Getting the Most from the Nexus 7
The ASUS/Google Nexus 7 arrived at my door on August 1, 2012 with a lot of anticipation from both me and the rest of the consumer electronics world. A quad-core Tegra 3 processor from NVIDIA, a 1200x800 HD IPS display covered with the latest scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera were among its most notable cool features. Fast-forward to late September 2012, and although it has gotten mostly positive reviews, it is viewed primarily as a consumption device, with a lack of ways to use it for producing anything short of e-mail messages. I believe this review will change your mind and show you how to use it for both production and consumption in ways you didn't know. The way to do this is with the right app—better known as the right tool for the right job.
Let's start with my favorite topic, producing videos. As long as your need is only for production of short-form, nothing-fancy videos, the Nexus 7 can do it. Yes, it has only a front-facing camera. However, I was surprised to discover I had good results when I held it in the general direction of the action, without the aid of a screen to see what was captured. I used the app Camera ICS+, the plus being the pay-for $.99 version that captures 720p HD video from the Nexus 7. It also can be used for shooting high-quality still photos as well.
Next, for editing, check out the app called Andromedia. I tried six different Android video editing-apps, some free some paid, and five out of six were horrible. Andromedia was the only one that worked as advertised, and it was free! It isn't perfect though. Rendering a six-minute HD video took nearly 45 minutes, but it does work. It has all of the basic editing tools you'd expect and some you might not. It edits and exports 720p HD video; it can super titles you create over either a color background or a picture; it has several choices of scene transitions, and it even allows importing and editing of audio, if you want to add music or sound effects. It's also easy to use. Because it is a free app, there are small ads at the bottom of the GUI, but I didn't find them to be annoying or intrusive. The screenshots in Figures 1–7 show the editing process.
Figure 1. Storyboard Layout
Figure 2. Adding a Title
Figure 3. Choosing the Title's Look
Figure 4. Selecting a Transition
Figure 5. Selecting Where the Next Sequence Comes from
Figure 6. Export Settings
Figure 7. Naming the Project
Speaking of screenshots, on the Nexus 7, you can make them by holding down the power button and the volume button at the same time for about two seconds, which is followed by a nondescript sound.
Philip Raymond is a Technician at Fox Chicago and has used Android since the HTC G1. He also has used SUSE, Ubuntu and, most recently, Xubuntu for his desktops since 2003.
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