Google introduced the product along with several other key items and online upgrades at the Google I/O conference which is currently running in San Francisco. The conference is aimed at developers and from the beginning you could see that Google is working hard to open up the Android platform in hopes of getting more apps and more innovation.
The other thread running throughout the presentation is the idea of seamlessly moving from one activity to another and if anyone can make that happen, it’s Google.
Let’s start with the basics. Nexus 7 is lightweight with a screen about the size of a paperback book (7 inches). That means it’s easy to hold in your hand over a long period of time, which makes it excellent for reading. They packed in a superspeed processor, an HD display, incredible battery life, and if you’re a gamer, it runs as smooth as any of your dedicated units.
Content Up Front
Like Kindle Fire, Nexus’ real competition, the new tablet is more about content than tools. When you turn it on, you’re presented with a photo montage representing the books and magazines you’re currently reading and the shows and movies you’re watching. It’s one click to the next page of your book, two clicks to the next episode of your favorite TV show.
Google Play has added the ability to buy movies, not just rent them, and they’ve added single TV shows and full season subscriptions. They’ve also added magazines to go along with the zippy new reader app. Now you can read magazine articles as they appear in the print version or strip them down to text for easier consumption. Some magazines even come with interactive links. Click the article title on the cover and you’re there. That’s how you make good use of tablet technology.
On the marketing side, Google’s Chris Yerga says that there are currently 1.5 billion Android app installs a month coming out of Google Play. Revenue is on the rise with 50% coming from in-app purchases, they’ve also added the ability to subscription bill if you have monthly content.
To make things run faster, they’ve added Smart App Updates that only upgrade portions of an app instead of doing a reinstall and it happens automatically.
To help users find new content, Google has added a recommendation app to the tablet that automatically suggests new apps, books, movies, and music based on previous purchases. The intelligent widget learns as you use it and presents the options in an uncluttered format that makes it a pleasure to browse and shop. They’ve also added a “what’s that song” widget so you can capture music you hear around you, identify it, and buy it with only a few clicks.
To keep you up on the latest news, the tablet has Google Currents which connects you to the top stories of the day and fills in with news feeds from your preferred outlets. Now, here’s something really amazing, with a simple drop-down menu, you can instantly translate all of the text on Currents to another language. Google truly has created a tablet everyone can use.
In order to put Nexus 7 in a lot of hands, they’re coming in at only $199. This is the same as Kindle Fire which makes sense, since the functionality is similar. To sweeten the deal, they’re throwing in a $25 Google Play credit, a Transformers movie and a couple of ebooks and magazines.
If you read my posts, you know I’m an Apple iPhone / iPad girl, but after watching the functionality of the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade for the phone and the features of the Nexus 7, I’m feeling the urge to wander and that’s really saying something.
Yes, there may soon be a new tablet in my life, thanks a lot Google.