Google roundup: New Nexus 7, Android 4.3 and Chromecast [Video chat]
It was a busy day for Google, which announced the second generation of its Nexus 7 tablet, the latest version of Android and a new device for the TV called Chromecast.
We’ll be discussing all of the announcements at 12:30 p.m. PDT, but here’s what you need to know.
The new Nexus 7
Google is hoping to follow the success of the 2012 Nexus 7 tablet with a thinner, lighter and more narrow version. The 2013 Nexus 7 features an all black design and has been outfitted with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and dual stereo speakers.
More importantly, though, the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet features a 1080p HD screen. The Nexus 7’s 7-inch screen now has a 1,920 by 1,200 pixel resolution and a 323 pixel density, which Google says is the highest of any tablet. Additionally, the tablet runs on a quad-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.
The improved Nexus 7, however, is going to cost more than its predecessor, which has a base cost of $200. For a 16-gigabyte version of the new Nexus 7, customers will pay $229 while the 32 GB version will cost $269. Those models will be available July 30. A 32 GB 4G LTE version that works with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will come out in the next few weeks and be available for $349.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Powering the new Nexus 7 tablet is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the newest version of Google’s mobile operating system.
Android 4.3 isn’t a major leap for the mobile platform, but there are a few new features, including restricted profiles, which parents will love. With restricted profiles, users can create multiple accounts for a device and limit the access that some accounts have. This can be used, for example, by a parent to limit their child from certain apps or content.
Google said Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will come installed on the new Nexus 7, and it will also be available for download for older Nexus devices on Wednesday. That includes the original Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 tablets as well as the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy Nexus smartphones.
To top off its media event, Google announced the Chromecast, a rival to the Apple TV.
Chromecast is the size of a small 2-inch jump drive that plugs into a user’s TV through an HDMI input. Chromecast also has to plug into the wall for power and connect to a Wi-Fi network to work.
Once all that is done, users can send video and music content to the tiny device from their smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Google said users can send content from Google Play, YouTube, Google Music and Netflix from their devices and instantly start watching it on their TV. Later on, there’ll also be more apps that will support the new device, including Pandora.
Additionally, Google said users can open a tab on the Chrome browser on their laptops and project that onto Chromecast in order to access more content.
Google said Chromecast pulls the content from the cloud, which means users can keep using their device while watching Chromecast on their TV.
Chromecast goes on sale from online retailers, including Google Play, on Wednesday and will cost $35. It also comes with three free months of Netflix, which is a nearly $24 value. That promotion works for new and existing Netflix customers.