Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google Announces New Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.3 and Chromecast HD Video Dongle

Google officially took the wraps off of several new products earlier today in an event in San Francisco. Topping the list are a brand new Nexus 7 tablet and an updated Android 4.3 operating system.

Google's new, much anticipated, 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet will see several major improvements over the previous generation tab. First is a major screen improvement going from a screen offering 1280 x 800 resolution in the prior model to 1920 x 1200 pixels in the new one and from 216 pixels per inch (ppi) to 323 ppi. The RAM will also see a jump going from 1GB to 2 GB. It also adds dual stereo speakers, and a CPU that Google says is twice as fast and a graphics processor that is four times as fast, as the previous generation model. The new Nexus 7 will be available for preorder beginning Tuesday and the Wi-Fi versions launch on July 30th. The tablet will come in three flavors: A 16GB Wi-Fi-only model for $229, a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for $269, and a 32GB LTE-capable model for $349.

While the new Nexus 7 was much anticipated an even more anticipated portion of the announcement was the forth coming release of the latest version of the Android operating system Android 4.3 JellyBean. The new OS is adding support for low-power Bluetooth devices such as health sensors that can display data on your smartphone or tablet. Android 4.3 will also feature support for OpenGL ES 3.0, a graphics API that will vastly improve Android tablets’ graphics capabilities and should be a major boon for Android game developers. Finally, Android 4.3 has a new feature that lets you segment off access to different areas of the tablet to different users, such as parents who want to restrict their children’s access to adult content.

Last but not least was the introduction of a new wireless TV dongle dubbed Chromecast. With this HDMI based dongle Google is looking to make it easier to turn your dumb TVs into smart TV by allowing you to stream your favorite online entertainment to your TV. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to "cast" online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. Chromecast not only allows you to view online videos but allows users to send emails or surf the web—while enjoying what’s on the TV screen. It works across multiple platforms from Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, to Chrome for Mac and Windows.

For more details on today's announcement visit the Google Chrome Blog.

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