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.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

compatible with linux pc

Klaus 's picture

just to be sure: can files (e.g. photos and music) between a linux pc and the nexus 7 be exchanged with a simple usb connection?


Anonymous's picture

Yep, that's how I move stuff between my Linux PC and my unrooted Nexus 7.

You can, only if you root the

tvphil's picture

You can, only if you root the Nexus 7, which voids the warranty. You can however, transfer files via home wifi, using the ES File Manager app on the Nexus 7 that I wrote about in the article. If you don't have a wifi home network, you could also transfer files using the Google Drive (the Google Cloud)for free, using a Google Gmail login. Of course, if you don't mind voiding your warranty and know what you're doing, go ahead and root it.

much appreciate, thanks for

Klaus 's picture

much appreciate, thanks for your help

Question about the PVR

Brian Trapp's picture

Which Hauppauge device are you using? I haven't resurrected my Freevo since I went HD but would like to get it back up and running.

I use the Hauppauge HD PVR

tvphil's picture

I use the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212. This version is no longer sold by Hauppauge, I believe they stopped selling it last year. You can probably still find one on E Bay, Amazon or Newegg new or used. The newer version is aimed at gamers who want to record their game play. It also is not compatible with Linux. Here's a link to the article I wrote for Ubuntu User on how to use the 1212 with Freevo....


Mathew Newton's picture

'[...] it is possible to connect to the Internet by tethering the Nexus 7 to your Android phone via Bluetooth by pairing them and checking the box on the phone to allow Internet tethering. My experience with doing this is acceptable, but the Bluetooth Internet speed is knocked down to about 400kbps'

You'd be better off tethering via WiFi then such limitations won't come into play.

You are correct. However, not

tvphil's picture

You are correct. However, not everyone has a device that can provide a hotspot or if you're like me, don't think it's worth the extra cost from my service provider to have this option. Bluetooth tethering is the only option if you can't tether to a wifi hotspot device.

Nice Product

Marc Belanger's picture

I'm pretty happy this product has hit the market. I already have a bunch of people asking for it.. Customer tomorrow for it.. I just don't think stock will be available long as these things come out, there isn't anybody thinking before they launch, and they run short every time.

I wish they were able to figure out how the cases are supposed to be so we could get them in advance. I blow thru thousands of cases for new products and gadgets, and I haven't figured out the manufacturers yet. They can't seem to work with each other to actually have enough stock for the whole world ahead of time! rocks.. Check out the pricing!

value for money

Dzak's picture

Nice one... Nexus 7 is value for money for sure eventhough i prefer low budget tablets from china. A good one solution is ainol novo 7.
I liked the andromedia application thanks for your review now it will be one of my favourites.

wow ainol hero is the best, i

aryo1on's picture