Google today unveiled the Chromecast, the new Nexus 7 tablet and Android 4.3, offering users a new way to enjoy content whether it's video, music, movies, games wherever they are, across their devices.
To help make it easy to bring online entertainment to the biggest screen in thr house - the TV - Google is introducing Chromecast. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to "cast" online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon.
Once your Chromecast is set up, you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content to your TV, play and pause, control the volume, and more. But unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask- send emails or surf the web - while enjoying what's on the TV screen. It works across platforms - Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac and Windows (more to come), so your personal device is also now your remote control.
In addition to apps like Netflix, you can use Chromecast to bring a broad range of content available on the web to your big screen, thanks to a new feature in the Chrome browser that allows you to project any browser tab to your TV. From sharing your family photos to enjoying a video clip from your favourite news site, it?s as simple as pressing a button. This feature is launching in beta.
Starting today, the Chromecast device is available for $35 on Google Play, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. It will be available in Best Buy stores across the U.S. starting July 28. For a limited time, you also get three months of Netflix included. More info available in Google Play.
Google has also built Google Cast, a technology that enables developers to build multi-screen experiences across mobile devices and TVs. Today, Google is launching a preview version of Google Cast. A handful of early developers are already working on enabling Google Cast technology in their apps, so more supported apps are coming soon. Google expects the technology to be embedded in a range of hardware from its partners in the future.
The new Nexus 7 was designed by Google and Asus.The new device The tablet's 7-inch screen has an increased resolution of 1920?1200, retaining the previous tablet's 16:10 aspect ratio. This gives the new tablet an impressive pixel density of 320 PPI, which is higher than the Nexus 7's 216 PPI and higher than the 264 and 300 PPI displays in the Retina iPads and the Nexus 10, respectively. It?s also lighter that the original device, with more than nine hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or reading. Nexus 7 now features stereo speakers and virtual surround sound from Fraunhofer.
On the inside, the new Nexus is based on Nvidia's Tegra chips for Qualcomm's, specifically a 1.5GHZ Snapdragon S4 Pro similar to the one being used in the Nexus 4.
The new Nexus also offers a couple of features that didn't make it into its predecessor: its front facing HD webcam is joined by a 5MP camera on the back of the tablet. The new tablet also supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n. A 4G LTE version of the tablet will also be released?a single US model will be able to support AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Also, like the Nexus 4, it supports the Qi wireless charging standard and HDMI output through the micro USB port via the SlimPort standard.
This tablet will be the first to ship with Android 4.3 the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. Like Android 4.2 and 4.1 before it, this update will still be called "Jelly Bean" to reflect its status as a minor update rather than a major overhaul to the operating system.
Nexus 7 starts at $229, and is available in the U.S. beginning July 30 (with more countries coming soon). Buy Nexus 7 online on Google Play, or check it out at Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Amazon, Home Shopping Network, Radio Shack, J&R and B&H Photo. Nexus 7 (LTE) is coming soon with support for T-Mobile and Verizon in the coming weeks.
In Android 4.3, Google is introducing restricted profiles, which let you limit access to apps and content. For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Likewise, retail stores can use tablets to show off product information, and shops can use tablets as point of sale systems. Android 4.3 also now supports Bluetooth Smart technology, opening the door to mobile apps that connect to new devices like fitness sensors. Android 4.3 is rolling out to Nexus devices starting today.
Google also released a new Google Play Games app, which brings your friends together with the games you love, where you can invite a friend and start challenging gamers around the world, compete for top achievements, and race to the top of the leaderboard. You can also enjoy a large collection of eBooks, listen to millions of music tracks and immerse yourself in thousands of movies, TV shows, magazines and apps on Google Play. Plus, Nexus 7 comes loaded with your favourite Google apps, like Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google Now.