Handing in my Google fanboy membership card
It pains me to say it but I think my days of being such a strong advocate for the big G has come to an end. I love their software, their design is a constant inspiration for the software I develop myself. Their strong push towards web apps and the cloud aligns 100% with my own beliefs for our tech not-so-distant future. I've bought Nexus devices as soon as I can get my grubby little mitts on them, I use pretty much *all* their services, will promote their products to friends and family almost to point of being annoying. So why has this come to an end?
Here's my new Nexus 7 2013, ordered as soon as it was available, replaced a Nexus 7 2012 which I adored. isn't she beautiful?
My Nexus 7 is a complete LEMON. Up until the most recent update it would reboot when left idle probably 2-3 times a day (as would my Nexus 4) This has since been fixed. So to summarise, Android 4.3 removed the odd stutter when swiping through the widget selection screen but introduced major system instability and a bug with the headphone volume limiter that wasn't present in 4.2.2. A complete step backwards.
I am also hit by both of these issues on the tablet;
It seems due to the bluetooth and wifi being integrated into the same Snapdragon chip, non BT3.0 (the majority) devices and regular 2.4Ghz wifi interfere with each other. As soon as I begin typing, input is laggy and keys will eventually repeat like thisssssssssssssssssssss and the keyboard will disconnect. The same keyboard works fine on my Nexus 4.
So just to recap, when my N7 is placed on it's stand as per the photo above, I cannot type on the keyboard because of the keyboard bug and I cannot type on the screen because of the touchscreen issues!!! It is literally a very pretty paperweight. I actually think I have one of the better screens. A lot of people can't even use their tablet when it's not fully grounded in their hands, like on a table. Mine is only problematic when on a plastic stand.
Support from Google is non-existent. They don't reply to threads on their boards (a moderator asked for details of problematic keyboards a LONG time ago, but that's all I've ever seen). If you ring their support line, you'll get a scripted response which amounts to 1. Turn it off and on again 2. Do a factory reset 3. Send it back. There are people on the XDA thread who have returned 4-5 devices and all have had the same touchscreen issues, I'm really not keen on playing that game. There are clearly unresolved hardware issues here and I don't want to do that dance of endless returns (I don't think the BT issue will ever be fixed, the only option is to find a BT3.0 keyboard or get a 5.0Ghz router)
Google won't acknowledge the touchscreen issue at all, at least Play support won't. They actually told me the Bluetooth issue was considered resolved even though everyone in the thread on their own support board said the update did nothing. My options now? Keep returning it until Asus sort their quality control out, hope a Google OTA update arrives to fix all the problems, root my device and try some of the community developed fixes (there are separate fixes to account for the variances in touchscreen hardware on the N7 which makes me think Google aren't going to be able to fix this with a one-size-fits-all software update alone). Or just get a different tablet.
Terrible, terrible experience.