Time for a progress report. I haven't figured out how it can help me. It has however, taught me what to look for in a future device.
The biggest issue is that it's a network-centric device that's wifi only. That would make it potentially useful at home, but here I have my iPhone and my computers. At work there's only the corporate network; some of our offices have a BYOD 'guest' wifi network but we don't. I tried it on the corporate network, but it doesn't easily connect to our peculiar VPN protocol (Lion has no problem. I didn't persist because even if I could make it work there was little added benefit).
In theory it works for reading documents, but I've found that drag and dropping over a wired connection doesn't always put docs in places where the reader app can find them.
I could install standalone added value software that doesn't need a net connection, but I already have a computer at work -- and I have my iPhone.
I can't give it to the kids because there are no parental controls - it's a wide open net device. We like to monitor the kids net use.
I'm still playing with it; technically it's impressive. I'm sure I'd have a use if it had a LTE chip, but then it would be significantly more expensive.
I suspect when if/when I get an iPad of some kind, I'll sell the Nexus 7.
Update 9/2/2012: Charlie Stross has the best guide I've seen to worthwhile Android apps. Ironically for me, the best use of the Nexus may be as a Kindle reader. Also, thanks for comments on this post. To clarify: If I had tethering or mifi there's no doubt it would be useful. In the US that hasn't been cost effective for me, but see American MIFI - priced for a limited and shrinking market and Mobile broadband hope: Walmart, TruConnect, Netzero, Sprint, Amazon and why I'm waiting on my next iPhone.
Update 9/17/2012: I sold it to a colleague who will make good use of it. He got a good deal; when I sell things I want the buyer to be delighted. In the end 7 things killed it for me:
- Jelly Bean has a longstanding bug with 802.11X EAP connections. That meant I couldn't turn it into a word device. I'm sure this will get fixed, but it doesn't work now. It's been broken for a while.
- It's a network-centric device without built-in cellular connectivity. An iPhone works well when disconnected, the Nexus doesn't.
- I expected better identity management -- including OS level support of my 3 primary Google identities. There is some identity support, but it's inconsistent and weird.
- Jelly Bean reminds me very much of Windows 3.1. I have to manage Win 7, OS X and iOS. I don't have time for Windows 3.1. It's very crude compared to the iOS environment (sorry, true).
- The App Store is weak, but the Play store is even weaker.
- Android's security issues.
- I'm not sure in the end that I really need a pad.
The last one means I'll hold off on an iPad purchase for a while. I do most of my reading work on my iPhone, and I like my MacBook Air for portable work. A low end Kindle may make more sense for me, but at this time I'm holding off on all pad purchases.