Either you have your head stuck in the sand or there’s a little bias in this article.

  7. Marcus says

    Anyone notice a certain sour oddness on this site?

    Any review of a Nexus starts with faint praise. Then moves onto a strangely biased attack of a few minor features.

    Positive Nexus features are glossed over.

    Generally there’s a big plug for the iPad in the middle of the review. E.g. in this one there’s about 25% spent praising one iPad app. Why’s that?

    Also the photos of any Nexus are always terrible. Is this deliberate or is this author just incompetent with a camera?

    Finally the pathetic pretend summing up. In this case the ludicrous “Not all bad” for a tablet that’s great value, has a fantastic screen and is outstanding.

    • S Wayne says

      Agreed this isn’t even a review of the new Nexus 7, it’s a comment on the difference between iOS tablet Apps vs. Android. If the superior performance, display and specs of the Nexus make it a “good low end tablet,” then we can all agree the current iPad mini is junk, especially for the price?

  8. Emilio says

    HBO GO finally worked on my NEXUS 7 2013, just checke this morning, it was there with no error at top, downloaded it, and it worked!!!!!!

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