Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: Nexus tablet showcases Google media play

ANICK JESDANUN,AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — When I first turned on Google’s new tablet computer, I immediately thought of it as a mere conduit to Google services.

Besides giving you quick access to Gmail and YouTube, the Nexus 10 steers you to digital movies, books and other content available for sale through Google’s online Play store.

Because of that, I wasn’t thinking of the Nexus 10 as an alternative to Apple’s general-purpose iPad — even with a price tag that’s $100 cheaper, starting at $399. It took more thought and time with the Nexus to change that perception. After all, apps available for Android smartphones work on the tablet as well.

Still, the Nexus really shines when it comes to media — especially content bought through Google.

For the past year, Google has been trying to challenge Apple and Amazon by selling digital content.

The Play store is Google’s version of iTunes for Apple devices. There, you can get a variety of apps, some free and some for a small fee. You can buy or rent movies and obtain books, magazines and music. Google isn’t satisfied with building search engines and selling ads. It wants a bigger role in the digital economy.

Over the summer, Google came out with a 7-inch tablet called the Nexus 7. Just as Apple is making an iPad Mini that’s about the size of the Nexus 7, Google is now selling a larger version of the Nexus, about the size of Apple’s regular iPad. It starts shipping this week.

On the Nexus 10, icons at the bottom of the screen emphasize Google’s media products available through Play. Click on a picture of film to watch movies, headphones to listen to music and a book to, well, read books. Another icon gets you to the Play store to obtain more content and apps.

The Nexus has a rubberized back and fits more snuggly on my lap than the metal-backed iPad. In my hands, I don’t feel as if the Nexus would slip out and crash on to the hard floor, as I continually do with the iPad.

There are front-facing speakers going up and down both sides of the Nexus, compared with just one tucked in a corner on the back of an iPad. You feel more immersed watching video with sound coming right at you from the entire device. I hadn’t considered that a problem on the iPad, but I began to notice it once I played video on the tablets side by side.

The screen measures 10.1 inches diagonally, which is more than the iPad’s 9.7 inches. But the screen isn’t any larger because while it’s about an inch wider in horizontal mode, it’s also about a half-inch less in height. This works well for widescreen content, which completely fills the screen. On the iPad, the latest movies and TV shows often have black bars, no matter how you hold the tablet. In some cases, you might see the sides of video cut off to fit the space, as I did watching this week’s episode of “Revenge” on Hulu. Again, I hadn’t considered that a problem on the iPad, until I began to notice it.

What makes the tablet’s shape good for movies makes it less-than-ideal for magazines, though. There’s wasted space on the top and the bottom for magazines on the Nexus. But I watch TV shows and movies online more often than I read magazines digitally, so I’ll let it slide.

As for books, text on the Nexus’ screen comes out sharp. News sites and apps also look nice. The Nexus has a screen resolution of 300 pixels per inches, slightly better than the 264 ppi for the latest full-size iPad (which itself is far better than the 132 ppi on the older iPad 2 model still available).

True, there are other tablets designed as media players, too. Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Inc.’s Nook HD come to mind, and both have larger versions out this month. But neither has the diversity of apps available for the Nexus and other full-fledge Android devices (The Kindle and the Nook run on modified versions of Android and restrict apps to what’s available through their own online stores).

So what does that mean?

Apps on my Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone automatically appear on the Nexus 10 after signing in with the same Google account. I’ll note that the Nexus 10 is also made by Samsung Electronics Co., even though it’s branded Google.

Three of my apps, for AccuWeather, Citibank and Dunkin’ Donuts, aren’t compatible for unknown reasons. But those I use most often — Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and a slew of other weather apps — all work on the Nexus. The companion app for the TV show “Dexter” also works, allowing me to play trivia games and watch video clips.

Not all apps have been specifically adapted for the tablet’s larger screen, but they take advantage of the entire screen, nonetheless, thanks to the way Android lets software programmers build their apps in modules. All the content gets blown up and still looks decent.

Apple’s store has a far wider selection of apps, though, including a half-dozen apps for exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A search on Play comes up with only one.

The Nexus comes with the latest version of the Android operating system, version 4.2. It introduces a new feature for sharing tablets, the way family members can share Windows and Mac computers while keeping personalized settings. You no longer have to fight with a kid who constantly changes the volume or moves apps around. Now, just sign in as separate users.

The Nexus is a tad lighter, while the iPad promises longer battery life and has an option for cellular broadband for $130 more, plus the cost of data plans. Neither has a slot to expand memory with SD cards. Both have two cameras — 5 megapixels on the back for taking photos and video, and a lower-resolution one on the front for videoconferencing.

The iPad remains king among tablets, with its ease of use, variety of apps and dominance in the market. But challengers such as Google offer choice. The Nexus 10 is a good choice if you already have an Android phone and use a lot of Google services. That’s especially true if you also watch a lot of movies and TV shows, but don’t want to be limited to that.

___

Anick Jesdanun, deputy technology editor for The Associated Press, can be reached at njesdanun(at)ap.org.

___

About the Nexus 10:

The base model with 16 gigabytes of storage costs $399. A 32 GB version goes for $499. Unlike the iPad, there is no 64 GB version, nor are there ones with cellular connectivity.

The Nexus 10 is sold at Google’s online Play store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The 32 GB version also is sold at some Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Carli takes oath, now Vacaville’s 14th police chief

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Huge jump in Solano median home price

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

Supervisor candidates square off at forum

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano DA hosts workshop to fight human trafficking

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Donate a car, help build a house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield town hall on crime delayed

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 11 Comments

Railway museum offers wine-tasting rides

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
 
Drugs topic of cardiac class

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Weather for April 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun Police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Armed robber was never told to report to prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Body of California man who jumped into river found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Seabird from Atlantic spotted on Alcatraz

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-Bell city leader gets 12 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Court rules for environmentalists in water fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Denver police eye 911 response time after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Parenting demands responsibility

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Obamacare news you probably missed

By Martin Schram | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

Editorial Cartoons for April 17, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

 
In support of Pam Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for April 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

A lesson in household budgeting

By Chris Erskine | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for April 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Alicia Silverstone out with book ‘Kind Mama’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ailing Malcolm Young taking break from AC/DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Disney Channel’s ‘Jessie’ breaks romantic ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

MEL, SCAC tangle in hoops all-star games

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Sharks take goalie questions into rematch vs Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Crawford’s 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Vacaville’s Peralta to wrestle at San Francisco State

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Angels beat A’s 5-4 on Iannetta’s HR in 12th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Backup QB Matt Flynn returns to Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sidney Rice agrees to terms with Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodwin helps Suns to 104-99 win over Kings in finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

IndyCar driver Saavedra fined $10K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandoval’s single lifts Giants past Dodgers, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Officer: Sharper’s DNA found on 1 Arizona victim

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Google’s 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9