It Was One Year Ago This Week…

Last updated: January 31, 2013

It was one year ago this week when I started this writing adventure. I did it because I love new technology and feel knowledge should be shared with others. I had no idea at the time how popular this would become. Since 2012 has been a great year for this blog, I’d like to pause for a moment to give thanks, but first a little history.

Time flies when you're having fun

Time flies when you’re having fun

Growing Slowly at First

As you can see from the chart below, the first eight months this blog was in existence I toiled in relative obscurity, getting around a thousand views a month. Then something big happened. In July I more than doubled my views from the previous month — thanks to strong traffic on articles about United, AT&T and the smartphone of the year. Traffic in September was twice that of July, thanks to an article about the new iPhone 5. In August traffic was over five times that of July, thanks to the articles on the new iPads. Traffic once again more than doubled in November and December. Every day for the past four months I expect the visits to this site to taper off, but so far there is no sign of that happening. In fact, last week was my biggest week ever in total views. My Nexus 10 Tips and Tricks article has already received over 250,000 views!

This blog has seen an incredible increase in traffic over the past four months

This blog has seen an incredible increase in traffic over the past four months

Quality Over Quantity

It’s nice to get some attention, but traffic in itself means little to me. Most of the popular blogs get more than 10 times the traffic I get. What matters to me is the quality and timeliness of my posts. Based on some of the comments I’ve been receiving lately, it appears I’m doing a decent job in this area.

As you can see from the updated chart, weekly traffic continues to hit new highs as well

As you can see from the updated chart, weekly traffic continues to hit new highs as well

What People Are Saying About Mostly-Tech

  1. “Great tips! I’m new to your blog, but I’m really starting to like your writing style. No real fluff, just facts! Thanks for the info about the ‘PC’ keyboard setting, I just activated it for my Nexus 7, I would never had known it was there if it wasn’t for you! Keep up the good work!”
  2. “As always, superbly organized and comprehensively researched, Rick! I’m looking forward to reading to your side-by-side comparison of the newly announced Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5…”
  3. “Finally an excellent, well-researched, unbiased, well-written comparison piece which states *facts*. You could teach the guys over at Engadget a thing or two…”
  4. “Rick, having seen and subscribed to dozens of blogs and having been involved in blogging myself, I can assert that it’s because you churn out some of the best articles in the arena of Android, iOS and Windows. Your blog is now in my list of RSS feeds!”
  5. “Well researched article, Thank you very much for your hard work. You are pointing out right facts without fanboism…”
  6. “Rick, this is a quick note to thank you for your fantastic blog! I discovered it yesterday and, frankly, can’t tell why I didn’t notice it earlier. Keep up the good work!”
  7. “Excellent and comprehensive comparisons, Rick, especially after only having had used the Nexus 10 for just a day!”
  8. “You’re awesome, Rick! Many people and I have been trying for months to get TalkBack developers on the Google-monitored Eyes-Free mailing list to tell us what’s changed between 4.1 and 4.2 and we got nothing. But you did it on a holiday!”
  9. “I think the article is great at informing casual users about everything related to beaming. The only article about the topic I found, very useful and clear as well. Cheers”
  10. “I am a new reader and found your blog very entertaining + informative.”
  11. “Hi Rick, I just stumbled onto your blog, I think yours is one of the most informative, unbiased, and interesting blogs that I have come across…”
  12. “GREAT article thanks! Without bias and highlights issues on the #nexus10 with constructive arguments.”
  13. “Everybody should definitely check this out. It’s incredible article, I spent a long time reading it and did many things that it said!!! As others have noticed the keyboard option is awesome…” [Post appeared in Android forums about a Mostly-tech blog article]
  14. Recently bought a Nexus 10, my 1st tab, and your 50 tips have been brilliant. Thanks for taking the time to help so many people. Cheers.
  15. Your nexus-10-tips-and-tricks is a great forum [post] with very useful information. So many times forums are full of garbage that the user needs to wade thru, but yours is wonderful!

Of course I get my fair share of hate mail as well. You can read those in the comments sections.

What to Expect in 2013

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I plan to continue to write about mobile technology in 2013. I'm also planning to expand into some new areas including music technology, photography and video. Hopefully some of you will join me. Even if you don’t, I’m happy you stopped by. Here's to a great 2012, and an even better new year.

– Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged

Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

More Great Tips & Tricks for the Nexus 10

Last update: October 17, 2013

This article has had over 110,000 views! Although it was written for the Nexus 10, many of these tips apply to other Android tablets as well. Enjoy!

Because my original Nexus 10 tips and tricks article was so incredibly popular, I’ve decided to write a follow-up. This time I’m including a few outside sources, however I assure you these tips will be every bit as good as the original ones and there will be no duplicates.

  1. Improve lag and choppiness – Some other Nexus users have found a simple fix to lag, choppiness, and stuttering performance that occurs when swiping across the home screens, opening the app drawer, typing on the keyboard, scrolling in the browser or even simply unlocking the device. I haven’t experienced too many problems like this, but still recommend you make the following change to see if it improves things. First, locate Google Currents in All Apps and open it. Tap “Settings” (the three dots) and uncheck “Enable Background Sync.” Reboot your Nexus 10. Source: TalkAndroid
  2. Ad-blockers can be useful utilities

  3. Unblock ads – There are several good Android ad blockers, but most require a rooted device. Adblock Plus is free and removes ads on a stock Nexus 10. Important note: One of my readers reported some serious problems after installing this app (see the comments section of my original tips article if you want details). For this reason, I’m recommending everyone hold off on installing this app until the company releases an update which addresses this issue. Source: Phandroid
  4. Maximize your battery life – To increase the battery life of your Nexus 10, try these suggestions:
    – Turn off your tablet when you go to sleep and charge it all night.
    – Set your screen brightness at 50% or lower. To do this go to Settings > Display > Brightness
    – Uninstall power hungry apps – Go to Settings > Battery and look at the top battery users . On my Nexus 10, Yahoo Weather consumes as much power then the screen and the OS combined! To uninstall go to the All Apps folder and drag the problem app on top of the Uninstall label at the top of the screen
    – Turn off your GPS when you don’t need it. To do this go to Settings > Location Access and set ‘Access to my location’ OFF. If you do this, any app which requires the GOS including Google Now will not function correctly.
    – If you rarely use Bluetooth or NFC, make sure both are off. To turn off NFC, go to Settings > More…
    – Check the Sleep setting (under Display) and make sure it is set to 1 minute or less.
  5. Tether your tablet to your phone for free – As long as you have an Android smartphone, there’s no need to purchase a tablet with cellular support, or pay extra to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Just download and install FoxFi on your phone and check ‘Activate WiFi Hotspot.’ Then go to Settings > Wi-Fi on your tablet, and connect to ‘FoxFi14.’ Now you’ll sharing data with your mobile phone. Make sure to keep tabs on the data usage shown in the upper right hand corner of the FoxFi app, and do not use this app if you sometimes come close to using all of your available mobile data. I cannot be held responsible for any extra data charges you incur because of the use of this app. Other caveats: The free version of FoxFi now has a usage limit that requires you to restart FoxFi at some point. You can purchase the full version key to unlock this. Currently WiFi mode does not work on most phones with Jelly Bean and most HTC phones (except for HTC One). However, Bluetooth mode works for all phones.
  6. Import contacts from other sources – If you have contacts stored in Outlook, Yahoo or another source, export them as a comma-separated value or CSV file. For contacts from Apple’s Address Book, expert as vCard. It’s not essential, but is a good idea if you open this file using a spreadsheet and make some edits on your computer to clean up things. Now you’re ready to import your contacts. Open Google Contacts on your computer and click on ‘More.’ Select ‘Import’ and select the file you exported. After your contacts have been imported, you should go to ‘More’ again and select ‘Find and merge duplicates.’
  7. Scrubly cleans your contacts for free

  8. Clean up your contacts and add photos to them – If you have problems with duplicate contacts or contacts with missing info, you should go to Scrubly.com. Scrubly is a free service for people with less than 250 contacts. In addition to cleaning your contacts, Scrubly will import photos, birthdays, company, job title and more. Make sure to link Scrubly with your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, so it can pull from those sources as well. I’ve used this service and was very impressed, but if you don’t like it, you can revert back to the way things were.
  9. Send SMS texts directly from your tablet – There are several different ways to send SMS texts from your Nexus 10, but one of the better ones is an app called Tablet Talk. This app uses Bluetooth to talk to your Android smartphone. This app is nice because the person you’re texting does not need to install any special software and all texts are sent using your mobile number. With Tablet Talk you can have a text conversation on your tablet just like you would on your phone. This is a paid app ($3) but I think it’s worth it. Install it on your tablet first and then connect to your Android phone via Bluetooth. Once you do that, you can download Tablet Talk on your Android phone for free. Tip: If you’re having problems connecting your Nexus 10 with your phone using Tablet Talk, make sure the Tablet Talk app is open on your phone first and then press the orange button in the lower-left hand corner of the Tablet Talk app on your Nexus 10. If you live in the U.S. and don’t want to mess around with Bluetooth, Google Voice allows you to easily send SMS texts as well and it’s free. The only negative is the fact that your texts will come from your Google number, and not your normal mobile number. Update: Mysms is now my favorite app for this purpose because it’s available in a tablet-optimized version for Android and can send texts to iOS devices, Windows phones, Macs, Chrome devices and Windows PCs. The tablet-optimized Android version is $2, while most other versions are free.
  10. Kingsoft Office is one of the best free office apps

  11. Install an office app – At some point you’re going to need to open a file which was created with Microsoft Office. There are many apps that do this. Consider Kingsoft Office (free), Quickoffice Pro HD, OfficeSuite Pro, Documents To Go or Google Drive (which replaced Google Docs). Most of these apps also create Word or Excel-style docs as well.
  12. Try another web browser – Chrome is good, but there are other good third-party browsers as well. Check out Firefox Browser for Android, Dolphin Browser, Opera (Mobile or Mini web browser), Puffin Web browser Free and xScore. Each have advantages over the others. You can read more about them in Google Play.
  13. Speed up animations to make your tablet feel snappier – There’s another quick way to make your Nexus 10 feel snappier. By speeding up (or disabling) the animated fade-in effects you see when switching between tasks, you’ll see a boost in performance and faster screen transitions. Start by unhiding “Developer options” as described in Tip #11 here. Once in “Developer options,” scroll down to the “Window animation scale” and “Transition animation scale” options and set both to .5x. You can even turn each of these off and transitioning between apps and pages will be almost instant. If you ever want to go back, remember the defaults for both of these settings are 1x. Source: Cult of Android
  14. Learn how to use your camera – Because there is no information about using the camera in the Nexus Guidebook, I’m adding some info here. You’ll find the ‘Camera’ app in the All Apps folder. Long press its icon and drag it to one of your home screens. To take a picture using the rear camera, press the big blue button. You’ll hear a sound which indicates you’ve taken a photo. To view the photo you’ve just taken, swipe to the left. Swipe back to the right to return to the camera. To switch to the front camera, press the circle to the right of the blue button. Then click on the camera icon with the arrows under it. In a few seconds you should see yourself on the view finder. The +/- controls are for exposure. To make a photo less bright press -1, -2 or -3. Next to that is the Settings button. From here you can access presets for things like action shots, night photos and sunset photos under ‘Scene mode.’ ‘Store location’ tags your photo with GPS info. Next to that are the white balance settings for different types of light. Next are the flash settings, To turn off the flash, touch the lightning bolt with an ‘x’ next to it. Press the Back button when you’re finished. To switch to the video camera, press the camera button to the left. From top to bottom, the buttons are ‘Photo Sphere,’ Panorama, Video, and Still Camera. Here is the most comprehensive guide to using the Android 4.2 camera that I’ve seen so far.
  15. Get a stylus for more control – Although the Nexus 10 doesn’t have the same level of sensitivity of a Galaxy Note II, a stylus will give you more control and make it easier to take shorthand notes. Make sure to check out the reviews before you buy any stylus and never buy the cheapest one available, because you probably won’t be happy if you do.
  16. You can quickly send photos or videos to another device using Wi-Fi Direct

  17. Transfer files quickly using Wi-Fi Direct – Wi-Fi Direct lets you send any type of file from your Nexus 10 to another Wi-Fi Direct device like a Samsung Galaxy S III. To send a photo or movie over Wi-Fi direct from your tablet to your phone, go to the ‘Photo Gallery’ app and select the file you wish to send. Then touch the item so the Share button appears. Next, select an app from the list which you know has Wi-Fi Direct support. I use the ‘OfficeSuite Wi-Fi Direct’ app. If you don’t have that, try Wi-Fi Shoot. Now, select the device you want to send your file to from the list of available devices. Photos only take a few seconds to transfer. Sending a 200MB movie took less than 5 minutes. Note: The receiving device may be sluggish while a file is being sent to it. On the sending end, you can swipe down on the Notification bar to see the transfer progress of the file. After the file transfer is complete, select the app on the receiving end that you want to view the file with. The file sent/received notifications cannot be cleared manually. They will go away after you restart your devices.
  18. Long press a notification for app info – If you long press a notification, an “App info” button will appear and you will be able to find out more about the application that sent it. You can clear its cache, data, stop it, uninstall it or disable sending notifications. Source: Android Geeks
  19. You can speak into your Nexus 10 and it will translate just like the Droid commercial shown here

  20. Speak and translate – You may have seen the new Droid RAZR M commercial where the girl speaks into her phone and it speaks the words back in a different language. You can do that with your Nexus 10 as well. Just launch Google Translate. Touch the microphone icon, and speak the words you want translated. Touch the speaker next to the translated words to hear them back.
  21. Fix problems with some apps – If you find an app that is giving you trouble, try wiping its cached data. To do this, go to Settings > Apps, then pick the problem app from the list which appears and tap the ‘Clear cache’ button. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you want to try the ‘Clear data’ button as a last resort. But keep in mind if you do this you could lose stored data like photos. Source: Android Geeks
  22. Scribble and your tablet translates for you

  23. Scribble and translate – You can scribble on your tablet’s screen and Google Translate will translate the words into to any language.
  24. Try these tablet charging tips – For best results, power off your Nexus 10 and let it charge all night. If you do this, you should be able to get through an entire day of normal use without running out of power. On peak usage days, charge your tablet for an hour during lunch or early afternoon.
  25. Turn your tablet into a media server – Although the Nexus 10 is not pre-loaded with a DLNA media server like Samsung’s AllShare Play, there are free alternatives this work even better. Download and install Twonky Beam. It will let you access media on your tablet from your Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Roku box, connected TV — or any of the 13,000 other DLNA-certified devices. [Disclosure: I used to work for the company who makes this software]
  26. Enable auto-fill on third-party browsers – Although Chrome has an ‘Autofill forms’ setting, there are other apps which give you more control over this. Install Dolphin Browser and the Autofill Form add-on for it.
  27. Lower your screen brightness even more – If you sometimes like to use the Nexus 10 in a room with all lights off, you may find that the screen is still too bright even when brightness is turned all of the way down. Apps like Screen Filter allow you to adjust the brightness of the screen as dark as you like.
  28. Yopu can beam media from your phone to tablet

    You can beam media from your phone to tablet (or vice versa)

  29. Beam something from your phone to tablet – If you have another Android device with NFC support like a Samsung Galaxy S III you can beam browser pages, YouTube videos, contacts and more from your phone to your tablet (or vice versa). Start by finding the media you want to beam and make sure both devices are unlocked. Next place your phone on the Nexus 10 as shown in the photo. In a few seconds you should feel each vibrate and hear a sound. Touch the screen after you see the image get smaller and the words ‘Touch to beam’ appear on the screen. If you’ve done it successfully, the image will continue to get smaller on the screen until it disappears. More info. In case you’re wondering where the two NFC sensors are on your Nexus 10. One is on the back to the right side of the camera near the top. The other one is by the front camera.
  30. Transfer files from your Mac to your tablet – If you’ve got a Mac, you’ll want to download and install the Android File Transfer app. Then plug your tablet into your Mac and the transfer app should automatically launch. Now can copy or move files by simply dragging and dropping them into the folders on the Nexus 10.
  31. Control your computer's mouse

    Control your computer’s mouse with your tablet

  32. Control your Mac or PC using your tablet – When I first read about this tip, I didn’t think I would like it, but I was wrong. This may sound like a gimmick, but it’s really useful. First install WiFi Mouse on your tablet. Next, download mouse server software and install it on your computer. Launch the WiFi Mouse app on your tablet and touch ‘Auto Connect.’ You should now be able to control your mouse using your tablet. You can even right-click, but in order to type using your tablet and have that text appear on your computer you’ll need to upgrade to the full version. Source: Redmond Pie
  33. Disable notifications on a single individual application – If you want to turn off notifications for a single app, follow these steps: First swipe down the notification bar. Then long press the notification until a box appears that says, “App Info.” Touch that and then uncheck the “Show Notifications” checkbox. Then touch OK to approve the change. Source: Droid Life
  34. Boot into Safe-mode to troubleshoot problems – If you are experiencing a problem with your Nexus 10 and you want to determine whether they are being caused by a third-party app, press the power button for seven seconds until your tablet reboots. Then press and hold both the volume up and down keys until you see the words ‘Safe mode’ appear in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. If the problem goes away when you’re in safe mode, you should reboot your tablet and start removing recently installed apps until the problem goes away. Source: How-To Geek
  35. Upload your music to the cloud – Since the Nexus 10 has a limited amount of internal storage and is not expandable, you should upload all of the music on your computer to the cloud. Google Music allows you to store up to 20,000 songs for free. Using the Google Music app, you’ll be able to access all of them as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. To upload your music, download Google’s free Music Manager software to your computer.
  36. Canon users can preview photos and change camera settings using their Nexus 10

    Canon DSLR users can preview photos and change camera settings using their Nexus 10

  37. Control a DSLR with your tablet DSLR Controller is a popular app that allows you to fully control your Canon EOS DSLR from your Nexus 10 with only a USB cable. Use your tablet to control, Live View, Image review, Auto Focus, Manual focus, Zoom control, HDR, Timelapse, Wi-Fi Passthrough, Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO speed, White balance and much more. It’s $8, so make sure your camera is on its supported device list before you buy. If you have a Canon camera like the 6D with Wi-Fi support, check out Canon CameraWindow and EOS Remote. Both of these apps are free.
  38. Download USA-restricted apps & media anywhere – If you have rooted your Nexus 10 and want to free access territory-restricted apps and media, download and install Droid VPN and follow these instructions. I do not recommend that you root your tablet for this reason alone, because it may prevent you for getting OS updates directly from Google. Also, as one of my readers points out in the comments section below, this tip may only be helpful on content that does not require a credit card, because Google Play restricts purchases by country. Source: One Click Root
  39. Sync your tablet with iTunes – It’s easy to copy music or videos from your iTunes library to your tablet. However, I recommend that you don’t move everything – unless you have a 32GB Nexus 10 with lots of free space. You can find detailed instructions how to do this here. Source: CNET
  40. Here are just a few of the free wallpapers available on Google Images

    Here are just a few of the free wallpapers available on Google Images

  41. Upgrade your screen background and save battery life – Upgrade your screen background and save battery life – Most of the stock Wallpapers that come with your Nexus 10 tablet are not great. They use bright colors and do not take advantage of the full resolution of your display. Although you can download wallpaper apps, your best bet is to find some images you’ve taken with your DSLR camera or do an advanced search on Google Images. Enter a description in the first box, if you’re not sure what your looking for try “HD wallpapers”, “high resolution images” or ‘2560×1600 wallpaper’ in the first box. Select ‘Larger than 4 MP’ as the image size. If you want the best quality available, search for images above 12 MP. You’ll see a wide range of images to choose from. Click on a few that you like, and make sure to click ‘Full-size image’ on the right-hand side of the screen.

    You’ll find there are a lot of decoy images, which are smaller than they are supposed to be. If it doesn’t say 2560×1600 or larger under ‘Full-size image’ you should go back and select another image. If can’t find anything good on Google Images, try Google+ Communities or Picasa Web Albums. There are some good dark Nexus 10 backgrounds on this Google+ page. Now right-click on the large image and select ‘Save image as…’ Move all of your saved images into a folder called ‘New wallpapers’ and copy that into the ‘Pictures’ folder on your Nexus 10 using a USB cable. You could select your images from the Gallery, but you’d be asked to crop them and that would lower their resolution. Although the Nexus screen is 2560×1600, I’ve been told that the size of the wallpapers that Google includes with the Nexus 10 are 3966×2560. That’s because they pan when you change home screens. I use an app called ‘Simple Image Wallpaper Free’ which displays your wallpaper at its full resolution, doesn’t require cropping and doesn’t pan when you move to another home screen.

    If all this seems too hard, try a wallpaper app from Google Play like Wallbase, Interfacelift or Wallpaper Wizardii. Just make sure to select images which are 2560×1600 or higher, (3966×2560 is even better if possible).

  42. Transfer files wirelessly from an iPad to your Nexus 10 – You can send or receive, photos, videos, music, contacts or notes over Bluetooth from any iOS device to any Android device. In order to do this, you need a jailbroken iOS device, and the AirBlue Sharing app which you can purchase for $5 from Cydia. See it in action here. Source: Redmond Pie
  43. Here are some nice Live Wallpapers (Lonely Tree, Mystic Halo, Ocean HD)

    Here are some nice Live Wallpapers (Lonely Tree, Mystic Halo, Ocean HD)

  44. Install a better Live Wallpaper – All of the Live Wallpapers that come with the Nexus 10 are poor quality. You should install a good Live Wallpaper like Light Grid, Mystic Halo LW, Blue Skies Free, PanoPlanet, or Ocean HD ($1.99). My current favorite Live Wallpaper is Lonely Tree. It really shows off the Nexus 10’s screen with its 60fps motion and extreme detail. If you watch carefully, you’ll notice the clouds, tree branches, snow all move independently. Avoid most wallpapers in Google Play which claim to be HD. Most do not look good on the Nexus 10’s display. Once you’ve installed your new Wallpaper, go to Settings > Display > Wallpaper > Live Wallpapers and select the one you wish to use. Then touch Set Wallpaper and press the Back button to return to the Home screen.
  45. Stop Google from reading your email – Google Now is able to do some cool things by scanning your Gmail. If this bothers you and you want to turn it off, open the Google Search app, go to Settings > Google Now and uncheck “Show cards based on Gmail.”
  46. A tablet-optimized website

    A tablet-optimized website

  47. Bookmark some tablet-optimized websites – More websites are starting to update their layouts so they look great on the Nexus 10. Checkout sites like Engadget, Google News, TNW (The Next Web) and BGR to see great examples of this.
  48. Maximize your screen’s contrast – Because the Nexus 10 uses a different screen technology than the Samsung Galaxy S III or iPad, you can’t set the brightness as high if you want the best contrast between black and white. I recommend that you set your screen brightness at 50% to 60% — unless you’re outside.
  49. Quickly review your photos and delete the bad ones – Within the Gallery app, touch where it says ‘Grid view’ to change to ‘Filmstrip view’. In this view, you can swipe right to move from photo to photo, or swipe down to delete any photo you don’t like. If you accidentally delete a photo, touch ‘Undo’ in the lower-right hand corner, but do this quickly because this option goes away after you go to the next photo.
  50. Expand your storage with an external Wi-Fi drive – Companies like Kingston have solid-state drives that add 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of additional storage to your tablet. These drives are small and communicate over Wi-Fi.
  51. Transfer files, photos or contact info using Bump Bump is a free app which lets you transfer files wirelessly between any two devices (Android or iOS) — even if they don’t support NFC. To use, open the ‘Bump’ app on both devices and select the file (or files you wish to transfer). Then tap the two devices together and press the blue Connect button on both of the devices. You can bump photos to your computer by going to http://bu.mp and bumping your spacebar with your device. Bump works with videos, docs, spreadsheets, presentations are more.
  52. Stream full high-definition movies directly to your tablet using VUDU

    Stream full high-definition movies directly to your tablet using VUDU

  53. Stream a high-definition movie directly to your tablet from VUDU – You can now stream or download an HD movie or TV show from VUDU . The Nexus 10 is one of only four devices that support VUDU currently. All you need is the free VUDU app and a VUDU account. Vudu has a number of advantages over Google Play including on-the-go access to your UltraViolet Digital Collection of Blu-ray movies. [May not be available to Nexus users outside the U.S.]

  54. Fix auto-brightness problems – Android 4.2 has an auto-brightness setting, but it doesn’t work very well. You should download Lux Auto Brightness to fix this problem. Lux automatically adjusts the brightness of your display based on your environment. When you go into a dark room, Lux will automatically lower the brightness of your display after you unlock your screen to make reading more enjoyable.

    To setup Lux you need to go through their setup wizard. I suggest you leave the factory default settings as is. After you do that, you’ll need to go back and launch the app again and touch ‘Press to enable Lux.’ Lux will adjust every time you unlock your screen. Although there is a dynamic setting, it doesn’t work as well, because it’s possible for your finger to occasionally block the light sensor when you hold the tablet in Portrait mode. If you sometimes use your tablet in a totally dark room, I suggest you go to the settings page and set ‘Night Mode’ alpha to 10.

  55. A Bluetooth keyboard allows you to type much faster

    A Bluetooth keyboard allows you to type much faster

  56. Get a Bluetooth keyboard – You can hook up a wired keyboard to the USB port on the Nexus 10, but a Bluetooth keyboard is much more convenient because its wireless. One of the best keyboards for the Nexus 10 is the Logitech keyboard for Android devices. It’s only $51 and is easy to setup. Just turn it on and press the Connect button on the button of the keyboard. Then go to Settings > Bluetooth on your tablet, touch Search for Devices, and select the Logitech keyboard. Next, type the number which appears on your tablet and press the Enter key to pair it. Now anytime the Bluetooth keyboard is on, you can type on it instead of your tablet. This keyboard comes with a carrying case which doubles as a tablet stand.
  57. It's easy to increase your Wi-Fi signal strength

    It’s easy to increase your Wi-Fi signal strength

  58. Improve your Wi-Fi signal strength – If you have a few spots in your residence where you’re not getting a strong Wi-Fi signal, you should consider purchasing a $40 Wi-Fi booster like this one. It’s easy to setup and designed for use with tablets. Just plug it in and wait for its LED to turn green. Then press the WPS button on the extender and your router and you should be ready to go. The new Wi-Fi network will be called the same as the old one, but end with “_EXT”. Make sure to select that network when you’re having signal strength issues. After connecting to a Wi-Fi Extender, I’m getting speeds that are almost 4 times faster than I was before.
  59. Create your own photo albums – You can use a file explorer app like ES File Explorer to make new photo albums inside of the Pictures folder. This is done by going to the Menu and selecting New and Folder. If you do this, your newly created albums will appear when you open the photo Gallery app. You can also delete any albums you don’t want by pressing Select and then touching the items you wish to delete. When you are finished touch the trash can.
  60. Get cut and paste to work every time – Several people have written to tell me they are having problems with cut and paste, so I thought I would try to help with this. To select a word, touch and hold on a word until the highlight and arrows pop up. When you do this on a text document, you’ll be presented with the following choices at the top of the screen: Select All, Copy, Cut and Paste. Drag the two blue region selection handles around the desired text and select Copy (or another one of the available commands). Then touch where you want to insert the copied text and hold until the word Paste appears. Press Done when you’re finished.

    If you do this on a Web page or most other screens, you’ll be presented with the following choices: Select All, Copy, Share, Search Web or Find. If the handles are orange and you don’t see Select All, Copy, Cut and Paste at the top of the screen, you should long-press the selection and Copy, Select All and Share will appear in a pop-up menu. Once you cut or copy the desired text, you’ll be able to paste it — after you long press where you want to insert it. If the paste option goes away, just touch one of the region selection handles again and it will reappear.

  61. Left your wallet at home? No problem. Use your tablet to buy lunch.

    Left your wallet at home? No problem. Use your tablet to buy lunch.

  62. Use your tablet to buy things without a wallet – Since most U.S. carriers block Google Wallet on their smartphones, Nexus devices are the only way for most of us to use NFC to purchase things. Before you go to the store you need to run the Google Wallet app once to link it to your credit card and enter a PIN for security. You do not need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to Tap and Pay. Just tap the back of your tablet near the camera on the cash register. You do need to be connected to setup a card or switch between default payment cards however. You can use Google Wallet in-store anywhere contactless payments are accepted, at over 300,000 merchants across the United States. Learn more about Google Wallet here.
  63. Use NFC to change settings – Another nice application for NFC is automatically changing settings when you move your tablet from one location to another. You can purchase low-cost sensor tags like these that can be placed anywhere and programmed to do many different things using an app like NFC Task Launcher. For example, when I set my tablet on my desk, it turns Bluetooth on so my keyboard works, changes Wi-Fi to a nearby 5GHz access point and turns up the system volume. When I go into to my bedroom, and touch my phone on the night stand it changes to my Wi-Fi extender network, and turns Bluetooth and system volume off.
  64. Simply tap your Nexus 10 to enjoy your music playlist through your home stereo speakers

    Simply tap your Nexus 10 to enjoy your music playlist through your home stereo speakers

  65. Stream music directly to your stereo speakers – Even though the speakers in the Nexus 10 are much better than other tablets, they are not as good as the ones that come with your stereo. By purchasing Belkin’s low-cost HD Bluetooth Music Receiver you can stream music wirelessly from your Nexus 10 (or the cloud) directly to your stereo up to 30 feet away. This works with Google’s Play Music app as well as other great free music services like Spotify, Songza and Pandora’s Internet radio app. Setup is made easier because it uses the Nexus 10’s NFC chip for “tap-and-play” pairing. I want this.
  66. Get 50GB of free cloud storage – You can never have too much storage. That’s why I use SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and MediaFire. MediaFire isn’t as flexible as the other storage lockers I mentioned above, but it’s the only one that gives you 50GB of FREE storage. You’ll need to first go to their website and create an account, then you can download the MediaFire app from Google Play.
  67. Changing your download directory – Several people have asked how they can change the default Download directory. You can do this with Dolphin Browser by going to Menu> More> Settings> Privacy & Personal Data> Download Directory.

– Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged

Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

What Is The Best Smartphone of 2012? (Q4 Update)

Last updated: January 5, 2013


Since this article was first written, an updated version has been posted here. Check it out. A lot has changed.

These were the top six phones back in September. Only four make the cut this time.


A lot has changed since I last compared smartphones back in September. Back then, the top six smartphones were the Apple iPhone 5, LG Intuition 4G, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III and the Sony Xperia V. Surprisingly, four of these phones retained their place on the list of finalists, but they were joined by four new phones which were introduced earlier this month.

The Runners-up

To create the list of candidates for smartphone of the year, I made a spreadsheet containing the specs for the best smartphones on all platforms. I then separated the chart into finalists and runners-up – which you can see below.

Click on the chart below to make it readable

Blue text indicates the winner in each area. Red text indicates areas of weakness

In case you’re wondering why none of the phones above made the list of finalists, each of these have a deficit in one or more areas. I want to stress that many of the above phones are good phones. Some, like the Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL, LG Intuition 4G, Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia T, Sony Xperia V, and Samsung Galaxy Nexus are great phones, but they are not the best phones of 2012.

The Finalists

Each of eight phones below have significant advantages over the phones in the above chart. Our finalists are Apple’s iPhone 5, HTC’s Droid DNA, HTC’s Windows Phone 8X, HTC’s One X+, LG’s Nexus 4, LG’s Optimus G, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Here are the best smartphones of 2012

You can see all of the key specs for the top eight finalists below. Items which appear as blue-faced text show the winner in each area. Items which appear in red-faced text indicate an area of weakness compared to the other phones in this chart.

Blue text indicates the winner in each area. Red text indicates areas of weakness

Before we try to pick a winner, let’s go through each component, starting with the processor.

The Processor

The processor is like the engine in your car and plays an important role in its speed. Today, most of the best smartphones have quad-core processors running at 1.5GHz or higher. Having four different cores allows your phone to do more things at once without slowing down. Quad-core processors are also more efficient and have better battery life than some dual-core CPUs. When it comes to the fastest processor speed, the HTC One X+ wins, with its overclocked 1.7GHz quad-core processor, However, it’s running a year old Tegra 3 processor while the Droid DNA, Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G are running a more advanced Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The Exynos 4412 processor in the Galaxy Note 2 is also overclocked to 1.6GHz and comes close to the S4 Pro in performance. It’s worth mentioning while the S4 Pro-based phones win when it comes to processor, the Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One X+ also perform very well. Apple is clearly behind when it comes to the CPU alone. It has a much slower processor speed and it’s a dual-core processor, instead of quad-core processor. Although the iPhone 5 has a processor clock speed that is 70% slower than the HTC One X+, it does pretty well in some graphics-related benchmarks. You shouldn’t read too much into mobile benchmarks however, because they rarely translate into real-world performance.

Winner: Tie: Droid DNA, Nexus 4, LG Optimus G

The HTC One X+ has the fastest processor speed (1.7GHz), but uses an older quad-core CPU

Memory and Storage

Both the Samsung phones and the iPhone 5 are available in 16, 32 or 64GB sizes. Five of our finalists have 2GB of RAM, which can speed things up when multiple apps are running. But, only the Windows Phone 8X, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy S III can have their memory expanded because they have a memory card slot.

Although this category is close, the LG Optimus G wins because it is the only phone here that starts with 32GB of memory and has 2GB of RAM.

Winners: LG Optimus G

The Droid DNA has the world’s first 1920 x 1080 display

The Screen

When it comes to overall specs, the 5.0″ inch screen in the HTC Droid DNA is second to none. This screen is an inch bigger than the iPhone 5’s, but easier to hold than the Galaxy Note 2, because it’s not as wide (70.5mm vs. 80.5mm). The Droid DNA easily beats the iPhone 5 in both total pixels (1920×1080 vs. 1136×640)) and resolution (441 PPI vs. 326 PPI).

However, the iPhone 5 does have a high-quality screen which does well in areas like color accuracy and brightness, but it get beat by the Galaxy S III in areas like color gamut. Color gamut is the range of color a display can reproduce. IHS says the iPhone 5′s display only reaches 72% of the NTSC color gamut, while the SIII sits at 100%.

Winner:
Size: Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Resolution: Droid DNA
Color accuracy: iPhone 5

The LG Optimus G is the only phone here with a 13MP camera

The Camera

When it comes to megapixels, the current leader is the LG Optimus G which has a 13-megapixel camera. Although all of the other phones here have 8 megapixel cameras, the cameras in the Apple iPhone 5, HTC One X+ and Samsung Galaxy S III are quite good, but each have issues. For example, the camera in the iPhone 5 has issues with noise in low light situations and over-sharpening which adds distortion. The Galaxy S III beats it in both of these areas. The camera in the iPhone 5 often beats the others when it comes to color accuracy in good light. When it comes to front cameras, the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are the worst performers here.

Winner: LG Optimus G

You can beam almost anything from phone to phone using NFC

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, every phone here has 4G LTE support, although the Nexus 4 only supports this feature in some areas.

When it comes to Wi-Fi support, every phone here but the HTC One X+ and LG Optimus G support dual-band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wi-Fi. The 5GHz band is not near as susceptible to interference from cordless telephones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and wireless keyboards. It’s also a much less crowded band which should be used when possible.

Every phone here except the iPhone 5 has support for Near Field Communications or NFC. NFC allows two devices to communicate when they’re moved close together. This allows you to buy things at over 300,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled terminals as well as beam, music, photos, web pages, contacts, maps, YouTube videos and more, from one phone to another. NFC is a very important feature which will one-day change the way we shop and transfer data from phone to phone.

Winners: Tie: HTC Droid DNA, Windows Phone 8X, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III.

The new iPhone 5 is incredibly thin and light

The Case

When it comes to the case, the iPhone 5 does well. It’s thinner and lighter than all of the other finalists here and constructed entirely out of aluminum and glass.

Winner: iPhone 5

The Galaxy Note 2 has an incredibly powerful battery

The Battery

When it comes to the battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 easily wins. Its battery has over twice as much power as the battery in the iPhone 5.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Operating System

When it comes to the operating system, you can make strong arguments for iOS 6, Android 4.2 and Windows Phone 8. You can read more about how Android and iOS compare in my other blog posts.

Winner: Tie: iOS 6, Android 4.2 and Windows Phone 8

And the Winner is…

Back in September, the best smartphone award went to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This time around it’s not so easy to pick a winner. Best is a subjective term. What I’m really talking about is the smartphone with the best overall hardware specs. Based on that definition, neither the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S III can be considered the “phone of the year.” Both are great phones, and both are extremely popular, but they are not the best phones available today. So what is the gold medal winner? For me, it’s a toss-up between the Droid DNA, LG Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G. The Droid DNA wins when it comes to the display. The Optimus G wins on paper when it comes to storage and its 13MP camera — however not all reviewers love its camera. And last, but not least, the Nexus 4 is the only phone here which runs Android 4.2 and has a new-gen quad-core processor — however you shouldn’t buy it if you live in the U.S and LTE support is essential to you.

What About the iPhone 5?

Some of you are probably wondering why the iPhone 5 wasn’t a more serious contender because it’s so popular. As you can see above, the iPhone 5 lags is almost every area. It just can’t compete with phones like the Droid DNA, or even the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is much older. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Consumer Reports recently said the iPhone 5 is the worst of the top smartphones. They ranked it below the LG Optimus G and Samsung Galaxy Note II, as well as older phones like the Droid RAZR MAXX, Droid RAZR HD, Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One S. You can read more about this when their February issue hits the newstands and Internet.

How to Pick Out the Perfect Phone

In the end, your definition of the perfect phone depends on what’s most important to you. This article should help you narrow down your options to only a few phones. Since most of us are on two-year contracts with a carrier, you need to determine which of the phones you are intereted in are carried by your carrier. I suggest you then read the full reviews for each phone you are considering. Finally, it’s essential that you go to a retail store and actually try the phone before you buy it. Happy shopping!

– Rick

Copyright 2013 Rick E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged


Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

Is the Nexus 10 Good Enough to Replace an iPad 3?

Last update: February 26, 2013

This article has had almost 20,000 views! Thanks for reading it.

It’s been several months since my Nexus 10 arrived, so it’s time for an update on my attempt to replace an iPad 3 with it. Was the lack of good tablet apps as big of a problem as everyone said it would be? And what about the superior build-quality of the iPad? Was the Nexus 10 lacking in this area? Read on to learn the answer to these and many more questions.

My Top Gripes After a Month

Since most of my previous columns about the Nexus 10 have stressed its benefits, I’ll get right to my gripes about it. Here are the things that bothered me the most about the Nexus 10 after the first four weeks of use.

You can see an example of a good tablet interface on the left and a bad one on the right.

  1. Limited number of great tablet apps – The number one complaint from reviewers about the Nexus 10 is the lack of great tablet apps. Although it’s true there are more good tablet apps for the iPad, I was surprised this wasn’t more of a problem for me. Many of my favorite Android smartphone apps ran fine on the Nexus 10. In some cases I did need to replace apps, but I didn’t have much of a problem finding suitable replacements. There were two reasons why I needed to replace apps. The first was the fact that some apps have controls which are too small to accurately touch on the Nexus 10. A bigger problem for me was the fact that some of my favorite Android apps couldn’t be downloaded on the Nexus 10. Examples include Zite, USA Today and Flickr. I suspect this is because the companies are working on tablet-optimized apps and are not allowing downloads to tablets because they don’t want to get bad reviews. Now that there are finally a few good selling Android tablets, I suspect we’ll see app makers put more emphasis on creating good tablet apps. I’ve included a list of some Google-recommended tablet-optimized apps here in Tip #4. It’s worth pointing out that not all popular apps are available in tablet versions for the iPad either. For example, Instagram looks much better on the Nexus 10 than it does on the iPad. That’s because it only occupies a small portion of the iPad’s screen. Sure you can blow it up 2x but the text looks distorted and ugly.

    Update: After a month this is no longer a serious problem. Every day I find new tablet-optimized apps that look great on the Nexus 10. Just today a tablet-optimized version of Flipboard finally became available.

  2. Android 4.2’s calendar issue is well-documented

  3. Android 4.2 bugs – Although the stories about Android 4.2’s bugs have been overblown, there is no doubt that iOS 6.0.1 is a more stable, less buggy operating system. Most of the current Android 4.2 bugs are things you won’t experience unless you stream music over Bluetooth, use the lock-screen music widgets, or enable auto-brightness. There is also the well-documented issue which occurs when you try to add an event that occurs in the month of December in the People app. As far as the random crash issues go, I still experience a few a week, so Google does have some work to do in this area.
  4. UPDATE 11/27: Google pushed out an Android 4.2.1 update today which addressed the missing December issue.

    UPDATE 1/15: A Google employee confirms the next Android update will contain a fix for the Bluetooth issue.

  5. Issues rearranging apps and creating folders – Early versions of Android were far superior to iOS when it came to moving apps from screen to screen without rearranging other apps. I’m having problems with this on the Nexus 10 now. A more serious issue is the fact it’s sometimes hard to get an app to go into a folder you drag to. Sometimes the folder moves, other times it won’t work the first time, but if you keep trying you can always get it to go into the folder. This is strange and annoying.
  6. Sometimes magazines can be viewed and other times they cannot

  7. Disappearing magazines – One of my biggest Nexus 10 gripes so far is the problem I’m having not being able to view some of the free magazines that Google provided. I get a ‘Fetching latest…’ message when I try to open a magazine that never goes away. This occurs on magazines I’ve viewed without problems before. This may have to do with the fact I downloaded these to my tablet. The only way I’ve been able to fix this so far is to go to Settings/Apps and swipe to the left until I see the ‘All’ heading and then scroll down to Google Play Magazines and touch the ‘Clear data’ button and redownload the magazine again.
  8. Playback issues with ultra HD video on some apps – I’m having problems trying to watch ultra high-definition (2560*1440) movies using MX Player. The video appears to pause every few seconds now, when it used to work fine on the same software. The same video plays perfectly on the MoboPlayer app so this could be a software-only issue.
  9. Text editing problems in the browser – It’s much more difficult to edit text in a Nexus 10’s browser, than it is to do the same with an iPad 3. There are several reasons for this: The first is the fact it’s harder to insert the cursor precisely in browsers like Chrome. The second is the fact it’s harder to accurately cut and paste text on the Nexus 10 than the iPad. The third, is the fact the Nexus screen sometimes automatically zooms in or repositions itself when you touch the screen or hit the backspace key. It blows my mind that no one at Google has tried to use the Nexus 10 for this purpose because it’s so bad. Editing text in Firefox is even worse than in Chrome. I couldn’t get copy and paste to work reliably in Firefox at all. Two caveats: these are Android-related issues and not Nexus 10 flaws, and furthermore, HTML editing is something I do a lot, but not something a typical consumer does often.

    Update: I’ve figured out what is happening here. Google and browser software makers have implemented logic to try guess when you’re having a hard time touching a button or control. When they detect this, they zoom in around the area to make sure you touch the right thing. This is nice for typical users, but can cause problems when editing HTML. I must have adapted, because I’m now doing almost all of my HTML editing on the Nexus 10 instead of the iPad.

  10. Both the Nexus 10 and iPad 3 have similar back light bleed issues

  11. Screen-related issues – The screen on the Nexus 10 does not have blacks that are as dark as Samsung’s Super Amoled displays. There is also some light leakage in both of the bottom corners. This may only be visible when you are in a dark room and the screen is black, but I wanted to point it out. Some additional leakage is present on each side, but it’s less obvious. As you can see from the photo above, the iPad 3 has backlight leakage that is worse to the Nexus 10. Even with its backlight issues, the iPad 3 and 4 still have a few advantages over the Nexus 10’s display. They have higher contrast, more brightness and better overall color accuracy then the panel in the Nexus 10. That’s not saying the display on the Nexus 10 isn’t great. It will blow your mind when you play a game like “Asphalt 7″ or watch an ultra HD movie on it. It’s also noticeably sharper when it viewing small fonts on websites.
  12. The camera on the Nexus 10 isn’t great

  13. Mediocre rear camera – Although the front camera on the Nexus 10 is only 2MB, it looks much better than the camera on the iPad 3. This is probably because the iPad 3 only has a 0.3 MP camera. The rear-facing camera on the Nexus 10 is not great, but neither is the one on the iPad 3.
  14. Plastic back cover – Although I love the lightness of the Nexus 10 and the way it feels when you hold it, occasionally when you hold its case a certain way, you’ll feel the back move a little. I mainly notice this is when I’m polishing the screen using my shirt. Is this a really big deal? Not for me, but it could have been avoided with a better design.
  15. Wi-Fi range issues – Google claims the Nexus 10 has MIMO Wi-Fi — but its antenna is less sensitive than the one in the iPad. You’ll see this on the Wi-Fi signal strength meter, and you’ll notice a difference in performance when you have a low signal. This isn’t a major problem, but it is a little annoying in light of Google’s bold claims in this area.
  16. Google Play screen update problems – This is a minor issue but I once experienced problems with the screen flashing when I was downloading updates in the Google Play store. This also appears to be an Android 4.2 issue and probably has nothing to do with the Nexus 10.
  17. Auto-brightness problems – Android 4.2 has an auto-brightness setting, but it doesn’t work well because it’s possible for your finger to occasionally block the light sensor when you hold the tablet in Portrait mode. To address this issue you can download Lux Auto Brightness. Lux adjusts the brightness of your display based on your environment. When you go into a dark room, Lux will automatically lower the brightness of your display after you unlock your screen. This approach seems to work better than the dynamic approach that Google uses by default.
  18. The Nexus 10 has the 8th best battery life of 474 Android devices

    The Nexus 10 is one of the more batter-friendly Android devices

  19. Slow charging – Slow charging with the stock charger is a problem, but this was only a issue for me on my first day of use. After that, I charged the tablet at night and did not have a problem getting through most days. When I use the Nexus 10 more than normal, I charge it for an hour around lunch and that gets me through the day. Although there has been a lot of talk about battery life on the Nexus 10, you can see from the chart above it is actually one the top battery-friendly Android devices.
  20. If you’re thinking some of these problems are pretty lame, you’re correct. It’s not easy to find too many things wrong with the Nexus 10’s hardware. Things like backlight leakage are also a problem on the iPad 3 and iPad 4. Most of the serious Nexus 10 issues are software-related, and should be fixed at some point.

Observations After 8 Weeks of Use

I order this product on day one and have spent as many hours with it as anyone outside of Google. After eight weeks I am now using my iPad 3 only a few minutes a week. Here is a summary of my observations after eight weeks:

  • The claims about Apple’s superior app ecosystem are overblown. I don’t miss any of the iPad apps I was running before. Not a single one. That doesn’t mean all of the Android apps are at parity, because they are not. But the differences are small enough now that they don’t bother me. Since the Nexus 10 launched the number of good tablet apps has increased dramatically.
  • My problems with the Nexus 10 crashing have sadly increased, but they are not a serious problem yet. Sometimes it will crash twice in a day and then go days without another crash. There is a lot of speculation over the cause of this. Some people think it’s caused by the Chrome browser. Others think the problem goes away when the GPS is disabled. I’ve noticed that many of my crashes occur when I’m using the Chrome browser and Wi-Fi signal strength is low or the tablet is downloading updates. I also suspect that moving wallpapers might be a contributing factor. This hasn’t become a major annoyance for me yet, because I’m confident Google will fix this soon.
  • Update: Since I installed Android 4.2.2, my crash problems seem to have gone away.

  • Most of the display gripes about the Nexus 10 are overblown. The back light bleed is not a problem for me, but I would like darker blacks. That is my number one screen gripe. Color accuracy on the Nexus 10 isn’t great, but that hasn’t been a problem for me. Nor have non-HD desktop icons. I do feel the lack of great HD wallpapers is a problem, but likely one that won’t last long. Screen brightness has also not been a problem for me. Although its not perfect, I love the display on the Nexus 10. To my eyes it’s much crisper than the iPad 3 and that’s what I care about the most.
  • The build quality of the Nexus 10 is fine. I’ll take the lightness over the iPad any day. My only gripe is the fact that the section on the back does not stay in as snugly as I would like.
  • One new problem I’m a little concerned about is the heat from the main chip. This was initially only a problem when gaming, but now I notice it when I’m scrolling on site like Facebook for long periods.
  • What About Build Quality?

    Along with lack of tablet apps, build quality is the most common gripe about the Nexus 10 from Apple fans who have never seen one. I’ll admit the Nexus 10 doesn’t look great in most review photos, but in person, it looks and feels very nice. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Here are a few excerpts about build quality from Nexus 10 reviews:

  • Gizmodo said: “It feels extremely solid and well-built. The back panel is a hard plastic that has been rubberized in a really interesting way. It’s very smooth, but very grippy at the same time.”
  • Ars Technica said: “I do find that I actually prefer the textured plastic back of the Nexus 10 to the aluminum back used by the iPads—the latter gets pretty cold to the touch in November in New Jersey, and the tablet is only too happy to transfer that coldness straight to your hands. The Nexus 10 is a bit more hospitable when pulling it out of a bag that’s been outside.”
  • CNET said: “It is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet to hold in your hand its light weight and smoothly rounded corners the tablet never digs into your palms when held with two hands. The back is a soft, grippy, almost rubbery plastic that not only feels great to hold, but doubles as protection for the tablet. The aforementioned rounded corners have that same rubbery plastic around them. The whole outer shell feels almost like an exoskeleton accessory, specifically designed to protect the delicate tablet organs.”
  • Ubergizmo said: “To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. I really like the soft touch treatment which gives a solid grip when holding the tablet. This is an issue that I have regularly with the iPad. Overall, I find the industrial design to be excellent and high-quality. Unless you are adamant to feel metal when you touch the tablet, I expect most people to be pleased with the quality of this device.”
  • The Guardian said: “The Nexus 10 is a sleek, smooth tablet that feels solid, and sits nicely in the hands with its rounded corners – more rounded than the iPad.”
  • Venture Beat said: “The tablet’s curved design makes it surprisingly comfortable to hold, and the soft back case material feels simply luxurious. The Nexus 10 is so well designed that you’ll be tempted to fondle it even when it’s turned off.”
  • Android Community said: “It’s extremely well made, very durable, feels great and is indeed a polished and beautiful product inside and out.”
  • Android Police said: “Amazing build quality. I tried really hard to find a flaw in the build of this tablet. But I couldn’t. It’s top-notch – everything is super-solid… The back is the real standout feature of the device’s physical design, as it’s coated in a very soft rubbery-plastic that feels almost like leather. It definitely adds a feeling of quality, and is absolutely fantastic in the hands. It’s not cold and slippery like aluminum, nor does it feel cheap and flimsy like typical plastic. It’s slightly grippy, which allows you to hold the unit with less “force,” leading to less wrist fatigue. It also makes it easier to hold the device in your hand palette-style without fear of dropping it.”
  • Tech Radar said: “The rear plastic chassis has a soft-touch feel, with the rubberized effect providing additional grip in the hand, and wrapping round to the front of the tablet for a smooth, seamless finish.”
  • And last, but not least, Wired said: “The back panel is a grippy plastic that makes the Nexus 10 much better than previous Samsung tablets and even the iPad for one-handed use.”
  • Why The Nexus 10 is My New ‘Go to’ Tablet

    You might be wondering why I still favor the Nexus 10, even though I admit the iPad still has some important advantages. Here’s why:

    1. The Nexus 10 absolutely kills the iPad 3 and 4 when it comes to features.
    2. The Nexus 10 is a much better value than the iPad 4. Its hardware beats the iPad 4 in almost every area and costs $100 less.
    3. Apple prevents older hardware from running some features

    4. I want access to all of the newest technologies. The Nexus 10 has features like NFC and multi-user support, which iPad users could be waiting years to get. Not only is Apple behind, they have a history of preventing their users from accessing their new features. Even though the iPad 2 is capable of running Siri and Panorama, Apple forces iPad 2 owners to buy newer hardware in order to run those features. That just isn’t right.
    5. Speed is important to me and the Nexus 10 is faster than the iPad 3. After using my Nexus almost 100% of the time for several months the iPad is noticeably slower on things like scrolling Facebook in the browser.
    6. Lastly, I want the same experience on my phone and tablet. Now that I’ve switched from iPhone to an Android smartphones, it only makes sense that I use an Android tablet.

    Could I replace my iPad 3 with the Nexus 10?

    My transition from an iPad 3 to a Nexus 10 wasn’t as easy as my transition from an iPhone to a Nexus phone. My first few days with the Nexus 10 were not great. I was getting it set up properly and finding good tablet-optimized apps. Most of my issues with the Nexus 10 were software-related, and not directly related to the Nexus 10 hardware. The Nexus 10 is not a perfect product, but it’s good enough that I’ve put my iPad 3 on the shelf and only use it for occasional HTML editing now. The surprising thing is I actually prefer using the Nexus 10 now over the iPad 3. The main reason for this is the fact the Nexus 10 is noticeably lighter than the iPad and feels much better in my hand. Its corners are nicely rounded and don’t dig into my palm the way the iPad 3 does. This is a big deal when you hold your tablet for long periods with one hand like I do. Another reason I prefer the Nexus over the iPad is the display. The crispness of text on the Nexus 10’s display is second to none.

    The bottom line is the Nexus 10 is a great tablet, which holds its own against the best tablets. This says a lot, because the iPad 4 running iOS 6 is a very good product. But for me, the Nexus 10 is even better.

    Final update 2/26: My crash problems seem to have been fixed by Android 4.2.2. I no longer use my iPad for a single thing. It sits on my floor lonely and unused, so I’ve decided to give it to my Dad on Fathers Day. In the past few months there have been a large number of good Android tablet apps which have been released. It’s now at the point where I can’t think of a single iPad app that I still miss — except maybe Zite which runs on my GS3.

    – Rick

    Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    It’s true the iPad has more tablet-optimized apps, but some popular apps still appear like this.

    Here is how Instagram looks on the Nexus 10. Which would you rather use?

    50 Great Tips & Tricks for the Nexus 10

    Last updated: November 24, 2013

    This article has received over 400,000 views! Although it was written for the Nexus 10, many of these tips apply to other Android tablets as well.

    Welcome to the most comprehensive list of tips and tricks for the Nexus 10 you’ll find anywhere on the Internet. This started off as part of a Nexus first impressions article, but quickly grew into a list of 50 tips, so I’ve broken it out on its own. Because this article is intended for everyone from beginners to experts, there will be some things here you already know here, but you’ll also find tips you won’t find anywhere else.

    1. Upgrade to the latest version of Android – There have been several updates to Android since the first Nexus 10 tablets left the factory. Make sure to install the newest Android system update. If your tablet isn’t already running Android 4.2.2, and it doesn’t appear under Settings > About tablet > System Updates, scroll to the bottom of this article to learn how to force an update to Android 4.2.2. What’s new in Android 4.2.2? You can see a list of all changes here.
    2. Choose your screen orientation – The startup screen, volume control and speaker placement seem to indicate Google intended the Nexus 10 to be used horizontally in landscape mode. However I prefer the vertical portrait mode for the following reasons: First, it’s better suited for most web pages. Second, apps like Instagram and Spotify can’t be used in landscape mode. Third, it’s easier to hold the Nexus 10 vertically with one hand. Of course you’ll want to use landscape when watching most movies. In the end the choice is yours, just keep in mind if you use it in portrait mode the volume control will be reversed (e.g. pushing the lower button turns the volume up.)
    3. Google Now delivers information without you needing to ask

      The Nexus 10 Guidebook is massive

    4. Activate Google Now – Swipe up from the bottom of your tablet screen near the center to access Google Now. Before using Google Now you must go through a tutorial and then activate it. Then make sure location services are on. To do this you need to check the box next to ‘Wi-Fi & mobile network location’ and agree with the prompt. Then go through the settings for Google Now and enter your favorites sports teams and adjust a few other settings. When you’re finished Google Now will start presenting you with information tailored to your needs like the local weather. You can see what my first Google Now page looked like in the screenshot above. It’s worth mentioning I’ve never taken my tablet to the gym, or asked Google for my drive time to work. It provided that info based on my previous behavior. I know some people have privacy concerns, but I think this feature is great.
    5. Download the official Nexus 10 Guidebook – Google just made available a new 159 page Nexus 10 Guidebook. You can download this excellent guide here. Once downloaded, I recommend you copy it to your tablet, so you can refer to it anywhere you go. Make sure you have a PDF reader on your Nexus 10 however. You can download Adobe Reader here.
    6. Download some tablet-optimized apps – You’ll quickly discover not all of your Android smartphone apps adapt well to the extremely high pixel density of the Nexus 10. For this reason, Google recommends you download some of the following apps: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for Tablets, Cat in the Hat, Cut the Rope Experiments HD, Evernote, Expedia, Fandango Movies for Tablets, Friendcaster, Google Currents, Fancy, Heros Call HD Widgets, Hipmunk, Hulu Plus, Magic Piano, Mint.com, Netflix, News Republic for Tablets, Ocean HD, Office Suite Pro, OpenTable, Picsay Pro, Plume, Pinterest, Pulse News, SplashTop Remote Desktop HD, Strikefleet Omega, Sprinkle, SwiftyKey3 Tablet, Pocket, SeriesGuide, Taptu, TED, Trulio, Zappos and Zoomingo. In addition to the above apps, I would add the following apps which have all been optimized to run on tablets like the Nexus 10: 500px, AccuWeather for Android, AirCalc, Amazon Mobile (Tablet), BaconReader for Reddit, Business Calendar, Calendar, Ebay, Engadget, FIFA 2014, Flipboard, Google+, Google Pinin Input, Hotel Tonight, Kingsoft Office, NYTimes for Android, Pandora, PicsArt, Pinterest, Sing! Karaoke, Smart Tools, SkyDrive, Solid Explorer, Songza, SoundHound, Tasks, Temple Run 2, The Weather Channel, Twitter (tablet-optimized version), USA Today, Wunderlist 2 and Yahoo! Weather.

      Here’s a list of the top 150 Android apps. Many, but not all are tablet-optimized. Also, check out the Tablified Market app. It highlights apps that are designed and optimized for tablets.

    7. Install the Adobe Flash plug-in – Flash may be a dying format, but there are still millions of Flash videos around and the Nexus 10 should be able play some of them. To install Flash from the official Adobe website, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page.
    8. The Nexus 10 has several different keyboard layouts like this one with number keys

    9. Expand your keyboard – Since the Nexus 10 has such a large screen you may want to expand to a full-sized PC-style keyboard that includes number keys and extras like the screenshot above has. It’s tricky to set up, but worth it if you like to type in landscape mode. Go to Settings/Language & input and then touch the settings Sliders next to ‘Android keyboard.’ Next, touch ‘Advanced settings’ and touch ‘Custom input styles.’ It will say Deutsch and Francais, but you can ignore that. Touch ‘Add Style’ near the upper right. Then select your language and change the layout from QWERTY to ‘PC’ or one of the other styles. Now touch ‘Add’ and you’ll see your new style appear in the list. Touch ‘Enable’ and use the back key to go back to the Language & input screen. Now touch ‘Input languages’ near the top and uncheck ‘Use system language.’ Lastly, touch ‘English (US) (PC)’ and you’re done. Source: AndroidPIT

      Note: Mostly-tech reader Craig has reported the above tip changed his default input language and broke voice and image responses via GoogleNow. If you experience either of those problems, switch back to the (US English) keyboard input setting.

    10. Control your tablet using your voice - Most people don’t know you can have your tablet open an app, create a calendar event, display a map, navigate to a place, send an email, set an alarm, define a word, show movie times, take a note, display a weather forecast, identify a zip code or area code, provide flight info, find a restaurant, run a calculator or provide a translation by simply speaking. Start by touching the microphone next to the search box. For more info, go to pages 58-64 in the Nexus 10 Guidebook (See Tip 3 to find out where to get this). There’s also a list of all 53 types of voice requests here.
    11. Watch "Timescapes" if you want to see what the amazing display on the Nexus 10 is capable of

      Watch “Timescapes” if you want to see what the amazing display on the Nexus 10 is capable of

    12. Download a high-quality video – If you really want to see what the Nexus 10 display is capable of when it comes to video, download Timescapes. It it the first 4K movie that you can purchase for $29.95. It has almost twice as many pixels as a normal high-definition video. If you’re not ready to shell out $30 bucks, but want to watch a free 1080p preview of the movie click here. If you decide to buy the movie, make sure to download the 2560×1440 version and not the others. The movie is over 6GB, so you should back it up to your computer, so you can free up space on your tablet if you need to later. In order to play this video, you may have to download free MoboPlayer software (or equivalent).
    13. Turn off haptic feedback if you don’t like it – When touch the screen on the Nexus 10 to navigate, you get a little vibration. If you don’t like this, go to Settings > Sound and uncheck ‘Vibrate on touch.’ Making this change will not turn off the vibration you get when you type on the onscreen keyboard. To turn that off, go to Settings > ‘Language and input.’ Then touch the Setting icon for the ‘Android keyboard’ and uncheck ‘Sound on keypress.’ Make sure ‘Vibrate on keypress’ is unchecked as well. If you’re using SwiftKey 3 Tablet, go to its settings page, touch Advanced. Touch ‘Audio and haptic feedback’ and uncheck Haptic feedback.
    14. Shoot and edit your own home movies on your Nexus 10

    15. Shoot and edit video on your tablet – If this is your first Android tablet, you probably haven’t used ‘Movie Studio’ yet. Movie Studio lets you edit video clips together in a timeline with transitions, music, effects and titles. Movie studio has been around since Android 3.0, but the tablets back then didn’t have enough power to run it well. Here are some good instructions how to use Movie Studio.
    16. Unhide Developer Options – Earlier versions of Android had a ‘Developer options’ area in Settings but that’s no longer present in Android 4.2. However, you can still put your tablet into Developer Mode by going to Settings and touching ‘About tablet.’ Then click the build number seven times. After you do that you will see ‘Developers options’ appear in the Settings menu! This great tip came from Wai Ho Cheung.
    17. SwiftKey 3 is Tablet a great tablet-optimized keyboard app

    18. Try a tablet-optimized keyboard – If I had to pick one single app that softened my transition from the iPad 3 to the Nexus 10 the most it would be the SwiftKey 3 Tablet Keyboard. The reason for this is because I type a lot and I like to work in portrait mode. That squeezes the keys closer together and makes typing harder on the stock keyboard. I can’t say enough good things about this app. It takes a while for you to learn it, and for it to learn you, but when that happens, you’ll never go back.
    19. Toggle between MTP and PTP – Here’s another tip you won’t see anywhere else: You can put the Nexus 10 into Camera (PTP) mode by going to Settings > Storage and then selecting the menu in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you can select ‘USB computer connection,’ which allows you to toggle between MTP (which is the default) and PTP which lets you transfer photos using camera software. PTP also works on computers that don’t support MTP.
    20. Learn how to use Quick Settings – You can use the Quick Settings menu to turn on/off Wi-Fi, change screen brightness, turn off auto-rotate and more. To open Quick Settings, swipe down from the top right corner of any screen. You can even access the full settings menu from Quick Settings.
    21. An Actionable Notification

    22. Try the new Notification Shade – To open the Notification Shade, swipe down from the top left corner of any screen. You can do this even when your Nexus 10 is locked. Certain notifications like emails or calendar events can be expanded to show more information. Some notifications let you take action by touching icons. For example, Calendar notifications allow you to Snooze or send email to other guests. To collapse a notification, pinch it. To expand a notification, glide using two fingers. When you’re finished with a notification, just swipe it to the right to make it go away. To dismiss all notifications, touch the icon at the top right of the notification shade. If you long-press on an open task, you’ll be taken straight to the settings page for that app.

    23. Uninstall unneeded apps – After you’ve been using your tablet for a while you’ll probably have apps that you never use. You may want to remove any unused apps to free up space. The easiest way to uninstall an app is to press and hold the app icon in the app drawer and drag it to the top of the screen where it says ‘Uninstall.’ If it only shows App Info, it is a system app and cannot be uninstalled. However, if you drag the app to where it says App Info you’ll have the option to disable the app, which frees up memory.
    24. Games like “Asphalt 7″ look great on the Nexus 10

    25. Download a new game – Playing games on your Nexus 10 tablet is very different than playing games on your smartphone. The large screen, killer graphics, faster processor and great sounding stereo speakers take gaming to a whole new level. Make sure to download a game with great graphics like Asphalt 7, Dead Trigger, or Shadow Gun. All of these will cost you, but there are many great free games as well, including Temple Run 2.
    26. Improve your gaming graphics – If you’re a hard-core gamer, you probably already know what 4x anti-aliasing is. You can enable this on the Nexus 10 if you know a secret trick. First, enable Developer Options as described above in Tip #11. Then go to Settings and click on Developer Options. You will now see an option on the right to enable Force 4x MSAA. Multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA) is a technique used to improve image quality. Since the Nexus 10 has a GPU capable of supporting MSAA, this setting should make your graphics look more detailed when you’re playing advanced games. Keep in mind this will also cause your GPU to work harder and your tablet may get hotter and consume more power than normal. It’s also possible that all games may not support this, but this seems to work great with games like Asphalt 7. Source: Wai Ho Cheung.
    27. This wireless gaming controller was designed for the Nexus 10

    28. Use a gaming controller with your Nexus 10 – If you game a lot, you might try using a gaming controller with your Nexus 10. You have three options: If you own a Sony PS3, you can use up to four PS3 controllers with your Nexus 10 at the same time. Instructions here. You can also plug an Xbox gaming controller into the Nexus 10, as long as you have a micro USB to USB adapter. Lastly, you can purchase a wireless gaming controller like the Nyko Playpad.
    29. Copy your media to your tablet – One of Android’s best features is the ability to plug your charging cable into the USB jack on your computer and have your tablet appear as a hard drive. Once you do this, you can easily copy over the music, photos, videos or documents you want to take with you everywhere.
    30. Select a lock screen – If you plan to bring your Nexus 10 outside of your house, you should go to Settings/Security and pick a pattern (recommended), PIN or password-based screen unlock.
    31. It’s easy to connect a Nexus 10 to your TV and watch HD videos on it.

    32. Connect your tablet to a television – The Nexus 10 has a standard micro HDMI jack, so you can purchase a high-quality cable which connects to your TV for as little as $3. This allows you to watch high-definition videos from YouTube, Netflix or any other site on your TV. Unlike other tablets, the Nexus will display a video on your tablet and television at the same time. It will also automatically scale 2550x1440p videos to 1080p, so your television can display them. As you can see from the screenshot above, the picture quality is great. Important: Make sure to power down your tablet and television before connecting or disconnecting an HDMI cable. If you don’t, it’s possible that you could damage your tablet.
    33. Hook up an external keyboard and mouse – You can easily connect your tablet to an external keyboard, mouse, or other input device and use these just as you would with a PC. This can be done using Bluetooth or direct USB connection. To connect via USB you will need an adapter like this. To connect more than one USB device at a time, use a powered USB hub to reduce drain on your battery. I’ve tried a wired keyboard and a standard wired mouse with the Nexus 10 tablet and both work pretty well. The mouse had no issues whatsoever. The keyboard seemed to miss keys or spaces occasionally when I typed too fast. However, I really like using the arrow keys on the keyboard to precisely move the cursor around text on the screen. I also like the fact the tablet can tell there is a keyboard attached and does not display the onscreen keyboard. This saves a lot of space on the screen.
    34. You can work faster when you connect your Nexus 10 to a traditional keyboard and mouse

    35. External keyboard tips – In addition to entering text, you can use your keyboard to navigate your tablet’s features: Use the arrow keys to select items on screen. Press Return after selecting an item is equivalent to touching that item. Press Escape to go Back. Press Tab or Shift-Tab to move forward on a screen with multiple text fields. For maximum typing speed, turn off auto-replace, auto-capitalization and auto-punctuate. To do this, swipe down on the top of the screen and ‘Select keyboard layout.’ To do this, swipe down on the top of the screen and ‘Select keyboard layout.’ Don’t forget you can use keyboard commands like Ctrl-V to paste text just like you would with a PC.
    36. Expand your memory – One of the biggest complaints about the Nexus 10 is the fact it doesn’t have a memory expansion slot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own memory by buying a short micro USB to USB cable and connecting a low-cost memory stick. However, stock Android devices do not automatically “mount” mass storage devices like USB sticks, so one additional step is required. If you’re Nexus tablet is rooted, the best solution is an app called Stickmount (Note: I was recently told there may be problems with it and Android 4.2, which the developer are working on now). Once StickMount is installed you connect a USB stick to your Nexus using a USB OTG cable and the device will show you a popup and ask if you want to open StickMount. You’ll need a file viewer app like ES File Explorer to display your files. More details. If your Nexus 10 is not rooted, you have two options: The first is a $3 app called Nexus Media Importer, which allows you to import or stream music, video, photos and documents from a USB flash drive or SD card. More info. The second option is free. You can enable PTP on your Nexus 10 by following the instructions in Tip #13 above. Once PTP is enabled, when you plug in a supported device it should immediately bring up the Gallery app with a new folder containing all of your photos. When you open that folder, you can either import, or browse the photos. All of the above options require a USB OTG to mini USB adapter.
    37. Where to Find More Great Tips Like These

      If you’re looking for more great tips and tricks for the Nexus 10, checkout this article.

      The new Photo Gallery App is a powerful photo editing tool

    38. Edit your photos like a pro – The Android 4.2 Gallery app is more than just a photo viewer. It now has some serious editing capabilities. In addition to all of the standard Instagram-style filters, this app has some advanced photo editing features that are similar to the ones you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The incredible screen on the Nexus 10 and fast processor, make it a serious photo editing station. For even better editing options, try Snapseed or Pixlr Express.
    39. More powerful photo editing options

    40. Learn how to take a screenshot – To take a screenshot on the Nexus 10, press the power button and the volume down button and continue to hold them until you hear a beep and see the screen zoom in. The volume down is on the top part of the volume slider when you are holding the tablet in portrait-mode.
    41. Use the new Google Voice search – It doesn’t make sense to type your searches any more. Just touch the microphone near the top of the screen and talk, or say “Google” when you are on the Google Now page.
    42. Set up a guest profile – You may want to setup a guest profile on your Nexus 10, so a friend can check their email, and install their own games, but can’t update your Facebook status. Their app settings, screen background, game-progress and high-scores remain separate. To add a new user, go to Settings/Device/Users. Touch ‘Add user’ and then touch OK. Touch ‘Not now,’ if your guest is not available. A generic new user should now appear in the list.
    43. Customize your home screen – Every one uses their tablet differently, so you should customize your home screen(s) to meet your needs. Here are some suggestions:

      a. Make shortcuts on your home screens for all of your favorite apps. To do this go to the App locker and then touch and hold an app and drag it to the desired screen.

      b. Create folders for different categories of apps (e.g. Games, Utilities, etc.) and move all of the related apps into those folders.To create a new folders drag on app on top of another similar app. After the new folder is created, make sure to name it.

      c. Uninstall any unnecessary apps or widgets from your existing homescreens. To do this, simply touch and drag them into the text ‘Remove’ near the top of the screen.

      Buy a case for your Nexus 10

    44. Buy a carrying case – It’s a good idea to purchase a leather case for your Nexus 10. This will protect your screen from scratches and give you additional protection if you drop it. Most cases also act as a stand for your tablet. Nexus 10 cases are just starting to appear on sites like Amazon.com. I just received this case and I’m happy with it.
    45. Don’t forget about the free music – Although you won’t see the free music that is included with your Nexus 10 in the “My Library” widget, if you go into ‘All Apps’ and open ‘Play Music,’ U.S. Nexus owners will find ten free songs from The Rolling Stones, Cat Power, M. Ward, The Lumineers, Bob Mould, Eskmo and more. Preloaded music in other countries varies.
    46. Install tracking software – You paid good money for your Nexus 10, so you don’t want to lose it. Make sure to install software like ‘Where’s My Droid‘ which allows you to track your tablet if lost or stolen. If you spend $4 to upgrade to the Pro version, you can also remotely lock your tablet, enable the camera to see the thief and as a last resort erase your tablet remotely. If you install this app, make sure to run the setup and connect the Commander screen to your Google account.
    47. Try gesture typing – The standard Android keyboard now allows you to slide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift it after each word. You don’t need to worry about spaces, because they’re added automatically for you. This feature used to be only found in premium apps like Swype. Now you can use it whenever you like.
    48. Zoom two different ways – There are different ways to zoom in on the Nexus 10. The first is called double-tap. You can quickly tap two times on most webpages in Chrome to zoom in. Double-tap again to zoom out. This feature works on most webpages, maps, and other screens. Android 4.2 also has an interesting new feature called magnification gestures. When enabled, you can triple-tap the screen everywhere (except on the keyboard or notification bar) and zoom in. The nice thing is that you stay zoomed in, until you triple-tap a second time. To enable this feature, go to Settings > System > Accessibility and touch Magnification gestures. Then slide it from off to on and hit the back button. It’s worth mentioning that the way you zoom in works differently when you double or triple tap. Both have advantages, try each and see which is better for certain things. One user has reported that enabling triple-tap doesn’t work well when playing games like GTA3.
    49. Pin your content so you can access it without a Wi-Fi connection

    50. Access your Google Play media offline – Normally Google Play streams your content from the cloud when you access it. This is done so the content doesn’t take up any of your precious storage space. However, there are times where you may not have access to the Internet, but still want to read a book or watch a movie. To do that you’ll want to download or ‘pin’ the media on your device so you can access it offline. To ‘pin’ a book, open the Play Books app, go to the menu and select ‘Make available offline.’ A blue dot with a pin in it means the book is available for offline, but has not been downloaded yet. To download it, tap it once and the pin should turn white. Once the book is finished downloading, the pin icon should be upright, white and surrounded by a blue dot (like “The Time Machine” book above). Keep in mind that downloading a movie will consume a substantial amount of storage space (~1.7GB).
    51. Press and hold to quickly change camera settings

      Press and hold to quickly change camera settings

    52. Quickly change camera settings – You can now press and hold on the camera app screen and swipe to quickly change white balance, HDR and other camera settings. You can also go directly from the camera app to the Photo Gallery app by swiping to the right. Swipe left to return to the camera.
    53. Improve your Internet download speeds – If you have Wi-Fi range issues like I do, you may want to purchase an Ethernet adapter. The Nexus 10 supports USB-OTG, which makes this possible. Although micro USB to Ethernet adapters are available, they don’t get good reviews, so you’re probably better of with a USB to Ethernet adapter like this and a micro USB to USB adapter. More about the types of things you can connect with USB-OTG.
    54. Pinch-to-zoom Gmail – Gmail has a new setting called ‘Auto-fit messages’ which is not enabled by default. When you enable this setting, you can manually pinch to zoom in or out on an e-mail. This is really useful.
    55. Learn how to decipher the notification LED – You’ve probably noticed there’s an LED on the front of your Nexus 10 that flashes occasionally. It’s there to let you when you have one ore more notifications waiting. Its LED is capable of displaying multiple colors so you can tell what type of notification you have without unlocking your tablet. Since there is no mention of this feature in the Nexus 10 manual, there is some confusion over the colors used. It appears Google uses white for Gmail or SMS texts, blue is for Facebook notifications, green indicates your tablet is 100% charged, and also may show Google Voice notifications, yellow is for Google Talk and red is for Google+. It appears third-party apps can trigger the notification LED as well. One thing I’ve noticed about the notification LED is it sometimes continues to flash after you’ve cleared your notifications. If this blinking bothers you, you can turn off the notification LED by going to Settings > Display and unchecking ‘Pulse notification light.’
    56. Light Flow Lite allows you to take control of the colors of your notification LED

    57. Customize your LED notifications – A free app called Light Flow Lite allows you to take control of the colors of your notification LED. It also makes your Nexus 10 flash one color after another. This app allows you to set the notification color for the over 250 applications and system events including missed calls, low battery, no signal, voice mail, calendar reminders, Gmail messages, email messages, SMS messages, MMS messages, Twitter notifications and more.
    58. Quickly silence or restart your tablet – To quickly silence your Nexus 10, press and hold the power button for 1-2 seconds. To restart your tablet, press and hold the power button for 8 seconds.
    59. Backup everything on your tablet

    60. Make it easy for someone to return your tablet if lost – It’s a good idea to add a message to your lock-screen like the following: If found, please call [Enter your area code and phone number here]. To do this, go to Settings > Security > and touch ‘Owner info’ (or User Info, for other users). Then enter the text you want displayed on the lock screen.
    61. Backup everything on your tablet – Although it’s true Google backs up some of your data, it doesn’t back up everything. My Backup Pro backs-up your photos, SMS texts, contacts, call log, browser bookmarks, system settings, Home screens, music playlists and apps. Your entire backup is stored online.
    62. Use your tablet as a phone – You can turn your Android tablet into a phone with apps like Talkatone, GrooVe IP, Viber, Tablet Calling or others. A free Google Voice account is required by most of these programs. For best results, you’ll want to use a Bluetooth earpiece, since the mic used for this is located on the back of your tablet. For video calls try Skype or Tango. Video calls use the front camera on the Nexus, which works pretty well, however you still should use a Bluetooth earpiece for best results.
    63. Let Google know where you live and work – In order to get the most out of Google Now you must enter your home and work addresses. To do this go to maps.google.com using your browser, touch the Menu icon in the upper right hand corner, and open My Places. From there, you can enter your home and work addresses.
    64. Nexus 10 features to avoid – Because Android 4.2 and the Nexus 10 are still so new, there are several features you may want to avoid until the next update is available. Avoid using Lock-screen music widgets and Auto-brightness. If auto-brightness is important to you, please refer to Tip 40 here for a work-around.
    65. Enjoy your media without cables

    66. Get yourself some wireless headphones – The Nexus 10 is great for multimedia. After Google fixes the Bluetooth issues with Android 4.2.2 you may want to get yourself a wireless headset like this one. It’s stereo, sounds good and also has a mic, so you can make calls with it. If you have problems pairing your Bluetooth headset, try it several times. It took me at least three tries before it worked.
    67. Get help from Google – You can call (855) 836-3987 and ask Google questions about your Nexus 10 24/7. I know some people are bashing Google for their phone support, but my phone support experience was positive. Once I waited on hold for 15 minutes, but the person who answered my call was able to quickly solve a difficult problem.
    68. Visit the Nexus 10 support site online for more information.

      Where to Find More Great Tips Like These

      Hopefully you’ve learned something new after reading this. If you’re looking for more great tips and tricks for the Nexus 10, check out my next article.

      How to Install Flash on the Nexus 10

      1. Go to Settings > Security > and check “Unknown sources” under Device Administration.
      2. Go to Google Play and download Firefox (or another browser that you are sure has Flash support).
      3. Next, download Flash from the Adobe website by clicking here.
      4. Drag the downloaded file labeled ‘install_flash_player_ics.apk’ into the ‘Download’ folder on your Nexus 10.
      5. Now use an app like ES File Explorer to locate the APK in your Download folder and touch it.
      6. Next, touch ‘Install’ and ‘Agree’ to install the Flash plug-in.
      7. Note: Although I have not experienced any problems with Flash on the Nexus 10, I can not be responsible for the results of the actions you are about to take. You are installing software which is not officially supported, and could result in security or stability issues. I wouldn’t be too concerned however. I’ve been running this for more than four weeks now and have visited many sites. Content on most sites plays fine for me. Nothing bad has happened on the other sites.

        To test that Flash is working, go to this page (or any other page you know has Flash on it). If you don’t see a video, touch where it says ‘Tap here to activate plugin’. After you do this, you should see a red box jumping around on the screen. I’ve noticed that most, but not all Flash files play on the Nexus 10. This appears to be due to an incompatibility between Flash and Android 4.2. If Flash videos don’t play the first time, don’t try to activate Flash on that page again. Enjoy!

        Although it’s not essential, if you don’t plan to sideload more APK files, you should go back to Settings > Security > and uncheck “Unknown sources” under Device Administration.

        Can’t get Flash to work? Try some of these suggestions.

        If you have problems getting Firefox to work, try installing Boat Browser. After installing it, make sure to go to Settings > Page content settings and set ‘Enable flash/plug-ins to On. If you view a lot of Flash, you might want to make Boat your default browser. [Thanks to Karen for this tip]

        How to Force An Update to Android 4.2.2 on Your Nexus 10

        1. Go to Settings > Apps > and swipe the area which says “DOWNLOADED” to the right until you see “ALL” tab under Apps. The screens below were borrowed from a Cult of Android article for another device. Your screens may look slightly different.

          Steps 1

          Step 2b

          1. Now, scroll down to where it says “About tablet” and touch “System updates’ and touch the “Check now” button. If it does not find the 4.2.2. update, restart your tablet and try again. If the above steps do not work, repeat them rebooting your device after step 3. You may also need to repeat the steps twice for the update to show up on your device. This approach worked for me, but may not work in all regions.

            What to Do If You Have Problems After You Force An Update to Android 4.2.2

            After I forced an update to Android 4.2.2 I could not download or update apps without an error. You have have that problem, you may want to do what I did to fix it.

            1. Go to Settings > Apps > and swipe the area which says “DOWNLOADED” to the right until you see “ALL” tab under Apps. Select “Google Play Store”, and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data.” Please note: After clearing the Google Play Store app data, if you have set a PIN code and/or a content filter, you’ll need to re-apply these settings.
            2. Locate “Download Manager,” under “ALL” and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data”
            3. Locate “Google Services Framework,” under “ALL” and then tap “Clear cache” and “Clear data”
            4. Reboot your tablet
            5. Try it again. If you still cannot download apps, try removing and then re-adding your Google account on the Settings screen. This worked for me.
            6. – Rick

              Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


              Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    Nexus 10 – First Impressions

    Last update: January 27, 2013

    Earlier today I received one of the first Nexus 10 tablets. Since I’m hoping to use it to replace my iPad 3, I’m comparing the two side-by-side. Here are my initial findings so far:

    First Impressions – Day One

    1. The process of setting up a Nexus 10 is easy. You don’t even have to enter your Google account email. Just enter your password, answer a few questions and all of your apps and other data will start syncing.
    2. The build-quality on the Nexus 10 is very good overall. This was a surprise to me, because I didn’t think the Nexus 10 looked very good in the reviews. The front is metal and glass like the iPad 4. The back of the Nexus 10 is plastic, not aluminum like the iPad, but it feels good in your hands. Because it’s corners are rounded, it doesn’t dig into your palm as much as the iPad 3. The only thing I don’t like about the plastic is the fact that it does flex a little when you squeeze it hard. This is something the iPad 3 doesn’t do.
    3. The Nexus 10 comes with 5 books, 3 magazines, 10 songs, an HD movie and a TV show

    4. The Nexus 10 comes with lots of free content – Content varies by country. U.S. users get the following three free magazines, Conde Nast Traveler, Entrepreneur and House Beautiful. We also get five great books including “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. Like music? The Nexus 10 also comes with ten songs from The Rolling Stones, Cat Power, M. Ward, The Lumineers, Bob Mould, Eskmo and more. Last, but not least, the Nexus 10 also comes with an HD copy of the full-length movie “Ice Age” and the BBC TV show “Planet Earth.” Preloaded media varies by country, so your selection could be different from what I’ve listed above.
    5. The screen on the Nexus 10 is beautiful. Small text on the Nexus 10 is noticeably crisper than the same text on the iPad 3. The free ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine Google gives you is a great example how media on a tablet can look every bit as good as a real magazine. That’s probably because HD magazines in Google Play are 300dpi and the screen on the Nexus 10 is 300ppi. I’ve attached a screen capture here, but you can only really appreciate the way it looks if you have a Nexus 10 or iPad 4. It won’t look good on most computer displays. It’s worth mentioning the quality on the free Conde Nast Traveler magazine seems to vary. Some of the ads look grainy to me, while others look great. I’m not sure why. Resolution is just one important display parameter. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t acknowledge the fact the iPad 3 and 4 both have amazing displays that excel in some areas over the display in the Nexus 10 as well. I’ll detail some of those in my next article.
    6. Here is an example of a 300 dpi HD magazine. In order to evaluate this, it most be displayed at 2560×1600.

    7. The Google Magazine reader preloads pages in the background so there is no delay when you turn them. However, when you flick through the pages of an HD magazine as fast as you can, on the fourth page, you’ll start to have to wait 1-2 secs for them to load. This isn’t a flaw, just an observation.
    8. When you have a web page loaded with a white background, the Nexus screen has a slight yellow tinge to it, while the iPad 3 has a slight blue tinge. This is very subtle so it’s unlikely most people will notice this, but I thought I would mention it anyway.
    9. The Nexus 10 is noticeably lighter and thinner than the iPad 3. The lightness is good, but I’m not sure I’d want a tablet any thinner than a Nexus 10. It just wouldn’t feel right.
    10. The Nexus 10 is really fast. Scrolling and app load times are the fastest I’ve seen on any device, (and noticeable faster and smoother than the iPad 3).
    11. Syncing everything from my Google accounts and re-downloading all of my apps and data to the Nexus 10 took 45 minutes or less. That’s much faster than it took to download everything to my iPad 3.
    12. Here is the same web page on the Nexus (left) and iPad 3 (right)

    13. The screen on the Nexus 10 is noticeably longer than the iPad 3’s screen. At first I thought the Nexus 10 looked strange when held in portrait mode, because I was so used to the 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad’s screen, but now I love it. The long screen displays quite a few more lines vertically as you can see above. It also displays more information horizontally, because text and images appear smaller due to the higher number of pixels per inch. The smaller text is not a problem for my eyes, but it could be a problem for others.
    14. I’m not thrilled with the new album art carousel on the Google Music app. I’d rather see more album covers at once.
    15. As others have noted, charging the Nexus 10 is slow when you’re using it. I plan to buy a third-party charger as soon as they’re available. Once I got on a cycle of charging all night with the power off, my charging issues seem to have gone away.
    16. When holding the Nexus 10 in portrait mode, it seems like the volume buttons are reversed. The top button is volume down and the bottom button is volume up. This is hard to get used to. I suspect they did this because they suspect people will use this product in landscape mode, but I prefer using it in portrait mode for everything except video playback and gaming.
    17. Like the iPad 3, the Nexus 10 has a screen that is very reflective. If you want an eReader that can be used in bright sunlight, or conditions where there is glare, you’re better off with a Kindle Fire.
    18. One of the reviews I read said the boot time of the Nexus 10 is 18.6 seconds, however I clocked a boot time of 24 to 25 seconds (from vibration to full home screen). By comparison, an iPad 3 takes 28 seconds to boot. The iPad 3 does shutdown much faster however (~4 seconds vs. 10-11 seconds).
    19. At first I thought the touch screen on the Nexus 10 wasn’t as sensitive as the iPad’s touch screen, but now I’m not sure. The only time I have problems is when I touch really small controls on the screen.
    20. Page load times in the Chrome browser vary. Sometimes the iPad 3 is faster and other times the Nexus 10 is faster. The Nexus 10 displays less bars when it’s located far away from a Wi-Fi access point than an iPad 3. It’s unclear whether this is a signal strengh display issue or a larger issue.

    That’s it for now. Make sure to check out additional Nexus 10 gripes in my next article.

    What About All of the Android 4.2 Bugs?

    If you’re wondering about all of the Android 4.2 bugs that sites like BGR are reporting. Random crashes? I’ve had several in five days, but it hasn’t been a major issue. Most of the things things these site are talking about are things that a typical user would not encounter — unless they are using Bluetooth audio, using lock-screen widgets, or trying to select December from the date picker in the People app. It’s worth mentioning that not a single one of the twenty authors who have written detailed reviews on the Nexus 10 pointed out any of the bugs we’re hearing about now. Here is what Gotta Be Mobile said about the stability of Android 4.2. “Fortunately, with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, I haven’t experienced any major issues, nor have I seen any Nexus 7 owners complaining about a plethora of bugs. I’ve heard and see some users complaining about a Bluetooth issue as well as an over sensitive auto-brightness function, but thus far, neither of those bugs are affecting my device.”

    UPDATE 11/27 – Google pushed out an Android 4.2.1 update today which addresses the missing December issue.

    UPDATE 1/15 – A Google employee confirms the next Android update will contain a fix for the Bluetooth issue. Version number rumored to be 4.2.2.

    Summary After One Day

    It’s too early to say whether the Nexus 10 is better or worse than the iPad 3. I can say it’s better than I expected based on all of the reviews. I’m convinced it is the best value in a 10″ tablet today. My goal is to use it to completely replace my old iPad 3. It will take weeks to see if that is possible. Make sure to check my next article for the answer. Also check out my list of 50 Great Tips and Tricks for the Nexus 10 here.

    – Rick

    Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

    Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

    30+ Reasons You Should Buy a Nexus 10 Tablet

    Last update: March 4, 2013

    This article has over 40,000 views! Thanks for reading it.
    It only took two days for every single model of the Nexus 10 to sell out worldwide. The 32GB model sold out just two hours after sales began.


    The last two articles I wrote about tablets were my most popular ever, so I’ve decided to write another one about the new iPad 4 and its top competitor. Since some people complained my last article was unfair because I compared the iPad mini to several different tablets, this time I’ll compare the iPad 4 to a single tablet.

    Don’t get me wrong, the iPad 4 certainly has some great qualities, but it’s no longer leading the way. Its Retina-display was the gold-standard for resolution, but those days are over. There’s a new tablet king and it’s called the Nexus 10. Here are over thirty good reasons why you’d be crazy to buy an iPad 4 over a Nexus 10.

    1. It costs less and gives you more – A 16GB Nexus 10 costs $100 less than a 16GB iPad 4. That 20% less, for a product with much better specs as you’ll see below.

    2. It has a better, higher-resolution display – Apple’s Retina displays used to be second to none, but those days are over. The Nexus 10 has a higher-resolution display than the iPad 4. It’s the world’s first tablet with a WQXGA 2560×1600-pixel display. But that’s not all, the Nexus 10 beats the iPad 4 in two other important areas as well: number of pixels and pixels-per-inch.

      The Nexus 10 has almost a million more pixels than the iPad 4’s Retina display (4,096,000 vs. 3,145,728)

      The Nexus 10 has more pixels-per-inch than the iPad 4 (300ppi vs. 264ppi). That may not sound like a lot, but you can see the difference on very small text. Like the iPad 4, text on the Nexus 10 looks very sharp.

      The Nexus 10 has a processor with a faster clock speed than the iPad 4

    3. It has a faster next-generation processor – The Nexus 10 has a processor clock speed that is over 30% faster than the iPad 4 (1.7GHz vs. 1.3GHz). The Nexus 10 is the first tablet with an ARM Cortex-A15 processor that beats the iPad 4 badly on benchmarks like Geekbench (2480 vs. 1768). This processor is 40% faster than previous generation ARM chips. The A15 is expected to be used in the iPad 5, which won’t be released until mid-2013.
    4. It’s considerably lighter than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 is noticeably lighter than the iPad 4 (603g vs. 652g). This is a big deal when you use your tablet for hours at a time. I used to be able to hold the original iPad in the air with my left hand, but my new iPad with its leather case is so heavy that I have to put my elbow on the table or bed.

      The Nexus 10 is noticeably thinner than the iPad 4

    5. It’s thinner than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 is thinner than the iPad 4 (8.9mm vs. 9.4mm). This is surprising, because thinness is one area Apple normally dominates in. The Nexus 10 also does not have sharp corners which dig into your palm when you hold it with one hand.

    6. It has twice the memory and twice the storage as the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 has 2GB of RAM, while he iPad 4 has only 1GB of RAM. More memory allows you to run more apps at once without slowing down. A $499 Nexus 10 also has twice as much internal storage than an iPad 4 (32GB vs. 16GB). This is important because it’s not hard to fill up a 16GB iPad when you have a large media collection or lots of apps.

      You can share media by simply touching two NFC-enabled Android devices together

    7. It has touch-to-share capabilities – Android tablets like the Nexus 10 can share media by simply touching another device with NFC support. This allows you to share photos, videos, contacts, Web pages — as well as information between apps. You can see Android Beam in action here.
    8. It has faster Wi-Fi than the iPad 4 – The Nexus 10 has dual-band Wi-Fi and MIMO support. Amazon claims that MIMO results in better range and 40% faster Wi-Fi data speeds. Google says accelerated page loading and MIMO gives you web browsing speeds up to 4x faster than normal WiFi. Of course these are theoretical gains, we’ll have to see what the real-world numbers are.
    9. It has a brighter display with wider viewing angles – The Nexus 10 has a Super PLS display, which has several advantages over IPS displays like the one Apple uses. Super PLS displays have wider viewing angles, and are supposed to be 10 percent brighter.
    10. Size matters when it comes to speakers. The Nexus 10 has two front-facing speakers

    11. It includes front-facing stereo speakers – The Nexus 10 has two large speakers on the left and right sides of its screen. These speakers shoot forward so the sound doesn’t get muffled by your hands (like it does on the iPad whose speaker faces down). The Nexus’ dual speakers also sound better than Apple’s single mono speaker. I was hoping the potential space savings that resulted from the switch to a Lightning connector the iPad 4 would allow Apple to add bigger, better-sounding speakers, but that did not happen.
    12. You can see the Nexus 10 is fast. I’ll replace this once I find a comparison to iPad 4

    13. It has an extremely fast GPU – Engadget says the Nexus 10 has the “most detailed and smoothest graphics we’ve seen.” Early benchmarks are mixed. Some favor the Nexus 10, while others favor the iPad 4.
    14. It’s much easier to repair – According to iFixit, the iPad 4 is much more difficult to repair than all other tablets. iFixit gives the iPad 4 a repairability score of 2 out of 10, which is horrible. The battery is glued to the rear case which is unfortunate because it makes it very difficult to replace. iFixit goes on to say, “Just like in the iPad 2 & 3, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass when trying to remove it. Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place, including the battery. The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel, increasing chances of it being shattered during disassembly.” I’m still waiting for a repairability score on the Nexus 10 from iFixit, but another source rates it “extremely repairable.”
    15. The Nexus 10 comes with 5 books, 3 magazines, 10 songs, an HD movie and a TV show

    16. The Nexus 10 comes with lots of free content – Content varies by region. U.S. users get the following three free magazines: Conde Nast Traveler, Entrepreneur and House Beautiful. There are also five great books you are provided with including: “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. Like music? The Nexus also comes with ten songs from The Rolling Stones, Cat Power, M. Ward, The Lumineers, Bob Mould, Eskmo and more. And last, but not least, the Nexus 10 also comes with an HD copy of the full-length movie “Ice Age” and the BBC TV show “Planet Earth.”
    17. It has multi-user support – The iPad 4 is a single-user device tied to a single iTunes account. The Nexus 10 is the first tablet to allow multiple users to log-in. Each user has their own home screen, background, apps and widgets. Things like game-progress and high-scores remain separate. This feature will be very important for families.
    18. It has GPS support – The Wi-Fi only model of iPad 4 does not have a built-in GPS. That means you can’t use it to check-in or load maps of your area like you can using the Nexus 10.
    19. You can use Google Wallet anywhere you see these images

    20. It includes digital wallet support – The Nexus 10 has Google Wallet preinstalled. It allows you to purchase things without a walled in places like Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Einstein Bros Bagels, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Peet’s Coffee, Pinkberry, Rite Aid, Sports Authority, Whole Foods and many more places. In fact, there are over 300,00 PayPass-enabled cash registers today. You can learn more about NFC here. The iPad 4 has something called Passbook, but it only works at Starbucks (and the Apple Store).
    21. It plays Flash videos – Flash may be a dying format, but there are still millions of Flash videos around, and the iPad 4 can’t play any of them. The Nexus 10 can play all Flash videos as long as you side-load Flash by following these easy instructions and use a browser like Firefox which supports Flash.
    22. Android beats iOS 6 in many areas – This will surprise some, but Android 4.2 has many advantages over iOS 6. You can read about those advantages here.
    23. File transfers are much easier – It’s a major hassle to get anything (but photos) on or off of an iPad 4. Android devices don’t need iTunes or iCloud to copy media. Just connect a USB cable and your device will appear on your desktop like a hard disk. You can then drag and drop any file (or folder) onto it.
    24. The Nexus 10 has several different keyboard layouts like this one with number keys

    25. It has a better on-screen keyboard – The Nexus 10 has a much better on-screen keyboard than the iPad 4. In addition to all of the standard Apple keyboard features like a spell checker, auto-capitalization and auto-correction, the Nexus 10 also has the ability to add words to a personal dictionary, show correction suggestions, perform gesture typing (where you swipe from key to key), Provide next-word suggestions and the ability to change your keyboard to one that is more PC-like and includes all numbers and extra keys.
    26. You can easily load custom ROMs – Nexus devices do not come with locked or encrypted bootloaders. That means you are free to install customs ROMs and fully tailor your device however you wish.
    27. It has a better rear-facing camera – According to reviews, photos taken with the Nexus 10’s rear camera have better color accuracy, definition and less noise than the iPad 4′s camera. The iPad 4’s iSight camera lacks Panorama, Photo Sphere and other camera features present in Android tablets.
    28. It has a better front-facing camera for video calls – Apple upgraded the front-facing camera on the iPad from 0.3MP to 1.2MP, but it still doesn’t match the 1.9MP front-facing camera found on the Nexus 10. The iPad 4’s front camera records noisy 720p videos at a only 24fps in low light.
    29. Nexus 10 Flash

    30. It has an LED flash – Every camera needs a flash in order to take good photos in low light conditions. The Nexus 10 has one. The iPad 4 does not.
    31. It has a standard micro-USB jack – The Nexus 10 has a standard micro-USB jack, so you can easily connect your tablet to a keyboard or charger without purchasing an expensive cable. The iPad 4 has a new proprietary Lightning connector that is not backwardly compatible. This was done so Apple can sell you overpriced cables that cost $20 to $50. If you want an extra charging cable for an iPad 4, it will cost $19 and is hard to find. You can buy an Android power cord almost anywhere for as little as $2.
    32. HDMI connector

    33. It has a dedicated HDMI port – The Nexus 10 has a built-in HDMI port which ensures it can output video to all HDMI-equipped TVs, projectors and monitors. That’s not always the case when MHL over USB is used for video output. Another benefit is that any mini-HDMI cable will work and a special adapter cable is not needed.
    34. Its AV adapter supports 1080p – Although it’s hard to believe, Apple’s Digital AV adapter (which connects to the HDMI jack on your TV) doesn’t support 1080p today. It’s capable of supporting 1080p, but Apple has chosen to hold back 1080p support for now.
    35. It has a Gorilla Glass 2 screen – I know Apple uses Gorilla Glass 2 on the iPhone 5, but as far as I can tell they do not use it on the iPad 4. If they are using it, they are keeping it a secret — which doesn’t make sense because it’s a benefit.
    36. The Nexus 10 has a slightly larger display than the iPad 4

    37. It has a larger display – The Nexus 10 has a 10.055” Super PLS display, while the iPad 4 has a 9.7” IPS display.
    38. It has a 16:10 screen – Tablets are great for watching movies, but all movies are formatted to fit on a 16:9 display. Because the iPad 4 has a 4:3 aspect ratio, all 16:9 movies need to be letter-boxed so they fit on the screen. This makes movies appear smaller. The Nexus is much closer to 16:9 than the iPad 4.
    39. It has dual NFC sensors – The Nexus 10 is the only mobile device with dual NFC sensors: one in the front, and one in the back. These have been added so you don’t have to turn the tablet around to beam things.
    40. Android 4.2 allows you to access settings from the Notification Bar

    41. It gives you quick access to settings from the notification bar – On the Nexus 10, settings can be quickly by accessed by pulling down on the top right portion of the screen. On the iPad 4, all app settings are grouped together in a Settings app making them harder to access.
    42. It has haptic feedback – Like most Android devices, the Nexus 10 supports haptic feedback. This gives you a little vibration when you type, long press, or touch the navigation buttons. This makes it clear your touch was acknowledged, so you don’t have to tap twice. Haptic feedback makes games much more enjoyable because of the tactile feedback.
    43. It has a built-in barometer – The Nexus 10 has a built-in barometer, which improves GPS accuracy. I didn’t believe this would make a difference until I compared the GPS in a Galaxy Nexus (which also has a barometer) to the GPS in an iPad and Galaxy S III which do not.
    44. Micro-USB jack

    45. Works with a USB mouse – One advantage of having a micro-USB jack is that it makes it easy to plug-in peripherals like a USB mouse. Even if you could figure a way to attach a USB cable to the iPad 4, it still will not work, because iOS 6 doesn’t support mice. You can also attach USB keyboards or memory sticks to the Nexus 10 after purchasing an adapter for a few dollars.
    46. It has multicolor LED alert – The Nexus 10 has a small LED indicator at the bottom of the screen (when held in landscape mode,) which alerts you to new messages or other system events. As with other Android devices, you can customize exactly how this LED works by installing a third-party LED control app like Light Flow. The iPad 4 does not support any type of LED alerts.
    47. The preinstalled Android Gallery App has more powerful photo editing than you’ll find on any free iPad app

    48. It’s stock photo viewer has more advanced photo editing – There are some good photo editing apps available for the iPad, but the best are not free. The stock Android Gallery app has much more advanced photo editing than you’ll find in than Apple’s Photos app.
    49. It has dedicated back button – All Android devices include a dedicated back button. In addition, most apps have a menu button proves fast access to settings and other app-related commands like Share. The back button makes it easy to go back to where you were before. This is one of the features I miss the most when I jump between Android and iOS.
    50. Why You’ll Still Buy an iPad 4

      If you’re an Apple fan, you don’t comparison shop, you don’t care that Apple products cost more and do less. You’ll find a way to convince yourself that all of the above reasons somehow don’t apply to you, and you’ll buy an iPad 4 anyway. And in six months, when Apple comes out with an iPad 5, which is twice as fast and has a better Retina display, you’ll buy that one too – and thank Apple. This may sound harsh, but it applies to millions of people. So go ahead and buy one — you know you want it.

      The Tide is Turning

      Apple has dominated tablet sales since the original iPad launched back in 2010. But those days are coming to an end. For the first time, Apple is losing tablet market share. According to Strategy Analytics, shipments of Android tablets surged to new highs in the third quarter of 2012, accounting for 41% of all tablets shipped. In the same period, shipments of Apple’s iPads shrank to only 57% of the market. IDC paints an even gloomier picture for Apple and says they now have only 50% of the tablet market. That may sound like a lot, but it wasn’t long ago that Apple had 90% of the tablet market. Apple’s drop in market share started before the Nexus 10 and Kindle Fire HD tablets were available, and will likely accelerate now. Apple’s still an important player in the tablet space, but they need to lower their prices significantly or improve their products to justify their price premium. Apple image has taken a big hit as well. As TechCrunch said, “the fourth-generation iPad doesn’t seem to be nearly as big as the leap from the first to second generation, or from the second to third generation.” Sure, most Americans will continue to buy Apple exclusively no matter what, but it’s a big world, and buyers from other countries are much more discriminating and price-sensitive.

      Update 1 – The Nexus 10 went on sale on 11/13 and the 32GB model sold out within two hours in the U.S. The 16GB Nexus 10 sold out in the U.S. in the first two days. However, since then, additional supply has become available, and the 16GB model is now available for purchase again (11/18)

      Update 2 – My Nexus 10 arrived on 11/16 and I’ve posted my first impressions here. You can find a list of 21 tips and tricks for the Nexus 10 here.

      – Rick

      For the Apple Fanboys

      1. This is an opinion piece - I think the title makes that very clear. Don’t read this if you can’t handle an opposing view point.

      2. This article is focused on the Nexus’ advantages – I’m aware there are good reasons to buy Apple products. Since every other reviewer focuses on those, I saw value in showing another point of view.

      3. I don’t just pick on Apple – I write highly-opinionated articles about other companies as well. Here are examples where I single out Samsung, AT&T, United, Google and Rhapsody.

      4. I don’t hate all Apple products – I think most of the new products Apple announced are good or great — just not the new iPad 4 or iPad mini. I own two iPhones, an iPad, an iPad 3 and an Apple TV. I buy Apple products when I believe they outperform other products and are not outlandishly priced.

      5. I want this to be factually correct – Believe it or not, I really do try to keep my articles factually accurate. If think one of these points is incorrect, let me know and I will edit or delete it, but you’re not going to change my beliefs, just like I’m not going to changes yours, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

      What About Build Quality?

      Since most comments about this article mention the so-called “crappy build quality of all Android tablets” I thought I would address this issue. When I first wrote this article, I mentioned the build-quality of the Nexus 10 was good, but not great, but after reading close to twenty reviews I removed that comment. Read on to see why:

      1. Gizmodo said: It feels extremely solid and well-built. The back panel is a hard plastic that has been rubberized in a really interesting way. It’s very smooth, but very grippy at the same time.
      2. Ars Technica said: “I do find that I actually prefer the textured plastic back of the Nexus 10 to the aluminum back used by the iPads—the latter gets pretty cold to the touch in November in New Jersey, and the tablet is only too happy to transfer that coldness straight to your hands. The Nexus 10 is a bit more hospitable when pulling it out of a bag that’s been outside.”
      3. CNET said; “It is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet to hold in your hand its light weight and smoothly rounded corners the tablet never digs into your palms when held with two hands. The back is a soft, grippy, almost rubbery plastic that not only feels great to hold, but doubles as protection for the tablet. The aforementioned rounded corners have that same rubbery plastic around them. The whole outer shell feels almost like an exoskeleton accessory, specifically designed to protect the delicate tablet organs.”
      4. Ubergizmo said: “To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. I really like the soft touch treatment which gives a solid grip when holding the tablet. This is an issue that I have regularly with the iPad. Overall, I find the industrial design to be excellent and high-quality. Unless you are adamant to feel metal when you touch the tablet, I expect most people to be pleased with the quality of this device.”
      5. The Guardian said: “The Nexus 10 is a sleek, smooth tablet that feels solid, and sits nicely in the hands with its rounded corners – more rounded than the iPad.”
      6. Venture Beat said: “The tablet’s curved design makes it surprisingly comfortable to hold, and the soft back case material feels simply luxurious. The Nexus 10 is so well designed that you’ll be tempted to fondle it even when it’s turned off.”
      7. Android Community said: “It’s extremely well made, very durable, feels great and is indeed a polished and beautiful product inside and out.”
      8. Android Police said: “Amazing build quality. I tried really hard to find a flaw in the build of this tablet. But I couldn’t. It’s top-notch – everything is super-solid… The back is the real standout feature of the device’s physical design, as it’s coated in a very soft rubbery-plastic that feels almost like leather. It definitely adds a feeling of quality, and is absolutely fantastic in the hands. It’s not cold and slippery like aluminum, nor does it feel cheap and flimsy like typical plastic. It’s slightly grippy, which allows you to hold the unit with less “force,” leading to less wrist fatigue. It also makes it easier to hold the device in your hand palette-style without fear of dropping it.”
      9. Tech Radar said: “The rear plastic chassis has a soft-touch feel, with the rubberised effect providing additional grip in the hand, and wrapping round to the front of the tablet for a smooth, seamless finish.”
      10. Wired said: “The back panel is a grippy plastic that makes the Nexus 10 much better than previous Samsung tablets and even the iPad for one-handed use.”

      These are just a few of the positive comments about the Nexus 10’s build quality. There are many more online. I’m not saying the build quality of the Nexus is better than the iPad 4. I’m just saying most reviewers like it.

      Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.


      Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1

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