Google held an event today announcing the second generation of the Nexus 7 product line and Android 4.3 Jellybean with a great selection of new features. We were able to watch the event live, as Google broadcast it on YouTube. Below you’ll find our concise recap of all the goodness presented in the company’s event. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
New Nexus 7
Albeit initially seeing it from various press releases and BestBuy flyers, its late yet official announcement by the company itself still fascinated us all. The new Nexus 7 packs a quad-core SnapDragon S4 Pro chip, clocked at 1.5 GHz, it has double the RAM compared to the previous gen and features a glorious 332PPI display. Google also implemented NFC and LTE capabilities with Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output and wireless charging under the hood. Beside the camera on top of the display, the new Nexus 7 exhibits a 5MPix sensor placed on its back surface. In terms of the manufacturer, Google decided to bond with Asus for another year, leaving the specific company in charge of the hardware part of the device.
The new Nexus 7 sports the highest-resolution display in its category (7-inch form factor).
The new nexus is available in three editions:
- 16GB WiFi only for $229 off-contract
- 32GB WiFi only for $269 off-contract
- 32GB 4G LTE for $349 off-contract (requires a data plan)
The new nexus 7 will be available to purchase via the Google Play Store on July 30th (next Tuesday). The WiFi editions of the tablet will hit the market shelves in the following weeks as well. Retailers which will offer the device through their physical and online store are the following ones (US):
Additionally, the device will support AT&T’s, Verizon and T-Mobile’s network. The new Nexus 7 will be available in several countries as well; Germany, South Korea, Japan, France, Spain, Australia and Canada with more countries to follow.
Android Jellybean 4.3
Today’s event was about software as well. The company announced the third iteration of Android Jellybean with a variety of new features.
- Multi user with restricted profiles
It is a profile with access to limited apps and content set by the owner(s). Additionally, the restricted profile cannot view purchasable content but only the one that’s been already bought. A good example for this occasion would be parents creating a restricted profile for their son or daughter.
- Bluetooth smart
Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart) makes it easy to connect accessories to Android devices without sapping too much battery. This is key for smart watch and other wearables, as well as health and fitness trackers.
- Open Gl ES 3.0
This new addition will accelerate 3D graphics. Android in fact is the first platform to support this new technology.
- New Chrome
The new Chrome for for the new Nexus 7 has been significantly enhanced over its previous version. It has become a lot more user-friendly and multifunctional. Now, when the user swipes down it goes into fullscreen mode giving him 15% more screen space. Moreover, the Nexus 7 Chrome finally adapted a very useful feature that was originally found in the desktop version of the browser. And that is translation. When the user visits a site which’s language is not the user’s native one, a pop up displays the option to actually translate the text to the language he set as native in his Google account.
- Google Play Games
Its functionality is fundamentally the same with iOS Game Center. The user can view the achievements he unlocked and the ones left to achieve, compare his scores with his friend and the public, view friends’ recent played games etc. In case you wonder; ‘friends’ are the people in your circles on Google+, the company’s social network.
The original Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus users will receive the update today. The Google Play editions of the One and the S4 will have to wait a couple of weeks to obtain it. The new Nexus 7 will be the first device to ship with Android 4.3.
Chromecast, the easiest way to bring your favorite online entertainment to your TV
Chromecast is a tiny device that allows the user to project his phone’s, tablet’s and computer’s screen to his TV. To commence using it, the user will have to plug the device to an HDMI port on his TV and connect to WiFi. Piece of cake. For instance, when the user visits YouTube via Chrome there will be a cast button that will enable the particular functionality. It’s also compatible with other services like Netflix and Pandora as well. In addition, Chromecast can be used via an iOS device, without any restrictions or limitations compared to the Android version. The laptop version is still in works and is expected to be officially released soon. Chromecast is available for purchase on the Play Store for $35.
Google’s event was utterly perfect. Short, simple with, a range of software and hardware releases that interest us all. The new Nexus 7 is definitely a substantial upgrade over its predecessor. Faster CPU & GPU, two enhanced cameras and it features a stellar display which is conducive to playing 3D graphics game, reading and web browsing via the new mesmerizing Chrome. We will definitely try to get our hands-on Google’s new masterpiece and a detailed first look of Jellybean 4.3 will be coming soon as well. Let’s see how Apple will response to its nemesis blow, with the much anticipated Retina-support iPad mini 2.