Google Announces Nexus 7 II Tablet, Chromecast $35 Dongle and Android 4.3
During yesterday’s big Google Event, the search engine giant made a few interesting announcements, that include a new tablet, a fresh dongle and a new Android version. The company held the press event as a breakfast with Sundar Pichai, overseer of Android.
The new Nexus 7 is lighter and more narrow than the first Nexus 7 and it fits the user’s hands better. It comes with a 7 inch 1920 x 1200 pixel display, dual stereo speakers with Fraunhofer technology and surround sound, plus a 5 megapixel camera in the corner. ASUS also included a 1.2 MP front shooter, dual band WiFi and it appears there will be a 4G LTE version of the product in the following months.
Back to the specs, Nexus 7 II gets 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a 1.4 GHz quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU. Android 4.3 is the OS here and we also get wireless charging and Bluetooth 4.0. Pricing is at $230 for the 16 GB version and $270 for the 32 GB unit. The WiFi units will be in stores on July 30th.
Android 4.3 is expected to be a smoother and more responsive release of the famous Google mobile OS. It gets improvements to rendering shapes and text, better window buffer allocation and more. The OS introduces Restricted Profiles in the multi user experience, so you can restrict certain content and applications from being viewed on a certain profile. You can also hide in app purchases if you want.
Android 4.3 also comes with Bluetooth Low Energy support, Open GL ES 3.0 for improved 3D graphics in games and a quick response for incoming calls. Also, you can view a history of your notifications and notifications can be accessed by third party apps. Finally, the last launch from Google was the one of Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle that you can purchase starting today.
This is basically a Google USB drive that can be inserted in the HDMI port of your TV, beaming content from various devices and apps. It turns your TV into a Smart TV, able to do YouTube, Pandora and Netflix. The device is powered by a USB port and Chromecast won’t exactly take over the content from the screen of your remote device, that can be a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
If will simply play YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Google Music and Movies content on your TV via the dongle, while you can do something else on the handset or tablet, so it’s independent. It can even work when your remote device is in sleep mode or it runs other apps. This device is powered by a Lite version of Chrome OS and there are SDKs out there already, so you can expect more apps to be supported in the future.