Though it wasn’t a well-kept secret, Google announced the launch of the Nexus 7 tablet today at its developer conference, Google I/O. If you are not familiar with the Nexus name, Google uses the moniker to designate flagship Android devices, which (typically) run stock Android and are the first to get system updates.
Though just about every company is trying to grab some of Apple’s tablet mojo, it’s no secret that Amazon’s seven-inch Kindle Fire, which is powered by Android, was the target. It was recently reported that Amazon is expected to release an updated Kindle Fire tablet at the end of July.
As the name would suggest, the Nexus 7 is a seven-inch tablet. It will run Android 4.1 (Jellybean), which was also announced today. The Nexus 7 will come in two memory configurations — 8GG for $199 and 16GB for $249. Here is a short video from Google about the development of the Nexus tablet.
If you’re interested, here is the introduction of the Nexus 7 at today’s Google I/O keynote.
As I mentioned, Google rolled out the latest release of it Android operating system today.
Check out Cnet’s recap of some of the new features in Android 4.1 — Jelly Bean.
Not wanting to be left in the dust by Siri, Google has make significant enhancements to its voice commands. (It’s worth noting that the voice commands on Android devices was already pretty good.) Incorporated with the Jelly Bean OS update will something called Google Now. Here is Google’s teaser video.
Now, for a more practical, real-life perspective, check out The Verge’s walkthrough of Google Now on the Nexus 7. He even finishes with a comparison of Google Now and Apple’s Siri.
GOOGLE PLAY STORE
The Google Play store also received an update. The big news is the availability of magazines, TV shows, and an expanded library of movie titles.
I spotted a review of the Nexus 7 by Josh Topolsky this morning on The Verge, and thought that it would be additive to this post.
I have been thinking about picking up a tablet for a while. I thought about the iPad, but started to lean away from it only because I will likely buy a MacBook Air. That left me thinking that I would probably fare better with a seven-inch tablet. I must admit that this is a shift for me. I originally thought the seven-inch tablets were too small — kinda like a paperback book compared to a hard cover. I’m hard cover kind of guy. With that said, though, I think the size and weight of a seven-inch tablet is more conducive to what I’d use it for — reading books, magazine articles, and quick browsing. This is something that I’d likely carry in my messenger bag. At 12 ounces, it’s much lighter than the 1 1/2 pound iPad, Galaxy Tab, or upcoming Microsoft Surface. In this size category, the Kindle Fire was at the top of my list, but I’ve been hearing rumors about Google’s tablet for months. Asus makes good hardware, but, quite honestly, it is the Nexus badge on this tablet that tipped my hand. As soon as the Google Play store was updated today, I put in my pre-order for the 8GB Nexus 7. It is scheduled to ship mid-July. Of course, I will definitely be back here with a “first impressions” piece, and follow up with a more substantive review.
What about you? Are you in the market for a tablet? Does the Nexus 7 pique your interest? Let me know in the comments.