Review: Nexus tablet showcases Google media play

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Apps on my Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone automatically appear on the Nexus 10 after signing in with the same Google account. I’ll note that the Nexus 10 is also made by Samsung Electronics Co., even though it’s branded Google.

Three of my apps, for AccuWeather, Citibank and Dunkin’ Donuts, aren’t compatible for unknown reasons. But those I use most often _ Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and a slew of other weather apps _ all work on the Nexus. The companion app for the TV show “Dexter” also works, allowing me to play trivia games and watch video clips.

Not all apps have been specifically adapted for the tablet’s larger screen, but they take advantage of the entire screen, nonetheless, thanks to the way Android lets software programmers build their apps in modules. All the content gets blown up and still looks decent.

Apple’s store has a far wider selection of apps, though, including a half-dozen apps for exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A search on Play comes up with only one.

The Nexus comes with the latest version of the Android operating system, version 4.2. It introduces a new feature for sharing tablets, the way family members can share Windows and Mac computers while keeping personalized settings. You no longer have to fight with a kid who constantly changes the volume or moves apps around. Now, just sign in as separate users.

The Nexus is a tad lighter, while the iPad promises longer battery life and has an option for cellular broadband for $130 more, plus the cost of data plans. Neither has a slot to expand memory with SD cards. Both have two cameras _ 5 megapixels on the back for taking photos and video, and a lower-resolution one on the front for videoconferencing.

The iPad remains king among tablets, with its ease of use, variety of apps and dominance in the market. But challengers such as Google offer choice. The Nexus 10 is a good choice if you already have an Android phone and use a lot of Google services. That’s especially true if you also watch a lot of movies and TV shows, but don’t want to be limited to that.

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Anick Jesdanun, deputy technology editor for The Associated Press, can be reached at njesdanun(at)ap.org.

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About the Nexus 10:

The base model with 16 gigabytes of storage costs $399. A 32 GB version goes for $499. Unlike the iPad, there is no 64 GB version, nor are there ones with cellular connectivity.

The Nexus 10 is sold at Google’s online Play store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The 32 GB version also is sold at some Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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