Today was a very big day for Google as they had their huge I/O for Android developers. There will be actually three days full of cool stuff, but these are some announcements that they made just at the beginning that will be of great interest to Android developers.
1) The Nexus 7 tablet is announced.
The Android tablet market may not be as strong as, say, the iPad market, and I suppose that Android lovers are always looking for some device that can level the playing field. I’m not certain whether or not the Nexus 7 is that, but it has a bonus of being made by ASUS.
So now here are the specs. It has a 7-inch screen with a display of 1280 x 800 resolution. It has a 12-core GPU and have NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor. It will also come complete with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a front facing camera, and NFC connectivity. It will weigh in at 340 grams and have 9 hours of video watching with 300 hours of standby time with a fully recharged battery.
Some other items of interest to you will be that this is going to be a very cool tablet for reading magazines, like you can slide a mag aside as you would on a coffee table. Chrome is also going to be the default web browser here, even though Firefox just got an overhaul.
Did I mention the price? It is about $199? Seriously? Watch out Kindle Fire. Google is even offering $25 credit for which to spend at the Google Play store. This should show up in mid-July.
Oh, I forgot to mention the operating system of said tablet. That is the second big piece of news.
If Ice Cream Sandwich (Google Android Version 4.0) wasn’t good enough for you, it is now time to kick it up a notch with Jelly Bean (Version 4.1). My source says that the goal of this updated UI was “getting rid of lag and stutter that some users have noticed on their Android mobile phones”. I have even heard that Google will be able to tell where your finger is pointing before you touch the screen.
Another Jelly Bean feature that I have heard is that it will have widgets that can resize themselves around app icons on the home screen. There is also an improved camera as well as allowing for faster viewing of both photos and videos within the same frame. There will be a version of Android Beam that will allow users to share photos by tapping to Jelly Bean (devices) together. Pairing can also be done by tapping with a Bluetooth device.
This ball-shaped device that you see here could easily change the world of media as we know it. It is the first hardware made by Google that has Android running within it. This device is always connected to the cloud so that you can pull content directly from Google Play itself, and if you have it connected to something via micro-HDMI, digital audio output, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, microUSB, and Bluetooth, you will have terrific video or audio content wherever.
The Nexus Q is planned for release in mid-July for a price of $299.
4) Google Project Glass is coming, for those who can afford it.
If you haven’t heard of Google’s Project Glass, think of it as wearable goggles that will allow you to see what you are computer as you sit, stand, or walk. Yes, this could be big, and I have heard very little about these particular “Google glasses”, but they will be available to Google I/O attendees in the United States for about $1,500.