Despite announcing that its Nexus smartphone and tablet launch was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast of the US, Google has nevertheless taken to its official blog to launch virtually.
Promising “the best of Google, now in three sizes”, Google says that its Nexus “hardware line for Android devices” will help you “get rid of the hassle” that is switching between several devices each day.
Google says we need to simply “sign in with your Google Account”, and that once you do, “everything is there ready to go, whatever device you’re using: photos, emails, contacts, bookmarks, even your entertainment on Google Play” – something that sounds, of course, very similar to the Apple ID, the Microsoft ID and what these IDs for iOS and Windows Phone 8 do for its users.
Anyway, what Google is doing is launching its “three great new Nexus devices” in “small, medium and large” sizes – all running Android OS 4.2 – “the new flavour of Jelly Bean”, showing that Google wasn’t yet ready to go to “Key Lime Pie” as was suggested, sticking instead with 4.2 being an update to the Android OS 4.1.x Jelly Bean.
Google notes the Nexus 5’s “quad-core processor”, crips 4.7-inch display with 320ppi that is “perfect for looking at photos and watching YouTube”, wireless charging, Jelly Bean 4.2 and “Photo Sphere”, which Google says “lets you capture images that are literally larger than life. Snap shots up, down and in every direction to create stunning 360-degree immersive experiences that you can share on Google+ with friends and family—or you can add your Photo Sphere to Google Maps for the world to see.”
Additional Android 4.2 features (which you can find out more about here) include “Gesture Typing” which sounds like Swype, as it “lets you glide your finger over the letters you want to type on the keyboard—it makes typing fast, fun and a whole lot simpler.”
There’s also a nod to Apple’s AirPlay, with Android 4.2 adding “support for wireless display so you can wirelessly watch movies, YouTube videos and play games right on your Miracast-compatible HDTV.”
Then we learn about an update to “Google Now”, which promises to be “even more useful”.
Google says it best: “We designed Google Now to make life simpler by giving you the right information at just the right time in easy to read cards, before you even ask. And the feedback has been awesome. So today we’re adding more cards that we hope you’ll find useful.
“Flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details—how often have you found yourself wading through your email to get this information at the last moment? So next time you book a table for dinner, you’ll get a reminder with all the details without ever having to lift a finger. You’ll also get cards for nearby attractions, interesting photo spots, movies times at nearby theaters or concerts by your favorite artists.”
Nexus 4 details from Google here, the 8GB for version will sell for US $299; the 16GB for US $349, unlocked on on contract from the 13th of November in Google Play in "the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada".
Following this comes the expected update to the Nexus 7 tablet, launched earlier this year. Promising everything the original Nexus 7 delivered, Nexus 7 comes in 16GB of storage for US $199, and a brand new 32GB size for US $249, while FINALLY adding HSPA+ mobile data (meaning 3G and faster 3G speeds, but clearly, no 4G option – as was expected).
If you want a Nexus 7 with 32GB and 3G HSPA+ data, that will cost US $299, on T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, “and which can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide”.
Nexus 7 details from Google here: it will be available "in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan, and also through our retail partners Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples and Walmart", with the Nexus 7 with 32GB and 3G details here, selling from the 13th of November in "the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada."
So, that’s the Nexus 7 out of the way, which leads us to the brand new Nexus 10 tablet.
Billed as “the ultimate tablet for watching movies or reading magazines”, Google partnered with Samsung, as expected, to build “the highest resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055" display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi)”, which means “over 4 million pixels right in your hands” – in what is a clear jab to Apple and the iPad’s 3.1 million pixels.
Google notes the “powerful battery that will get you up to nine hours of video playback and more than 500 hours of standby time”, coupled with “a set of front-facing stereo speakers” that “sound awesome”.
However, Google says the Nexus 10 is “the first truly shareable tablet”, as Android 4.2 lets “you can add multiple users and switch between them instantly right from the lockscreen”, giving “everyone… quick and easy access to their own stuff -- email, apps, bookmarks, and more. That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores.”
Nexus 10 details from Google here: the 16GB model will sell for US $399; the 32GB for US $499; available from November 13 and the Google Play store in the "U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan."
Google’s answer to the App Store, known as Google Play, also gets updates, including “a ton of great new entertainment… such as movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox. Earlier this year we expanded our service beyond movie rentals and now you can purchase movies and build a library of your favorites in Google Play. Today we’re bringing movie purchasing to more countries - Canada, the U.K., France, Spain and Australia.”
Google is also working with Time Inc and Warner Music Group to bring more publications and music to Google Play.
Then, on the 13th of November, Google brings Google Play to Europe – or at least, those in “the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain”, who “will be able to purchase music from the Google Play store and add up to 20,000 songs—for free—from your existing collection to the cloud for streaming to your Android devices or web browser.”
A challenge to iTunes Match from Apple is Google’s new “matching feature to streamline the process of uploading your personal music to Google Play” – available in Europe at launch and in the US “soon after” and that “this will all be for free—free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening.”
Google concludes by saying Nexus is “much more than simply a phone or tablet” and that it’s “your connection to the best of Google—all of your stuff and entertainment, everywhere you go with no hassle. Now you have three new Nexus devices, a new improved version of Jelly Bean and more entertainment than ever before—all available on Google Play. The playground is open.”
Here’s Google’s YouTube video of the new devices: