Google debuts tablet at developer conference

 

$249 in Australia.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

Google has entered the tablet market by itself for the first time, launching the Nexus 7 tablet at its annual I/O developer conference overnight.

Targeted for the home market, and reportedly aimed as a rival to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, the search giant's new Android device is the first time it has marketed a tablet with its own branding.

Other tablets based on its Android operating system are usually made and marketed by third party companies such as Samsung. The move follows a similar change in tactic for Microsoft, which unveiled plans to launch its own self-branded tablet last week in a bid to take on Apple's iPad.

Google is yet to confirm availability for the Nexus 7 tablet in Australia but references on its marketplace show pricing of either $249 for 8 GB of storage or $299 for 16 GB of storage, with a two-to-three week wait.

The tablet — made by Taiwanese manufacturer Asus — features a 1,280 by 800-pixel backlit display, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra processor and 1 GB of RAM. It also has the full complement of motion and location sensors, compass, 802.11b/g/n wi-fi, and near-field communications technology.

It will come with Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' operating system, featuring improved search, enhanced location services and recommendations.

Jelly Bean also comes with a new version of the Swype keyboard — allowing users to input text by dragging a finger across the screen instead of typing — and better voice recognition technology to compete with Apple’s Siri.

Near-field communications (NFC) is built into Jelly Bean, for file sharing and connecting with other devices like speakers.

The company concurrently launched its Nexus Q media player, a wireless streaming device controlled by Android phones and allowing a connection to Google’s Play music and video stores, as well as YouTube.

The wirelessly and wired networked Nexus Q has a 12.5 watt per channel amplifier and features a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of storage.

Australian availability is yet to be confirmed for the streamer, which is set to cost $US299.

In a departure from current manufacturing praxis, the Nexus Q would be made in the United States.

Offline maps

 Google has also enabled offline caching of maps in its Android application.

Users can select up to six areas on Google Maps and download them to their devices, from 150 countries. Once downloaded, no network connection is required to display the maps in question and to search them, or to use the GPS in the device for location.

Google Maps Mobile software engineer Jiabei Lei said the offline capability is useful for restricting mobile data usage when travelling internationally, or for when users are out of network coverage.

Page MIA

Concerns were voiced by some as to the absence of Google chief Larry Page at the conference and other recent company events.

According to Google, Page lost his voice and won’t be speaking in public for some time.

He will continue to run the company as normal but the paucity of information around Page’s illness has led observers to draw parallels with Apple and its former CEO, Steve Jobs, whose pancreatic cancer was kept secret for years.

Updated: This article previously mention only b and g versions of wi-fi were available on the Nexus 7. This has been corrected to b/g/n variants.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


 
 
 
Top Stories
Windows 10 lands in Australia
Campaign to get business to upgrade kicks off.
 
NSW to build its own myGov
Service NSW digital profiles available by September.
 
Android bug leaves a billion phones open to attack
Hackers only need phone number to target devices.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
The 5 Windows 10 privacy issues you should be aware of
Jul 31, 2015
There are a few unsettling details when it comes to Windows 10 privacy
Windows 10 is here! (For some)
Jul 29, 2015
Delivery of the free upgrade versions of Windows 10 began today - have you got yours yet?
Microsoft reveals Microsoft Send, a new enterprise chat app to rival Slack
Jul 27, 2015
Microsoft Send is MSN Messenger for grownups, and you could be using it at work very soon
Developers offered $500,000 grants to find HoloLens uses
Jul 8, 2015
Can augmented-reality end up in business?
Microsoft Tossup: The planning app for unorganised groups of friends
Jul 8, 2015
App allows friends to research venues, vote on plans and chat. And depending on how you run your ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should law enforcement be able to buy and use exploits?



   |   View results
Yes
  14%
 
No
  51%
 
Only in special circumstances
  17%
 
Yes, but with more transparency
  18%
TOTAL VOTES: 782

Vote