So I finally got around to playing with the Nexus 7 a bit more in-depth.
Posted on 2012-07-11, 26 comments, 34 +1's, imported from Google+/Chainfire

NOTICE: This content was originally posted to Google+, then imported here. Some formatting may be lost, links may be dead, and images may be missing.

First (and major) gripe, when rotating to landscape mode, the softbuttons appear in a horizontal bar below the app UI, instead of a vertical bar to the right of the app UI as is the case on the Galaxy Nexus.

This takes up prime screen realestate on already scarce vertical space, just for three little icons. I'm even starting to notice it on some apps, that really expect just a few pixels more vertically. If it were the tablet UI with a full bar of buttons, notifications, etc, I could cope, but for the phone UI it's just weird.

Once noticed, it just keeps annoying me. Yes, I am primarily a landscape user. As such, I'm also severely annoyed by the launcher not working in landscape mode. 

For me, these two things alone would be enough to not purchase a Nexus 7, but to be fair, the alternatives (unless you are US based) that are good quality are quite a bit more expensive.

(Example image from +Russell Holly 's review of the N7 on Geek)

Devonte Emokpae commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:05:

Can't that be changed in a custom ROM .. cuz yh i can totally see how that would piss me off

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:07:

I said it on Twitter, but it's better to discuss here.

Even though there are arguments for using the phone UI on the Nexus 7, I still think the tablet UI is better for this form factor.  At the very least, it makes FAR more sense to place the notifications (and the clock) in the tablet style than to have the pull-down shutter.

+Devonte Emokpae Actually, you can just modify a setting in the build.prop (pretty sure it was that file) and it'll revert back to a tablet layout.  I think XDA even did a portal post on it.  It will only take a couple of minutes to do.

Devonte Emokpae commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:14:

ha ok thanks +Cody Toombs .... yh i would be more of the Tablet layout guy

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:22:
Chainfire commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:42:

Yes, I am well aware we can switch to tablet layout, and/or do some modding, that really isn't the point :)

Devonte Emokpae commented on 2012-07-11 at 09:43:

+Chainfire haha fair enough ... you are just basically saying why is it like that in the first place?

GBL Horikyo commented on 2012-07-11 at 12:11:


Dani Mukusha commented on 2012-07-11 at 12:26:

+Chainfire apart from the issues you have highlighted is it buttery smooth? When you rotate the tablet does it smoothly follow you or does it jutter madly?

Aurobind Padiyath commented on 2012-07-11 at 13:16:

I think an auto hide option should be the ideal way for it

Orlando García commented on 2012-07-11 at 16:46:

There are many ways to customize it, I think that's one of the advantages of Android.

Chainfire commented on 2012-07-11 at 18:46:

You can't change this without root ... that's the point. Most people will never root, but I'm certain there will be lots of people annoyed by this.

Orlando García commented on 2012-07-11 at 18:53:

But in case of the launcher, you can download one from Google Play.

mark dempsey commented on 2012-07-11 at 19:34:

Have to admit that would drive me mad. But living in Ireland I'll not have to worry about it for awhile as it's not going on sale here :-( Google has it office here but no nexus 7 for me :'(

Dexter Dyall commented on 2012-07-11 at 19:36:

Can really see how this is annoying, and frankly I'm kind of surprised that it launched like that. Surely there must be some idea behind it?

Chainfire commented on 2012-07-11 at 21:42:

Other tablets I have also have the bottom bar, but they actually use it, for a lot of things. Buttons, notifications, settings, time, etc. The "tablet" bar - it's completely different.

Dani Mukusha commented on 2012-07-11 at 21:54:

+Chainfire Would it be correct to say this is tablet specific feature? My SGS3 does not show the 3 dot menu in games while my friend's HTC One X does.  We both changed to Nova launcher and ran games and he gets a menu on the left hand side of the screen which incidentally does not work.  Could this be the result of not having physical buttons?

Roman M Cramm commented on 2012-07-12 at 00:42:

off topic but is ur site down? i cant dl cf root 6.4

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-12 at 00:44:

+Dani Mukusha The 3 dot menu appears because apps tell the operating system that they have a menu that should be popped if you hit the physical menu button.  ICS deprecated that style of menu in favor of having a drop-down menu in the Application Bar.  Some apps don't have that menu, which is why you won't always see the 3 dot menu.  When there are no physical buttons, those 3 dots will be located on the far right of the 3 virtual buttons.  If there are physical buttons, but none of them are a menu, you'll get that entire bar just for the 3 dot button.  Put simply, this is just a side effect of a transition period as developers start to throw out the deprecated menu and start using the Application Bar.  None of this is really that related to the original subject, but on the Nexus 7, the 3 dot button will appear to the right of the virtual buttons regardless of using the tablet layout or the default hybrid layout.

Robert Mahon commented on 2012-07-13 at 16:43:

It still looks... unfinished.  In landscape mode, push them to the left? Hide until..  Hmm.. don't know.  As is, it just looks 'unbalanced'

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-13 at 18:42:

I get that the Nexus 7 is intended to be well thought out, but I've got a nagging feeling that this is something that will be fixed in CyanogenMod before Google gets around to it...either that, or it'll be fixed in Key Lime Pie.

Dani Mukusha commented on 2012-07-13 at 20:53:

+Cody Toombs I really hope that Google will get fixed. It's this sort of lack of attention that make the Apple lot point and comment. I want one but will hold back, this would definitely get on my nerves. This by far is the most cost effective 7 inch tab but small issues like this will make me look elsewhere. +Chainfire is right not everyone is going to want to root.

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-15 at 20:25:

+Dani Mukusha Rooting isn't really the Solution (capital S), but it can serve as a proof of concept to prove that aspects of the tablet UI remain the best option even in the 7-inch form factor.  Google is experimenting, unfortunately it appears on the outside as if it is a commitment (the way Apple is committed to certain choices, even after they are shown to be bad).  Ultimately, this would have been better implemented as a user-selectable option in the settings screen, but Google is trying to impose a certain focus on design with developers, and that's guiding them down an unnecessarily myopic path.

Eric Cochran commented on 2012-07-16 at 01:59:

But, you can change all of this.  This is not a deal breaker in any way.  Perhaps the crudest way is simply changing the build.prop to gain the tablet UI.

Cody Toombs commented on 2012-07-16 at 02:42:

+Eric Cochran It still requires root to change the build.prop.  It's still something that shouldn't be done by the poorly/non-informed people that make up the majority.  For us, it's not a deal breaker, but it's still lowering the experience of the product for everybody who buys it (even the people who can change it within minutes of opening the box.  Speaking of, I can't wait to get mine.

Eric Cochran commented on 2012-07-16 at 04:56:

+Cody Toombs Yeah, I know.  But still, I very much doubt that it is a poor stock experience; Chainfire may be right, but this is the first bad review I've seen.  When I get mine (preordered within the first day-- still hasn't shipped!), I'll keep it stock, unchanged for a little while to see how the average person would like it.  Then, it will be root, change the build.prop (probably), and wait for AOKP!  :)

Brett Tracy commented on 2012-08-03 at 11:40:

I can see your gripe, but for 200 the nexus 7 is one hell of a tablet!

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