Nexus 7: Thoughts from an iOS User

Approximately 2 years ago, I became an Apple devotee. I got into the Apple ecosystem with a 13 inch Macbook Pro, which I still own. Since then, I have been an avid Apple fanboy. That same year I bough my MBP, I also bought a 4th generation iPod Touch.

For a long time I thought Android was just bad. Laggy, buggy, and had bad apps. Back then, I was right. Android was on 2.3, if I remember correctly, which just seemed like an OS in beta form.

Then, a few months ago, Android 4.1 came out. In my opinion, it took Android out of beta. It resolved nearly all my complaints about the software. So what did I do? I promptly sold my iPad and bought a Nexus 7. These are my thoughts on it after years of using iOS:



There really isn't much to debate in this category. The iPad has better hardware, hands-down. Is the hardware $300 better? Probably not, but the quality of the hardware something that really stands out against my Nexus 7. Oddly enough, when I press down on the left side of my Nexus, it creaks. That doesn't exactly make me feel confident in the quality of the hardware. On the other hand, due to the lighter body and great feeling back, the Nexus 7 definitely feels less fragile. I feel I can actually pick it up and move it around freely with one hand without fear of dropping it and breaking it.

The difference in speed is negligible between both products. Both are fast, responsive, and able. There is some occasional lag on the Nexus, but nothing that can't be resolved by clearing the running apps.

One thing I did notice is that Chrome on Android can be very laggy. This was clearly an issue with the software and not the speedy Tegra 3. I solved this by simply rooting my Nexus and installing the old AOSP browser, which runs great.

Note: I'm a game fanatic. I played a lot of games on my iPad. That said, the size and weight of the Nexus 7 certainly makes for a comfortable gaming experience.

As for graphics, It's really hard to beat the sharp retina display on the iPad. However, the Tegra 3 chip in the Nexus 7 certainly does well. I downloaded some games with "THD" in the name, to signify that they were Tegra optimized. Those games tended to look the best. Still, the iPad beats it in terms of graphics.

In terms of game selection, they're both about on par. While iOS has more exclusive games, Android has emulators. Now I don't care how many exclusive new titles you have on your OS. A nice game like Super Mario 64 will beat out any of those games. I also like that Android lets you use controllers. I was kinda getting tired of using the touch screen for all my games.

Battery life
Not much to say here other than that the iPad and Nexus 7 get about the same amount of battery life.

This was the biggest factor that made me switch. iOS hasn't changed much since 2007. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; I like the design. The problem was a lack of innovation in the software. It even took until iOS 6 to allow you to upload files to websites in Safari. It just seems like iOS is playing catch-up. Don't get me wrong, Android is still missing features that iOS has, but Android just feels light years ahead of iOS.

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From widgets to side-loading apps, Android is the perfect OS for power users. I love how I can go to the XDA forums and download whatever beta someone's developing right now. No need for a $99 dev account and no need for a jailbreak. I can pick default apps, get me email right on my homescreen, and even overclock my device for faster performance.

TL;DR, Android > iOS


Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. I feel like the Nexus 7 was a good way to jump into the Android ecosystem, and I'm really enjoying it. While it might not be the perfect tablet, I don't care. I'll just end up buying the next Nexus 7 in June anyways.

I'd like to thank the Android Army forum for helping me with my Android questions.