Thanks, Google, breakfast was delicious! Here’s a rundown of today’s announcements
The anticipation is over, the Chromecasts are ordered, and the original Nexus 7 is retired. We knew much of what we’d see this morning, but there were still a few surprises. Things like textbooks via the Play Store could be important, and Netflix is getting cozy with Google.
With all the good news circulating, we thought it would be a good idea to round up the new in one place. After all, our goal is to make it easier on you, and what better way to do that than with one link to bookmark, right?!
The long awaited Android 4.3 is here, and it’s just as slight as we expected. There wasn’t much to this one, but the changes made are important for other purposes like Chromecast or contextual information. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new:
- easier text input
- faster user-switching
- Hebrew and Arabic RTL
- Bluetooth AVRCP
- Bluetooth LE
- background Wi-Fi location
- dial pad autocomplete
- Africaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu support –
- Open GL ES 3.0
- Restricted profiles
A full rundown is available by checking out our official Android 4.3 post, and Nexus owners can expect the update pretty soon. We found a nice video highlighting the differences between 4.3 and 4.2.2, also.
The new Nexus 7
Unfortunately, we knew far too much about this one ahead of the launch. Even though we knew a lot, we didn’t know it all. Here’s the full feature rundown:
- Profile: 7.62mm (0.3-inch); 2mm thinner, reduced bezel by 3mm on each side
- Weight: 318g (11.2oz)
- 7-inch LCD IPS display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (323ppi)
- 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (80% faster CPU)
- 30% wider range of colors than original Nexus 7
- Adreno 320 graphics (4x graphics framerate)
- 2GB of DDR3LM memory 16/32GB storage
- 5-megapixel camera
- 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera
- dual-stereo speakers
- virtual surround sound technology
- 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- MicroUSB port with SlimPort
- optional 4G LTE model
- 9 hours video playback, 10 hours web and reading
- first Android 4.3 Jelly Bean device to ship
If you’re curious how this new beast stacks up to the Nexus 7 you already have, we’ve got a rundown for you to check out. If you can’t swing a new tablet right now, we found the wallpapers that come with the new Nexus 7, so you can at least make your old toy look new again.
Perhaps the true darling of the show, Chromecast both confused and clarifies. Is it going to take the place of Google TV, or is it just a means of streaming content from your mobile device? The answer is not entirely clear yet, but at $35, it can’t hurt to give it a shot.
What is clear for users is that the Nexus Q is best used as a bocce ball at this point. Chromecast pretty much ended any speculation on that device making a comeback, as it performs essentially the same functions the Q was meant for, and is cohesively ingrained into the Google ecosystem at this point. The Chrome Web Store has the extension available now, and apps like Play Music and Movies & TV should be updating soon, if they haven’t already, to make use of this feature.
It’s available now in the Play Store and on Amazon, and we’re hearing rumors some Best Buy stores have it on their shelves. The Play Store is sold out, and Amazon is currently shipping a few days out. When you buy it, you’ll also get three months of Netflix free!
The other good news
Aside from the fact that Netflix 1080p streaming can only be accomplished with Android 4.3, everything else was positive and almost immediately available. The Google Play Games app is a great way to find those games which take advantage of leaderboards or allow you to challenge other users. It really brings the communal feeling to mobile gaming, and should engage the largest segment of the Play Store sales demographic even further.
All product or service launches are really just the beginning, but it seems as though Google has all their new stuff off on the right foot. Textbooks will get products from all major publishers, Android 4.3 has already hit AOSP (with GPE devices getting the update soon), and the Chromecast sold really fast. Google also announced 70 million tablet activations, and over one million apps are available for download in the Play Store. Almost inconceivably, Google also boasts that those million apps have been downloaded over 50 billion times.
Breakfast went well, and gave us a whole bunch of things we couldn’t wait to check out. Hey, Google, what’s for lunch?!