Google announces Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Nexus Q
It’s a big day today for Google. The company has announced its very first tablet, a new version of Android, and a device that stands in a class of its own.
But let’s start with the new software Google has unveiled: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which will be offered as an over the air update starting mid-July, first to Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola’s Xoom tablets.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings quite many improvements over Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, including:
- Smoother and faster UI
- Enhanced graphics
- Expandable notifications – app notifications can be expanded to include more info, and more options. Notifications now also support new types of content (like photos)
- Icons and widgets that are moved around the homescreen are now automatically resized
- Google Now – based on your location, search history and calendar, this will thrive to make all your searches more relevant
- Improved voice search – results are returned faster
- Offline Voice Typing
- Improved rendering speed in the browser and reduced memory usage
- Enhanced HTML5 video experience
- Enhanced keyboard
- App encryption – paid apps will be “encrypted with a device-specific key before they are delivered and stored on the device”. This will not be available on devices running android version older than 4.1
Now let’s talk about Google’s first tablet, called (as rumored) the Nexus 7, and seen below. The tablet will be the first new device to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It features a 7 inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels, Wi-Fi, NFC, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor (with a 12-core GPU), 1.2MP front-facing camera, pre-loaded Chrome browser, enhanced YouTube app, optimized Google Maps, and a 4,325 mAh battery. The tablet has no 3G or 4G connectivity, and neither a MicroSD card slot.
According to Google, the Nexus 7 is built to let you take advantage of Google Play and its content. It will be available starting mid-July, in two versions: 8GB (costing $199.99), and 16GB ($249). Pre-orders are open as of today here (8GB) and here (16GB). Note that, for the moment, the tablet is available to pre-order only in the US, Canada, UK and Australia (so the links won’t work if you’re based elsewhere).
Finally, we have the Google Q, announced as the world’s “first social streaming media player.” It’s a small, sphere-shaped Android computer that has no display, and can be controlled by your Android phone or tablet, to stream music or video. It’s powered by a dual-core TI OMAP processor, and can connect via NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, and USB. The Nexus Q is available for pre-order (only in the US) via Google Play, and costs $299. It will start shipping in July.
To better understand what Google Nexus Q is, watch the two official videos embedded below: