Joe Zeff Design

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The Joy of Nexus

Before the end of the year it's possible we'll see a larger iPhone, smaller iPad, larger Kindle Fire(s) and new Google and Windows tablets, all with new features. After a bit of Darwinism narrowed the field of mobile devices, we're about to experience another frenzy. Walter Mossberg has a glowing review in today's WSJ about Google's new tablet, which comes out next week. Some highlights:

• It's called the Nexus 7, costs $199 and has a 7-inch screen (1,280 x 800 resolution). • He calls it a "better choice than the iPad" for those on a budget and those who want a smaller tablet. • The Android Market, which is Google's equivalent to the iTunes Store, is now called Google Play. • It is WiFi only, like the Fire, but much more responsive than the Fire. • It uses the newest version of Android, called Jelly Bean, which is "finally on a par" with Apple's iOS operating system, according to Mossberg, in that it increases responsiveness and eliminates the need to summon menus to access features, a la Apple.

While everyone waits out Apple to see if a newer, smaller iPad will challenge Nexus and other 7-inch tablets, it makes sense to think beyond the current iPad in regard to platforms and form factors and identify ways to blend responsive elements like HTML and Adobe's Liquid Layout feature into publishing workflows.

The bigger question is whether publication design will continue to be defined as the creation of pixel-perfect layouts for a specific destination, or if a shift in thinking is required to address the multitude of screens through which we deliver content. It is the consumers, not the publishers, who will ultimately force that decision with their buying habits.

Fasten your seat belts. Again.

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