Google’s been busy recently, proved by unveiling Android 4.3, the new and revamped Nexus 7, as well as the Google Chromecast.
First off, the new Nexus 7. Google ran away with the 7-inch tablet market with the original consumer friendly Nexus 7 last summer, with a low $200 price point. It’s competitors were the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD, and down the road the Apple iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab series.
The reason it was so popular was for it’s portability, form factor, and specs. Also, it ran stock Android compared to the Kindle Fire and Nook HD which ran skinned versions of Android and had app stores managed by Amazon and B&N. The specs well out-preformed the Fire and also had a better experience than the Nook.
Now, we have the new Nexus 7, with even more beefed up specs, a full HD 1080p screen (which makes this the best screen on a 7-inch tablet and gives it a higher pixel density than the iPad with Retina display, so the screen looks sharper, too), a rear 5MP camera, and a slightly new redesign with wireless charging.
I think the new Nexus 7 will sell like hotcakes, just like the original, and will definitely bring Google farther into the tablet game. Now we just have to wait and see how Apple’s new iPad mini will look later this year as well as how the other companies respond.
And now, Android 4.3, keeping in line with the naming of “Jelly Bean” instead of calling it “Key Lime Pie” as the rumors have suggested, 4.3 is virtually the same as 4.2, but with a few additions. The new iteration of Jelly Bean brings Restricted profiles, where you can block or restrict several features to profiles, such as in-app purchases to your kid who just gets on your tablet to play games, or blocking websites to people.
It also brings Bluetooth Smart support for low-power devices and will take less of a toll on your Android phone’s battery.
Android 4.3 also brings Open GL ES 3.0, and is also the first to have this new technology. They showed a demo and screen and showed how lens flares and new textures that couldn’t be done on older versions of the OS. Game developers will find this great as the new coming age of mobile games still continues.
Other little things like Wi-Fi Scan for things like location services and such without having Wi-Fi on. Google also added a new Emoji keyboard built into Android, just like the one built into iOS.
Lastly, we have the Google Chromecast, Google’s answer to the Apple TV and other streaming players like the Roku.
Plugged into an HDMI port on your HDTV, it essentially streams over YouTube videos, Netflix, content from Google Play, and you can also stream over tabs from Chrome onto your computer. And for only $35, you can’t really complain on what you’re getting, but you will need a computer or an Android device to take advantage of this device. The Apple TV cost $99 and the cheapest Roku model with full HD costs $79.
With these 3 new products, can Google keep the Nexus 7 in the limelight and bring the Chromecast into it? Let’s wait and see.