Google event wrap-up: Nexus 7, Android 4.3, Chromecast and more

July 24, 2013
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Google had the 'breakfast' event this morning and there were quite a few items discussed. As we often see, things kicked off with talk of numbers. In regards to the numbers, Google confirmed there had been more than 70 million Android tablets activated. Of course, that number ties directly to the first topic that was discussed -- the new Nexus 7.

The new Nexus 7 will be available beginning on July 30th and by way of the Google Play Store. The tablet will also be available with a variety of retailers including Best Buy, Staples, GameStop, Amazon, Walmart and others. Those looking to make the purchase can expect to shell out $230 for the 16GB model and $270 for the 32GB model. There will also be a 4G LTE model with support for Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile available. The LTE model will have 32GB of storage and a $349 price tag.

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Aside from pricing and availability, the bigger story about the new Nexus 7 was the display. This one has a 7-inch display just like the original Nexus 7, however the resolution and ppi have been greatly increased. The resolution is 1920 x 1200 and the ppi is 323. And for those curious, Google has said this means the Nexus 7 now has "the highest ppi of any tablet on the market.”

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Android 4.3 will be arriving as of today and is seems to be a nice mix of front-facing and developer facing additions. This update will bring improvements to user profiles and also to the Bluetooth setup. While the changes have been detailed in a seperate post, we suspect most just want to update right now. That being the case, grab your Nexus device and navigate to Settings -> Menu -> About Tablet-> System Updates -> Check Now to try and get the process started.

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Google also announced Chromecast this morning. This is a USB thumb-drive-sized dongle that will allow for universal streaming from your device to your TV. The Chromecast dongle will be available from the Play Store and is selling for just $35. Some of the highlights with the Chomecast dongle include it working across multiple platforms -- Android, iOS and Chrome as well as it being remote free and with content to include Netflix and YouTube. This also supports content from Chrome as well as from Google.

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Another item on the calendar was Google Play Games. This will be arriving as a dedicated app later today. The Google Play Games app will be available from the Play Store and will basically be a central place for Android gamers to keep track of leaderboards and achievements as well as what games their friends and family members are playing.

Having said all that, we also spent some hands-on time with the new Nexus 7 and the Chromecast dongle. Finally, we suspect most users will be willing to wait for the OTA Android 4.3 update, however Google has released the factory images. Well, for all of the newer Nexus devices with the exception of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.


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