Friday, June 29, 2012

Google’s avalanche of information at Google I/O

If you’re nursing a technology hangover from Google’s I/O Conference (thanks, @bhavishya!) then here’s a quick recap about what Google unveiled at their conference yesterday:

Google Project Glass: you don’t know why but you still want it
Co-founder Sergey Brin who’s already demoed Google’s Project Glass before, revealed that the fabled eyewear will start shipping to a select number of enthusiasts next year. Brin also made it a point to state that this is not a consumer device”. The glasses will initially only be available to Google I/O attendees in the U.S, due to regulatory reasons. Google also demonstrated the glasses with a dramatic high-energy display involving parachutists, stunt bicyclists and climbers who all joined Brin on stage. The glasses come with a touch panel on the side and a button on top to take photos and videos from a true first-person perspective. The setback? A cool $1,500 – so start saving.

Nexus 7 tablet: the $199 wonderboy
While it was no secret that Google was going to unveil a 7-inch tablet, the wraps finally came off the Nexus 7 tablet. Built by Asus, the device sports a 7-inch body and a 1,280 x 800 HD screen. It houses a Tegra 3 chipset with a quad-core CPU and a twelve-core GPU, and supports Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity options. The Nexus 7 also boasts 9 hours of HD video playback and up to 300 hours standby time. With the announcement of the Nexus 7, Google is finally making a swing at the likes of the Apple iPad as well as smaller tablets such as the Amazon Kindle. The Nexus 7 will come in 16GB and 32GB versions, priced at $199 and $249. It will also officially be the first device to run Google’s newest OS, Jellybean 4.1. Which brings us to…

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: Google’s sweetest offering yet?
While Android Ice Cream Sandwich is yet to make a greater install base, Google are already hard at work with their next version, dubbed Jellybean. The system incorporates better animations and transitions, as well as improved and offline voice text input, a better camera app, and improved NFC. Jellybean also has improved notifications and now displays extended information and options for alerts for calls, messages, and calender notifications. The new notifications aim to let users quickly review and dismiss information without launching any of the apps. Jelly Bean will launch mid-July on Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom devices, as well the new Nexus 7 tablet.

Nexus Q: streaming content everywhere
Google also unveiled a new media streaming unit, dubbed the Nexus Q. The device will connect to an external set of speakers and screen, and allow you to stream content from YouTube, music, HD videos, and other content. Users can select content on their Android tablet or smartphone and immediately send it to the Nexus Q to being streaming. The device will cost $299 and be available only in the U.S.

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