Nov 22 2013 - Google is the developer of the Android software that runs on most non-Apple tablets but they also partnered with several companies to make the Nexus tablets as reference for what the Android tablet experience should be like. If you happen to know someone with one of the tablets, here are a few ideas for gifts that can help expand the capabilities of their device.
Even with the huge popularity of the new Nexus 7 tablet, it can be extremely difficult to find a good quality case for the 7-inch tablet. This makes the default case from ASUS (the manufacturer of the tablet for Google), one of the best overall options. Unlike the previous travel covers, there is a microsuede texture that provides it with a better feel than the straight polyurethane. Don't expect much in terms of features though as there is no auto-on/off feature with the cover flap and it features just a basic stand. Pricing is a bit high at roughly $50.
The Google Nexus 10 has been out for some time yet finding a case or cover designed for it can be quite difficult. As a result, the best option is to get a sleeve that can be used for any 10-inch tablet to protect the tablet when it is being transported. The Timbuk2 Envelope Sleeve is a good choice as it is a simple sleeve with a flap that makes it easy to get the tablet. It is a mix of foam and fabric construction that offers a good level of protection. It is available in a variety of sizes and styles so be sure to look for one that fits a 10-inch tablet (Extra-Small). Priced around $30.
Touchscreens are very convenient and easy to use interfaces but our fingers tend to leave a large amount of grease and grim on the display. In addition, they aren't well suited to highly accurate work. Because of this, a stylus can be extremely useful for both keeping the display clean and giving a better level of accuracy. They are available in a variety of different styles and sizes. Priced range from as little as $10 up to $100 with most around $30.
Anyone who has used a touchscreen for any length of time knows that the glass gets covered with oils pretty quickly. In certain light, this can make it quite distracting to use the tablet. Now most tablets use a hardened glass to prevent scratching that allows pretty much any cloth to be used for cleaning. I find the the 3M microfiber cleaning clothes designed do an exceptional good job at giving a completely clean surface without worry of scratches. The clothes are priced from a few dollars up to $15 depending upon the size of the cloth.
While tablets are great for viewing media or playing a game, the virtual keyboards leave much to be desired for typing anything longer than a quick email. Anyone that is going to be using the tablet for lengthy writing will definitely want to use a real keyboard. Thankfully the Nexus tablets come equipped with Bluetooth allowing them to use wireless keyboards. The i-rocks keyboard is very compact yet provides a typing experience akin to a small laptop computer. It is also very affordable with a price of just $39.
6. Netflix Subscription
Tablets are great devices for watching TV and movies while on the go. Netflix is still the largest provider of streaming TV and movies on the internet. They have a native application that is free to download on Android devices to access their library of titles. The only downside is that you need a subscription to their service. It is possible to get gift streaming subscriptions for individuals in one, two, three, six or twelve month increments. The service costs $7.99/month and allows streaming to a variety of different devices beyond just a tablet. Just be warned that only one device can be streaming at a given time.
With the Android operating system, the Google Play store is the primary means for getting applications, movies, music and books. Just like many other retailers, Google offers gift cards that can be used as credit for the purchase of any of these digital media for their tablet. The only downside is that Google doesn't allow the purchase of them directly online. Instead, you either need to purchase them via a retailer or one that also sells the cards online. The online sales are still of the physical cards though. Amounts available include $10, $25 and $50.