You would think that after all of the frustration and hair pulling that came along with getting the Google (Asus) Nexus 7, I would in tablet utopia. Well…not so much. Three full weeks have passed since I first unboxed the the Nexus 7, and it has become abundantly clear that it is just not for me. What’s that old line when you’re breaking up? — “It’s not you, it’s me.” That sentiment couldn’t be more appropriate. The Nexus 7 is an incredibly competent tablet. The screen is great. The hardware is solid. The updated Android operating system works really well. Apps, for the most part, performed the way they should. So what’s the problem?
It’s just too small.
I don’t know. Maybe my eyes are just going bad, and I need a tablet like the JitterBug phone.
So, there it is. I gave the Nexus 7 a try, but it just didn’t work out. Forunately, I have already found it a loving home.
So…I woke up this morning, and took something out to the car. On a whim, I circled the car one more time…you know, since it was daylight and all…and what do you know. There was a Nexus 7 tablet.
I’d like to think that the would-be thief suffered a round of guilt and brought the Nexus 7 back to its rightful owner (oddly leaving it face down on in some leaves on the sidewalk next to my car); but something tells me that’s not what happened. Now, my feelings move from victimization to embarrassment. I appreciate those who expressed concern last night, especially my son who searched the car for me and gave me a couple of hugs. Thanks, in advance, to all of you for not riding me too hard about this [honest] mistake. At least I have the Nexus 7 in hand. If nothing else, I went through a little fire drill changing all of my passwords and updating my online security settings.
Please excuse me while I go make some toast to go with that egg.
At some point this evening, between the Verizon Wireless store and Qdoba, both in Rockville, MD, someone stole my brand new Nexus 7. If you’ve been reading my blog in the last week or so, you know how much I went through just to get the damned thing. Now it’s gone. I didn’t even realize that the Nexus 7 was gone until I got home. I hold myself accountable because I left the tablet out of my backpack on the back seat. (I am also kicking myself for not enabling the lock screen on the Nexus 7.) Clearly, I must have left the doors to the car unlocked, because the windows are in tact and there was no forceable entry.
Of course, once I discovered that I had been jacked, I scrambled to change every conceivable password, disable Google Wallet, and offered up a generous heaping of curse words for the new owner of my Nexus 7. I also pushed the Plan B app to the Nexus 7 in the hopes that if someone connects the device to a WiFi network, I will be able to see its whereabouts. If it’s on a wireless network long enough, I can let the police know.
I am really bummed about this; but I admit that part of me wonders if it just wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps all the hassles with shipping were an omen that I should have heeded.
In life, it is important to give credit where credit is due — particularly when someone makes good on correcting a mistake.
Responsiveness and thoughtful actions are how companies build loyal customers. Good on Google for refunding my shipping fees. Now let’s see if UPS follows Google’s lead, and refunds my $40 for the less-than-effective MyChoice service.
In my Nexus 7 initial impressions piece, posted over the weekend, I was a bit critical of Google Now. I made a point of carrying the Nexus 7 with me every day to see if Google Now would “learn” from my movements. I did not have an active WiFi signal during the day at work, but the Nexus 7 does have GPS built in, so I assumed that it would keep track of my movements. Sadly, it didn’t do that. I made a point of connecting the Nexus 7 to my phone, via a 3G WiFi hotspot, when I traveled to Atlanta last Friday. While Google Now did recognize where I was, and offered a travel time map — that map was not connected with my destination within Atlanta. It merely provided the driving time from Hartsfield/Jackson to downtown Atlanta.
Today, I made a point of keeping the 3G WiFi hotspot active throughout the day. I unlocked the Nexus 7 this afternoon and Google Now displayed some cards that I hadn’t seen before.
As you can see, at the top of the Google Now screen is a card with an estimate of my commute time to home. What’s interesting about the traffic card is that it appears to know that I don’t take the Washington Beltway home in the evenings because of traffic. I do travel the Beltway in the mornings, so I will keep an eye on what the card displays tomorrow morning.
Next up is the weather card. This cards is normally at the first card in the stack.
Below the weather is where things got interesting. There is a card displaying transportation (bus) schedules for the bus stop near my office. Below the transportation card were several cards for businesses near my office, including Whole Foods, LA Fitness, and a couple of restaurants. The cards displayed operating hours, and gave me the option to get more information or check in.
One card that I swiped away before taking the screen captures was a place card for the movie theater I went to on Saturday. Interestingly, I searched for movie times with the Nexus 7, but did not take the tablet with me. While I am a little puzzled about why my flight searches didn’t produce a card, it’s pretty cool to see that Google Now is trying to interpret my searches and create, potentially, relevant cards.
I don’t know if keeping the WiFi connection open was the key for the addition of these new cards, but the appearance of these new cards is very encouraging. If improvement of cards displayed on Google Now is contingent on having an Internet connection, than I now more fully understand why Josh Topolsky on The Verge stated that he felt that Google Now was much more useful on the Galaxy Nexus than on the Nexus 7. The Galaxy Nexus has a constant connection, where as the Nexus 7 needs access to WiFi to update data on many, if not all, of the cards.) I plan to take the Metro (subway) and/or the bus to work a few days this week. I’d like to see if the transportation card starts to add departure times for the Metro station closest to my office.