On this edition of the Friday Debate, we discuss, of course, Android 4.3, the new Nexus 7, and Chromecast, the surprise that got everyone talking. Are they up to your expectations? What impressed you the most? What disappointed you?
Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!
I was really impressed with Android 4.3, knowing that it’d only be a minor, incremental upgrade. It goes without saying, we’re not going to see any major changes to Android until 5.0 hits. That aside, Android 4.3 is pretty exciting, especially with the App Permission Manager, “App Ops.”
As for the Nexus 7 (2013), I’m not sure if I’m excited or not, mainly because of a tweet from a WSJ reporter hinting that the Nexus 10 was coming very soon. I guess you could say I’m excited for the Nexus 7, but I also love me that screen real estate! On the other hand, I’m still holding out for a Chrome-based tablet. ;)
The Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 aside, I think the most important development was the Chromecast. You can only imagine the crazy things it’ll be able to do in the future. I may be biased, though. I’m a Chrome fanboy, and my dying windows machine is a testament to that (Plugins. Plugins EVERYWHERE). ;)
There really wasn’t anything at the breakfast that didn’t make me, to some degree, happy. New Android is always great, new devices are always great, and fun, random, out-of-nowhere gadgets are fun too. However, I’m the most excited about the new Nexus 7.
Last year’s Android tablets were a turning point. It was the first year where OEMs released a competent Android tablet that people actually wanted to buy. They were well spec’d and cheap. They sold millions of units and put a real dent in the iPad empire. So coming into this year I was excited about the tablet market. They could have regressed back into expensive, high spec tablets and ruined everything or kept the streak going with more great, cheap tablets.
They kept the streak going. The new Nexus 7 is literally better in every way over the prior Nexus 7. Updated specs, updated Android, at the same price. I literally cannot wait to get my hands on that thing.
Oh and that Chromecast thing. I hear that’s pretty cool too.
By now I think I’ve gotten used to the whole incremental upgrades thing that Google has been doing with its Nexus line of tablets. It’s a really good strategy. If something works, why fix it? I think it’s a great way of showing consumers that no matter how fantastic any one device might seem to be at launch, there’s always something ready to bump it right into obso-limbo by the time of the next product release.
And I agree with +Brad Ward in that the most interesting thing we got from Google’s most recent product launch event was the Chromecast. I’m going to keep an eye on what people make of it and what direction Google plans to take it in the future. Will it be a part of the new TV revolution? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
A lot of my friends called Android 4.3 Jelly Bean the “Meh” update, I beg to differ. I think that the correct term to describe Android 4.3 is the “wearables update”. A lot of the features that were added were necessary to stimulate the wearable technology revolution we will witness in the next year or so.
Bluetooth LE and AVRCP 1.3 are two crucial updates I’ve been waiting for, and the little tweaks like the added auto-complete dialer (which should’ve been there a long time ago) and more butter are all welcome. People seem to forget that Android is no longer in need of the wide-sweeping changes that were necessary in older updates like Gingerbread and Froyo. Android has matured into a very capable mobile OS and we should get used to updates that aren’t as large as older ones.
The new Nexus 7 on the other hand, is amazing. It’s definitely the best 7-inch tablet available on the market and the fact that Asus and Google could improve almost every aspect of the already solid original Nexus 7 and keep the new one at a similar price is incredible.
I’m not exactly “fanboying” over the Chromecast yet. Maybe it’s because it’s not available in my country yet (otherwise I probably would’ve ordered one already and joined in on the fanboying), but it definitely has potential. For $35 it’s a bargain and with the potential for the Chromecast to prosper into an incredible platform it could turn into a real game changer. For now it’s a matter of waiting to see how the platform develops, but for now I’m definitely excited and eager to see what happens next.
The only thing that I was disappointed in was the lack of Chrome news. I would’ve loved to have seen a few new Chromebooks announced (maybe even a Chrome tablet), but other than that it was a solid event, a solid update to Android, an incredible Android tablet, and a device with lots of potential. The future looks bright my Android friends.
I was thoroughly impressed with the entire presentation, except for one thing – it was like the deleted scenes from Google I/O. I couldn’t help but think about how many cheers and how much the audience would have blown up when they saw the three big announcements. Bit of a bummer.
Android 4.3 likely brings some optimization that we’ll all recognize and appreciate. Restricted profiles, which are basically parental controls, will probably be the most easily noticed feature for parents and workplace supervisors.
I’m thoroughly excited about the Nexus 7 (2013). Some people might argue that it’s only an update and nothing really all that revolutionary, but I think that this is what the Nexus 7 should have been in the first place. Plenty of people are saying that they’re getting lag on their beloved tablets now (which I still don’t understand because mine works really well still) so throwing down on a still decent price point should bring you a better, hopefully longer lasting product. Some are calling the slightly asymmetrical design (thin bezels on the sides, fat ones top and bottom) weird but I think it’s better as the tablet is now, more than ever, that black slate you’ve always wanted to go nuts on. Even Google and ASUS know it, as the Nexus logo is now sideways on the back.
By far the product with the most exciting potential is the Chromecast. I’ve never owned a Smart TV or a Google TV but I’ve always been envious of those who do. Being able to watch online content easily on your television shouldn’t be taken lightly – it’s awesome. The Chromecast allows for anyone to get into that stage of pure viewing fun for an affordable price. Once the full SDK is released, imagine what talented developers will be able to do with it. Yes, there are pitfalls that effect mostly the less-than-savvy techie – mainly, having to switch sources to use the Chromecast can be a turn off for people who want a more seamless experience. And if you watched my review, I mentioned the Chromecast might not benefit older televisions and stereo systems because it’s only one HDMI input – splitting that connection will likely cost you extra money. If those quirks bother you, you may need to exercise some tolerance. But get past them and you’ll have a very enjoyable time.
(And honestly – what’s one or two extra remote control presses to get to your Chromecast? Seriously… first world problems…)
Are Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7 up to your expectations?
Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.