Y’all know I got a Nexus 10 for Christmas, hell, not a week goes by without me commenting on what it has or hasn’t done. Truth be told, it’s an absolutely outstanding piece of kit which really highlights how great Android can be. Here are my thoughts, having had the pleasure of owning one for a few months now.
Ice Cream Sandwich is an absolute dream to use
I’m comparing it to Gingerbread which my ageing Atrix uses. Basically for those not familiar with the latest incarnation of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich makes it way easier to switch apps, to get to your home screen, to do stuff like copy and paste. Google’s ‘Glass’ project has meant a redesign of Android’s theme too, which is beautiful, if you can actually find some apps which use it (*nods to 7x7*). Switching between apps and loading times are dead snappy. At the top right hand side if the screen you can swipe down to easily change settings like brightness, wifi on/off, auto rotate and the like. Another thing I like is the seamless integration with all of Google’s products, most of which I use. Like: I use Chrome at home, at work and on my Nexus 10, but, cos I’m logged into Google every time it loads my history, auto-fill, stuff like that. Even the “most visited” tab screen pops up when I load Chrome on my Nexus. Ace. Likewise, load the Play Store and all the apps you downloaded on your phone will be there, and you can download again if you like. Oh, and Google Music. Lovely app that is and looks great on the Nexus 10 too. Obvs all this would be common to all devices running Ice Cream Sandwich but I feel like the Nexus 10 probably makes the absolute most of it. But anyway. Onwards to the hardware.
The screen, jesus christ the screen
Amazing resolution? Check. Popping colours? Check. Does it make everything you chuck at it look astonishing? Yup. I’ve recently been reading a shit load of comics and graphic novels on it, and goddamn it, the screen honestly makes them look better than the actual paper copies, which I’d never thought I’d say. If this is something which interests you then the size of the 10’s screen really comes into its own here as well. Oh, games! Super Hexagon might be the most bastard, rock hard piece-of-crap game around but it looks delightful. I find myself screaming at the thing but then going back for more just cos it looks so DAMN great. Goes without saying really that HD movies look brilliant on it too.
The really cool shit you can do with it
Stuff I’ve done mainly just to get a “wow” out of someone. Such as: control my new smart telly with it. Use a USB controller to play emulated Sega Mega Drive games (I’ve yet to try other console emulators featured on the amazing RetroArch app but I’m assured they’re good). Changing the home screen so it looks all minimal and cool (one if my very favourite things about Android). Using an “on the go” cable to connect a flash drive to watch episodes of Louie (and yes, it can play pretty much all types of video file, unlike *cough* a different manufacturer’s effort *cough*). Downloading torrents of stuff and being able to immediately watch whatever it was rather than going through the palaver of getting it from a computer onto a tablet. Which incidentally isn’t actually a palaver: if you plug your Nexus 10 into a PC you can just drag and drop stuff onto it. It just works, yo.
The little things
The rubberised back means it’s nice to hold and won’t slip out of your hands. The battery life is pretty great especially if you turn the wifi off (I get about a weeks use on a single charge, using it for 2-3 hours a day). I’m personally pretty happy with the range of tablet-friendly apps for Android too. I don’t think there’s a single app I use regularly which I doesn’t make use of the screen size, for example.
It takes an absolute age to charge. Like, overnight and then some. This isn’t a problem for me at all but can see how it would be for others. I’ve had numerous random reboots even since the new Android update. This normally ain’t a thing as restarting barely takes any time at all, and it seems to do it when it’s lying idle rather than when you’re busy on it, but still. There were Chrome stability issues too but they seem to have vanished recently. Occasionally it takes a while to wake up when you press the power button, but that’s a very small niggle. I’ve not found a decent free Twitter app which is tablet-optimised either, so I still use my phone for that.
So there we are
I’d highly recommend the Nexus 10. I’ve only really used my laptop for job applications, sorting out my messy Spotify playlists (actually my one wish would be for Spotify to make a decent tablet-optimised version rather than just scaling up the mobile app) and downloading stuff. Daily web surfing, reading stuff like The Guardian and BBC News, watching Twentieth Century Fox theme tune on a flute and Adam Buxton prancing round the Tate Britain on YouTube, replying to emails, even buying stuff from Amazon and eBay… *all* of that now happens on my tablet. It also helps me get through my silly commute, and yeah, I don’t care if I’m one of those tablet wankers on the train. In fact, I like the Nexus 10 so much that I’m dead set on getting the Nexus 4 when my current phone contract ends. I’m that much of a fan of stock Android. So there you have it. I’ve not intended for this to be a comprehensive review of the device but just some thoughts on living with it for some months now.
10 Apr 2013 / 0 notes
I find it really difficult to look back on a year and pinpoint exactly why it was good, or bad. I watched Charlie Brooker’s 2012 Wipe last night and half the stuff he talked about I have zero recollection of. So one marker of a good year for me, is music; the festivals I went to, gigs I attended, and the albums and songs I listened to relentlessly. 2012 was a pretty great year on that front. I’m rubbish at writing about music, so the following words will mostly be in list or link form, and for that I apologise.
The songs I loved the most: 20 songs I played the most / banged on about loads / belted the words to while doing the cleaning / washing up. *EDIT*: unless you have Why’s Waterlines in your local library, this playlist will only show as having 19 songs.
Honourable mentions: 20 more songs not *quite* as good as the above. For some reason this year they appear to be mostly electronic or instrumental pieces.
I’ve found my favourite albums really difficult to rank this year. I’ve nailed my top five but the ranking after that is subject to change:
2 Jan 2013 / 2 notes
2 Dec 2012 / 0 notes
I crossed the best bridge in the world in the best weather earlier. No filter.
Today is pretty, huh?
Part of the series “Britain from a train window” or sutin.
And that would be the moon almost perfectly over St. Paul’s. No filter. (at Waterloo Bridge)
Beast on my brain
Every thought is the same
If the beast is controlled
It’ll never turn gold
And that’s just fine
(we don’t own the world around us)
Don’t touch the flame
Or the burns it became
Live the lies you’ve been sold
As a nightmare unfolds
If you don’t mind
(no hope comes from those who bound us)
Hey there old owl
I’m lost and alone
No head to hold high
But my feet keep on going
(evom uoy ,evom i nehw)
Spread those wings wide
And take me along
Now show me the sky
Then tell me I’m home
(evom uoy ,evom I nehw)
Hey there old lady
Please sing me a song
Sing of days gone by
Before I went wrong
(evom uoy ,evom i nehw)
Hey hey hey I don’t know
Which way I’m going
When I look past your eyes
I can barely hang on
(evom uoy ,evom I nehw)
Sending these babies off shortly. Please be good.