The Nexus tablet seems to be on its way – or the Asus Nexus 7 to be exact. Android Police has uncovered a string of code that reveals not only the name of the tablet, but the exact Android version it’ll be running on. And it’s not the one you’re thinking of.
The code string says we can all expect the Asus Nexus 7 to come running Android 4.1, rather than Android 5.0. Whether Google ends up calling that ‘Jellybean’ or not, we reckon there are certain things that a Nexus tablet needs to have to succeed. We’ve picked out seven such killer features ahead of a potential launch at the Google I/O conference in June.
1. A screen to match the Retina Display
The code reveals a 7-inch tablet (hence the name) with a resolution of 768×1280 pixels. To put that in perspective, the Amazon Kindle Fire’s resolution is 600×1024, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0‘s is 600×1024. The new iPad’s screen boasts a resolution of 1536×2048, but of course that has a much larger display.
For the size, 768×1280 could see the Asus Nexus 7 produce pretty crisp visuals, but it’ll need to be something mega if it wants to hold a candle to Apple’s offering.
2. Siri-beating Google Voice Actions
Rumour has it Google’s been working on a rival to Siri for a while now, by the name of ‘Assistant’. The “mobile, voice-centered ‘Do engine’” will vastly outstrip what Google Voice Actions can do currently, and integrate with Android on a pretty deep level. And it’ll need to: with WWDC just around the corner, the world’s eagerly anticipating iOS 6, and with it an improved, beta-less Siri that finally gets to dig itself under the iPad’s skin.
Google’s going to need Assistant to beat what Siri will be able to do, and the quickest route to doing that is to open it up to developers from the word go, ensuring it has support for all apps on the Nexus tablet from as soon as humanly possible.
3. A price below £350
There’s a side of us that’s a touch disappointed by the word that the Nexus 7 will only be 7-inches in size. That smacks a bit of side-stepping a head-on battle with the iPad, but it does make sense. The Kindle Fire has revealed that there’s a hungry gap in the market for such a device, and it will mean Google and Asus could keep the price down.
Whether it’s the same size or not, Google’s first Nexus tablet will be held aloft as the first proper Android iPad rival, and if it has to fight that fight, it’ll only stand a chance if it’s a fair bit less expensive. £350 would be the absolute maximum, here. Ideally? We’d like to see the Asus Nexus 7 fly off the shelves for £200-£250.
4. A massive battery
Rip an iPad apart and you’ll notice that about 90 per cent of it is battery; that’s why you’ll rarely hear anyone complaining about its lifespan on a full charge. Asus’ offering needs to be similarly frugal with power, matching or beating the iPad’s 10-hour span.
5. Deals with accessory makers
Let’s be honest: Android’s never had the kind of dedicated support from accessory and speaker makers in the same way that Apple’s products have. The wealth of cases, stands and docks for the iPad and iPhone far exceed those found for any other platform’s devices, which is why the Nexus brand needs to reach out and change things.
We’d love to see Asus and Google take to the stage at Google’s I/O conference (June 27-29 2012) with some big name partners – B&W, Griffin and Philips, for example – backing the cause.
6. Chrome browser baked in
The Chrome browser for Android 4.0 is only a beta release, but it’s still the best browser on any mobile device. Why? A few flourishes – like side-swiping through tabs – are nice, but it’s the syncing with tabs on your desktop version of Chrome that’s the real win.
If the Asus Nexus 7 tablet becomes a reality, we reckon it’s high time Google peeled off that beta tag and made Chrome the true, rightful Android browser. And where better to show it off than in the flagship tablet?
7. Google Drive running throughout
In Google Drive, Google’s now got something to really outstrip both Dropbox and iCloud, it needs to up the ante and start shouting about it. The ability to create, edit and safely store documents in the same place as your photos, videos and music? For a web-connected tablet that’s a real boon – and one that should really be integrated into Android from now on to a serious degree.