While Apple has long reigned supreme in the tablet space with the iPad, demand for the Google Nexus 7 has taken the tablet world by storm. Christopher Herot, CEO of SBR Health and a connoisseur of tablets, can speak knowledgeably on the design, quality and function of today’s tablets by big name brands like Apple, Microsoft and Google. At SBR Health, tablets are an essential tool for communication among patients, providers and members of the care team, and Christopher makes evaluating the quality of video interaction on mobile and tablet devices a top priority. In this interview, Christopher shares his thoughts on the Google Nexus and its advantages over Apple’s iPad.
Why the Google Nexus?
The open question with all these things is how will Google deal with the huge lead in the tablet space that Apple established with the iPad. The iPhone got an early start with mobile but there are now more Google phones than Apple phones, so what’s the problem with tablets?
Google did the Nexus tablet because they were impatient with how fundamentally horrible the other tablets were. Some of them really aren’t that bad. Take the Motorola Xoom. It’s not bad for techies but when I have to decide which one to throw in my bag, the iPad is the more pleasant one to deal with. It’s brighter, sharper and has more apps.
What’s the Google experience?
I like my Google phone better than the iPhone. Google engineers felt they could do better so they worked with Samsung to build the Nexus. The Nexus brand is the more pure Google experience, and it’s pretty good. The other reason why I think it’s really interesting is that it’s at a size between the iPad and iPhone.
What are the advantages?
While some might say the Google tablet is an awkward size, I was pleasantly surprised that the screen is large enough to read but can also be used for video calls.
For our purposes, the Nexus is small enough to fit in the pocket of a doctor’s lab coat. Doctors laugh because their pockets are already jampacked. They could make room for a tablet the size of the Google Nexus. While an iPad is more convenient than a laptop, it still is big.
What are your predictions for adoption?
I expect the Nexus will become an unconscious carry device. These are things like a phone, wallet and watch that you carry everyday. You don’t think about these things. When I go on a trip, I bring a laptop. When I’m going to a conference or an event, I bring my tablet. The Google sized tablet is along the same line. There are places where the iPad is awkward.
In the clinical space, the Google tablet easily fits in the labcoat pocket.
There are a number of use cases where doctors may want to give devices to patients. When deciding between an iPad at $800 and the Nexus at $200, Google has an advantage. That price point makes it something they could give to people to accomplish a specific task. With the iPad, you have to justify the price.
What are the disadvantages?
The thing that’s missing from the Google tablet is a wide area network card. It doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint. You have to tether through your phone or use the wireless LAN. That’s a bit of a limitation. I don’t think that will be a big deal at hospitals because most hospitals are putting up Wifi throughout.
The reason I still carry the iPad is that it has a lot of my favorite apps.
A question for the Google Nexus is will there be a killer app? It used to be that people bought a PC to use a spreadsheet and the Apple for desktop publishing. With the iPod, it was the iTunes store.
We can’t dictate to our customers what device to use and want to accommodate what they’re asking for. Right now, they’re all asking for the iPad. But everytime I pull the Google tablet out of my pocket, people go ‘Wow.’ I was at the Apple store buying my wife an iPhone for her birthday and impressed the guy at the Apple store when I pulled out my Google phone to get her account information. The Nexus wow factor is unbeatable.
News on the Nexus: