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Google announces Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, new Nexus 7, Chromecast streaming device

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The day of reckoning has arrived. Google today announced a wide array of new products, including the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, which has already started rolling out, as well as the new Google Nexus 7 and a new HDMI streaming dongle called the Chromecast. All and all, Google most definitely had a few surprises for us.

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The new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is a step in the right direction, despite not being the next major release, known as Key Lime Pie, that many has hoped for. The most significant change that Android 4.3 brings, is multi-user profiles with restriction capabilities that should make quite a few parents quite happy. The new feature will allow different users on a single device to each have their own customizable profile. Additionally Android 4.3 will also focus on Bluetooth Low Energy as well as bring support for OpenGL ES 3.0 for next generation gaming.

The new Nexus 7 was most definitely the star of the show, although it has leaked in much detail before its announcement. The new Google Nexus 7 will once again be made by ASUS and promises to bring a set of great features to a low price. The new Nexus 7 features an improved 7-inch 7-point IPS display with a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution, it’s powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, a selection of 16GB or 32GB of memory, a 5MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and of course Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The WiFi-only model will go on sale in US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Spain on July 30 with more countries to be added.

The 16GB WiFi-only Nexus 7 will set you back $229 whereas the 32GB WiFi-only model will cost $269. An LTE version will also make its way to the market in the coming weeks and is set to feature 32GB of memory alongside a $349 price tag. Google also announced the Chromecast HDMI streaming device. At just 2-inches long, it’s quite tiny and features a slimmed down version of Google’s Chrome browser. The Chromecast device will stream video and connect to the web via a nearby WiFi connection and comes with three months of free Netflix access, at least for now. It costs just $35 and will start shipping within the next few days. Additionally the Chromecast can be controlled via Android or iOS devices as well as through the Chrome browser for Windows, OS X or the Chromebook.

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Written by Dion Guillaume

July 24th, 2013 at 6:31 pm