Google’s Mystery Announcement is a mystery no more!

Well folks today our fearless internet overlord Google made some fresh announcements.

NEW Nexus 7 tablet  will be available in 3 models: the 16gb Wifi for 229, the 32 GB wifi model for 269, and 32 GB LTE model for 349. The Wifi Model will start shipping on July 30th, with the LTE model shipping in “coming weeks”.

Upgraded specs from the last one (which ran pretty damn nice for the $$):

Also announced today brand new version of jelly bean.  Version 4.3 is available today for all google devices and the samsung galaxy.

Key Features:

  • New to Android 4.3: advanced multi-user support, bringing in “restricted profiles”. Restricted profiles lets parents limit what their child’s account can do. (Same thing the kindle has recently been advertising.  Why you say? Cause kindle is android based silly.)
  • Bluetooth Smart, or Bluetooth low-energy.
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics system, allowing for considerably more detail in games; according to Hugo, they’re the first to support it.
  • Watching 1080p content on a tablet is great, but most of the content you get today is actually standard definition. This is because the lack of DRM. With Android 4.3, Google’s introducing hardware-level encryption for DRM. The first group Google’s partnering with this is Netflix, allowing you to stream 1080p netflix content to your Android device.
  • The original Nexus 7, the nexus 4, the galaxy nexus, and the nexus 10 will start to get Android 4.3 today.

Another important update comes to the Google Play store which will begin carrying a comprehensive collection of text books from all 5 major publishing houses. Books can be purchased, or rented for 6 months at a time. Text books will be available in early august.

BUT, the biggest announcement is Chromecast.  Chromecast is a tiny, itty-bitty dongle that runs a simplified version of Chrome OS.  Chromecast integrates into the apps you already use on your tablet, phone, or PC. You push a chromecast button, and it pushes that video to your TV. It’s like Apple’s airplay.  Chromecast will play friendly with the iPhone, not just Android.  You can continue to use your phone independently; once the video is playing on your TV, you can use your phone for other tasks. Even if you sleep the phone, the video keeps playing. You can pause/skip videos from the lockscreen.  If you’ve got multiple devices all connected to Chromecast, Chromecast won’t be tied to any of them. You can pause on your iPhone, for example, pick up your tablet, and immediately take control and begin playing from the same place.

On a side note to the Chomecast stuff.  Myself and another of other dev’s I work with spent a good hour today chatting about this part of the announcement.  The conversation was a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride.  At first we were all stoked simply because we had postalized that Google might announce this type of functionality because its been sorely missing for far too long.  But as we spoke more about how it worked and read in between the tech lines our excitement faded as a feeling of “MEH, its pretty cool but what about this, what about that..” set in.  Its a HUGE step up from the ill fated Google Q that was a major POS but the Chromecast is still missing actual screen mirroring.  WHY GOOGLE WHY!!!!!  So at this point your gonna have to wait for ALL of your favorite app developers to add the Chrome Play button to their apps BEFORE you can play Angry Birds on the big screen but hey for $35 its worth it if you don’t already have a smart TV, playstation, Xbox or Apple TV hooked up (Which covers about 90% of the population).

All that being said, I will let you know in three days time after mine arrives….HA



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