Today's Google announcements delight enthusiast and novice alike.
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Today tech giant Google held a special press event—"Breakfast with Sundar Pichai"—to discuss new products. Among the items discussed by Google's head of Android was the release of the new Nexus 7 tablet, and Google's new TV set-top device: Chromecast.
While the new Nexus tablet hits the usual marketing points "thinner, lighter, smaller" the superlatives that people should really care about come from the screen and the internal hardware. Not only is the new Nexus 7 going to offer the highest pixel density of any tablet on the market currently (323 PPI), but it also is offering a 1.5GHz Snapdragon Quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM—specs comparable to the previous king of processing power in the Android realm, the Nexus 10. Make no bones about it, this is a huge overhaul.Though we're used to iterative upgrades in tablets, the Nexus line has brought us some notable surprises in the past—and this new slate is no different. Perhaps the most interesting is the wireless charging: Famous for its ease of use, there are charging pads available for the car or anywhere you can set a tablet down near an outlet, so you can charge in more places without cables. All this comes at a somewhat higher price, but to be honest the tablet is still extremely affordable with the 16GB option at $229, more if you opt for the 4G LTE or 32GB options. You can grab yours on Tuesday, July 30 if you elect to shell out for it. Students in particular will love the textbook rental system, potentially decreasing back-to-school costs on books they may not need in 6 months.
For all its customers past and present, Google hit it out of the park in enhancing user experience. Not only have they compromised on digital rights management (DRM) to bring full 1080p content to tablets via partnerships with companies like Netflix, but they also added new gaming features to the newest iteration of Android. These include restricted profiles to prevent younger users from emptying your bank account and via in-game purchases among other things.
In that vein, Google also announced another piece of hardware—ChromeCast—that will allow you to use any iOS, Windows, or Android device to control streaming content on your TV from any mobile device. While it may not seem like a large step forward, unifying the controls for content on any platform is actually a huge deal. This device will be available today on the Play Store, Amazon, and other retailers for $35.