News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday July 24, 2013.
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The Google Nexus 7 appeared in many leaks prior to todays official announcement, including a prematurely posted Best Buy product page confirming all of the specs. Google has officially announced its latest Android tablet, as well as detailed some of the new features available in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Google once again chose to partner with ASUS to develop the Nexus 7. The two companies have enhanced the 7-inch display to have a more pixel-dense display with 323ppi, which Google claims is the best resolution of any tablet. We've already discussed the other specs of the Nexus 7, but Google has added a few other enhancements. A full list is available at the bottom of this post, but Google added some new details, including LTE compatibility and wireless charging. The tablet has dual stereo speakers, Qi wireless charging, and battery life promising 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of browsing or e-reading.
Today's Nexus 7 launch event also served as an introduction to the new Android 4.3 software. Google is in the process of updating last year's Nexus devices today, and Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 will soon gain access as well. Android 4.3 does not have as many flashy features, but it does offer the potential for more powerful experiences.
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean features
- Restricted profiles allow administrators to set limitations on apps and content that users can access. For instance, a parent can make it so their child's profile on the tablet can read story books or play Angry Birds but is unable to launch Facebook. It can even limit in-game app purchases to a single profile. Developers can build their apps to reveal content or behave differently based on user profiles.
- Bluetooth Low Energy is now supported for low-power connection to peripherals like a heart rate monitor or a smart watch. This will make it possible to establish Bluetooth connections without using as much energy and depleting battery life.
- Graphics can potentially be much better on some hardware. Developers can access OpenGL ES 3.0 in Android 4.3 in order to make more photorealistic graphics. The enhancements in lighting and textures can lead to improved gaming graphics. Asphalt 8 will be the first game to showcase this feature when it debuts in Google Play next month.
- 1080p HD streaming quality is possible in Android 4.3 thanks to new API's that support higher quality streaming. Netflix is the first app to support this new high quality streaming and the app has already been updated in Google Play.
- Virtual surround sound improves the audio quality on select devices. The Nexus 7 2013 and other Nexus devices use Fraunhofer Cingo to enhance the audio.
- Dialer app now provides autocomplete suggestions as the user dials. The feature is optional and can be disabled.
- Location can now be determined by Wi-Fi selectively. Android is able to get more accurate location readings when Wi-Fi is on. Android 4.3 makes it possible to only turn on Wi-Fi when necessary to grab a location.
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.