Google launched its long-awaited new Nexus 4 smartphone and new Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets Oct. 29, despite the cancellation of its originally scheduled New York City announcement, partly due to the approach of the powerful Hurricane Sandy that brought heavy rain and gale force winds to the East Coast.
Instead of what was to be a fun gala on a New York City pier, Google debuted its new hardware in a post on the Google Official Blog.
“Today, we’re excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large,” wrote Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital content, in the Oct. 29 post. “And they all run Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean—which includes the latest version of Google Now and other great new features.”
The new Nexus 4 phone, which is built by LG, features a quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch display running at 320 pixels-per-inch (PPI) and wireless charging that allows it to be charged by placing it on a charging surface, according to Google.
The Nexus 4 also features the latest version of the Android Jelly Bean operating system, which is being called Android 4.2. Under Android 4.2, Google has “reinvented the photo experience with Photo Sphere, which lets you capture images that are literally larger than life,” wrote Rubin. “Snap shots up, down and in every direction to create stunning 360-degree immersive experiences that you can share on Google+ with friends and family—or you can add your Photo Sphere to Google Maps for the world to see.”
The Nexus 4 starts at $299 for the 8GB model or $349 for the 16GB model, and is available unlocked and without a contract starting Nov. 13 on the Google Play store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199 with a two-year contract.
Also included in Android 4.2 is the rumored feature, Gesture Typing, which allows users to glide a finger over the letters they want to type on the keyboard. Instead of lifting a finger, users can glide their finger from letter to letter across the screen without lifting from the surface.
Android 4.2 also adds support for wireless displays so users can wirelessly watch movies, YouTube videos and play games right on a Miracast-compatible HDTV, according to Google.
The new Nexus 7 tablets are available in several models, including 16GB of storage for $199 or 32GB of storage for $249 for the WiFi versions. A mobile version with built-in Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) mobile data is also available at $299 for a 32GB model that can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide, including AT&T in the United States, according to Google.
The new Nexus 10 tablet, built by Samsung, is aimed at giving users a suitable device for watching movies or reading magazines on its display. “The Nexus 10 is the highest-resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055-inch display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi),” Rubin wrote. “That’s over 4 million pixels right in your hands.” The Nexus 10 battery is expected to give users up to nine hours of video playback and more than 500 hours of standby time.
With the Nexus 10 and Android 4.2, now multiple users can share the same device and log in using their individual profiles to access their own email, apps, bookmarks and more. “That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores,” wrote Rubin.
Google also announced that starting Nov. 13 the Google Play Store is now open to purchases from consumers in Canada, the U.K., France, Spain and Australia. Users in those countries will also be the first to get a new Google music matching feature. Google will scan a user’s music collection and any song we match against the Google Play catalog will be automatically added to your online library without their needing to upload it on their own.
The feature will come to the United States in the near future, according to Google. “This will all be for free—free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening,” wrote Rubin.
In addition, new content from Time Inc., including InStyle, People, Time and other publications, will soon be available, as well as new music offerings from Warner Music Group. More content will continue to be added, Rubin reported. “We’re now working with all of the major record labels globally, and all the major U.S. magazine publishers, as well as many independent labels, artists and publishers.”