Nexus 7

So apparently the Nexus 7 tablet has a little magnetic sensor hidden under the display that can trigger the display to turn on. Not exactly a new phenomenon, but interesting because until now, it's a feature that's gone unmentioned.

The way it works is you have a cover or case that also has a magnet inside, and that second magnet lines up with the corresponding spot on the device. Remove the second magnet, and the phone says, "Hey! I'm alive, and it's time to wake up now!"

Again, these are not new. Not now, not with the iPad's Smart Cover. We've been using them long since the bad old days of Windows Mobile. And it's a staple on BlackBerry. (Anyone remember when software could actually screw up this sort of thing?) But it leads us to believe we'll see that feature arise again in the official Nexus 7 case from Google, and probably in the ones from ASUS as well.

There's video after the break if you need videographic proof of this force of nature.

Here's the real question, though: How the hell did iFixit, which can spot the serial number on underside of the world's smaller circuit board, miss this one? Good thing we mentioned the magnetometer in our Nexus 7 review, eh?

Via Android Police


Reader comments

Nexus 7 will wake when a magnetic cover is removed (it's an oldie but a goodie)


Very cool. I've been hoping android manufacturers would make this more commonplace. I like my flip-covers and this just adds more convenience to it.

LOL, not sure if the video really needed to be 27 seconds long...
or if the "feature" needed to be demonstrated THAT many times...
also, yaddi yaddi yadda... how long till APPLE sues... etc...etc..etc..

overall, I enjoyed this post :)

Heck they invented magnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the color blue, and just got a design patent for Tuesday. How dare the universe use those things.

You don't need a magnetometer to do that the light sensor will do the same, & yep you guessed it there's an app for that it's name is CaseSensor for tablets by SourceSpark. ;-)

So what's the deal with what looks like the notification bar opening when the magnet was along the top? If you held it there long will it open it fully or what?

"The way it works is you have a cover or case that also has a magnet inside,"

I think you mean it has a magnet SENSOR.

The digital compass would have a fit if you had a permanent magnet in the device :)

during the ifixit tear down video, they mentioned the LCD was fused to the screen (front panel). This sensor might be sandwiched in between the assembly. They might not have seen it.

you can see that THE GOOGLE NEXUS 7 MAGNETIC SENSOR IS PLACED ON THE BELOW LEFT SIDE OF THE TABLET, not on the right side like Ipad, so let Apple sue and make shame of themselves :D

Just don't ware an arthritis bracelet on your left wrist while using the nexus 7 or you could end up getting very frustrated lol.

I still don't understand why Google make Nexus 7 such an amazing device like that and with only very limited storage (8gbb ??? 16gb ??? and without Micro-SD slot)

I really want to buy 1 Nexus7, but as I use my Hp touchpad 32gb now, I only have 3gb left, how can I survive with Nexus 7 ?

I feel your pain. The lack of storage (internal and external) is a deal-breaker for me, which is a shame as otherwise the Nexus 7 is perfect.

The 8 GB version wouldn't work for me, but the 16 GB does. Once I put my music and photos into Google's cloud offerings, I only really needed space for apps. Try it out if you can. For me at least, the need to have more than 16 GB on an Android device disappeared pretty much. I can see needing more for movies and video, though.

Is the magnet powerful enough to hold a cover shut? I am sure it wouldn't take much effort. This really only interests me if it can hold a slim case cover, like the one being sold in the play store, shut. That's the one thing I hated about my kindle fire and transformer prime cases. They both needed some sort of latch or strap to hold the cover shut or keep it from flopping open in a bag.

I really did think Apple had something like this patented though for some reason. Sort of like the magnetic plug that no one else uses in laptops.

Google have limited storage like they have for several reasons, ever wonder why such a high spec device is at such a low price? Did you ever consider that it's a Los Leader? (under priced to draw in customers) There eco system is worth more to them in the general public hands than the profit they will ever make on selling a device to the technology nerds that currently grace these forums on a regular basis *cough* nexus Q *cough*. Storage is expensive, be it static /flash internally, cloud based or flash cards. Flash forces the system to read 2 file formats, in turn that slows the processing speed of the device down and causes instability and fragmentation of data (and we all know more fragmentation isn't needed in android) so in some aspects the design is right for there business model looking ahead and it also helps manufacturers like Samsung who love flash memory slots understand that there not as good as they might seem in more ways than one, even though the consumers like it. This year we have seen HTC drop micro SD slots, and I'm sure we will see a major trend in that direction as cloud based companies like drop box, Google drive skydive and the like play a more predominant roll in this market place.

Flash memory is actually dirt cheap now. I believe it's only about a $8 or so from the 8GB to the 16GB.
When people talk about fragmentation they're not referring to data.

The HTC SHIFT will do this also. I kept finding my phone "awake" for no reason and the battery life was short. All I had to do to solve my problem was to put the phone in the case with the screen turned "in", away from the magnetic clasp.

Quote: "Flash forces the system to read 2 file formats"

But I thought the Nexus 7 could read USB sticks with the dongle? Surely that is also an SDcard file format?

Yes your right fat 32 is used the same way on usb flash drive but your not going to walk around with a usb flash drive plugged in, compared to having the sd slot in use constantly. They don't want to restrict accessibility they just want to stabilize and standardize the general day to day use, giving the consumer that buttery smoothness they talked a lot about as Google IO 12. It's also a push for consumers to use cloud based media services like there own eco system, and start using cloud storage for everything else. It's for want of a better word re teaching the consumers how to use there device, don't forget if it's in the cloud its available from everywhere on any device with Internet access.