Monday, December 2, 2013

Nexus 7 - A User's Guide - Basics

NOTE: There is NO microSD card slot!

Keep that in mind, because I didn't think about it, and now I have a 16 GB tablet that has 12 GB of usable memory. But, there are solutions, and I will go into that later.

I decided on a Wifi tablet because I saw how much it would cost to get something like a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on Verizon. It would cost $70/month over and above the current cell phone bill, plus the $299 cost for the device. Plus, you have the usual 24-month committment.

So, in just more than three months of that extra cell phone cost, the $229 Nexus 7 16GB tablet will have been paid off. Since I would rarely use the 4G data connection via Verizon, I would be fine with the Wifi tablet.

I ordered the tablet in too much of a hurry, I guess! Because I missed the little tidbit about the Nexus 7 not having the microSD slot. The 16GB was $229, the 32GB was $269. So, it's $40 for the extra 16GB, which is fairly expensive. But, I guess I just thought, of course it will have a microSD card slot! Cell phones have them, even years-old models. But, Google begged to differ, and decided it would be too stingy and skip the slot. Plus, I found out that it wasn't only Google. Apple's new $399 version of the iPad Mini won't have one either.

Why is this the case? I think that tablet users are being penalized just for the fact that we aren't spending all the extra money on using cell services. You don't get the microSD slot, and you get a more basic camera than on the smaller smartphones. Not surprisingly, I think that's a rip off.

With the more limited memory, I would have to right away think about maximizing space. Any movies would have to be small in size. Music would have to be 320Kb/s MP3 maximum. So, the CD rips I've made in lossless FLAC mode would have to be converted to MP3 or re-ripped.

Apps aren't too much of a concern. Most apps are usually no larger than 25MB or so. But, there are some that are 1GB, like EA Sports' Madden 25. So, that would be a consideration.

What to do about space, then? What is good about the connector to the Nexus 7 is that it is a microUSB connector. So, a microUSB connector will be the starting point. There are cables that go microUSB to USB. Then, you plug a USB card reader into that USB. So, with two pieces you get to the point where you can plug the microSD, or regular SD card, in.

I have a compact SanDisk SD card reader already. Plus, I have the 32GB microSD card I bought in (mistaken!) anticipation of using it on the Nexus 7. So, getting the cable will make the rest happen. Meanwhile, I will keep what's stored on the Nexus 7's internal memory to apps, music, and whatever photos I might take. Any movies would have to go on the external memory.

In the next installment, I will talk about the Nexus 7's version of the Android Operating System, and what apps need to be installed as a result.

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  1. I bought the N7 32 GB and I've added all my apps, and most of my mobile entertainment and still have 13GB left. Personally using external storage on the Android devices never been that great of a experience so I opted for the 32GB and very happy. Nice article.

  2. Thank you for the compliment! I am going to do a follow-up article with apps I consider very useful to users of the Nexus 7. Since we get a pretty unaltered version of Android, there are things like a File Manager that aren't included.

    When I bought my Nexus 7, I thought I might be putting movies and stuff on there. But, I've found that I don't really feel like watching movies on a tablet! So, the 16GB hasn't been the obstacle I thought it would be. As long as I have space for my apps, and favorite music, I'm okay.