Today Google announced a new version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.3, with minor improvements including multi-user parental controls called “restricted profiles” for tablets, Bluetooth Smart or low energy Bluetooth, support for OpenGL ES 3.0 that will allow for better graphics in games, and hardware related DRM that Google hopes will convince content providers to allow more 1080p content (Netflix is already on board).
If you have a Nexus Device you can wait for the OTA update or go ahead and download the update now directly from Google. Unfortunately the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Galaxy Nexus are not out yet (as usual).
A New Nexus 7
The new Nexus 7 is thinner with smaller bezels and will ship with Android 4.3, available on July 30th. Improvements include a 1080p 7″ display with 323 ppi, stereo speakers, wireless charging, front, and rear facing cameras, and a bump in processor performance and included RAM.
The new Nexus 7 will be available to purchase on July 30th directly from Google Play and a number of retailers including Amazon and Best Buy. The 16GB version costs $229, 32GB is $269, and the LTE enabled version will be $349.
Update: Available now on Amazon, Bestbuy, or direct from Google in 16GB and 32GB versions.
Chromecast is small device (just 2 inches long) that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV to stream content to your TV. Unlike Apple’s Airplay, it does not stream directly from the computer or mobile device, but pulls content from the cloud, leaving your device free for other things. It essentially just uses your devices as remotes and then streams content directly from Netflix, Youtube, or your browser to the chromecast device over WiFi. Right now Netflix, Youtube, and any Chrome browser across all major platforms (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows) are the only apps that are officially supported, but Google has now released the API so expect many of your favorite apps to gain this feature soon. The device only costs $35 and is available right now from many retailers. You will also get 3 months of free Netflix for buying the device.