[BCAB] Google Nexus 7 Day 1 Initial Impressions

Dave dave_maydew at btinternet.com
Fri May 30 01:07:19 BST 2014

Hi David and others,
One thing to note about all Nexus devices, is that they're originally
developed for developers of the Android OS, and thus only uses pure
Android, so those who are used to device such as Samsung Phones and
Tablets, will find a difference straight away, especially with the
screen layout, as Samsung uses their own TouchWiz User Interface.
If you're thinking of going for a Tablet PC, take it from me, for the
blind community, either the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, or the new Tab 3, as
Samsung for some reason do a better job.

I own the Nexus 4 phone, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, and even with my
little bit of sight, I know which one is easier to use from the word go!
Yes, if you're coming from the iOS, there is a slight learning curve,
more with the Nexus devices, but overall it's not too hard.

I much prefer Android over iOS, but that's the "Open Source Hippy" side
of me talking, and as for apps, don't expect ones like TapTapSee or the
others you're used to on Apple Devices, but there are lots of other
alternatives out there.

Hope this also helps clear up some of the differences between Nexus and
other devices?


      "Message Sent using a Intel Core i5 powered by Linux!"

On Fri, 2014-05-30 at 00:32 +0100, David Griffith wrote:
> Here are some very early impressions on exploring the Nexus 7.
> I have  only used  and old Android Phone running Mobile Accessibility and
> Gingerbread in the past, and to be honest my daughter fairly quickly
> inherited this phone from me because of the frustrations I experienced in
> the early Android systems.
> Nevertheless the Nexus level of Accessibility on a tablet is clearly a step
> up from what I experienced  on an old Phone. 
> There is clearly a  huge learning curve ahead of me  so any impressions I
> have now may be down to my current inadequate skill level but here goes.
> A surprising problem was finding where the on off button  was on the device
> and I could not find this out on any Google search but luckily  Jackie on
> this list was able to help me.
> A suggestion for the BCAB is that we should keep a basic stock of getting
> started orientation instructions for the mainstream devices we use as a web
> resource, A sighted person would not need to be told where the on off button
> was but  this may not be obvious to us.
> In theory holding the power button with 2 fingers on the screen during power
> up should start Talkback. On my tablet at least the accessibility shortcut
> did not work. I was, in any case, in  2 minds as to whether to try and set
> up the device myself. Luckily about 10 minutes after I had failed to start
> Talkback sighted help arrived.
> He confirmed that I   would have found start up difficult as it was
> instantly prompting for connection to wi-fi, over riding   the other start
> up routines. 
> I used sighted help to get wi-fi in and the device associated with my Gmail
> account. I also got him to download Sendspace and Firefox. I did this as I
> discovered that I could not access the Google Play store on the web until an
> app had been downloaded from the store on the actual device. 
> Finally I asked him to leave Talkback running in the start-up tutorial.
> Touch Screen Interface 
> In some ways Talkback is more similar to iOS and some of the swiping
> gestures and double tapping will be more 
> familiar to those used to an iOS interface. However the early impressions is
> that you need a completely different touch strategy in terms of sensitivity
> and strength of gesture.
> In general I found that I had better success if I slowed up the speed, and
> reduce the strength  of gestures that I routinely used on iOS.  The device
> seems to respond poorly if I swipe or gesture with speed but responds better
> if I gesture more slowly .  Jackie's advice about using a light touch also
> seems to work well.  It seems especially important to use a slow light touch
> if you are trying to identify elements using Explore by touch.  If I tried
> to find things at my normal iOS speed I found I was missing elements of  the
> screen. So slowly and lightly does it I think, but as I say it is early days
> for me.
> The main difficulty I experienced was in unlocking the screen. Ostensibly
> the setup  is very similar to iOS in as much as you are prompted to slide
> right to unlock the device. It took me a long time to actually achieve this
> with  dozens  of rightwards swipes not achieving the desired result.
> I am still not clear as to whether I have truly mastered this but I think
> what you do is 
> 1. Press the on off button to start a prompt.
> 2. Swipe once to get a message to swipe right to unlock.
> 3. Swipe right again to get a message saying slide area.
> 4. This is where I  got stuck. The occasions I got it to work were when I
> put my finger just to the left of the middle of the screen and very slowly
> and deliberately swiped across to the extreme right edge of the screen.
> Apart from speed and strength of touch the system is , In in some ways, is
> similar to an iOS device with one important exception. Unlike on iOS you
> cannot, I think, assume that swiping left or right will cycle you through
> all the elements of a screen.  I am not entirely sure yet but I think the
> way it works is that if you swipe through a menu you will cycle through that
> menu but may not then  down the screen to further elements. I am still
> trying to work this out so this is  a provisional finding for now.  So in
> summary the Android system seems to be that you will perhaps cycle through
> the elements of a section of a screen rather than necessarily the entire
> screen.
> What I think this means is that you have to rely much more on the concept of
> Explore by Touch to ensure you build up an awareness of all the items on a
> screen. Obviously as you become more familiar with applications you will
> become aware of elements which you will not encounter by swiping and will
> naturally just feel for the area in which these things are. For a beginner
> though this needs to be highlighted I think as you may not be aware of all
> the elements which are navigable with a screen.
> Keyboard
> I am glad I got sighted help in as I did not achieve much success with the
> keyboard to begin with at least. The standard on screen keyboard is similar
> to the iOS keyboard in touch typing mode. I am not a fan of this mode and
> had not routinely used it on iOS. I will need therefore to develop my skills
> in that respect. I suspect that I will routinely use a Bluetooth keyboard
> with this device. I have purchased a Logitech 810 BT  keyboard and providing
> I can get this paired will hopefully greatly smooth the interface with the
> tablet for me personally.
> Responsiveness
> On the Eyes Free list in the last few days there have been several
> complaints about the responsiveness and performance of the Nexus 7. So far,
> with very light usage I have not experienced difficulties which make the
> device unusable. It does tend to go silent from time to time but then my 4th
> Gen iPod was guilty of this as well, and even my iPhone goes into a silent
> sulk from time to time.
> Enough for day 1 I think.
> Regards
> David Griffith

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