Thursday, 28 June 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Google Nexus 7 16GB heading to the UK July 20th

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 09:21 AM PDT

When Google announced the new Nexus 7 tablet yesterday it was met with tons of excitement. They quickly followed it up by mentioning pre-order availability immediately in the Play Store for just $199. Sadly those in the UK were left out but today we are hearing plenty of good news on that front. The 16GB model will be available from multiple outlets come July.

The folks from our sister site SlashGear has confirmed multiple outlets and retailers will be able to offer the Nexus 7 to their customers. Those include: PC World, Dixons, Comet, eBuyer, and the Carphone Warehouse in 16GB flavor. Google announced Play Store pre-orders would be shipping mid-July but Carphone Warehouse has mentioned July 20th as the date.

Retail stores should have availability come the 27th and we are being told they will all be the 16GB model. Google will only offer the cheaper 8GB model on their Play Store. In case you missed all the Nexus 7 news today feel free to check out our hands-on, then our initial review with tons of pictures, videos, and screenshots.

Who’s buying?

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Nexus 7
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : June 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Google Nexus 7
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.81 Inch
  • Width : 4.72 Inch
  • Depth : 0.41 Inch
  • Weight : 340 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 4325 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1300 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 8 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : NA
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • A2DP
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Google Now landing page live – check out the new features

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 08:59 AM PDT

One of our favorite new features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the new Google Now feature. If you’re asking yourself what that is, you’ll want to check out all the information below. Google now is the new assistant that has been imbedded into Jelly Bean to make your life easier. Head down below for more details.

Being able to check the weather, here personalized results and more all with ease is quite nice. For more details head to our Google Now coverage live from Google IO. Google has just launched an impressive landing page that will show you everything you can do and expect from Google Now. This is their new virtual assistant, and so far it’s quite nice.

Testing out the features on the new Nexus 7 were a blast, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus too. Google has added a quick direct unlock to Google Now on the new lockscreen, as well as allowed you to long-press home to pull up the option as well. From there the assisting and personalizing is all done with ease.

[via Google Now]


Galaxy Nexus Android Jelly Bean 4.1 leaks

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 04:53 AM PDT

If you’re the sort that lives for new versions of Android to hack up and try to run on your own device, you’re going to have a field day with this. Someone discovered the official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update lounging around on Google servers ahead of the official launch next month. The installer discovered appears to be the same one that will be pushed out to the Galaxy Nexus smartphones Google handed out developers at Google I/O this week.

What we know about Jelly Bean so far is that it has a new notification system and uses a Google project aimed at reducing lag in the interface called Project Butter. The operating system also has a new Google Voice Search system taking aim at Siri on the iPhone and offers app encryption. The new version of Android will also have Google Maps off-line navigation and off-line voice dictation for US English.

If you want to grab the Android 4.1 update, you can download it here. There is no indication of if this is a stable working version of the operating system at this point. In other words, install this at your own risk. Google is expected to roll out the update officially sometime in the middle of July.

[via SlashGear]


Google Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean initial review

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 11:19 PM PDT

The ASUS Nexus tablet, Google’s first tablet in the Nexus family is finally here and it’s called the Google Nexus 7. Surely you saw all of our coverage from earlier today. From the announcement post, or immediate hands-on coverage and more, but now we’re diving in a little deeper with tons of info and our initial review impressions.

Google’s new tablet is pretty impressive. Is this just a Kindle Fire fighter? Yes and no. Of course this will directly compete with the Kindle Fire (and kill it) but it also competes with all of the Android tablets currently available — not just 7-inch models. Coming with impressive specs, the latest version of Android, and an awesome price how could it not? Below we’ll show you a few more videos, plenty of screenshots, and as usual some benchmarks of that quad-core Tegra 3 processor. Stay tuned and enjoy it all below.

First off you’ll want to start with our initial unboxing where we show you the Nexus 7, the new Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and a quick look at the new media device called the Nexus Q. We unbox them live on the IO floor before digging in so check it out!

Hardware
Now lets talk about hardware here. This isn’t the thinnest tablet, but it’s pretty close to being one of the lightest. Google and ASUS have a pretty great idea to bring a great overall package at an extremely low price. You get “almost” all the specs you’d ever want all for just $199. Here’s the rundown on the Nexus 7 specs:

- 7" 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
- Back-lit IPS display
- Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
- 8/16 GB internal storage ($199/$249)
- 1 GB RAM
- Micro USB
- 4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)
- Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
- 340g
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth
- 1.2MP front-facing camera
- Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass

The hardware is great here, especially when you take into consideration everything they’ve packed into this slate while managing to also keep the price down. The build quality is extremely pleasing, and assures you this is a quality device. The 10mm thickness was something I wish was a little thinner, but I’ll gladly live with it for the price, plus it makes holding it in your hand easier. I know this is going against anything we’ve previously said, but something too thin has sharp corners that aren’t ergonomic. This tablet is comfy in the hand — and I’ll surely spend hours at a time using this bad boy.

The soft touch matte back is unique. It has a very soft rubbery feel, yet a plastic-like durability. Here at Google IO we were all kindly given a Nexus 7 and ours are white, the tablet on the Play Store is black and I’m still undecided on which I like best since I have both in my hands (a shame I know.) The device comes with only a 1.2 MP front camera and nothing on back — which is fine to keep price down. We’ll talk more on the front camera below but lets just say you can’t use it like a regular camera. Google opted NOT to offer a micro-SD slot, which I think is by far the worst part of the tablet, and I love everything else.

The display is excellent as most IPS panels are. Screen is bright, vivid, crisp, and the viewing angles are exceptional. The touch response is severely improved and works great, but we can chalk that up for being part of the improvements made to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean — as they worked specifically on that. The tablet has the sometimes hard to find power/wake button and volume up/down on the right, and nothing on the left. Down below is the single micro-USB port for charging, and hopefully has MHL support since we don’t have HDMI-out. Then on bottom is also the 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microphone for all those voice actions and dictation.

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Overall is the hardware amazing? Yes and no. It could be thinner, possibly a little lighter, and a micro-SD slot for extra storage would have been nice Google. Will I accept the slightly chunkier body and Google’s cloud options and enjoy it for the $199 price — heck yes! While we’ve only had about half a day to enjoy this thing, we can’t truly give you our thoughts on the hardware but our initial thoughts are extremely positive, and I’ve seen no issues with screen problems, build quality, or anything else yet and so far everything’s been rather enjoyable.

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Software

This one is a biggie. We don’t want to plaster you with software and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean details, and you can look for a dedicated review for that later this week. Instead we’ll just show you tons and tons of screenshots of what’s new with Jelly Bean, as well as a look at this quick software hands-on below.

Google has really stepped up their game with Jelly Bean. If you thought 4.0 ICS was their best yet you’d be right, but Jelly Bean is an obvious improvement. It might not be the leap many thought was coming, but is still significant. From the small, subtle yet fresh UI changes, to the overall improvement and efficiency of the performance. Everything is smoother, faster, more stable — and just better. Google called this project butter, where they wanted the OS to be butter smooth and they’ve achieved just that. Animations are as swift as ever, and I’m seriously loving this tasty treat even more than the frozen Ice Cream.

Google Now is their new assistant, but we aren’t sure this is all they have planned so we can’t call this Project Magel. It does however track your location, learn from you and your habits or search results, and will become an assistant giving you highlights on your favorite teams game, traffic conditions while and before heading to work — and much more. As shown in our top photo, simple slide your finger from the bottom of screen up, or hold the home button and it will appear. It’s very smooth, simple and easy to activate.

The series of cards it will output show you everything you need to know and more. Obviously this will take a good WiFi or 3G/4G connection, and some time with the device to learn from you. We’ve just received ours so won’t get too deep without further time to enjoy it.

Next we’ll talk about that notification bar. Who by the way has seen a huge improvement and overhaul herself. It’s capabilities and general user friendly attitude has been greatly expanded. Jelly Bean makes the notification bar on tablets closer to the phone experience, which I was expecting originally. When you get an email notification it isn’t just the name and a number. You see subject line, and a few more lines, how many new emails, and other things if available — it’s much smarter. You can even shrink the larger notifications by pinching your fingers, or swipe to clear as always.

It’s been centered instead of being in the bottom corner, and now pulls down from the top. You conveniently can see emails, weather with Google Now, music playing and more all without leaving what you’re doing. It stays transparent so you can see what was below it on screen, and you don’t even have to drag it away — just tap anywhere on the screen and it will go back to its home up top and out of the screen. Google Now still needs some work, but we’ll talk more on that later.

Widgets. Widgets are now interactive and adaptive. If you need room on a homescreen Jelly Bean makes it. It moves widgets, icons and more out of your way and lets you place a widget with ease without having to re-arrange your life. I love my homescreens just how I want them, but I’m sure many will love this feature for the convenience. Oh and speaking of widgets with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean we have tons. Google Play is all over the place. From magazines you own or recommendations, and the same thing goes for apps, music, movies and more. They are large, in your face, and look awesome. Watching Transformers (pre-loaded) on this Nexus 7 is pretty neat and I might just fall asleep to some Megan Fox in a Camero tonight.

Google’s project butter UI surely shines through with Jelly Bean, and I’m a huge fan already. Ice Cream Sandwich is still the same, but has been improved in multiple areas and makes Android even better.

Benchmarks
This is an area that many enthusiasts love to see, and others don’t care. We still like to stack devices up to the competition but lets just say between the quad-core Tegra 3 processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, this is one of the best performing and smoothest devices I’ve ever used. Either way here is a few benchmark results.

Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-18-45 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-19-28 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-36-52

Now having this device for only a half a day we can’t seriously have a full out review, although many will try I’m sure. Instead this is our initial review and some first impressions, as well as tons of pictures and screenshots for those who want them. Battery life was listed as 9 hours of video playback during the keynote, but the specs state 8 hours — so we’ll have to give that a thorough test later on. The front camera isn’t able to snap pictures at will so once we do a few fun hangouts this week we’ll take some pictures and post those up too. Yup there is no camera app or way to snap photos since it only features a front camera, which appears to be dedicated to Hangouts and video chat only.

Wrap-Up
Google has finally unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and their new tablet, and they didn’t disappoint. The leaks leading up to the announcement took away some of the excitement, but overall I’m still extremely pleased and have enjoyed the device thus far. Is this the best Android tablet ever? No. Maybe. Is it available at an awesome low price of $199 and pretty amazing? Yes!

The only actual con to the Nexus 7 I see is the lack of a micro-SD slot. Everything else was just what I was expecting and more. I’m excited to enjoy this slate over the new few days and will be sure to report back with additional details. Jelly Bean brought the refinement and changes that weren’t total needed, but are all completely welcome around these parts.

Google has a real winner on their hands with the Nexus 7, and it will be hard to top for a while by the rest of the manufactures. Everyone else has lower end devices with higher price tags so this is most definetaly worth a quick look, and your dollars. Today was only day 1, and we have much more coming from Google IO, the Nexus 7, Jelly Bean and more so stay tuned and hit the links below for additional coverage.

Pre order the new and amazing Google Nexus 7 today from the Play Store (here) and it should arrive sometime mid July. If you have questions drop them in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to reply. Who’s buying?

P1090635 P1090636 P1090632 P1090633 P1090628 P1090629 P1090631 P1090625 P1090626 P1090621 P1090622 P1090623 P1090620 3T8A9554 3T8A9528 3T8A9534 3T8A9543 3T8A9508 3T8A9515 3T8A9522 3T8A9525 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-38-57 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-39-07 Screenshot_2012-06-27-21-15-39 Screenshot_2012-06-27-21-24-00 Screenshot_2012-06-27-21-24-37 Screenshot_2012-06-27-21-31-27 Screenshot_2012-06-27-19-44-50 Screenshot_2012-06-27-19-44-57 Screenshot_2012-06-27-19-45-24 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-09-28 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-18-45 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-19-28 Screenshot_2012-06-27-20-36-52 Screenshot_2012-06-27-18-03-43 Screenshot_2012-06-27-18-21-48 Screenshot_2012-06-27-19-21-40 Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 10.09.11 PM
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Nexus 7
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : June 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Google Nexus 7
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.81 Inch
  • Width : 4.72 Inch
  • Depth : 0.41 Inch
  • Weight : 340 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 4325 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1300 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 8 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : NA
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • A2DP
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Google Nexus Q Hands-on

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 02:08 PM PDT

This week Google has introduced several new products in both the software and hardware realms, one of the oddest of these being the “first social streaming media player” called the Nexus Q. This device was shown off at Google I/O 2012 and was part of the Developer Pack given to all attendees. It’s also currently on sale at the Google Play store online and will be shipped very soon – but you may be asking yourself still: what on earth is it?

This device is an Android ball… the end. Actually the Nexus Q is essentially a ball that streams music, movies, or anything else you’d like. It’s a media streaming device, a media center, and more all wrapped around the world of Android. This is a small part of what Google probably has planned moving forward with Android@Home, only this is just the beginning. The styling and device design is a unique one to say the least, but feels extremely well made and like a premium product.

Essentially what we have here is a social media streaming device that can be controlled by any of you or your friends various Android devices. Sitting at home you can start up Google Play Music and stream audio through your surround sound. Or while relaxing on the couch you can fire it up and watch a Play Movie rental with ease. It is all controlled by your phone or tablet — and one day Google’s Project Glass. Here’s us unboxing it and all the goodies we were given.

Will full audio options, optical audio, micro-USD, HDMI and more this device is fully capable of all your living room needs. The whole device has a capacitive touch sensor for muting as well as off/on, you're working with a Texas Instruments OMAP4460 (dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and SGX540 graphics core) inside, and both 1GB LPDDR RAM and 16GB NAND flash memory under the hood. We’ll continue to check it out over the next few days so stay tuned. Be sure to hit our Google IO Portal for all the news, or buy one today for $299 from Google Play.

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Google Nexus 7 hands-on

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 01:41 PM PDT

We’re here at Google IO where Google has just announced their first Nexus branded tablet. The Nexus 7 was unveiled during the keynote complete with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and we have one already for our own hands-on and unboxing. Below you’ll see plenty of pictures and hands-on with the new Nexus 7.

The Nexus 7 is Google’s first tablet under the Nexus brand, and represents much more than the XOOM. Google’s Nexus 7 is the first device to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean — along side the new Galaxy Nexus we’ve receive too (more on that coming soon.) You should know plenty about it already from the leaks and our earlier coverage, so how about we just talk about the actual tablet.

The Nexus 7 looks and feels great. The build quality is excellent coming from the folks at ASUS, and the soft touch matte back feels absolutely stellar. Holding it in your hand is comfortable, and the grip is excellent — but a bit clunky being 10.45mm thick. We all know the specs but just in case Google and ASUS have equipped this thing with the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor at 1.3 GHz, a 12 core GPU for graphics, 1GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage — and is confirmed to not have a micro-SD slot for extra storage. Our unit has just 5.2GB remaining after a few apps and magazines, so that is a bummer. Without further adieu, here is the video:

Jelly Bean runs sooo smooth too. Google said it right on stage with Android 4.1 they were calling it project butter: meaning they wanted Jelly Bean to be absolutely butter smooth — and it is. Everything that made Ice Cream Sandwich smooth with hardware acceleration has all been improved. V-Sync, triple buffering, and touch responsiveness have all been overhauled and you can seriously tell.

Add that to the new and improved notification bar, the clear all option, voice dictation, and Google Play Magazines. All of this rounds out new the tablet, and we’ve just gotten started. Homescreens have been tweaked to play nicer with widgets, and widgets play nicer with app icons. Now everything automatically moves when needed. Widgets re-size if there’s no room, and makes room by replacing the app icons on another screen.

The Google Nexus 7 is seriously fast and stable, the quad-core runs great, and the build quality is great too. It might not be the absolute best but for $199 it is surely a force to be reckoned with. The brand new Nexus 7 ships mid July and is available for pre-order today from the link below. Get it now in 8GB for $199 or 16GB for $249. We’ll dig in deeper later tonight. Stay Tuned!

Nexus 7 Play Store Link

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Free Nexus 7, Nexus Q and Galaxy Nexus for IO attendees

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 11:57 AM PDT

Google has detailed exactly what swag Google IO developers can expect to take away from the event this week, and it’s quite the bundle. All 6,000 attendees will get a free Galaxy Nexus smartphone, a free Nexus Q, and a free Nexus 7 tablet.

That’s a package worth almost $850, not bad considering the IO ticket itself was just $800. When they power the phone and tablet on, meanwhile, they’ll have Jelly Bean to play with, as Google will push the new OS to the smartphone.

For the rest of us, the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ is now down to $349 on Google’s Play Store, while the Nexus Q and Nexus 7 are each up for order. More details here.


Google’s Project Glass skydives into Google IO

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 11:30 AM PDT

Google Glass has made a surprise stop here at IO, and they are teasing live video streaming right from Project Glass. It wasn’t really a surprise as we were all hoping to see the device here at IO, but not in this fashion. Google’s own Sergey Brin showed up wearing them, and had a little treat for us too.

Not only can Project Glass take pictures, but their newest edition can also record video. That isn’t all either as they are streaming the entire thing live. Google’s Project Glass has just jumped out of a blimp above Google IO here in San Francisco and are live streaming the entire thing via a Google+ Hangout session.

These augmented reality glasses skydived onto the top of the Moscone West Center here in San Fran, then they took a few BMX bikes down a building or two, and finally made it on stage for a demo. Google’s running over a few of the specs although aren’t saying anything specific. Project Glass has 3G/4G data (multiple radios) microphones, speakers, a camera (with video obviously,) sensors, compass, gyro, and more. It knows where you are, connects you to your friends, lets you take plenty of pictures, and keeps you social with Google+.

What makes Google’s Project Glass even better is the comfort. If it’s heavy and uncomfortable who will wear them? Google has just stated thy are lighter than many sunglasses, yet are sturdy enough to do daily activities like mountain biking, playing tennis and more. Google wants Glass to work with as many people as possible — anywhere.

Stay tuned for more on Project Glass!

Update: Google will be tossing these to lucky Google IO attendees for the low low price of $1,500 — shipping early next year. We’ll update when we know more.

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