I tried to write this review on my Nexus 7, but impressive as it is, it’s not cut out for content creation like the iPad is.
Not that I’m complaining. You’d have to be slightly crazy to expect a 7-inch tablet to be a comfortable workhorse, and at $250-odd for the Nexus 7, you’d be forgiven for thinking “dedicated backlit book reader”, like I did. Fair warning, though: you might find yourself inexplicably drawn to the other niceties of Google’s new tablet.
I still love my iPad, and I still think iOS is the bomb, but for the first time ever, Android has genuinely impressed me. The Nexus 7’s “Jelly Bean” UI is every bit as smooth and responsive as iOS, the physical device is a delight to hold and use, and the operating system itself finally feels both polished and robust.
These improvements won’t solve Android’s inherent device fragmentation problems, but I think the buzz Google has created by so successfully launching a slick, affordable 7-inch tablet will go a long way towards attracting high-quality tablet apps to their app store. (There are still relatively few tablet-optimised Android apps available, but it’s reassuring that Google Play is making it easier than ever to find them. I’ve been particularly impressed with Evernote, Instapaper and Plume so far.)
Will the Nexus 7 take a sizable bite out of Apple’s enormous tablet market share? It’s too early to say. My hunch is that we’ll see Android grow as iOS developers port their apps for Nexus 7 users, but if Apple reply with a cheap 7-inch iPad before Android tablets gain momentum, the strength of Apple’s app ecosystem will continue to make it tough for Android.
May all of the good products win!
(Also: Google/ASUS should take packaging lessons from Apple. Liberating my Nexus 7 from its box required surgery to the box ;) )
If you love camping AND gadgets…
… then this will most likely be a Must Buy.
Marco Arment of Instapaper fame explains why he keeps using PHP, even though it’s crap. I’m in exactly the same boat.
This morning’s WWDC keynote
I’d say this is a fairly balanced summary.
My take (as a semi-fanboi who followed a few of the live streams from 3am local time): Apple is definitely getting on with the job of being… Jobsless.
The most obvious example: while everyone else is still figuring out how to sell MacBook Air clones, Apple has shipped a beast that leaves every other laptop/Ultrabook in existence for dead. (Can you tell I want one?)
They’ve drawn a satisfying line between their mobile and desktop platforms, too. Similar UI’s are being delivered where it makes sense (hello, Messages and Notifications in Mountain Lion!), but the operating systems remain as distinct as they should. The same can’t be said for, say, Windows 8.
Anyway. Whatever your take, I’m sure we can agree that we live in interesting times.
The undoing of social media
I don’t usually read The Next Web’s longer pieces in full, but this one is essential reading.
Become a Good Programmer in Six Really Hard Steps
Another one from my archives. [I’m giving Evernote and Instapaper a spring clean, even though it’s autumn.]
Fonts for programming
Google got it right giving this post the number one spot.
Git: “bare” repositories
It’s time to graduate from CVS and SVN, so I’m learning Git.
While figuring out how to host my repositories, I found this little explanation of bare vs. non-bare quite handy.
Enjoy. Or, go find something more interesting to read.
But its ubiquity is hard to beat. So it’s still my language of choice for, uh, “ubiquitous” projects.
(Click through for the most thorough critique of PHP in existence.)
Is anyone else tired of Facebook-Instagram-$1bn-zomg analysis? Every blog I follow seems to think its opinion on the whole thing actually matters.
Then again, by posting this, I’m being opinionated about the opinionated. Which is ironic, or something.