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June 28, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

The Google I/O Conference, currently streaming live, has highlighted a diverse series of technological achievements: the full launch of Google Music (currently limited to US residents) Yeoman, a client-side web development stack, Chrome (profiled in a charming video) now running on iPhone and iPad, and a demo of Google Glass while skydiving. The conference has also updated this excellent interactive visual deep dive of the history of the web and browser technologies.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (148 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh. It's a better tablet than the Kindle Fire, but that's not saying much.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2012


Anyone know if the iOS Chrome uses its own engine, or if it is a UIWebView with a Chrome-like interface?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:34 PM on June 28, 2012


I don't understand why people would pay go to a Google conference for Android developers, get free hardware, than flog it immediately. Probably people whose work paid for them to go and just want cash, I guess.
posted by smackfu at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2012


Anyone know if the iOS Chrome uses its own engine, or if it is a UIWebView with a Chrome-like interface?

It's a web view, Apple won't let anything else in the store.
posted by smackfu at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and another odd thing is that the Chrome browser isn't supported yet on versions of Anrdoid earlier than 4.0 (which is currently a very small percentage of overall Android users), but it will be available for iOS shortly.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on June 28, 2012


Honestly I just figured that the default browser on Android was mobile Chrome. Weird.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:37 PM on June 28, 2012


> Honestly I just figured that the default browser on Android was mobile Chrome.

Well, the default browser on Android is a Webkit based "Browser". Chrome is only working on ICS devices so far.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on June 28, 2012


Not that odd, they want to preserve mobile ad revenue, most of which comes from the iOS audience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on June 28, 2012


> Anyone know if the iOS Chrome uses its own engine, or if it is a UIWebView with a Chrome-like interface?

I'm assuming its going to be using the WebKit engine as part of iOS already. Chrome is really being built to supply all the other Chrome features google has (sync, all your page views follow you around, probably defaults to allow 3rd party cookies, etc).

The interesting thing about the 7" tablet is apparently Asus is making it on almost no margin, and Google is going to be paying for all the marketing around it. Not going to make all the other tablet vendors happy.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:39 PM on June 28, 2012


Compare this outpouring of goodies to whatever it was MS promoted a couple of weeks ago.

Google's been busy.
posted by notyou at 12:39 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


If anyone wants my Kindle Fire, seriously, message me, because I cannot get rid of it fast enough. HOORAY NEXUS 7.
posted by kbanas at 12:41 PM on June 28, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: "Not that odd, they want to preserve mobile ad revenue, most of which comes from the iOS audience."

If Apple really wanted to give Google the shiv (and delight iOS users) they'd build adblock into mobile Safari.
posted by mullingitover at 12:41 PM on June 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm assuming its going to be using the WebKit engine as part of iOS already

That's my assumption, too. I'm just wondering if anyone knows for sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:41 PM on June 28, 2012


I hope this also bodes well for Google releasing their own Maps app for iOS as well.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:42 PM on June 28, 2012


I hope this also bodes well for Google releasing their own Maps app for iOS as well.

I believe they've indicated that they will, which is good, because the new iOS maps application looks pretty shoddy.
posted by kbanas at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2012


Someone from the Chrome team confirms "Rendering/JS engine are provided by iOS so it doesn't use V8."
posted by mph at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


mrzarquon: "The interesting thing about the 7" tablet is apparently Asus is making it on almost no margin, and Google is going to be paying for all the marketing around it. Not going to make all the other tablet vendors happy."

Somebody's got to bite the bullet and burn some cash if they actually want to make a land grab in tablet market share. So far none of the OEMs have been willing to do it, which I think is why Google and Microsoft are making the moves they're making. The OEMs need to take some action or be cut out of the picture entirely.
posted by mullingitover at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and another odd thing is that the Chrome browser isn't supported yet on versions of Anrdoid earlier than 4.0 (which is currently a very small percentage of overall Android users), but it will be available for iOS shortly.

It never will be. The hardware accelerated canvas (which is the backbone of Chrome's performance) requires hardware 2D graphics acceleration which was only introduced in ICS. Back porting this to 2.x is non-trivial.
posted by Talez at 12:46 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Rendering/JS engine are provided by iOS so it doesn't use V8."

Which means it will suck on Javascript heavy stuff. And of course, there is no way to change the default browser on iOS so you'd constantly be ending up in Safari accidentally.
posted by smackfu at 12:46 PM on June 28, 2012


Thanks, mph.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:47 PM on June 28, 2012


The interesting thing about the 7" tablet is apparently Asus is making it on almost no margin,

The odd thing is that I thought that was what Amazon was already doing with the Fire (and then making money on digital downloads), but this is much better hardware wise.
posted by smackfu at 12:47 PM on June 28, 2012


Which means it will suck on Javascript heavy stuff. And of course, there is no way to change the default browser on iOS so you'd constantly be ending up in Safari accidentally.

Yeah, I've never seen the allure of 3rd party browsers in iOS. If you can't change the default browser so every link you click on and every interaction gets piped through Safari... well, fuck it, I guess. Is kind of my take.
posted by kbanas at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, can we all agree that that was the coolest demo ever? Just live-streaming my sky diving. That's all.
posted by kbanas at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Yeah, I've never seen the allure of 3rd party browsers in iOS.

Mainly, more flexible downloads (Dolphin lets you download and manage all kinds of files) and viewing Flash content via third party servers. Otherwise, yeah, not being able to make it default keeps me using Safari usually.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:51 PM on June 28, 2012


kbanas: “Yeah, I've never seen the allure of 3rd party browsers in iOS. If you can't change the default browser so every link you click on and every interaction gets piped through Safari... well, fuck it, I guess. Is kind of my take.”

I guess I'm weird, in that I don't move from apps to the browser very often, but I haven't used Safari in weeks, on either my iPad or iPhone. Dolphin is just so much better at almost everything: better placement of controls and bookmarks, full-screen support, and most of all gestures. But I think at least part of that is the same "why you try to force me to do stuff?" annoyance that caused me to avoid Internet Explorer for so many years even though that was often difficult, too.
posted by koeselitz at 12:55 PM on June 28, 2012


But I think at least part of that is the same "why you try to force me to do stuff?" annoyance that caused me to avoid Internet Explorer for so many years even though that was often difficult, too.

Well, I'm an Android guy, so I share your annoyance - I think I just took it to the next level by finally making that transition. Being able to swap out the default browser and default launcher and default input mechanism is just kind of... awesome? Awesome.
posted by kbanas at 12:57 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Compare this outpouring of goodies to whatever it was MS promoted a couple of weeks ago.

hahah nice one!

In all honesty, this was Google's big even for the year. Microsoft introduced a tablet on a random tuesday.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:58 PM on June 28, 2012


I'm in Canada, so I don't get Google Music. My phone is Android 2.2, so no Chrome. And for some reason the flashy new 3D models for Google Earth are on the mobile app only with no timetable for roll-out in the desktop version. Grumble grumble grumble.
posted by thecjm at 1:02 PM on June 28, 2012


I'm actually a bit surprised Google gave away so much swag, AGAIN. The conference is only $900, and attendees got a $200 tablet, a $500 or so phone, and a $300 media center.
posted by smackfu at 1:02 PM on June 28, 2012


The proto Arduino Due-based ADK2012 looks quite sweet.
posted by scruss at 1:05 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


and a $300 media center

Probably better than sending them all to the landfill.
posted by azarbayejani at 1:06 PM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Compare this outpouring of goodies to whatever it was MS promoted a couple of weeks ago.

I dunno, there's a very good chance that Surface Windows 8 will be my next laptop and I'm typing this on a MBP now. I didn't hear about anything I needed today.
posted by Blue Meanie at 1:06 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's almost like they are desperate or something.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:07 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


When are we going to get more love for Golang. They need better tooling support.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:07 PM on June 28, 2012


The Nexus Q streamer is an interesting idea, as well a being a pretty bit of kit.

Aside from all the foofarah about where it's made and price, the idea that a phone is your remote is a great one. I'm hoping they put the effort into making this a real product, instead of a an engineering demo.
posted by bonehead at 1:07 PM on June 28, 2012


> a $500 or so phone

Actually, the Galaxy Nexus was recently reduced to $349 retail (carrier unlocked).
posted by Burhanistan at 1:08 PM on June 28, 2012


I mean yeah the thing is all you have to do when being chased by a bear is run faster than the next guy but seriously NOKIA has been eaten by the bear already and now the bear is munching down on RIM and Microsoft is starting to derp so while I'm like YAY GOOGLE IS RUNNING FASTER it's still not really that fast soooo the race for second place is really where we're at.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:09 PM on June 28, 2012


the idea that a phone is your remote is a great one.

I know, I've been doing this with my Apple gear for years now!
posted by entropicamericana at 1:17 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can anyone tell if the Nexus 7 has an SD card slot or are you locked into 8/16GB of storage?
posted by that's candlepin at 1:18 PM on June 28, 2012


the idea that a phone is your remote is a great one. I'm hoping they put the effort into making this a real product, instead of a an engineering demo.

The problem is that your phone/tablet/Chromebook isn't the remote. It's the gatekeeper to sending content to the device. So not only do you need the content to be already on your device (with its associated limited 8/16/32/64GB of storage) but you also need to load the content onto your device as an intermediate step before being able to send it to the streamer.

Compare and contrast to "add your iTunes account" or "add your Netflix account" or "add your whatever account" for anywhere between one third and three fifths of the price you end up with a case of "why the hell did they bother?".
posted by Talez at 1:18 PM on June 28, 2012


The Nexus Q streamer is an interesting idea, as well a being a pretty bit of kit.

Aside from all the foofarah about where it's made and price, the idea that a phone is your remote is a great one. I'm hoping they put the effort into making this a real product, instead of a an engineering demo.


This is an email I wrote earlier today on the Nexus Q. It's pretty obvious in the text below, but I was on the development team for a number of years for the Logitech Squeezebox, a network music player similar but very different to the Q.:

As is typical with me and home audio equipment (and hell, everything else I suppose), I have strong opinions. I think it's likely the Nexus Q is going to be something talked about 10 years down the line as a bizarre curiosity that was engineered really well but never went anywhere (think Apple Newton) rather than a paradigm-shifting device that changed the way we think about music delivery (I'm not going to compare this to iPod...Cassette Mix Tapes might be a more appropriate comparison). We'll see how it plays out, but that's my prediction.

I really do hope we have something that shifts our paradigm on home audio, because I kind of feel like it's a mess right now. Squeezebox had such promise, but it's basically a dead product at this point (don't get me started). Sonos is probably the shining star in this space now, and I'm actually okay with that. While Sonos has a closed-source model I wish they didn't have, they have a fantastic UI (because they invested largely and correctly in it), and it's resulted in a user experience that's wonderful and a product that is outselling everything else in that space. They've sold well over 1 million units now, and even more telling: you can buy a Sonos system in the aisles at Target. For something Logitech once dismissed as a high-end product that we'd stomp because they wouldn't be able to compete on price, Sonos has really done quite well for themselves.

What Sonos has that Logitech and Google do not is size, and by this I mean lack of it. My experience working with Logitech is that large corporations are that they are inherently stifling to innovation. Without invoking the "what about Apple" counter, I would argue that a small company laser focused on a particular product space is going to out-innovate a large player 99 times out of 100.

So...what about the Nexus Q? It does seem like tremendously well-engineered product actually. However, I also wonder if it delivers anything I'd actually want. That is, a display-less network-connected amplifier that requires a) me to either have or purchase additional equipment to make it make sound, and b) to be running an app from a smartphone/tablet/computer to operate. Squeezebox and Sonos have both been around 10+ years, both support network music services like Rhapsody/Spotify/Pandora, as well as operate quite easily thankyouverymuch when your broadband is down. AND both support multi-room synchronization, which neither AirPlay nor Nexus Q support, at least properly. So what is it that is actually better about the Nexus Q than what's been on the market for years and years? The social aspect of the device...sorry, I'm not buying that. Other than that, I'm just not sure.

I do truly applaud them for the "made in the USA" flier they took, because it was an ethical one and a really risky decision business-wise. The price point is pretty darn high for what the thing delivers, even more so for the accessories ($50 for a speaker cable? Have they been talking to Monster Cable on their business model?).

It's also an oddball shaped device, one that isn't a clear fit in all rooms of the house, unless your last name is Jetson. I see orb-like things coming out of other companies (e.g., JBL's Zepplin, the Chumby, etc.), and they are often the source of not-too-kind aesthetic criticism. I like it that they took a risk, but not so sure it was the right one.

I am carrying around an ICS Android phone these days, which I generally think is quite wonderful, but the google apps for audio stuff (I use two, Google Play for streaming music, and Google Listen for podcasts) are woefully under-thought-out UIs for what they should do. Neither one approach playlist management correctly, and I get every impression that Google Listen is an app that may never get an update, because as always with mega-corps (yes, even Google), product managers are judged by the short-term buzz they create, so they give the 80/20 rule a great big hug and push out whatever covers 80% of what the population wants. Which means that users who want a little bit extra from their software, well they are left out in the cold. Case in point: in a music collection, where would you put "The Beatles"? Under T or B? Obviously the answer is the latter, but Google's apps put it under T. It's not like that's a hard fix to deal with (Squeezebox has been doing it correctly for a decade), but don't hold your breath because Google does not care about you. If 80% of the population mostly just listens to tracks and not albums, there's nothing worth fixing to them. Same for playlist management. Same for enhanced Podcast support. The list goes on.

Why I bring this up is that the Nexus Q is very much planned as a "Google Ecosystem" device, i.e. something to allow you to push your Google Music audio or your Google TV audio out your Google speakers. So, if they don't really make their apps shine with this device, the UX for the whole thing suffers.

All the armchair criticism aside, I'd love to try one out sometime and see if my thoughts on it would change. I'm man enough (and now old enough) to admit I'm often wrong. :)

(from a response)
"And yes, it's a headless system that requires you to buy other components to function. So is my Sonos. But that's looking at it backwards. It's an accessory for a phone and music collection I already have."

A very valid point, but I wouldn't say I agree. This was a source of friction I had a lot with Logitech management. There were those who wanted a world with stand-alone audio equipment that could optionally be controlled by a smart device, and then there was the iPod dock/bluetooth speaker/whatever Google does folks, who thought of these products as accessories obligatorily tied to a smart device. It's very hard for both of these models to thrive within one company, let alone one business unit.

So, I'm not saying that the "phone accessory" model is a bad one, and it's probably the one that wins in the end, it's just not the model I'd prefer. Coming from a strong Linux/Open Source/I Am Not Your Revenue Stream perspective, I worry a lot when I feel like I'm being folded into an ecosystem that limits my choices down the line. Certainly Apple is the master of this, but Google is showing signs of leaning this direction as well. At least the Nexus Q doesn't have a proprietary 30-pin connector on it. :)
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:18 PM on June 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


Nexus 7 does not have an SD slot. It's pretty much the only knock on the hardware (unless you really want a 10-inch screen).

I can do the remote-control thing with my Android phone too, which again makes me wonder what the Nexus Q is supposed to be doing that's worth buying dedicated hardware for.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:19 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


One point of clarification: The Q can stream content from your phone but they're selling it as a device that streams from the cloud, specifically Google Music, Google Play and YouTube. You can cue up anything you own, whether or not it's currently downloaded.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:21 PM on June 28, 2012


I know, I've been doing this with my Apple gear for years now!

Talk about the stuff on its merits. If you want to turn this into a blanket Apple vs Google pissing contest please just leave.
posted by Talez at 1:22 PM on June 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Verge video shows a lot of things that are possible with the Q that I don't think can be done, or done easily with most existing set-top boxes or media players, not that I've seen everything on the market mind. Being able to reorganize playlists in real time, simultaneously from different accounts as they do in the video was a wow moment for me.
posted by bonehead at 1:25 PM on June 28, 2012


> I know, I've been doing this with my Apple gear for years now!

Both Android and iOS have had VNC based remote control apps available for some time now. Not sure why you feel the need to only inject biased hyperbole in these discussions rather than actually come down and be a person.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


One point of clarification: The Q can stream content from your phone but they're selling it as a device that streams from the cloud, specifically Google Music, Google Play and YouTube. You can cue up anything you own, whether or not it's currently downloaded.

Google's pretty late to the ecosystem party. Hell I didn't even realize Google Play had started selling moves and TV. Not supporting at least Amazon (the current anything-but-iTunes leader) and Netflix has got to be suicide from the start.

You know what would make the Q a billion seller using cloud based media? A hybrid of network TV and on-demand. Buy the Q. Stream whatever you want from Google Play's library. You get 8 minutes of ads (personalized using your Google's wealth of data on you) on a 22 minute episode just like network TV. Almost all of the TV content already has breaks in the drama for ads.

But instead we get an expensive device for the current also-ran of the movie/TV ecosystem.

Being able to reorganize playlists in real time, simultaneously from different accounts as they do in the video was a wow moment for me.

It's cool but the problem is that it's not "paying $299 for it" cool.
posted by Talez at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem: "When are we going to get more love for Golang. They need better tooling support."

GoClipse and GoSublime aren't doing it for you? Admittedly, with the new go tool I just use an editor and a terminal.
posted by mkb at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2012


Not a single mention of Jelly Bean so far? I installed a Jelly Bean ROM on my Galaxy Nexus and it's pretty great. Here's a pretty good rundown of the new features.
posted by jessssse at 1:35 PM on June 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The tablet, I think, is spot on - the Nook and the Fire established $200 as the impulse buy point for 7" tablets for media consumption and they are smart to match that with something similar but beefier to be a compelling purchase. Like the Surface People are going to try to compare it to the iPad but it isn't directly a competing product because it's aimed at a different set of needs, and I think the Fire has shown that's an approach that can work.

The Q is some weird thing and I suspect the X-Box is going to be doing better in that niche.

And glass is some awesome future tech and the thing that's really worth looking at - this could be the way out of fixed displays entirely and into some awesome new stuff. It'll get talked about the least because people don't know how to talk about it yet.
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2012


One point of clarification: The Q can stream content from your phone but they're selling it as a device that streams from the cloud, specifically Google Music, Google Play and YouTube. You can cue up anything you own, whether or not it's currently downloaded.

Whether your phone streams from the cloud or from downloaded content, this does not change the fact that you need the phone to use the Q. The Q itself doesn't particularly have a UI, at least not one that can be used to select music.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:42 PM on June 28, 2012


MS has a chance at killer product if they get rid of the xbox gold nonsense, but they seem to be doubling down on it instead. Why would I pay more a year than a roku for access to fewer services?

The Q not having access to non-Google sources shows that they're not really serious about this market yet. Even Apple allows Netflix.
posted by bonehead at 1:43 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really hoping Google Drive is nice, because Dropbox isn't cutting it anymore.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:43 PM on June 28, 2012


The Q really needs a dock. Android phones tend to be bad on battery life as-is. Constantly streaming data to another device from your pocket is going to eat that charge even more.
posted by thecjm at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2012


Glass is prettty cool. I Google ( or Microsoft if they want a display that would be really awesome with kinnect) should team up with John Camack on the wearable stuff he is working on.

GoClipse and GoSublime aren't doing it for you? Admittedly, with the new go tool I just use an editor and a terminal.


I'm thinking more along the lines of VS.net support and a GO#. But I am probably the only one that thinks that would be cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2012


Nice one Dublin
posted by Damienmce at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2012


MS has a chance at killer product if they get rid of the xbox gold nonsense, but they seem to be doubling down on it instead. Why would I pay more a year than a roku for access to fewer services?

Because of the economics of selling a console. Microsoft doesn't make anything on the box. They cream is the number of titles you buy on the system during its life. If you buy a hypothetical 360 that doesn't require gold to watch Netflix they're losing money. And they're the only person in this value chain that is losing money. Comcast makes their $100/mo, Netflix makes their $8/month. Microsoft just lost $20.

If you're into media exclusively they don't want you as a customer. Requiring gold is the "discouraging idiots" tax that businesses put on customers wanting pain in the ass services.

Sony allow people to use Netflix without an expensive subscription but Sony are also losing money hand over fist this generation. Nintendo on the other hand sell lesser specced hardware for a modest profit.
posted by Talez at 1:50 PM on June 28, 2012


Constantly streaming data to another device from your pocket is going to eat that charge even more.

That's not what's happening, at least not with the Q. Data streams from Google. All the phone does is set the playlist or choose the movie.

As it's running pretty much stock Android, it will be interesting to see if Google pushes this as a game device too.
posted by bonehead at 1:50 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


IMHO, at $300 the Q is dead meat. Nicely engineered, but dead meat. It's like the old Cube; nice, but overpriced and doomed. The streaming function is available elsewhere, the phone-control has been available elsewhere for years, and the additional functionality offered by the Q will be irrelevant to the majority of would-be purchasers.

Besides which, $50 for cables is Monster territory. Never thought I'd be putting "Google Product" and "Monster Cables" in the same slot.

The tablet was far more intriguing and it will be deeply interesting to see what Amazon comes up with when they announce their Fire successor. I still dislike the 7" form factor personally, but that's an individual thing and clearly lots of people like that size just fine.
posted by aramaic at 2:04 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's not what's happening, at least not with the Q. Data streams from Google. All the phone does is set the playlist or choose the movie.

Except when you don't have the time or inclination to upload your library. Then it's pushed out directly from the phone/tablet/Chromebook.

As it's running pretty much stock Android, it will be interesting to see if Google pushes this as a game device too.

Some people have already started to hack it to run regular Android apps. However since there's no provision for input devices they're kind of stuck for now.
posted by Talez at 2:08 PM on June 28, 2012


Except when you don't have the time or inclination to upload your library. Then it's pushed out directly from the phone/tablet/Chromebook.

The idea is that "your library" is stuff you bought from Google, which by definition is going to be available for direct streaming from Google.

This is one more reason I won't be buying one, but there it is. The Q playing nice with non-cloud stuff is like the Fire playing nice with iTunes or B&N libraries. Not a priority.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:11 PM on June 28, 2012


The thing is, the Q is what the AppleTV was when it originally shipped: $299, media component that kind of showed up in iTunes as a device you could sync media too, a load of options, and Apple pretty much going "we threw a bunch of ideas into a box and these kind of stuck."

Cut to a few years later, and Apple releases the $99 AppleTV, which is taking all of the ideas that actually really worked and refined them.

Why Google would go back to a $299 price point for a media streaming device is something I still haven't really grasped, especially considering the first generation adopter nerd types who would buy it are already ones with an amp and speakers, and probably aren't going to toss it all for the Q's system, and will just run optical out or hdmi to their receiver.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:12 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Nexus Q streamer is an interesting idea

While made in the US, and choice is nice, the Nexus Q is nearly four times the cost of an Airport Express, and it apparently only works with Android. A music listener could equip all the rooms in the average house with Airport Express devices for the price of one Nexus Q, and use an Airplay remote app on a platform of his or her choice (mobile or desktop). It'll be interesting to see if the Q can overcome its pricing and control limitations, to become a popular way to stream media.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:12 PM on June 28, 2012


This is such a bizarre product. $300 for something that is competing directly with the $99 Apple TV (which itself is sort of competing with the ~$50 Roku). There must be more going on here than is obvious.

My experience with the Apple TV and Airport Express is that the most interesting aspect of these devices, Airplay, is almost unusable because of the poor state of most wifi networks. I'd love to see something like that communicates directly with your phone/tablet/computer, rather than relying on wifi.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:14 PM on June 28, 2012


The Lamplighter: "My experience with the Apple TV and Airport Express is that the most interesting aspect of these devices, Airplay, is almost unusable because of the poor state of most wifi networks. I'd love to see something like that communicates directly with your phone/tablet/computer, rather than relying on wifi."

It's always worked fine for me, and anybody who's ever used A2DP to stream audio over bluetooth knows that the device-to-device model is a huge pain in the butt to work with.
posted by schmod at 2:16 PM on June 28, 2012


Because of the economics of selling a console. Microsoft doesn't make anything on the box.

Because of the economics of Microsoft's pricing you mean. Nintendo has famously never sold hardware at a loss and that seems to be working out quite well for them. Microsoft, OTOH is the only console maker out of the three that requires a monthly charge for Netflix. Which is why I don't use my Xbox for Netflix. I don't play online games on Xbox Live since I really have no interest in hearing how many thousands of Live enthusiasts have had carnal relations with my mother, so why would I be interested in kicking in $60 a year just to have access to something that's free on my Wii?
posted by barc0001 at 2:16 PM on June 28, 2012


> Nintendo has famously never sold hardware at a loss and that seems to be working out quite well for them.

Until recently.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:18 PM on June 28, 2012


Not that odd, they want to preserve mobile ad revenue, most of which comes from the iOS audience.

iOS is like the thing about Nigerian spam being stupid because spammers only want to deal with stupid people. iOS screams out "I spend money". It is a nice way to preselect consumers with cash to spare or at least the willingness to part with it whether they have it or not.
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 PM on June 28, 2012


It's always worked fine for me, and anybody who's ever used A2DP to stream audio over bluetooth knows that the device-to-device model is a huge pain in the butt to work with.

That's true, although I always assumed (or wished) that it was a problem with Bluetooth specifically rather than device-to-device in general. Bluetooth mice never work well for me (lag, disconnections, terrible battery life) while non-bluetooth mice are usually fine.

Airplay has been spotty for me even in a house with all Apple routers (Extreme plus an Express to extend range), and in a house with the Apple TV on ethernet and the iPhone 10 feet from the router.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:22 PM on June 28, 2012


Now, watch this circumcision.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2012


Non-bluetooth WIRELESS mice, I should have said.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2012


While made in the US, and choice is nice, the Nexus Q is nearly four times the cost of an Airport Express, and it apparently only works with Android.

I don't know if you know this, but there are people that don't use Apple products, and thus would never install Airport Express and Airplay in all their rooms and are actually looking for something that is only compatible with Android.

I think one of the more interesting things Google did was install that mini USB port in the hopes that fans would hack it. That opens up a lot of possibilities, including controlling the thing with your PC, using your media.

Probably not your Mac though.
posted by dave78981 at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


But are Android partisans interested in something that's way, way more expensive than the various alternatives? Maybe I'm making assumptions but I've always thought that the Android "ethos" are as much about using cheap, flexible commodity hardware as they are about hackability.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2012


My experience with the Apple TV and Airport Express is that the most interesting aspect of these devices, Airplay, is almost unusable because of the poor state of most wifi networks. I'd love to see something like that communicates directly with your phone/tablet/computer, rather than relying on wifi.

When our Airport Extreme was 10 feet away from our AppleTV, it was awesome. Once we moved the t.v. to the opposite end of the house, it went to hell. Even dropping an Airport Express in halfway between the Extreme and the Apple TV as a network extender didn't help. I ended up punting and installing Powerline Ethernet, running an Airport port into that, then hanging the AppleTV off a Gigabit switch.

It's not great: The box promised gigabit speeds, but diagnostics tell us we're lucky to get 20mpbs down in the living room. All the same, that's enough for HD streams, and more importantly it's steady. The throughput Wi-Fi diagnostics reported looked good, but it was too jittery and we always ended up with hangs and rebuffers: 2.4GHz was too crowded with 10 nearby networks, 5GHz was too fragile over the distance and obstructions.
posted by mph at 2:28 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes! I installed a powerline ethernet adapter and got ONE MEGABIT. I understand that the numbers on the box are theoretical but yeesh. In defense of the product, I did move to an outlet a little farther from my plasma TV and it shot up to a slightly less miserable 9mbps.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:30 PM on June 28, 2012


> hose of us who use both and don't give a crap about brand loyalties, let's go over here behind the utility shed and light up.... anyone got a lighter?

Here's my situation. Anyway, yeah, the Q seems like an interesting bit of tech but also a needless pile of garbage that I wouldn't buy if it was $50. There are already many DIY solutions for this kind of thing. Besides, who wants democracy when having a song playlist? Your music tastes are terrible!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:30 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know if you know this

I have no doubt a few people will buy one. I just wonder if Google thinks it will have broader success, by pricing it so high and having it come with a limited control option. Maybe they want to work out the kinks publicly, before making less-expensive and less-limited products.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:31 PM on June 28, 2012


But are Android partisans interested in something that's way, way more expensive than the various alternatives? Maybe I'm making assumptions but I've always thought that the Android "ethos" are as much about using cheap, flexible commodity hardware as they are about hackability.

Oh, definitely. So I wouldn't use AirPort or Q, because they're both locked down to only talk to a single OS, and to only play nicely with one content provider, although they'll work begrudgingly with DRM-free stuff if you jump through hoops. With different, more open programming the Q could have been a viable alternative to a dedicated media center PC, but as is? It's entirely too Apple for my tastes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:34 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


For $80, you can get an "Android TV" box with decent specs.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I ended up punting and installing Powerline Ethernet, running an Airport port into that, then hanging the AppleTV off a Gigabit switch.

The shame of all of this is, the "low-tech" solution can actually be cheaper than the retail gear. For ~$100/wall plate, we recently had Cat-6 wires installed to all three floors of our house---we were getting electrical done anyway and when I heard the price, it was a complete no-brainer.
posted by bonehead at 2:38 PM on June 28, 2012


(And that box I linked is running a full vanilla Android 4.0 OS (although they do have a custom launcher which you can change or not use) which you can run most regular Android apps on, though I doubt many HD games would work.)
posted by Burhanistan at 2:40 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My guess is that the Nexus Q will drop in price (it needs to), and hopefully eventually start supporting apps.

The ecosystem of "Smart TV" and Home Media operating systems is just absurdly vast at this point, and we really don't need another entrant on the scene. We need a universally-supported open platform. Right now, the Nexus Q just really doesn't fit in all that well, especially given that Google are trying to breathe life back into Google TV.

If Google can market it successfully, the Android-powered Google TV thing could be game-changing, and it looks like the major consumer electronics manufacturers are tired of maintaining their own OSes, and are ready to jump on board (along with the content providers who can't be happy about needing to make and maintain a different app for every platform). A universal open platform would be realllly nice, and the market's ripe for picking. I'm tired of the fact that we currently have about half a dozen closed ecosystems.

My other guess is that Google are going to do other things with their new US-based manufacturing capacity, most obviously a new American-made Nexus phone. I can just imagine Google looking square at Apple, and saying "What was that you were saying about being unable to manufacture a phone in the US?"
posted by schmod at 2:42 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bora Horza Gobuchul: "Chrome (profiled in a charming video)"

Funny how everything labeled "charming" on the Internet seems to be twee commercial indiesploitation.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:43 PM on June 28, 2012


How Google pulled off sky diving stunt over San Francisco
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on June 28, 2012


I prefer my blimps over San Francisco to be piloted by Christopher Walken.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:03 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Lamplighter: "Yes! I installed a powerline ethernet adapter and got ONE MEGABIT."

What you want for this is MoCA. I get 100Mbps at any cable outlet in my house. HPNA may also work, but it's more hit-or-miss.

You can get castoff MoCA bridges (that also happen to be wireless routers) on eBay for peanuts most of the time. Unfortunately, time seems to have passed the NIM100 by. I prefer it because it's simple and has an internal passthrough, unlike the Actiontec routers.

I think I spent a total of $100 on four bridges (3 NIM100s back when they were cheap and a $20 Actiontec). You can also give Netgear (IIRC) something north of $100 a pair, but it's new kit, not used.
posted by wierdo at 3:08 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, you'd think they could have found a better emcee if they were going to go through so much trouble to coordinate the skydiving stunt...
posted by schmod at 3:08 PM on June 28, 2012


If you can't change the default browser so every link you click on and every interaction gets piped through Safari... well, fuck it, I guess.

Jailbreaking is dead simple right now, and there's a free hack in Cydia called Browser Changer. You can set your default browser to whatever you want.
posted by Huck500 at 3:18 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see that everyone remains solidly uninterested in Chromebook.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on June 28, 2012


The new Chromebook looks like it's seriously underpowered (and seriously overpriced thanks to its Samsung pedigree), and also cannot play Flash video without overheating.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2012


Chromebook isn't cheap enough for the trade offs.
posted by smackfu at 3:53 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want the Google Glass. If I had that, I could forget about flying cars and interstellar travel for a while.
posted by koucha at 3:55 PM on June 28, 2012


The good news is that Linus uses a chromebook. The bad news is that he keeps it in his kitchen to look up recipes and it runs linux.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:02 PM on June 28, 2012


When are we going to get more love for Golang

I looked at it again this week. Since the initial version, they've added an exception-like mechanism. It's really looking like it'd be fun to play with.

The Nexus 7 (that's funny -- they skipped the six...) looks nice for its price. I'd consider it... but probably conclude that if I were going to get a tablet, I'd rather pay more and get something bigger that comics and PDFs would look good on.
posted by Zed at 4:22 PM on June 28, 2012


The problem I have with iPad Safari is that it crashes all the time. I almost don't consciously notice it any more: reading a webpage, suddenly there's a black screen and we're back to the icon desktop for no apparent reason, hit Safari app icon, reload that page, scroll to where I was. Probably happens two or three times an hour.

It's a widespread problem and Apple has been aware of it for years, but being Apple, they don't see a dollar in them dealing with it. They've got my money already.

I have hopes that Chrome will be much more stable.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:54 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


> and also cannot play Flash video without overheating.

No one is bothering with Flash anymore.

I can't think of a serious application of a ChromeBook that using Flash would be a justifiable use case.

I do like the zeroconf like setup of it (user logs in with a Google Apps account, you as a IT director can provision VPN settings / applications / etc all from the google dashboard). However it hasn't exactly been executing consistently for folks.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:55 PM on June 28, 2012


Oh, and another odd thing is that the Chrome browser isn't supported yet on versions of Anrdoid earlier than 4.0 (which is currently a very small percentage of overall Android users), but it will be available for iOS shortly.

The overall share of each Android version. 4.1 is not on there, but it might be soon if they update the chart again on July 1st.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:02 PM on June 28, 2012


The Q thing isn't something I'm interested in, but I'm a bit surprised that they aren't getting more credit here for building the thing in the US. Does it cost more than the competitors? Yes, but I've seen a lot of people here saying that they wish they had the option to pay more in exchange for things not made in China. Well here it is. For people who don't care about that sort of thing, there are plenty of alternatives (as has been stated here ad infinitum).

The best thing about the glasses is that Google are spending a bunch of money on such a speculative project. It might not be Bell Labs off doing pure research, but there aren't enough big companies spending money on this sort of thing for mine. See also their self driving cars.
posted by markr at 5:23 PM on June 28, 2012


I'm really impressed that the Nexus 7 hit the $200 price-point. Now there's almost no reason to buy the Kindle Fire. Really, the only one I can think of is for someone who is not technical at all and would find having to install the Kindle app before they could read anything to be confusing. Or if for some reason you absolutely had to be able to stream Amazon Instant Video to a tablet.
posted by jcreigh at 5:52 PM on June 28, 2012


The overall share of each Android version. 4.1 is not on there, but it might be soon if they update the chart again on July 1st.

The sad thing is that 4.1 is mostly going to cannibalize the 4.0.x base. That 2.3.x base is going to remain stubbornly high for the next year.
posted by Talez at 5:58 PM on June 28, 2012


They've got Microsofts problem then.
posted by Artw at 8:12 PM on June 28, 2012


The best thing about the glasses is that Google are spending a bunch of money on such a speculative project.

I'm pretty sure Google spends way more on advertising (reportedly something like $2B) or just buying new servers ($1-2B per year). Heck, it probably spends more on employee food (over $230M annually by some estimates).

Self-driving cars seem pretty expensive, but Glass is probably pretty cheap relative to a lot of things. It's about vision, not just how much it costs.
posted by GuyZero at 8:47 PM on June 28, 2012


I can't think of a serious application of a ChromeBook that using Flash would be a justifiable use case.

With god as my witness my kids' middle-school textbooks all come in online versions that are only available through a flash-based reader.

I assume it's some horrible anti-piracy effort, but it means we have to trot out the chromebook to use the online textbook and we can't use the ipad.
posted by GuyZero at 8:48 PM on June 28, 2012


o___o That makes me think of a bird of prey hovering and searching the ground for its food.

But imagine that this bird can call up its friends down in the nest, look up the best hunting grounds on a map, and share live visuals of the plumpest mice with screech commands.

I mean, do people really realize how revolutionary and awesome our technology is now? Forget the jerks that bitch about "what about battery life" and "wow the feed seems a little touchy."
People. Stop. Just...just look at the big picture for a minute.
We're in a science fiction future right now. We could end up wearing glasses that better your vision and call your momma. You could be looking at a type of tree, snap a picture with a word, image search, and know what it is before your friends can tip-tap-type it into their phones' search engines.
I mean, seriously, holy shit. Doesn't it just make you want to squeeze hands with people, and laugh, and yell, "GREAT SCOTT"???

Remember that, not too long ago, we were pretty damn pumped about computers just because they could access the internet. That used to be crrrrazy! We thought we were the shit. Now we bitch about our internet access because it loads a page full of photos from halfway around the world a second or two slower than last time, on the phones that work without wires for several hours at a time, because you voice commanded it to search for lolcat pictures. Perspective, folks.

*Squeezes everyone's hand* The future! A toast to living in the future and not realizing how abnormal this all still is! *Grin* I'm so excited!
posted by DisreputableDog at 10:30 PM on June 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, that Nexus 7 beats my $99 HP Touchpad running ICS in every way except screen size.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:48 PM on June 28, 2012


> Wow, that Nexus 7 beats my $99 HP Touchpad running ICS in every way except screen size.

The $99 Touchpad has 16GB of storage and better speakers with actual stereo separation. With the aspect ratio of the screens and of many movie files, the extra size of the Touchpad might not always be best utilized.

Anyway, the $99 Touchpad is simply an anomaly and doesn't really underscore any overarching trends in the tablet market, other than people like bargains. HP never intended to sell it at cost (or much less). Since it's not in production, not many meaningful comparisons can be made to the Nexus 7.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 AM on June 29, 2012



Is Google prepping a 10-inch tablet?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 AM on June 29, 2012


Glad to see smaller tablets being made. I've always thought that the 10" ones were sort of beasts to handle; I've tried to use an Ipad and a Galaxy 10 and they're so heavy that I can't see holding them for a long time without getting tired.
posted by octothorpe at 8:35 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best 7 incher currently out there, imho since I have one, is the Samsung Galaxy 7.7 (6800 international model). The screen is amazing, it has expandable storage, you can pop any GSM SIM in and make regular voice calls, it's feather light, and has excellent battery life. A bit pricier than the Nexus 7, though, so many would have a hard time justifying it. If Samsung makes good on it's promise to update the Galaxy line to ICS this July-August, then it will keep pace with newer releases for some time to come.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:40 AM on June 29, 2012


cannot play Flash video without overheating

Flash does appear to be evaporating from everywhere except the desktop. I'm unclear on what it's status is for Chrome, but it's being terminated for Android as of 4.1. Even Windows will be restricting it to whitelist sites only in W8. It looks like HTML5 is the future, even for Adobe.
posted by bonehead at 9:58 AM on June 29, 2012


I think what I meant (!) was the Chromebooks don't do streaming video very well. At least that's what I've read. I haven't seen a Chromebook here in Canada, but will be traveling to the States in a couple of months and am thinking about picking one up.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:41 AM on June 29, 2012


CNET not a big fan of Nexus Q. I read CNET reviews with a grain of salt, but I think their argument for why it is a miss is fairly compelling.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:48 AM on June 29, 2012


Is Google prepping a 10-inch tablet?

There should be a script to write this article every time someone makes a 7" tablet - with some tweaking it could predict a 7" iPad at intervals too.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on June 29, 2012


mcstayinskool: "CNET not a big fan of Nexus Q. I read CNET reviews with a grain of salt, but I think their argument for why it is a miss is fairly compelling."

They're damn right. 300 bucks and no netflix, are you fucking serious? The Q has the same processor as a brand-new phone, and the phone can drive Netflix so there's no reason the Q should have a problem with it. My sense is that this is a at best a half-baked product that they're rushing out, and hoping to shore it up with more compelling apps later. Bad idea. For something with a premium price tag like this, they needed to make it so awesome that you're terrified at the prospect of not buying it. Weak out of the gate is going to be the impression that sticks with people even if they patch it later.
posted by mullingitover at 6:13 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, put the Nexus Q next to the Chromebook on the shelf of Google products that seem both underwhelming and overpriced for what they do.

But hell, a lot of products seemed that way in their first iteration, so maybe they'll so something interesting with it eventually.
posted by jcreigh at 7:23 AM on June 30, 2012


The bizarre thing is that the Q runs the exact same OS as products that support netflix. They just didn't bother to add the program.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:59 AM on June 30, 2012


Apple wins injunction against US sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:50 AM on June 30, 2012


(Which, to most people is really no great loss. The Galaxy Nexus is a nice device, but there are better products from Samsung and others. The only thing the Nexus really has going for it is getting the newest updates, and maybe a halfway decent price tag for someone who wanted to buy an unlocked off-contract device.)
posted by Burhanistan at 11:52 AM on June 30, 2012


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "The bizarre thing is that the Q runs the exact same OS as products that support netflix. They just didn't bother to add the program."

If I go with a Google TV system, I'd be way more inclined to get Vizio's little $100 box that has Netflix, Amazon, etc.
posted by octothorpe at 12:00 PM on June 30, 2012


(And if anything, Google will see a spike of online sales for the Galaxy Nexus as people try to get one before the ban takes place (in August?).)
posted by Burhanistan at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2012


My first day with Google Now left me speechless
posted by Burhanistan at 11:43 AM on July 2, 2012


Yes, Google Now is a bit creepy, but awesome at the same time.
posted by wierdo at 2:42 PM on July 2, 2012


Porn producers eyeing Google's Project Glass for POV films. I guess they'll be marketing a goo-resistant version.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:26 AM on July 3, 2012


I cannot wait to see how Google addresses that in the warranty.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:55 AM on July 3, 2012


Apple reacts to the Nexus 7: The iPad Mini
posted by octothorpe at 7:40 AM on July 4, 2012


That runout goes around about once a year, mind.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on July 4, 2012


Apple doesn't officially pre-announce anything. Leaks to the Wall St Journal are to Apple as product pre-production announcements are to other companies.
posted by bonehead at 9:23 AM on July 4, 2012


The Wall St. Journal is reporting it too but you can't read it without a subscription.
posted by octothorpe at 11:01 AM on July 4, 2012


Apple granted head-mounted display patent

posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 PM on July 4, 2012


To the fine folks at the USPTO: Prior art, do you speak it?
posted by wierdo at 9:29 PM on July 4, 2012


Was Google Glass a project in 2006, when the patent application was submitted? Seems weird. Somehow I doubt that Apple will be trying to compete on that, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 10:21 AM on July 5, 2012


> Was Google Glass a project in 2006, when the patent application was submitted?

It's more that the MIT wearables project was doing stuff with HUD's, LED displays, and so on since the 90s.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:36 AM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


mrzarquon understood what I was getting at. Perhaps the patent only covers truly new things, but given that it's described as being broad, I have my doubts.
posted by wierdo at 12:09 PM on July 5, 2012


I'm scratching my head at it - it doesn't even seem to have any "on a mobile device" bullshit attached to give the impression of something new.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2012


So this sounds less like a case of Apple having designs on new markets and more like a case of Apple flinging every sort of shit it can at the patent wall just to see what will stick. Which sadly makes some sense.

And, yeah, that's true. There is clearly prior art here. I mean, geez – wasn't everybody talking about this stuff in the late 90s anyway?
posted by koeselitz at 12:28 PM on July 5, 2012


Yeah, but a 16:9 display!

not sufficiently novel
posted by wierdo at 12:32 PM on July 5, 2012


Also, the source is portable and has memory in which the images to be displayed can be stored! I have never heard of such a thing before in my entire life.
posted by wierdo at 12:33 PM on July 5, 2012


/patents "do some Snow Crash type crap, on a portable device. "
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2012


Isn't that pretty much what Neal Stpehenson is doing to keep busy in Redmond (when not playing with swords), Artw?
posted by mrzarquon at 1:33 PM on July 5, 2012


Theoretically, I guess... I think he pretty much went dark on the subject after an initial round of publicity, and since then Intellectual Ventures has basically turned out to be nothing more interesting than a run-of-the-mill patent troll. Myhrvold is actually proud of it.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on July 5, 2012


Hmm....

Starting in late 2007 I worked part-time at Intellectual Ventures Labs until this gradually petered out at some point at some point in 2010. In contrast to IV proper, which is a holding company for patents, IV Labs is a sort of all-purpose science lab and thing-making facility. I spent time there because it seemed a good place to invent things. Some inventing did actually happen, as well as a lot of investigation of ideas that might or might not be good candidates for further development.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on July 5, 2012


In wake of Apple v. Motorola, Judge Posner speaks: 'it's not clear that we really need patents in most industries'
posted by Artw at 3:05 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Divine intervention: Google's Nexus 7 is a fantastic $200 tablet
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2012


Re: the SD slot, apparently a rooted Nexus 7 (which can be done trivially out of the box) runs an app that connects it to USB mass storage through USB OTG cables. Not perfect, but good enough for me.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:54 PM on July 10, 2012


I can't help but think that the lack of an SD slot is an attempt at price discrimination.

This way, they can sell the at-cost 8 GB version to price-conscious buyers, but still sell the 16 GB version to power users and pick up a $45 (or whatever) margin. Whereas if there were an SD slot, there is no way in hell anybody would pay $50 for 8 GB of flash.
posted by jcreigh at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2012


It would be good to hear it from the Google's mouth, but it's probably a combination of pricing and system partitioning that drove the decision to omit the external micro SD card slot. Still, it does reek of Apple (and Samsung) to gouge extra dough for a measly increase in storage.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2012


General experience with the Fire has been that you don't really need that much local storage if you're expecting to stream most of your video.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2012


There's been some speculation that it's also a sop to the other manufacturers, leaving them an easy way to improve on the Nexus design so they have a reason to keep making 7” tablets of their own during the Nexus 7's lifespan.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2012


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