On a recent trip to Palm Springs, I found myself navigating with Google Maps and virtually exploring my destiniation using its built-in Street View feature. The thing is, using Street View can make keeping track of your exact location difficult as you zoom in, out, and about. It's a little discombobulating.
How To: The Easiest Way to Find a Halfway Spot Between You & Someone You're Meeting Using Your Nexus 7
Back in college, there were many instances where I'd have to meet up with a partner that I was randomly paired with in order to work on a project or to study for an exam. Besides the awkward interactions, the most difficult part was always figuring out where we would meet off-campus. I live here and they live there, so what's reasonably halfway?
It's time to trip out with your tablet. If you're not looking to drain that precious battery life with a fancy-looking live wallpaper, then apply an optical illusion that appears to be moving on your Nexus 7 (or any other Android device) instead.
The new Jelly Bean is out in the wild, but if you've installed Android 4.3 from stock, you'll notice rooting is now not possible. If you miss the ad-blocking capabilities of AdBlock Plus, how Seeder made apps snappier, or the convenience of backing up with Titanium Backup, you'll need to get rooted.
So, you've flashed a bad ROM or ZIP file, and now your Nexus 7 won't boot up. Maybe it just went haywire for no reason. Whatever happened, the bad news only keeps coming—you didn't make a backup of your system, contacts, or apps.
Being fixated on all of the great additions to Android 5.0 Lollipop, it can be a little difficult to take notice in the features that went missing. For instance, lock screen widgets. It's speculated that the lack of practical use for lock screen widgets and the implementation of the revamped Lollipop lock screen may have lead to their departure, but some of us want them back!
Remember that PSP you had? I pretty much dropped mine when smartphones became more prevalent in the mobile gaming scene. Why would I want to carry around a huge PlayStation Portable when I've already got an Android in my pocket?
Real Racing 3 is by far one of the best racing simulators available on Google Play, and best of all—it's free! If you're playing this game on your Nexus 7, you've probably noticed that the graphics just don't look anywhere near as good as the in-game screenshots floating around on the web.
Unlike the Galaxy S4 and other Samsung devices, the Nexus 7 doesn't have a Clear All option in the recent apps menu. It's a highly requested feature, as it cuts down the time required to go one-by-one swiping each individual app (you can't swipe away multiple ones at the same time).
Just because you have a Mac doesn't mean you can't root your Nexus 7 tablet. In fact, rooting Android 4.4 KitKat on both the 2013 and original 2012 N7 models is easy, if not easier than rooting it using a Windows PC.
Even if you have the fastest internet connection in the world, it's not going to be fast if your Android device isn't optimized to use all of the bandwidth. I have pretty fast speeds at home, but every now and then my web surfing on my Nexus 7 tablet is halted in its tracks—for seemingly no reason.
For being an inexpensive tablet, the Nexus 7 packs a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution into a relatively small display, offering a very sharp-looking 216 pixels per inch. What does that mean? It's one of the best e-readers on the market.
How To: Lock Down & Prevent Android Apps from Exposing Your Privacy on a Nexus 7 Tablet (Jelly Bean 4.3)
Privacy has been a heated topic in recent months, with everyone now up in arms over unauthorized leaks and exposures. And guess what—tablet and smartphone users are just as vulnerable.
Lag has been a serious issue on Android devices since the very beginning. Even the Nexus 7's quad-core processor can't stop it from happening. That's because the pauses and long responses are coming straight from the Android OS itself, not the hardware.
I know all of you softModders love these little modifications, like enabling the hidden battery percentage on the Nexus 7 or getting the exclusive Google Launcher on your Nexus, so here's an easy one that lets you hide the soft-keys from your tablet, which will actually expand your screen to look a little bit longer.
If you've never played with a Nexus 10 tablet, then you probably have no idea that your Nexus 7 actually has a different user interface. For some reason, Google decided it was better for the Nexus 7 to use a phone UI instead of a tablet one, but luckily for us, we don't have to accept that.
Whether it's because you want to make a quick tutorial video or want to show off your gameplay skills, recording the screen your Nexus 7 tablet isn't an easy feat. At least, until now. Hidden inside Android 4.4 KitKat is a built-in screen capturing feature, but it takes a little effort to dig it out.
We may all have a Nexus 7 tablet, but we don't all want to have the exact same look and feel, which is why we softMod for a more personalized vibe. There are hundreds of cool mods you can perform on your Nexus 7, whether stock or rooted, but one of my favorites in Android 4.4 KitKat was unlocking the hidden battery percentage icon in the Status bar.
I have literally played Madden, watched YouTube videos, and listened to music on my phone all at the same time. Some would call this pathetic, but I call it talent. Life is way too short, so I need to get the most out of it when I can. Thank goodness for multitasking, which should be a key feature when you're looking into a new tablet or phone.
Facial, voice, and hand gestures are the way of the future for controlling our devices, and even gaming consoles like the Xbox One have incorporated them. Unfortunately, our Nexus 7 tablets have not. We're currently limited to using soft keys for most actions, but we can inch closer to the future by replacing one critical action with a simple touch gesture—going back.
Native screen recording was initially introduced on Android 4.4 KitKat and, although useful, was primarily utilized by developers to showcase their apps. It required either a rooted device and an app or a non-rooted device with some ADB commands, which, while totally doable, wasn't necessarily ideal.
Let's be honest, some days call for a new wallpaper to match your mood. If I'm upset, I could use a nice, uplifting wallpaper to alleviate my low spirits. Even in a day and age where everything is literally at our fingertips, I get too lazy to deal with going in and selecting a new wallpaper, cropping it, and setting it (pathetic, I know).
While chatting in Hangouts on Android, inserting an emoji or animated sticker can instantly make the conversation more fun, but they'll eventually lose their charm, as most things do. Even if you add GIFs to your texting arsenal, things could get stale. That is, unless they're personalize GIFs you actually make yourself (the process is really simple).
Accessing notifications and quick settings from the lock screen just makes things move quicker and more efficiently, unless of course we're using a secure lock screen. It makes sense that if we have face, pattern, or pin security enabled, we may not want notifications accessible, but really, that should be something we decide for ourselves—and now we can.
You've probably see this a million times on your Nexus 7 tablet: On some streaming sites it's "You need to upgrade your Adobe Flash Player to watch this video," and on others it may be "You need to install the Adobe Flash plugin." Whatever it is, you have the same problem—Flash does not work on your Nexus 7.
When our Nexus 7s upgraded to KitKat, one key piece of functionality was lost in the mix—Flash support. Of course, even before that we never had official support on the Nexus 7, but hacks seemed to do the job just fine. As it stands now, Google remains on the warpath against Flash, opting instead for HTML5 use, specifically in Chrome (where Flash never worked anyway), and of course Adobe stopped supporting Android long ago.
Efficiency is one integral attribute that I need from my Android device. I want to be able to multitask like a maniac and do things on the fly. While multitasking itself is nothing new, actually being able to watch Netflix while scrolling through IMDB at the same damn time was reserved mainly for newer Samsung-ier devices.
WhatsApp is a very popular messaging app on the Play Store, but unfortunately, tablet users have been left out of all the fun because WhatsApp only works on smartphones—until now.
These days, everyone's snapping selfies, taking pics of their latest meals, or sharing pet trick videos on Instagram for the whole world to see. It's not only fun to shoot photos and videos for Instagram, it's inspiring to look at everyone else's creativeness in your feed.
Almost any video you could want is on YouTube for free, including those very high quality 1080p music videos. You just have to put up with a few ads. But what happens if you're going on a trip and won't have any Internet access? How will you enjoy your favorite YouTube vids?
One of the best features on the new Moto X is Touchless Control, which lets you verbally ask the device questions or perform tasks without ever touching or turning on the display, a feature that would do quite nicely on the Nexus 7, if it could handle it.
I think it's safe to assume that most of us appreciate a little privacy and security when it comes to our mobile devices, which is exactly why we have lock screens that require unique passwords, patterns, or PINs. Although someone can discretely peer over your shoulder to see what your password is, it's much more difficult for them to duplicate your face to unlock the device.
BEATS by Dr. Dre started making their studio-style headphones and speakers over four years ago, which claim to help listeners actually "hear" music as it was intended by the artists, since commodity headphones and earbuds are known for producing lackluster results. But you can only go so far with Beats Audio headphones, since your computers and mobile devices weren't built to take advantage of high quality audio equipment.
Writing longhand may boost learning and goal achievement, but that doesn't mean squat if you don't have pen and paper on you.
How To: The Fastest Way to Share Large Files from a Nexus 7 to a Samsung Galaxy S3 or Other Android Device
Recently, I wanted to share a large video file from my Nexus 7 to my friend's Samsung Galaxy S3, and even though he was standing right next to me, it was an extremely difficult and frustrating thing to do. Every single Nexus 7 tablet comes NFC equipped, so it can share files with other NFC-equipped devices just by tapping and holding them together. With both NFC and Android Beam enabled, sharing a small file between two devices should be fairly simple.
Okay, you're Nexus 7 is awesome, but ever wish you could explore those nifty TouchWiz features that make the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 so interesting?
How To: Tired of the Play Store? Use the Amazon Appstore on Your Nexus 7 Instead (& Get Free Daily Apps!)
In a previous article, I pointed out a few criticisms of the Google Play Store, mostly about how unpolished and inefficient it is. To give you a better idea of what I mean, here are just a few of my complaints with the Play Store:
Update, November 12, 2014: Android 5.0 Lollipop is officially out now. If you haven't gotten the OTA yet, check out our new guide on installing the official Lollipop builds on any Nexus for download links and instructions, for Mac or Windows.
You've probably already figured out that your Nexus 7 doesn't have a rear camera, but that doesn't mean you can't do some awesome things with your tablet's front camera!
Arcades, Nintendo, Sega, and 16-bit graphics ushered in a new level of gaming that was leaps and bounds ahead of the early Pong days. I remember loading quarters into the machines and playing 2D fighting games until all my money ran out. When I wasn’t in school, you could usually find me at the arcade playing Street Fighter, The King of Fighters and Marvel vs. Capcom. At home, I had my Super Nintendo and Super Mario World keeping me glued to the television until the next boss stage.