Aug 14 AT 1:46 PM Dima Aryeh 28 Comments

New Nexus 7 experiencing issues with multitouch

Like all Nexus devices, the new Nexus 7 tablet has had an interesting life since initial launch. Days before it was to be released, retailers started selling them to the public. I picked a Nexus 7 up for a friend two days before the official launch date, and the only store that wasn’t sold out was 45 minutes away. We doubt Google was happy, but the Nexus 7 had a very strong start. But then, the problems started.

First we found out that the Nexus 7 lacks an NFC secure element, making Google Wallet payments impossible. Then, the factory images and binaries were held hostage. This caused JBQ, the AOSP maintainer, to announce his decision to step down from this position. These images were posted soon after, luckily. Then we found out that many people are having a problem with their GPS cutting out randomly, often making navigation impossible. What else could go wrong?

Now it seems that some people are having multitouch issues. When trying to use this function, the touch screen goes crazy and starts registering taps everywhere. While we don’t know what the problem is, an interesting theory is that there is a grounding issue with the display. Plugging in a USB cable and touching the metal on the end fixes the issue, as long as you’re holding onto it of course. This is just a theory so far, but it seems like it could be true. It could also simply be a lowered voltage for the digitizer causing the screen to freak out. This issue could be fixed with a simple update.

It’s unfortunate to see Google release a product with so many bugs. Sure, bugs are a normal part of any device launch. No one is immune to them, but Google has been extra unlucky (or negligent). Android And Me staff are aware of the issue, so we’ll bring you news as it comes. Are you experiencing phantom touches on your device? Is it severe? Tell us in the comments!

Source: Android Police

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • amgala

    Luckily, I haven’t run into this issue (cross fingers!). I had a bad experience with my first 1st Gen N7 which had a faded screen. I had to RMA that one and the replacement was flawless. It’s truly unfortunate that Google doesn’t seem to be doing enough QC before releasing devices. You know what they say, “fool me once…”

    • David

      I also had a bad experience with my first generation Nexus 7 that caused me to return the tablet and get a Samsung Note. Google doesn’t seem to have a very good track record here. I won’t be buying any more Nexus devices due to that experience.

      • Nate B.

        So one device represents them all in your opinion? So if and when your Samsung Note craps out, will you stop using Samsung products as well?

      • ihatefanboys

        Google has an excellent track record. Bugs with one device in its first generation release does not equal a bad “track record”. Check Google’s history, they have a slam dunk, home run, win the Super Bowl every year track record.

  • rc213

    So far 2 different Nexus 7 have had this issue. It’s pretty frustrating when swiping. Waiting on another replacement from Amazon.

  • Hector De Jesus

    I must be in the minority here because my Nexus 7 has been absolutely flawless since I took it out of the box. I honestly, have not had one issue yet.

    This is coming from someone who always has the luck of getting defective devices.

    • redraider133

      I also must have gotten lucky as my nexus is working flawlessly. Hopefully all these things can get worked out for those having problems

  • SL Carrtel

    I had to return mine after 5 days because the touch screen would not function, even after hard reset. BE WARNED….! DON’T BUY IT FROM +Google Play or they WILL CHANGE YOU $40 TO REFUND YOU UNDER THE RESTOCKING FEE RULE. WHO THE HELL RESTOCKS A DEFECTIVE ITEM. 

    • Cory

      Going to have to call BS on that. Their return policy is incredible…they overnight you a new one free of charge and give you 30 days to return your old one with postage paid.

      • SL Carrtel

        No BS. While they did offer a replacement, what you either failed to mention or, didn’t bother to realize is that Google is willing to SALE you a replacement (I think they call it a hold) until they receive the original back. Before I tie up $600 on a troubled device, I prefer to deal with a brick and mortar INCASE I have more problems with it’s replacement. Fact check before you make an ASS umption.


    Where’s Dustin?? Get on this please!

  • Silver_C

    I purchased one as soon it was available. It worked for three days then all of a sudden got a no command image. FAIL… I called Google support play they tried helping me but were not successful. So instead they will replace my N7. Lets hope the new N7 comes with no bugs or issues.

  • Cory

    My Evo 4G (the old one) Galaxy Nexus, and OG Nexus 7 had this issue. All were fixed with software updates.

  • Chris

    shocker another Google product with problems
    wifi and now this

  • aryin

    i guess i’m one of the luckiest one, so far i have experienced none of those problems =) hope it stays that way.

  • Nexus User

    Yep, mine is acting so weird that it’s impossible to even use pattern to secure the device. It lets me register the pattern swipe fine, but to unlock it, it would never register the pattern as one single swipe, therefore unable to unlock it once the pattern is turned on. How can a tablet have such problem with something as essential as its touchscreen!!???

  • Aintree Porsche

    just order directly from Google. I have had Zero bugs, zero hardware issues. The Nexus 7 HD is by far the fastest, smoothest and best looking resolution mobile device I have had so far– either Apple, Blackberry, Android, Windows or Palm. With Chromecast this is an unbeatable value. Android 3.3 is how it should have been years ago. The screen is amazing like a giant retina IPhone for a steal of a price. You have to be nuts to buy another 7″ tablet. The mini iPad is overpriced and outdated and the other tablets are not stock Android.
    These shoddy articles claiming a debacle based on anecdotal accounts are comedy. Journalistic standards are slipping here.

    • NotRelevant

      Just because you had no issues…well that really doesn’t mean much.

  • anarchy

    I checked mine with the same program they used in the video and I saw no problems. I even used more than two fingers and everything worked fine.

    It might be that there is something wrong with their screen. It happens. :)

  • donger

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

  • themost

    This has to be a problem with how ASUS manufactures their touch panels because I had the original N7 with the same phantom touch problem and know many others who have also experienced this on ASUS laptops with touchscreens. I really hope Google stays away from ASUS in the future.

  • yankeesusa

    This is the risk people take for buying something immediately. Hopefully it can be resolved with an update if not and its hardware and its happening to a lot of devices then google has a lot to work on. Either way, overall for the price its a great tablet if you get one with no issues. That’s why if I were to buy one it would be the hisense pro for now. Only $129.99 and it gives you a pretty decent experience.

  • John in Brisbane

    Two comments …

    1. My first gen one is fine but I had a bad bad run with Asus laptops – 3 in a row with faulty touch pads due to a grounding issue like the one you’re describing. If this is similar/related, and they’re still being made by Asus, be aware that Asus has form on this kind of issue.

    2. I said my older one is fine but I did have a charging scare – it somehow drained to zero battery and when I plugged it in, it went into the restart-shutdown cycle of death. Since the battery is fixed, it’s hard to remove it to do the normal pull-everything-out-for-a-while trick which solves most problems.

  • C. Pasquariello

    I get my first gen N7 back tommorow from being RMA’ed for screen issues (ghost typing, not registering touches) as well as a never functioning out of the box headphone jack.

    It’s a shame Asus has these QC issues, they have a great product.

  • zach

    Actually i am a 2012 model owner and I agree it is an electrical issue. I face the same problem when i try to charge my nexus 7 with a non-asus charger. The touch goes all awry… I think the same issue has migrated and worsened in the 2013 model.

    PS : Using USB cable for charging did not affect multi touch in 2012 model.

  • apurva gupta