Google live blog: Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 launched, ChromeCast for tv sets

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By Shruti Dhapola /  24 Jul 2013 , 22:34

10.35 pm Google releases SDK for Cast

Google is calling for app developers from Android, iOS and Chrome to help make apps that will support ChromeCast.

And ChromeCast is cheap: $35. Not bad, Google. Currently it works with YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Music and Movies, Pandora and more soon. Available in Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play this afternoon. Not sure about whether it will come to India.

10.25 pm Google shows off ChromeCast is here

What is it? A USB key, 2-inch in length, running a simplied version of Chrome OS. Chromecast is a device to bring entertainment to your TV. Just plug it in to your TV and connect to WiFi and run the content you want. Videos from YouTube, Netflix, music from Google Play, Pandora, etc.

Press the “cast’ button to play a YouTube video on the TV. You press it on the YouTube app and Google linking your Google phone, tablet, laptop, and TV together into one ecosystem.

This is Google’s successor to the Nexus Q which didn’t do so well.

In the demo you can just send a video from Youtube app on a Google Phone, send it to the Chrome stick, play it on the television. The cool bit is you can control the volume from your phone. Users only need a TV with an HDMI slot.

Users can control Chromecast from the Android lockscreen as well. ChromeCast also works with iOS devices as well.

ChromeCast looks pretty cool and the fact that its not clunky and tied up to just Android means it could actually succeed. I won’t mind having this on my TV. Any device in your home can become a remote control for the television.

There’s also a beta feature to project your Chrome browser from your laptop to the television. It will work with most with most Mac laptops and Chrome laptops.

10.20 pm Sundar Pichai back on stage and he’s talking about the growth of video

Sundar Pichai says, “2.7x increase in online video consumption in the last year, mostly on phones and tablets, laptops, too.”

However he points out that it’s very difficult to get your online media on to your television in the house. Google solution for this? Chrome.

A Google TV on the way with Chrome?

Prices for Google Nexus 7

16GB Wifi starts at $229 32GB Wifi starts at $269 and 3GB 4G LTE model for $$349. New Nexus 7 will be available July 30. India is not on the list of countries where the tablet is launching first.

Sappy Google video about how the tablet can help overcome speech fear.

10.10 pm Google launches Google Play Textbooks as well

Competition for Apple’s iBooks? Rent text books for up to 80 percent off for 6 months and the Books have night mode, highlighting and annotation. The Textbooks will be launching in August.

10.05 pm Ellie Powers the product manager for Google Play on stage

She’s talking about the redesigned Google Play Store and Google Play Games app. Games Play App is part of Google’s Games Services, launched at IO and it is available on the Google Play Store from today. This is kind of like Apple’s Games Centre where you and your friends can keep a score of who’s doing better at a particular game.

Google is really selling Nexus 7 as a gaming tablet. Some news that are available on Google Play from today: Riptide GP2, Prince of Persia and Asphalt.

10.00 pm Chrome updates and other Google apps

Chrome is getting translate mode in mobile version as well. Just like how it does for the desktop version.

He’s now showcasing the new Google Maps app with its Explore options. And he’s moved to pitching the Google Hangouts App on Nexus 7. Do they know that the iPad Hangout app keep crashing? Guess not.

9.50 pm Android 4.3 what does it have

Nexus 7 is shipping with Android 4.3. Barra is spelling out details of Android 4.3. The update is coming to Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and the original Nexus 7 today. Changes to Android 4.3 are:

Restricted user profiles: It will let users ensure that they can set up restricted access for some apps to some users. Great for parents who want to keep a tab on their kids and what they can play on the tablet. Android 4.3 allows an app to behave differently when running in a restricted profile. They can be used to prevent access to in-app purchases. Which means your kid won’t go around buying a lot of gems and other goodies while he/she is playing a game.

Open GL ES 3.0 Reflections and lens flares look better. Impressive photo-realism for gaming. Much more details such as skin texture, shadows etc on games.

• Google introducing new DRM (Digital Right Management) APIs to help protect content and get higher resolution content onto the tablet. This means that Google’s new tablet will ensure that the 1080p HD quality will be supported by apps. Netflix is launching content with full HD and Nexus 7 is the first tablet to have this.

9.45 pm: Hugo Barra talking about Nexus 7

So what’s new in the Nexus 7? Well it looks exactly like the old one. But as Barra points out, the side bezel is narrower and the device is 50 g lighter. It is supposed to increase one-handed comfortable holding. He adds that the tablet is ‘almost 2mm thinner than the original.’

The screen has a higher pixel density at 323 pixels per inch. The original Nexus 7 has 216 ppi. Virtual Surround Sound and Dual-stereo speakers as well.

It has a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and 5 megapixel rear camera.

The Nexus 7 has 1.8x faster CPU, 4x faster GPU, says Barra.

9.40 pm Sundar Pichai talking about Nexus 7 and the success story of the tablet

The Nexus 7 alone accounts for 10 percent of Android tablets sold since it was launched, says Sundar. It was the highest selling tablet in Japan, he adds.

Hugo Barra is now on stage talking about the Nexus 7: He says, One thing that’s nice about the Nexus 7 is that it is really affordable and the tablet has been a big hit.

He shows the new Nexus 7 which looks like pretty much what we’ve seen in the press shots.

9.30 pm Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai is on stage

Google’s Sundar Pichai on the stage. He’s talking about how smartphones and tablets are the future of computing and how they want to provide a seamless experience across these devices.

“We’re talking about two devices today, tablets and Chromebooks.”

“By 2013 more users will buy tablets than PCs”, says Sundar. “By the end of 2012, we were approaching 10 million tablet activation, now that’s up to more than 70 million activations by the end of 2013.” The number is for Android tablets.

He adds that revenue for developers has also increased from 2013 as far as Google Play is concerned.

9.20 pm Connectivity issues at the event

Ok, the event has started. The feed should be working now.

It seems Google’s live stream is facing some issues and the feed should start soon.

In other news, we seen plenty of photos by journalists of food from the event. The bacon does look good.

09.15 pm: Google Nexus event launch to begin soon

Google’s Nexus 7 launch event is set to begin. The big question is what will Android 4.3 offer to users? Will we see drastic overhaul of the Android OS just like Apple did with iOS 7 or will it have superficial changes? Tell in the comments box what you want to see in Android 4.3.

Google is all set to launch the new series of Nexus 7 tablets in just a few hours in San Francisco. The Nexus 7 will run a new version of Android, build 4.3.

Google is also expected to launch new Chromebooks as well. The event is being chaired by Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai. Are we likely to see more union between Chrome and Android today? Unlikely. But there’s no harming in hoping.

You can watch the live stream of the event on top and follow our live blog for more details.

Google's new Nexus 7. Image from Best Buy
Google’s new Nexus 7. Image from Best Buy

As far as the Nexus 7 is concerned US retailer Best Buy has spilled the beans by putting out details and press shots of the new tablet.

The tablet has a full HD screen at 19201200 with High-definition LCD, 10-finger capacitive touch screen with IPS technology, 178 viewing angles, anti-fingerprint technology and scratch-resistant glass.

It comes with 2GB RAM, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 8064 processor with Adreno 320 graphics. The rear camera’s resolution is 5 megapixel and it has a 1.2 megapixel front camera.


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