Hurricane Sandy was not able to slow down Google’s Monday announcement, as the search giant took to its own blog site for a press release announcing the latest version of its Android operating system (Android 4.2), as well as a new Nexus 4 smartphone and a Nexus 10 tablet which both run the latest operating system.
Industry analysts and media had been widely anticipating the release of all three products, thanks in part to leaked product images for the Nexus 4 smartphone and product manuals for the Nexus 10 tablet. In addition, Google had schedule a press event for Monday (today) in New York titled “The Playground in Open,” but that event had to be scraped due to Hurricane Sandy. (The Epoch Times is also running excellent live coverage on Hurricane Sandy.)
But none of those appear to have stopped Google. And with a competing Microsoft event happening in sunny San Francisco this afternoon, Google probably thought it best to do the official release of these products as soon as possible.
Nexus 4 Smartphone with LG
First up, the Nexus 4 smartphone. Photos of the new Google flagship phone have been circulating for a few weeks now, so it was no surprise that the new phone was exactly the same as leaked specifications. It has a 4.7 inch display with 300 dpi resolution. The phone is manufactured by South Korean hardware manufacturer LG, and is reported to allow for wireless charging.
The smartphone comes with hardware that many pundits are calling a leapfrog ahead from today’s generation of smartphones. Tech blog Gizmodo says that the Nexus 4 “packs a blistering quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, a lovely 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 display, and an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera.” Clearly, Google is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that its flagship phone--which it reportedly sells at cost--is a leg up over its competitors in the marketplace.
But as advanced as its core hardware is, the Nexus 4 reportedly does NOT have support for LTE (also known as 4G)--something that is believed to have keep its price to below the previous flagship Galaxy Nexus, which supports 4G. So if you’re a network speed fanatic, you might want to hold off on this model.
Nexus 10 Tablet with Samsung
Not content with hardware advances in the Nexus 4, Google teamed with Samsung to bring us the 10-inch Nexus 10. The first thing that should stand out about this device is its oodles of display real-estate and resolution. The Google press release touts the Nexus 10 tablet as the “highest resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055″ display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi), that’s over 4 million pixels right in your hands.”
Its clear that Google is trying to drive adoption of Android tablets and set it to compete with the iPad and the upcoming slew of Windows 8 tablets, particularly in corporate environments. One feature that Google has added to Android 4.2 is the ability to support multiple users, which would be useful in a corporate environment.
Android 4.2, Google Now and Updated Nexus 7
In addition to the above new hardware releases, Google announced its updated Android 4.2 operating system, still called Jelly Bean like its previous iteration. It looks like 4.2 brings minimal feature improvements to the core Android--Photo Sphere, an improvement that helps with photo taking and sharing and Gesture Typing, similar to the popular Swype-style Android keyboards that let one do swipe-typing. But Android 4.2′s biggest improvements are reportedly in its user interface. In addition to Android 4.2, Google said it had made improvements to Google Now--Android’s “personal assistant” and Siri competitor--as well as improved content selection on Google Play, its online ecosystem for apps, music and video.
Google also announced new models in its Nexus 7 tablet lineup. It announced HSPA+ (4G) support on one of its models, and a larger 32 GB version of the tablet.
With a Microsoft Windows 8 and tablet announcements looming this afternoon, Apple offering the iPad in two versions (10-inch and a Mini at 7.9 inches), and Amazon coming out with their own Kindle Fire HD in two sizes (7 and 8.9 inch) and dropping the price on the original Kindle Fire, you can expect all-out tablet war this holiday season.
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