What do the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini mean for web browsing?

DevToolsGuy / Monday, November 12, 2012

So the new Nexus 7 has finally been released. As well as a price drop, the storage capacity of the top model has been bumped up to 32GB. Google’s timing was obviously related to the launch of the long rumored iPad Mini. Given these new devices (plus the Nook, Kindle, and multitude of Android tablets) users are now pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to 7” devices.

 What is interesting is Apple had previously dismissed 7” devices, saying the screen space would be too small to make a usable device. With improvements in display technology these concerns seem to have disappeared. The iPad Mini sports the same 1024×768 as the iPad 2, meaning apps don’t need resizing or adjusting for its display. The Nexus 7 sports a higher resolution (1280 x 800) than the new iPad, but does suffer from Android’s inherent lack of tablet specific apps.

So what is browsing the web like on the devices? Simply put it’s pretty good. Safari is still a leading class browser, though Chrome on Android has improved a lot. One of the great things about smaller tablets though is they are a lot more portable than their bigger cousins. They can be thrown in a bag or put in a back pocket in a way that a full sized iPad can’t always be. This element alone makes them a great web browsing form factor. Bigger than your phone, so easier to use for longer periods of reading, but not quite that “prized” tablet computer you have to keep in a special protective carry case or bag. It will be interesting to see how the market pans out, but I can see a future where we all have a 7” tablet as well as a “full grown” one.

So Get You Apps Ready:

  • Create Amazing Android Apps with Iguana UI
  • NucliOS toolset delivers the core controls you need to create high performance, highly visual,totally native iPad and iPhone applications.