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Nexus 7 refresh tipped for summer; how it differs from the original

The original Google Nexus 7 tablet (as manufactured by ASUS) has been tipped to be getting a refresh with new hardware and a launch time around June or July. This updated piece of equipment would, if this set of predictions turns true, have the tablet ready to be re-introduced at Google I/O 2013, the company’s developer conference. This conference begins next week, starting on Wednesday the 15th of May, ending Friday.

It was just one year ago that Google I/O 2012 revealed the Google Nexus 7 originally, giving it there to every developer attendee so that they might develop games and apps for the device with ease. That original Google Nexus 7 remains on sale today with the specifications it came with in the first place.

The original Google Nexus 7 worked with a 7-inch IPS LCD display at 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, that ending up bringing on a 216 PPI screen density. This device was 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm large and was released in both wifi-only and 3G-capable iterations, having Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS inside. The original Nexus 7 worked with 8GB of internal storage – this was quickly upgraded to 16GB of internal storage in the smallest, standard model, while another 32GB internal storage iteration was released as well.

Perhaps most important of all, this original Nexus 7 was – before it was scooped up by Google – an ASUS/NVIDIA collaboration. As a low-cost quad-core processor-toting tablet, NVIDIA had it announced at CES 2012 with ASUS without a formal release date. This device was quickly spotted by Google and brought on as an exclusive release under the company’s Nexus brand. Fun fact: we also predicted this collaboration – albeit with the wrong price attached.

This ASUS Eee Pad MeMO was announced with NVIDIA’s own Tegra 3 quad-core processor inside and continued to carry that processor through to its re-naming as the Google Nexus 7. In an analyst report with 9to5Google by Mingchi Kuo from KGI securities today, the new Google 7 tablet will be bringing with it a quad-core Qualcomm processor.

The processor this new Nexus 7 is tipped to bring with it is the same APQ8064 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor carried by the Google Nexus 4, the current hero smartphone for Google (manufactured by LG). This would be a relatively major blow to NVIDIA as the Nexus 7 allowed their chipset to reach a relatively large cross-section of users over the past year.

This new Nexus 7 would be manufactured by ASUS as the first iteration was and will have 7-inch LTPS display with 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. That puts the density of this display at 323 PPI, far greater than the original device. This new Nexus 7 is also suggested to be coming with a thinner bezel than before, Qi standard wireless charging, and a back-facing camera sitting at 5-megapixels strong.

We’ll know one way or the other next week – if Google is aiming to re-introduce the Nexus 7 with new specifications for this year, Google I/O 2013 is the ideal place to do it. Stick with SlashGear in our Google I/O portal for more information on the event and head to our Facebook event page to sign up to remind yourself to join us!

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What Is Usb 3.2 And How It Differs From Usb 3.1

Designed in the mid-nineties, USB, or Universal Serial Bus, has been the industry standard for connecting electronic devices with peripherals over the better part of the past couple of decades. Circa 2023, USB ports and connectors are pretty much omnipresent on electronic devices of every shape and size, having managed to successfully replace a bunch of different interfaces, including serial ports, parallel ports, as well as various proprietary charging connectors for mobile devices like phones and tablets. While the existing USB 3.1 standard is almost universally used by electronics OEMs worldwide, a new USB 3.2 standard is on the cards if a recent announcement is anything to go by.

What is USB 3.2?

Earlier this week, the USB 3.0 Promoters Group announced the final draft of its USB 3.2 specifications that promises to double the speed of data transfer via Type-C reversible cables. So, while the existing SuperSpeed USB 3.1 (generation 1) cables will see their theoretical speeds increase from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, the speeds of SuperSpeed+ 10Gbps (generation 2) cables will rise from 10Gbps to 20Gbps, although, passive cables can only support those speeds if their length is lower than 1 meter.

While these speeds are only the theoretical upper limits of the USB 3.2 standard and will be hard to match in real life, the announcement of the new specifications is still an important step towards faster connectivity at a time when the Internet of Things is just starting to gain more widespread acceptance among mainstream consumers. According to the press release by the USB 3.0 Promoters Group, “the USB 3.2 specifications is now in a final draft review phase”, and will be formally released at the USB Developer Days North America event in September 2023.

How Will Speeds Double If I’m Using The Same Cable?

Although USB 3.2 will retain the physical layer data rates and encoding techniques of the USB 3.1 standard, unlike its predecessor, it will use all four available lanes for transmitting and receiving data, like Apple and Intel’s proprietary connector technology. While the impending rollout of USB 3.2 will hasten things up when it comes to transferring your data from one device to another, it will also bring some minor changes to the hub specification, thereby bringing faster connectivity and seamless transitions between single and dual-lane operations.

When Can We Expect to Get Super-Fast USB 3.2 Speeds?

Exciting as it is, there’s a big roadblock towards the immediate adoption of USB 3.2 even after its formal announcement later this year. While the new standard will be backwards compatible with previous-generation USB standards as expected, you’ll need both the host and the client to be natively compliant with USB 3.2 for you to be able to transfer data at the breakneck speeds of 2.5GB/s (20Gbps). That being the case, don’t expect to get double-quick speeds with your shiny new USB Type-C cable any time soon, because it might be a while before the new standard starts rolling out to devices from global OEMs.

SEE ALSO: 15 Best USB Type-C Accessories

Is USB 3.2 The Answer to All Our Connectivity Needs?

Nexus 7 Vs Nexus 9 Comparison

Our Verdict

The Nexus 9 is undoubtedly better than the Nexus 7 with a more powerful 64-bit processor, better cameras and front facing stereo speakers. The screen is bigger too but there’s a drop in pixel density and an increase in price. Stand by for an update once we get our hands on the Nexus 9.

As expected, Google has announced the Nexus 9 with  Android 5.0 Lollipop and you’re probably wanting to know what different compared with the Nexus 7. Read our Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison to find out. Also see: Best tablets and Best Android tablets.

Before we get into the comparison, it’s worth pointing out that we’re comparing the new Nexus 9 with the Nexus 7 (2013) and not the original from 2012. Google also announced the  Nexus 6 and the Nexus Player.

The Nexus 9 is available to pre-order now for release on 3 November. Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 has been removed from the Google Play store but you should be able to find it at other retailers while stocks last.

The Nexus 7 costs £199 or £239 officially but now the Nexus 9 is here you can find it for less. For example, Amazon has it for £165. You’ll have to pay a bit more for the Nexus 9 as it starts at £319 and jumps to £399 for the higher capacity. if you want 4G LTE you’ll have to stump up £459.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Design

Although Asus made both versions of the Nexus 7 and HTC has built the Nexus 9, the two look quite similar in design.

The Nexus 9 is easily recognisable as a Nexus device and has a brushed metal frame running around the edge. The rear cover remains soft grip plastic and while the Nexus 7 was available in black and white, the Nexus 9 comes in a new beige/sand colour.

It’s a bigger tablet because of the screen (see below) but is a little thinner at 7.95 mm compared to 8.65 mm. It’s understandably heavier at 425 g which is up from 290 g.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Hardware


The jump is screen size is a major difference here and Google has gone from 7in to 8.9in so effectively a gain of 2in as the product names suggest. The aspect ratio moves from 16:9 to 4:3 matching the iPad range.

Resolution has gone from 1920 x 1200 to 2048 x 1536 but the screen size means that the pixel density actually drops a bit from 323ppi to 281ppi. Both use an IPS LCD panel.


Another big change is the nVidia Tegra K1 processor found in the Nexus 9 which is a 2.3 GHz 64-bit dual-core Denver chip – a nice jump from the Nexus 7’s Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which is 1.5GHz quad-core.

Storage and wireless

Although the screen and processor are big changes, much of the Nexus 9’s specs remain the same including 2GB of RAM, 16- or 32GB of internal storage, no microSD card slot, NFC, optional 4G LTE and GPS.

Google has also fitted then Nexus 9 with a magnetometer for detecting magnetic cases.


Although we’re not too bothered about cameras on tablets this is an area with upgrades on the Nexus 9 with an 8Mp rear camera which is accompanied by an LED flash. That’s better than the Nexus 7’s 5Mp main camera with no flash. Video recording remains at up to 1080p.

At the front, things have jumped from 1.2Mp to 1.6Mp. Both of the Nexus 9 cameras use an f/2.4 aperture.

Battery life

The Nexus 7 has a 3,950 mAH battery and wireless charging and although there’s no mention of wireless charging on the Nexus 9, it has a 6700 mAh battery.

Google’s figures tout up to nine hours of video playback on the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 9 will do an extra half an hour. However, it will supposedly only cope with 9.5 hours of web browsing while the Nexus 7 can manage 10.

Nexus 7 vs Nexus 9 comparison: Software

There’s really no difference in software as although the nexus 9 will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Nexus 7 will get updated to the latest version. The only real difference is that the Nexus 9 will make full use of it with the 64-bit processor.

Specs Google Nexus 9: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop

8.9in IPS LCD (2048 x 1536)

nVidia Tegra K1 2.3GHz 64-bit


16/32GB storage

11ac dual-band Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO)

Bluetooth 4.1



optional 4G LTE

HTC BoomSound stereo speakers

8Mp rear camera with LED flash

1.6Mp front camera

6700mAh battery




Root Nexus 7 With Cf

Root methods for rooting the Nexus 7 have no doubt existed for quite some time, and the most popular root tools for Samsung devices – CF-Auto-Root – by developer Chainfire can now be added to the list, as it has now been released for the Nexus 7. CF-Auto-Root, like the name suggests, roots the device automatically and doesn’t require much work on the user’s part.

CF-Auto-Root supports both the Wi-Fi-only and 3G-enabled Nexus 7, and the procedure to use CF-Auto-Root is detailed in the guide below. Keep in mind that while the procedure is completely safe, it will wipe all data on your Nexus 7 as rooting requires its bootloader to be unlocked, so you will need to backup all your important files and apps.

So if you have a Nexus 7 and are looking to root it, continue reading for the step-by-step guide on how to do that.


This guide is applicable only for the ASUS/Google Nexus 7. Do not try this on any other device.


The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to your device, we won’t be held liable.

How to Root Nexus 7 with CF-Auto-Root

NOTE: If your tablet’s bootloader is already unlocked, no data will be wiped and you can skip backup of data.

Download and install the Android SDK → from here. This will install the necessary drivers for the tablet on your computer. Remember that even though your Nexus 7′s storage shows up on the computer when you connect it, the Android SDK drivers are separate and are required for the rooting process.

Download the CF-Auto-Root package from the source page.

Extract the contents of the CF-Auto-Root file to a convenient location on your computer.

Turn off your Nexus 7. Then, boot into fastboot mode by holding down the Volume down and Powerbuttons together till the screen turns on and shows “Start” written in big green letters.

Then, connect your Nexus 7 to the computer with your USB cable, then wait for Windows to finish installing the drivers (drivers will be installed only the first time). For reliability, ensure that you use a USB port at the back if you are using a desktop computer, as the front panel ports can be loose and cause problems.

Before proceeding, make sure you took a backup as explained in step 1. Then, press any key to start the rooting procedure.

At one point, the tablet will reboot and show a red Android logo while it is being rooted. Once the procedure is complete, the tablet will boot up normally and if you didn’t have an unlocked bootloader before rooting, all data would have been wiped.

NOTE: After rooting, check in your tablet whether an app named “SuperSU” is installed, which is the app that allows you to grant root access to any app that asks for root. If the app isn’t visible in your device’s apps list, then it was probably not installed during the rooting procedure. In that case, simply install SuperSU from the Play Store yourself.

Your Nexus 7 is now rooted, and you can proceed to using root-enabled apps on your favourite 7-inch tablet. Have fun, and don’t forget to let us know how CF-Auto-Root works for you.

How And When To Change From Summer To Winter Tires

When the warm summer air gives way to the chill of an impending winter, some of you are probably thinking more about fading tans and lost beach days than you are about car care. We understand that anything related to cold weather might be a sore subject. However, snow tires (also known as “winter tires”) are tremendously important for your safety if you live in a snowy climate, and it’s important to know when to switch over to them.

The Basics

Robert Abram, product planning manager at Yokohama Tire Corporation describes the difference: “The compounding and tread designs for winter tires are altered from traditional all-season tires to maximize grip. Even the best all-season tires have compounds that get more brittle as the temperature drops, and when that happens, the tires tend to grip less. The winter tire compound remains pliable when temperatures are low, retaining grip.”

Without grip, most of your car’s safety functions–like all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes–can’t do their jobs correctly.

Doug Brown, brand category manager for BFGoodrich Tires, agrees. “Having a second set of dedicated snow tires gives you a margin of safety and a sense of security to get where you’re going,” he says. “You will increase your ability to start on a hill, stop the vehicle and to maneuver in deep snow that can’t be achieved with conventional tires.”

Even if you have two-wheel drive, you should put snow tires on every wheel of your vehicle. Putting them only on the front wheels of a front-wheel drive car can cause spinouts or result in diminished steering capabilities in a rear-wheel drive car. Trust us, it’s worth the extra dough to do all four wheels at once.

When To Change Them

There are no clear answers as to when you should put on your winter tires, mainly because every area is hit by weather at different times and different severities. Aim for changing them when the weather worsens, but don’t wait too long. The earlier you get them changed, the less waiting at the shop you’ll have to do. Better to have them on too soon than leave it until you wake up to a few feet of snow on the ground and your car stuck for the day.

While you can technically leave winter tires on your wheels year-round, we recommend against it.

“One of the real downsides to keeping your winter tires on in the summer is that they wear out very quickly,” Abram says. “In most conditions, you can usually get three or four seasons out of them before you have to replace the winter set when you’re swapping them out with an all-season or summer tire. If you drive them year-round, the heat will wear away the specific winter tire compounds. You’ll also sacrifice some cornering and grip if you leave them on throughout the year.”

How To Change Them

When you buy winter tires, we suggest you put them on another set of rims. They don’t have to be new, or identical to the ones you already have, but they need to be the same size and have the same bolt pattern. Doing this will save you tons of time when you need to change them. Having a second set of wheels for the winter also means your nice, clean wheels will be protected during the rough weather months.

If you’ve got them on wheels already, the transition to winter tires is just like changing a tire; it’s a quick and inexpensive process. Considering that winter tires can save your life in severe winter weather, a little hassle twice a year seems largely insignificant. And if you put them on before the winter weather hits, you’ll ensure a safer winter season for you and your passengers.

This article originally appeared on DriverSide.

Music For A Summer Evening

Music for a Summer Evening Boston Landmarks Orchestra opens annual free concert series tonight at Hatch Shell

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, under the direction of Christopher Wilkins, kicks off its free summer concert series at the Hatch Shell tonight at 7 p.m. Photo by Michael Dwyer

There may be no finer place to be this evening than the Hatch Shell on Boston’s Charles River Esplanade. Oh, you’ll have to share space with a couple of thousand fellow citizens. But it will be worth it. For tonight marks the start of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s 2023 season of free summer concerts.

Comprising some of the Boston area’s finest professional musicians, the BLO has earned a reputation for presenting eclectic classical music concerts on the Hatch Shell, as well as for performing in city neighborhoods, youth centers, and public parks. Since its founding in 2001, the orchestra has played classical music from a range of composers in a fun, approachable way.

Tonight’s opening concert, titled Music for a Summer Evening, includes, appropriately, Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, a work for voice and orchestra that nostalgically recalls a child’s memories of summer. The lush piece is based on a largely autobiographical prose poem by Pulitzer-winner James Agee. First performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1948, Barber’s composition has become a staple of 20th-century classical music.

Led by musical director Christopher Wilkins, the orchestra will also perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite, one of the British composer’s most famous pieces, originally written for a military band; Frederick Delius’ Summer Evening, one of three tone poems created between 1888 and 1890; The Blue Planet, a 10-minute orchestral work by Peggy Stuart Coolidge that later became the official theme song for the World Wildlife Fund (Coolidge was the first female American composer to have a recording made of her symphonic works); excerpts from Giuseppe Verdi’s five-act opera I vespri siciliani; and Edward Elgar’s moving Enigma Variations, composed in 1899. The composition features 14 variations on a single theme—each said to be a musical sketch of various friends of the composer’s. Elgar’s most famous composition, the Enigma Variations has been recorded more than 60 times since he first recorded it in 1924.

Concertgoers will want to arrive early for tonight’s free concert, as student brass and wind quintets from the Boston University Tanglewood Institute will be performing a prelude between 6:15 and 6:45, as the crowd assembles.

The other concerts at the Hatch Shell this summer: a special appearance by Cambridge-based Mercury Orchestra, presenting selections from Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, on July 26; a BLO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on August 2; Anthems of the World, a concert of classical pieces by the BLO that will include a Landmarks-commissioned work by composer Gonzalo Grau on August 9; a performance by the Longwood Symphony Orchestra titled A Night in Vienna, on August 17; and to close out the season, a BLO concert titled Landmarks Dance Carnival on August 23. Find more information about these concerts and the BLO’s summer neighborhood concerts and educational programs here.

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra concerts are tonight, Wednesday, July 19, and every Wednesday through August 23, at the Hatch Shell, at 7 p.m. (save for the concert on Thursday, August 17). All concerts are free. In the event of rain, tonight’s concert will be tomorrow, Thursday, July 20, at the Hatch Shell, or if again raining, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., also at 7 p.m. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, transfer to an outbound Red Line train to Charles/MGH. Find information about weather conditions and postponements here.

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