Headline Newsmaker: Nexus 7
Headline Newsmaker: Nexus 7
The debut of the Nexus 7, which will begin shipping in July, was the main headline from Google I/O, although plenty of other news was announced. The Nexus 7 is a powerful new tablet that will compete not only with Amazon's Kindle and others, but also directly with the market leader, iPad. At $199 it will be a compelling buy for many people.
Nexus 7's Impressive Specifications
The Nexus 7 is a powerful 7-inch, quad-core-driven tablet that is highly advanced and should prove to be a worthy competitor to comparable tablets currently on the market. The numbers here speak for themselves.
Jelly Bean 4.1 Takes Over
The new version of Google's Android operating system sports a lot of new features, including a new interface, new developer tools and plenty of new software add-ons.
New Android Interface
Jelly Bean 4.1's newly revamped user interface is easier to use as well as smoother and quicker to the touch, Google said.
Smooth as Buttah
Google's internal Project Butter shows its R&D work in Jelly Bean 4.1. The new tablet (and subsequent smartphones) now have a much improved touch response. It also features virtual machine synchronization and triple buffering ability.
Jelly Bean 4.1 also includes Voice to Type, which earned a loud ovation from the 6,000 attendees at the conference. The user does not have to be online to use this feature. A live demonstration showed that it appears to work accurately.
Google+ at Age One
The Google+ network was launched on June 28, 2011, and since that day, more than 250 million people have signed up for accounts, 150 million use it on a monthly basis and half of them sign in daily. Twelve people sign up every second, Google said.
Google+ Events Introduced
Google+ accounts are coming more alive with Google+ Events, which enables users to create customized event invitations, capture the happenings at the event live on the real-time Google+ status column. Users can aggregate and share photos and videos of the event with everybody who attended.
Live Photo Stream on Your Google+ Status
Spinning off the previous slide, users of Google+ Events can log into something called Party Mode, if they're all Google+ users. This enables party-goers to upload their photos in real time to their Google+ accounts and share them all with other party-goers. For the first time, party-goers can get different perspectives from the event in real time and not have to follow up at a later date with email attachments or online photo services.
Google+ for Tablets
Google said it has been promising this for a while and now it's here: a specialized app just for tablets. Just in time, too, for the Nexus 7. Funny how that worked out.
Google Introduces the Nexus Q
The official name is the Nexus Q, but Google personnel just called it the Q. This is a new globe-like, cloud-based device that streams photos, audio and video from Google's cloud (and Google+) into any room in a home. In fact, guests at a Q-equipped home visiting for a party can "take over" control of the Q and change the music and/or movie—should the host not object.
How the Q Hooks Up
Once it is indoctrinated into the Google cloud, the Q can be moved around to various locations in the house as needed. The company said it put a lot of time and effort into the R&D to come up with the globe-like form factor.
Controlled by Nexus 7
Instructions (queued-up videos, photos, music) for the Q can be handled by the new Jelly Bean 4.1-powered Nexus 7.
Q Use Case: Sharing a Movie
With a Q on duty running the entertainment, a user can simply bring his/her Nexus 7 into the room and change the channel, movie or music as desired. Of course, the master or mistress of the house would have to give approval. OK, maybe not.
Elbow-to-Elbow at Google I/O
Crowds were in evidence everywhere on the first day of the conference, which drew an international crowd of about 6,000—capacity for the Moscone West conference center in downtown San Francisco.
Real Green Android Grins and Greets Everyone
This little guy was up early to greet many of the approximately 6,000 attendees of the fifth annual Google I/O Conference at Moscone West in San Francisco.