Google acknowledges Nexus 7 tablet problems with GPS, multi-touch

Google says it's looking into to bugs on its new Nexus 7 Android tablet

The new Nexus 7 may be the best tablet on the market right now, but only if you get one that isn't plagued with technical difficulties.

The new Google Nexus 7: plagued by bugs?
The new Google Nexus 7: plagued by bugs?

Shortly after the launch of the 7-inch Android tablet, some users began to notice GPS issues. Complaints on Google's product forums and elsewhere noted that the tablet would hang up in "Searching" mode and could take up to a half hour to lock on to the correct location.

Now, another issue has come to light. Some Nexus 7 users are reporting erratic touchscreen and keyboard behavior, including double presses and ghost taps that appear nowhere near the target area. "It's almost to the point where it is unusable," one user on Google's product forums said. In the same thread, users have complained of erratic pinch-to-zoom behavior in apps such as Google Maps, where the level of zooming seems to jump all over the place.

Google says it's looking into to all of these matters, but right now it's unclear if the bugs are software- or hardware-related. With the GPS problems, some users say they've fixed the problem by uninstalling all Google Maps updates and restarting, but other users say that fix hasn't worked for them.

Here's a video from a user experiencing problems with his Nexus 7's pinch and zoom feature.

And here's the link referred to in the start of the video.

With the touchscreen problems, Google has advised factory resetting the Nexus 7, but most users aren't seeing any improvements by doing so.

Problems with earlier tablets

It's not uncommon for brand-new gadgets to have the occasional defect. With the previous Nexus 7, for instance, some users reported " loose screens" and buggy touch response, and with the third-generation iPad, Apple had to replace tablets that experienced Wi-Fi connection problems. Dealing with potential defects is the downside of being an early adopter, though it does seem that that the new Nexus 7 had more than the usual amount of widely reported problems.

The good news, at least for the 2013 Nexus 7, is that the issues aren't affecting all tablets; some users who've exchanged their hardware say replacement units have worked fine. Given that no immediate fixes are in sight, your best bet might be to purchase from a brick-and-mortar retailer such as Walmart, Best Buy or Staples, where you can make a quick exchange if anything goes wrong.

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Jared Newman

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