Google Announces $199 Nexus 7 Tablet, $299 Nexus Q Media Streamer
At its Google I/O conference today, Google unveiled several new products intended to compete in the tablet and home entertainment markets, squarely targeting Apple's iPad and its rumored push into the living room for which the Apple TV has served as a foothold.
Google's presentation began with a spotlight on Android, noting that it is now activating more than one million Android devices per day and showing off Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". The new version of the operating system offers a number of enhancements, including a faster interface, cleaner home screen design with resizable widgets, offline voice dictation, a new camera app, enhanced notifications, Siri-like voice search, and more.
A new "Google Now" feature keeps tracks of users' locations to automatically offer information relevant to their real-life experiences, whether it be information on subway schedules, menu recommendations at a restaurant, or other situations.
As for Google's hardware announcements, they leaked out ahead of time through the company's own Google Play site, which confirmed that the Google Nexus 7 will be an ASUS-manufactured tablet priced at $199 for 8 GB of storage and $249 for 16 GB of storage. The device's 7-inch IPS display offers 1280x800 pixels and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera is included. The Nexus 7 will use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and incorporate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity.
On the home entertainment front, rumors from earlier this year are coming to fruition today with the introduction of the Google Nexus Q, a spherical $299 "social streaming media player". The Nexus Q will allow users to wirelessly stream music, video, and YouTube content to their home entertainment systems. Also serving as an amplifier, the Nexus Q can be connected directly to speaker systems such as Google's new $399 Triad speakers.
Google's keynote is still ongoing, and we will update this post with additional information as it is released.