Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google unveils the new Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the ChromeCast

In an eventful day, Google unveiled three very important products. The first was obviously the 2013 Nexus 7, the successor to the wildly popular Original Nexus 7. With updated specs and a smaller body we fully expect the new Nexus 7 to be as popular if not more popular than its predecessor. Specs include a 7-inch 1080p capable 1920x1200 pixel display, Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, wireless Qi charging capabilities, Stereo Speakers, 16/32GB WiFi versions as well as a 32GB version with LTE Capabilities which is expected to be compatible with Canadian LTE (no word on 2600MHz capabilities). Prices for the versions are $229/269/349 (with an expected $10 extra for Canadians)

Availability of the Nexus 7 to Canadians is "in the coming weeks" according to Hugo Barra.

The next major announcement was the Software shipping with the new Nexus 7, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. This new version of Android is a pretty minor update to the existing version Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Improvements include an enhanced Multi-user experience with restricted profiles, Bluetooth Smart aka. Bluetooth Low Energy, OpenGL ES 3.0 support as well as a good number of other features that improve language support and background processes.

Android 4.3 is rolling out to the 2012 Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 4 as well as Galaxy Nexus (yakju) starting today.

The biggest surprise of the day has to have been the ChromeCast. Like the failed Nexus Q before it, the ChromeCast's primary goal is to stream content from the Cloud to your TV while controlling your content through your phone, tablet or computer.

What the ChromeCast does right compared to the Nexus Q was that the hardware is small and inconspicuous, and is OS agnostic unlike a competitor like Apple TV which only works with iOS. BUt the most impressive part of the ChromeCast is that you get this capability for a measly $35 dollars.

All in all a good day for Google given the intimate setting for in person media and less frenzy than Google I/O.

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