Three Cheers for the 2013 Nexus 7 and Android Marshmallow
You read the title right, the 2013 Nexus 7 will be getting full Google versions–and AOSP versions available–of Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) on October 5th, 2015.
At the Dark Android Project, this is exciting news as the 2013 Nexus 7 is the base tablet that I recommend to everyone if they want to inexpensively (or even if they want to be “expensive” about it) create a Dark Android device. And to know that it is being updated still with the latest Android release–and will receive it likely sooner than must any other device–is reassuring. And also, don’t ignore that the AOSP version of Android Marshmallow will also be available for the 2013 Nexus 7, as I highly recommend installing that instead of the Google-branded version of Android 6.0.
If you are finally convinced to buy a 2013 Nexus 7, make sure you get the WiFi-only version (SIM cards are not secure, so you don’t want LTE), and go with the 32GB version, since unfortunately Nexus devices don’t have MicroSD card slots, and you’ll want as much storage space as possible (for offline maps, etc.).
Of course, I also totally understand people’s reluctance to even update to new versions of Android, but considering recent security flaws that have been revealed (and some serious improvements), I think it’s important to stay as up-to-date as possible. And if you’re installing the AOSP version of Android 6.0, you really don’t have much to worry about on Alphabet/Google encroachments on that end.
The looming question is, naturally, will the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet be updated to the next version of Android after 6.0/Marshmallow? I’m not sure. And considering that the 2012 Nexus 7 will not be getting updated to Marshmallow, maybe next year at this time the 2013 Nexus 7 will be on the chopping block of receiving updates, as well. It’s really anyone’s guess. And with either Nexus 7 device, CyanogenMod may update both to the latest versions of Android (non-Google) anyway since there is such a large community of users for Nexus devices…so the whole concern may be moot in the first place.
Regardless, I think the WiFi-only, 32GB 2013 Nexus 7 is still the best tablet that you can get your hands on for a Dark Android device. It’s powerful, and it’s sturdy (which is more than can be said for the Nexus 9, apparently), it doesn’t have a built-in fingerprint reader (security hole), and will likely last you a good while as a go to device for when you want to be secure, private, or just a bit under the radar. And it can be had for cheap these days. And let’s face it, great DAPS-compatible hardware is becoming harder and harder to get your hands on these days.