Content-driven Nexus 7 tablet took four torturous months to develop, according to Asus boss

The build may have been torturous but the Nexus 7 is finally out, check out our full review of the Google Nexus 7.

Asus’ charismatic chairman, Jonny Shih, has said in an interview that his engineers described building the new Nexus 7 tablet as “like torture,” and in what sounds like a considerable understatement, Google “asked a lot” while they worked on the joint venture.

Unveiled during the Google I/O keynote yesterday, the Nexus 7 tablet is all set to do battle with the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, but crucially for sales, it will be made available in the UK — where the other two are not — as well as the USA and Canada.

Speaking to AllThingsD, Shih said the tablet was the result of just a few short months of hard work, claiming they went from having nothing to the finished product in four months.

The pressure to deliver saw the project, under the internal codename of Project A-Team, take on more engineers on a regular basis, and move to a 24-hour development cycle, ensuring Google’s expectations were met.

If anyone is still unsure whether the Nexus 7 is a bargain or not, Google’s Andy Rubin says the $199/£159 device is being sold through the Google Play store almost at cost. Like Amazon’s plan with the Kindle Fire, its hoped enough content will be purchased through the included app, movie and music stores to pick up the shortfall.

It’s also hinted at in the article that Google could be planning to sell the Nexus 7 in shops too. Whether the same tempting price tag would carry over into a retail environment remains to be seen.

On the Nexus 7, content is king

Google is not taking the chance that new users won’t realize they can buy all kinds of content right on the device. In the US, $25 of Google Play store credit will be included, while the UK gets £15, and both will receive a free copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon to be disappointed by. Other content was promised during the launch event, such as an eBook of The Bourne Dominion and a selection of magazines, but as yet these have not been confirmed for all regions.

The company is up front about its reliance on content to make the Nexus 7 a success, and Hugo Barra, Product Manager for Android at Google, said they wanted to make a device to “delight,” and allow people to “immerse themselves” in the available media.

You can pre-order a Nexus 7 tablet right now through Google Play, with shipping expected to take place in the next two or three weeks.

Smart Home

Samsung SmartThings adds A.I.-based Wi-Fi for faster, smarter home networking

Samsung introduced the SmartThings Wifi, an A.I.-based multifunction mesh networking router with an integrated smart home hub. The device intelligently allocates network speed and bandwidth based on device and application needs.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Sling TV, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, each suited for a different occasion.
Movies & TV

Binge away with our guide to the best on-demand streaming services

Looking to waste a weekend bingeing or just putting together a movie night? Find out everything you need, from prices to features, in our guide to the best online streaming sites and services for on-demand movies and TV shows.
Mobile

MetroPCS Alcatel 7 boasts a dual-sensor camera and FHD+ screen for $180

Alcatel has taken the wraps off of the new Alcatel 7, a phone that's uniquely available from MetroPCS. The new device boasts a full HD display with a dual-sensor camera and a relatively nice design, and it comes in at only $180.
Product Review

Someday it will do 5G, but the Moto Z3 is already a great phone

Motorola’s flagship smartphone of 2018 looks exactly like its mid-range smartphone of 2018, but powered by a processor from 2017. It’s still a great-performing phone for $480, and it will be the first upgradable 5G smartphone next year.
Mobile

Bloatware could be putting millions of Android devices at risk

A study has revealed that changes to Android's firmware and added bloatware from carriers could be making millions of Android smartphones vulnerable to massive hacks and potential data theft.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the debut of its foldable smartphone isn't far away

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally become a reality. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Apple

Apple's AirPower charging pad may cost $150, sport 22 wireless charging coils

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Apple iPhone X: Battle of the ultra-premium smartphones

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the company's latest ultra-premium smartphone. The device boasts top-tier specs, an excellent design, and more. But can it take out the Apple iPhone X, Apple's own ultra-premium device?
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.