Google launches Nexus 7 tablet, Jelly Bean and spherical Nexus Q device for home use

New tablet is 'built for Google Play,' a media repository in the cloud

As expected, Google on Wednesday announced a $199, 7-in. tablet called Nexus 7 that will run on Android 4.1, dubbed Jelly Bean.

Built with Asus, the tablet can be ordered starting today on Google Play, and will ship in the U.S. and three other countries in mid-July, Google said.

Google described the tablet as principally a conduit for Google Play, its cloud-based repository for Google apps and movies, books and other content. Nexus 7 is "built for Google Play," said Hugo Barra, product management director for Android at Google.

At Google I/O, its annual developer conference, Google also introduced a spherical Android-based device called Nexus Q that will work in homes to distribute music and other content over stereos and displays with controls from Android smartphones and tablets.

Google Play will launch on the home screen of the new tablet and buyers will get a $25 credit toward Google Play content, such a music, e-books and movies. The Nexus 7 screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution, useful in watching movies, games and other content, Barra said.

Google also listed a series of improvements in Android 4.1, including paid app encryption to help developers protect their intellectual property and an on-device speech recognition engine that eliminates the need for speech input to work over a wireless connection.

Jelly Bean will also ship in the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom smartphones and as open source in mid-July, Google said. A developer blog on the improvements was posted at the same time that Android 4.1 was announced on stage at the Google I/O opening keynote.

One feature of Android 4.1 that Google demonstrated during the keynote was a smoother and more responsive user interface, with a side-by-side demonstration with a device running Android 4.0, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, which launched last October.

Given the price and focus on content streaming from Google Play, analysts said the Nexus 7 tablet will principally serve the same audience as the Amazon Kindle Fire, a $199, 7-in. device Amazon is expected to update in July.

Google didn't offer many details about how it developed the tablet or whether it relies on Nvidia's Kai reference design, a means for keeping down costs while keeping up performance.

Google announces its Nexus 7 tablet and Android 4.1

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?