Tired of waiting for its hardware partners to get Android for tablets right, Google announced its own venture into the space at the annual Google I/O conference. Its name, the Nexus 7. The Nexus line is a series of Android-powered gadgets entirely controlled by Google, not the hardware manufacturer.
After years of waiting for device manufacturers to produce a high-quality, Android-powered tablet, Google finally decided to take the reins and build one itself. Here’s what you can expect from the Nexus 7:
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 will ship with the latest version of the Android operating system, dubbed “Jelly Bean.” The new OS features a ton of improvements over Ice Cream Sandwich, including better voice control, smoother animations, and an updated notifications center. Previously, Google attempted to persuade manufacturers to produce Android tablets by creating a tablet-specific fork in the Android source code with Gingerbread. This time around, the company is using the same version of Jelly Bean that will run on cell phones. This will create better integration between a user’s devices, and keep the options simple for consumers.
The Nexus 7 features a 7-inch screen with a 1280×800 resolution. That’s 216 pixels per inch. While it’s not the retina quality iPad users may be used to, the screen still looks great. The device comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and a 12-core GeForce graphics card; perfect for watching movies online. Online streaming is getting bigger and bigger with services such as Netflix dominating the market. However, to compare more options check out now tv.
Additionally, the Nexus 7 includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and GPS and near-field communication technologies. Google predicts a battery of life of up to 9 hours of continuous use, and 300 hours in standby. The entire unit weighs in at approximately .75 pounds. Overall, the specs are pretty solid and will provide a smooth, powerful mobile experience.
Is Nexus 7 will be an iPad Killer?
The Nexus 7 is not intended to be an iPad competitor. Instead, it will take on other rivals in the 7-inch tablet space such as Barnes & Noble’s nook and, more notably, Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 features many of the same features as the Kindle Fire, but on more powerful hardware and with access to the full Android ecosystem, including Amazon’s Kindle app, which will allow users to purchase ebooks from the Amazon store.
Google has designed the Nexus 7 to be used as a portal to any kind of content or media available online. The device features a Netflix app, as well as tight integration with Google’s Play service, which allows users to buy apps, books, music, videos, and more. The company also announced updates to the Play service that will allow Android users to install and remove content from device via any desktop web browser– you won’t have to manually remove apps from the device or sync it with your computer; it’s all done over the network.
The Nexus 7 also ships with Google Now, a new technology built into Jelly Bean that is a direct competitor to iOS’s Siri. Google Now can provide you with any kind of information you want, including weather reports, sports scores, movie times, calendar appointments, and more. Integrated with Jelly Bean’s improved voice recognition features, Google Now will prove to be a powerful virtual assistant.
If you were looking for an iPad killer, this isn’t it. But if you were considering buying a Kindle Fire, take a look at the Nexus 7 – it might give you a bigger bang for your buck.
Even though the Nexus 7 is an overall outstanding Android tablet, it does have a few potential drawbacks for some users. Most notably, it will not ship with any kind of mobile data connectivity. iPad users, for example, can purchase a data plan through their cell phone providers that will allow the device to go online when they are on the go. The Nexus 7 is also Wi-Fi only. If you’re planning to use this device to troll Facebook on the train during your morning commute, it’s not going to work for you.
Additionally, the device comes preloaded with several movies, books, magazines, and apps. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s still reminiscent of the bloatware you have to uninstall every time you buy a new PC. If you don’t like the content that comes preloaded, uninstalling it will be a little annoying when you set up your new device.
The Nexus 7 will ship in mid-July. While Google has yet to announce whether the device will be sold in electronic and department stores such as Best Buy, customers can pre-order it from the Nexus 7 homepage. The 16GB model will set you back $249, while the 8GB will cost $199.