This is Part 5 (albeit published much later than I had originally anticipated) in my continuing series in which I share how I use my Google/ASUS Nexus 7 tablet on a day-to-day basis. Part 1 covers my hardware accessories and business apps; Part 2 focuses on a variety of utilities; Part 3 deals with social media and related apps as well as ebook readers; and in Part 4 I review most of what is left -- a combination of utilities, news apps, and apps that didn't fit in the previous three posts, excluding audio-video and related apps, which I have reserved for this post.
As I mentioned in the previous entry in this series: "...what would an Android device be without at least a few games, some tunes, and a movie or two."
In Part 2 I talked about "cloud storage" services -- necessary because the Nexus 7's storage capacity is limited and the device has no card slot. [Note: If you read Part 2 previously, please read the update I posted on 02/26/2013 regarding a strong warning about Bitcasa cloud storage; and in place of Bitcasa, I have recommended Box cloud storage.]
But what do you do when you have no wireless access to those cloud storage services, and yet you need access to your documents and spreadsheets, as well as books, music, and movies, say, for that long plane ride, or the hotel stay where there is no free wireless?
You use the Nexus Media Importer app and a micro USB On-the-Go (OTG) cable. The Nexus Media Importer uses the N7's micro USB port, the same port used for charging the device. Just as the app says, this is for importing (and streaming) to the N7 only. You cannot move/save files from the N7 to the USB device.
The cable needed must be described as a "Micro USB OTG to USB 2.0 Adapter." The one I use (pictured here) is the T & S Electronics Micro USB OTG Cable, which cost $10.00 on Amazon. An online search, even on Amazon, will find cheaper cables, but I went with this one because of its design, the lifetime warranty, and because the company is located in the US (Los Angeles).
As with the Google Chrome browser, or all Google apps for that matter, Google Calendar syncs across all devices. If I set up a calendar appointment on my PC, it shows up on the N7, and vice versa. When I schedule an appointment, I always set up reminders to be sent to me via email and the Android notification bar.
If you keep up on tech news then you may have heard about the iPhone fiasco when Apple decided to do away with Google Maps and go with their own map app. (The fiasco cost a couple execs their jobs at Apple!) I recall reading an alert put out by the Australian travel bureau, I believe it was, warning tourists that an iPhone map error could be detrimental to travelers. With Google Maps, I can map out my destination, including driving directions, and then do a screenshot1 of each so that I have access to the information on the N7 when there is no wifi available, like in the car.
ESPN's ScoreCenter for Android is ideal for tracking favorite sports and teams. I'm not much for sports, but I do follow a few college football teams, and local NFL and MLB teams. With ScoreCenter, you can track a multitude of sports, from Autoracing to MMA, and even Cricket! The app's "holo" design has recently been updated for the Nexus 7 and looks great. You can set up to receive notifications after each inning or quarter, for example, and receive news notifications for breaking sports stories.