The stealth smart cover technology in the Nexus 7

Summary:It didn't take iPad buyers long to discover just how useful the Smart Cover was due to the magnetic technology integrated in the tablet. The Nexus 7 by Google has the same technology, but you've never seen the company mention it.

Poetic case

Sometimes the most useful features are the simple ones. Such is the case with the magnetic technology incorporated in the iPad which allows powering the tablet on and off simply by opening and closing properly equipped covers. Apple made a big deal out of this new feature when it unveiled it as it knew it would resonate with buyers.

Google must have felt the same way as the recently released Nexus 7 tablet uses the same magnetic technology. You wouldn't know it from the source, though, as Google has kept very quiet about this "smart cover" feature. It's even absent from Google's own Nexus 7 case and cover, even though the tablet (built by Asus for Google) has the embedded magnets.

Early testers of the Nexus 7 confirmed the tablet uses the same technology as that in the iPad prior to shipping. Third party case makers jumped on the information and many cases now available for the Nexus 7 have the smart cover feature enabled. The Poetic case I bought for my Nexus 7 ( reviewed here ) has the feature.

So why isn't Google making sure prospective buyers know about this very useful feature? I suspect it's fear of poking the sleeping mountain lion with a stick. Apple has a tendency to sue Android device makers at the drop of a hat, so Google apparently doesn't want to risk the wrath of Apple over technology that has only appeared in the iPad prior to the release of the Nexus 7. I've asked Google for a statement about it but have not received any response.

Nexus 7 buyers should pass on the official Google case being sold in the Google Play Store as it it far less useful lacking the smart cover feature. That would seem to be an intentional omission by Asus/Google. Grab a third party case while they are available before Apple decides to make an issue over the smart cover technology in the Nexus 7.

See related:

Topics: Google, iPad, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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