So it looks like the bulk of what we predicted to be released in the fall only weeks ago has been announced. A couple weeks ago, iOS 6 was announced and most features too, much of the final Windows 8 has been seen, Windows Phone 8 has been announced last week along with Microsoft’s tablet competition, Surface, and now Google is showing us their OS update and tablet to go with it.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Google surprised us with their all-new line of Nexus tablets, kicking it off with the Nexus 7 tablet, a release eerily similar to Microsoft’s Surface, and a device similar to the Kindle Fire. This device is running Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean”, and the update did turn out to be what looks like a tablet-focused update as expected, and we’re not sure what other devices will run it, phones or tablets. Another impressive announcement is the Nexus Q, a media-streaming device which will allow any device with Android and Google Play to access all music and send their music via the cloud. More than the new Nexus devices, Project “Glass” has been previewed. More yet, Google has shown us some new features to their mobile services which could be revolutionary.
The Nexus 7 tablet
An impressive (actually, astounding) device for a meager $199. Google seemed to get it right by announcing all of the specifications, the price, and the rough launch date of mid-July. Here’s everything you need to know and more:
- Well-named for its 7″ screen
- 1280 x 800 screen resolution
- 8 GB or 16GB versions
- significantly large 4325 mAh battery
- Bluetooth support
- Android 4.1
- Chrome browser for Android as default
- Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (CPU) clocked to 1.2 GHz
- headphone jack and microUSB port
- Front-facing camera 1.2 Megapixels
- built-in GPS along with offline Google Maps
- NFC support
- Oh, and a 12-core Tegra 3 GPU
Beyond the above specs, the device is cutting back for price, lacking a rear camera and expandable storage. But that seems like a small loss. The Nexus 7 tablet is dressed to impress with a consumer-friendly simplicity and accessible price. The device is built for media-consumption, bringing Google Play at its best for books, movies, music, magazines, and all the apps and games of Android, unlike the Amazon Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. The seemingly ridiculous GPU power should also give media consumption a headstart. The hardware superiority should bring this tablet an intense edge to other Android tablets, and brings a full-on Android experience, hopefully giving customers a true “tablet” experience.
The Nexus 7 Tablet is available for preorder already in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, if your heart is set.
The Nexus Q
Somewhat interesting, if not a confused effort. The bowling-ball-reminiscent sphere has a Tron-like colored light around the middle and an attractive design. The purpose of the device is to stream music from the cloud to devices and from devices to other devices via Google Play. The device accesses all information uploaded to Google Play libraries.
Or more accurately, Project Glass, is a project which brings with it some extremely interesting ideas, but at the low, low price of $1500. Just kidding. Thankfully, this was only the price attendees of Google I/O were offered to buy the glasses for. No consumer price was mentioned, but the smart specs are set to ship early next year. Aside from live-streaming video via a Google+ hangout, the glasses didn’t seem to do much. As USA today, reported, Google, with Project Glass, “envisions a day that information is delivered so quickly, people feel as if they know the answers to things right away.” The idea of instantaneous information presentation in such a gloriously simple way is very enticing, but we’re all waiting to see what other features the devices will bring.