The shipping of Google’s new tablet, the Nexus 7, will begin in about 2 – 3 weeks. But before it officially comes out, there have been much information about the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean that keeps on appearing on the net. One information includes that Google has taken a step back with Jelly Bean to tone down the tablet interface used in Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich.
The nexus 7’s home screen, the first thing the buyers will recognize, will be restricted in portrait orientation. Google has decided that the 7-inch tablet is better portrayed as normal smartphones. There has been many 7-inch Android tablets that is capable of landscape and portrait orientation. The restriction Google is pronouncing might be a mistake.
Many users don’t stick on one orientation only. They use tablets the way they want it to. Giving users ability to choose between portrait and landscape is a good thing for tablets but not for Google’s Nexus 7, at least on the home screens. User’s choice is always better.
It also seems like Nexus 7 will be dropping the tablet interface of Honeycomb and ICS, and gone with a large phone interface. The system bar at the bottom of the home screen is gone and repositioned at the top of the screen. Google predicts that this is a better interface since it is a 7-inch tablet. Having the notifications at the top of the screen makes sense, better than at the bottom as in the earlier versions of Android.
The question that remains is that how well existing tablet apps written for the tablet interface run under the phone style UI of Jelly Bean.
Properly written apps won’t have problem with the new UI but those apps that greatly depends on the UI will suffer. Some apps may no longer have a UI that fits smoothly. How will things go to app developers?
For those who want to change the UI of the Nexus 7, there is ‘Rooting’. Of course, this is just for those who don’t want the big phone UI. Rooting changes the Android file system and kernel a lot, so casual users is not advisable to do this.
Let’s see how the interface will work out once it hits the public’s hands. More and more people are getting impatient.