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The Google Nexus 7 was finally made available in Singapore last week, almost three months after its July 14 launch in the United States.
Wong Teng from Facebook wanted to know how much the Nexus 7 cost and where it would be sold:
It costs S$399 and can be bought at most electrical stores, including Best Denki and Harvey Norman.
Instagram user Sportyreds asked: “What makes it worth buying?”
Twitter user @sportyshili also wanted to know if we recommend buying it.
@todayonline will you recommend to buy it?
— Shi Li (@sportyshili) October 4, 2012
The Nexus is the only tablet on the market that comes with the latest version of Android (Jelly Bean). So if you want the latest and greatest, it is a compelling buy. It’s slim, light and highly customisable (with apps and widgets), which makes it a very good device to have on the go – compared to bigger tablets. It’s also very fast and a joy to watch videos on. Check out our video to see how fast it performs with apps and videos.
Hiao Wee asked on Facebook: “Where can I buy the 7-inch Nexus cover?”
The covers will also be sold at the stores listed above. Asus loaned us a pink cover and we are loving it!
AhKun Heng asked: “Does it includes Apple Maps?”
It does not come with Apple Maps (because it’s not by Apple – duh), but users will get to use Google Maps which comes preloaded in the Nexus 7 along with other Google-related apps like Gmail and YouTube.
Facebook user Jonathan Lim: “Does it come with Google’s Siri?”
Google’s voice search feature is called “Google Now Voice”, its answer to Siri. The feature was fairly accurate based on our tests, but speaking very slowly in an American accent will yield better results.
joe_kool asked on Instagram: “Can we Whatsapp on it?”
There’s no official word on Nexus 7 support from the developers of Whatsapp. When we attempted to download the app from Google Play, we ran into the following error message: “Your device isn’t compatible with this version”
Instagram user Shayneloh asked if we could access books and magazines on the Nexus 7.
Yes you can. We managed to download books from apps such as MediaCorp’s Ilovebooks.com and Zinio in a matter of seconds and the Nexus 7’s (add ppi) display also meant that words and images were crisp and sharp, as you can see from the screenshots below. It’s also great for reading on the go due to its small and slim design.
Pigsurecanfly asked: “Does all apps need to pay(sic)? If need is there something to hack it?”
There are plenty of free apps available on the Google Play store, like Instagram, Flipboard and Angry Birds sequel Bad Piggies so you don’t need to hack the device to get the most out of it.
Symsimyuming asked on Instagram: “Does it run app fast?”
Yes the Google Nexus 7 runs apps at lightning speed, thanks to its Android Jelly Bean operating system and quad-core Tegra 3 processor which can clock speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. Using the Geekbench app, the Nexus 7 recorded a benchmark score of 1458, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 could only muster a score of 1196. In a separate test done on the Quadrant Standard app, the Nexus 7 recorded a score of 3,640, placing it higher than the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 but just below the Asus Transformer Prime TF201.
Look out for our full review on the newspaper next week and if you do have any more questions, just let us know what they are in the comments section and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
The story broke earlier this morning that Google announced its entry into the cloud proper with the Google Drive service. Featuring 5GB of free space for all users, Google Drive allows users to store their files online and even share files from there.
The service is fully integrated with Google Docs – but otherwise there’s not much changed in terms of functionality with Google Docs, except now you can search not just within documents from Google Docs, but from all documents that you upload. Furthermore, you can now search for pictures – Google says it is a little buggy now, but will improve in time.
People who need more space can upgrade to 25GB for US$2.49 (S$3.10) a month, 100GB for US$4.99 a month and 1TB for US$49.99 a month. Continue reading ‘Google enters the cloud’
The great thing about technology is that there’s always something flashy and new just round the corner. It’s even more poignant as the year draws to a close.
The buzz on the Internet is that two possibly game-changing products might be announced in January (maybe, much to the chagrin of the companies releasing new gizmos at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas come Jan 8).
First up is a smartphone from Google dubbed the Nexus One:
It runs the Android operating system and the sleek hardware is supposedly made by HTC. Just take a look at the specs here.
But what might make the Nexus One really compelling and change the landscape of the mobile phone industry is that it might be sold by Google, so you won’t need to go through a telco to get one, or you could just slot in your SIM card on the device to use your existing mobile phone line and data plan.
Google could also take it a step further. What if, instead of SMS, you could send an unlimited number of messages via Google Talk? And, by using its VoIP service, Google Voice, you could have unlimited talktime? Sure, both services are very much dependent on your data plan. But with data plans becoming cheaper by the year, this could possibly free you of being reliant on your telco.
Consumers could win big on this one because no longer would they be tied to a telco just because of the phones it has on its palette (cue the iPhone in its early days). Telcos will have to work harder at making their services reliable, fast and attractive to retain and gain subscribers. By side-stepping the telcos, Google can put its Android phones in the hands of more users and grow its mobile search and other online services further. Putting more smartphones in the hands of people would also open up the market for mobile applications and services.
We’ll be pretty happy if the Nexus One does come out because we’ve yet to see an Android phone on our shores that has really wowed us.
Next up are rumours of the Apple tablet yet again, with the company expected to make a product announcement at its own event in late January. Apple has built quite an empire with just the iTunes App store and the iPhone alone, so it’ll be interesting to see what this new device will bring to the table, if it does exist.
What’s interesting is that some see the tablet as one of the possible solutions to the ailing newspaper industry in the United States, where many newspapers and magazines have closed shop during the downturn. Newspapers and magazines on the iTunes store? Well, Apple’s digital marketplace has proven that it could be an effective distribution system for content, thanks to the multitude of applications, music, movies and TV shows that it currently sells.
What could a digital magazine on a tablet look like?
And here’s another equally impressive demo:
Content producers are betting that the digital versions of their content, souped up with high-definition, multimedia content, might revive the interest of the masses in terms of eyeballs and paid subscriptions.
These two devices provide just an inkling of the big changes that might come in 2010. How exciting.
There’s a Google event happening here tomorrow morning and I reckon it’s for the launch of Street View for Singapore.
For the uninitiated, Google Street View provides an almost all-encompassing panoramic view – as if you were standing on the street yourself.
It has allowed couch explorers to check out famous sights like Times Square (above picture) in New York, the Colosseum in Italy and the Eiffel Tower in Paris or just for the regular Joe to get acquainted with directions and venues while they’re making their way around.
The feature, built on top of Google Maps and Google Earth, is already available in places like Taiwan and Japan. If it does get launched tomorrow, it’ll make Singapore the first Southeast-Asian country to get it.
While it’s no secret that the search giant has been capturing images of our streets with regular sightings of its vans and even the Google trike, it comes as a welcome surprise after the launch of live traffic data on Google Maps just two weeks ago (traffic never gets the better of me now that I can check for jams on the major expressways when I board a cab or drive).
The timing is apt given that GPS-enabled smartphones are on the uptake in Singapore and geo-location services are getting pretty popular here. Just check out how Street View works on an iPhone and you can see how it can be a cool utility for everyday use:
There have been other interesting local developments, too. Location-based social networking service Foursquare just added Singapore to its list of cities and its fun and competitive take on awarding virtual points and badges to users for checking-in at locations and discovering new places has contributed to the flurry of activity I’ve seen on it so far.
Spotted any other cool location-based services or applications available in Singapore? Chime in by leaving a comment below.