It's growing ever closer to the Google I/O developers conference and that means we'll soon have a nice little gift unwrapped right before our eyes in the form a Nexus device. Have you all downloaded your I/O 2012 companion app? I sure have. Get on it!! Now back to business. The Nexus 7 tablet; so far it's still remaining to be quite the mystery but we have picked up a few hints, potential specs and tiny tidbits of information along this journey towards the next Nexus. Let's begin to breakdown what we know about it. But first, let's go over the history of a nexus device and what they are and what they mean to the android community.
For those not in the know, The Nexus devices are the reference point to which Google uses as a jump off for all new versions of software before they hit other devices. Otherwise considered a developer device. This means that all newer versions of software, once released, will hit the nexus devices first, and then deploy outward to all other compatible devices over time. The Nexus devices also always have and receive the utmost in support from the Google team it seems like, as well as the developer community for those who are looking to root their device and customize it with aftermarket firmware. First came the Nexus one, then the Nexus S, and finally to date, the Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully next will be the Nexus 7 tablet we are rumored to see at Google I/O. The nexus devices are completely stock android software always which means there is no User interface overlay skinned on top of the Android software. So you're left with just native Android. Pure and simple. So now that we know and understand what the Nexus devices are, let's move forward with the information on the Nexus 7 tablet.
What we know so far
What we know so far is Asus is rumored to be making a 7 inch tablet running stock android, will house a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and will supposedly be released in July at a very low competitive $200 price point. Possibly to combat the sales of the Kindle Fire sold by amazon. If all of this proves to be true, then come July, we will have a very large group of happy consumers out there. Now the device as we know it DOES actually exist. It has even been the star of a few photo shoots out in the wild that have leaked across the web in the past month. We won't have to wait too long before we find out the raw details as the rumored unveiling will be at I/O here in less than a week.
The big question is will the unveiling at the conference be about the Nexus 7 tablet? Or about the Asus Eee pad MeMO 370T. Are the two one and the same? The 370T recently passed through the FCC so we should definitely see the device hit shelves in the coming weeks I imagine. And in spite of all the rumors, word is, that the 370T is not the Nexus tablet. We do know it is a stock android device. This has been the case with every tablet that Asus has made. It will have a 7 inch display and will be a tiny little power packed beast. Asus has been developing devices with the Eee branding for a while now, and Google has thus far never released a nexus that was previously announced under a different name. This begs the question why would Google change the way they announce a nexus device now? Some think that is unlikely that they would accept a device that has already been announced and present it as a nexus. Other rumors say that it is more likely that the 370T will be the ICS developer device that I/O attendees will receive come the following week.
This happened last year with the galaxy tab 10.1 and soon after I/O 2011 the tab hit store shelves for consumer purchase. Will this happen again at this year's conference or will we actually see a Nexus unveiled? I hope it's the Nexus.
Photos and information leaks: Nexus speculation
So far most of the information we have received has been mostly speculation based off of either a photo leak or vague rumored list of device specs. The details come at random and from various sources. Although, the information that we have gotten seems to be credible. Recently the photos that have been dropped on our doorstep that have nexus 7 embedded in the EXIF data. (EXIF data, or Exchangeable Image File Format is the standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras including smart phones.) It is quite possible that Google is playing with us and has been leaving us clues, but it is also quite possible that the information left around for us to find is fake and has been put out there by someone looking to get a rise out of the Android community. I blame Apple if this whole thing was a ruse! Now the image I have posted at the end of this article has the EXIF data embedded into it that states it was taken with a Nexus 7. On top of that, the geotag on the photo says it was taken from building 44 of the Googleplex which is the Android building for those who don't already know. While you can easily fake this information, I'm always hopeful that this isn't the case. As far as web traffic goes, anyone who has rooted a phone or device knows that you can change just about anything about it. The possibility that someone has changed their Android version to be read as newer version of the OS by any website they go to is quite feasible. Only time will tell if any of these rumors are unfounded or not.
Not the Nexus you say? I WON'T believe it!
Even though everyone out there is rabid with the taste of Jelly Bean, and even though I choose to believe that (the word hopeful is a more suitable explanation of my feeling) we have to remember that only 5% of devices out there are running android 4.0. It would most certainly be bad form for Google to make an announcement of all the 4.0 upgrades to be at last years I/O conference than turn around and drop Jelly Bean in our laps this year. Although it is an entertaining thought to think about where Google would go with a plan like that. As for whether or not we will or won't see the nexus tablet at next week's conference, I am still leaning towards the fact that we will. I do realize that all past nexus devices have been unveiled towards the end of the year, but perhaps Google is looking to shake things up a bit. Who knows if they would release it without a software upgrade from 4.0 or not, but it sure would be cool to see it hit this coming week instead of 4 or 5 months from now. All this of course is just my opinion, and my hopes of receiving something in the nexus line for free. What do you guys think out there? Let's all cross our fingers that we will get to see the next iteration of the Nexus family in tablet form at I/O 2012!