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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Chromecast: Pictures and video of Google's newest living room play

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'The easiest way to watch online video on your TV'

We've just wrapped up at the Google "Breakfast" event here in San Francisco where they announced among other things the Chromecast. This little Chrome-powered dongle is here as a simple way to "cast" content from your phone, tablet or laptop to any TV with a simple tap. The dongle connects to any TV with a HDMI input and gets additional power through MicroUSB, with no further setup required -- all administration of content and settings is handled from the phone, tablet or laptop.

With updated versions of Youtube, Google Play, Netflix and other apps on the phone side, Chromecast will offer functionality nearly identical to what we saw with the Nexus Q. While you use your phone or tablet as a remote, the Chromecast pulls down content directly from the web, again like the Nexus Q. Out of the box we're looking at Google Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Netflix and Pandora support. Google has also announced an SDK preview to let more developers in on the action.

And here's the best part; Chromecast is just $35. Stick around after the break for some hands-on pictures of the Chromecast hardware and the device in action.

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3 years ago

Netflix now supports 1080p video streaming with Android 4.3

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New APIs in Android 4.3 opens up 1080p streaming from Netflix, perfect for the new Nexus 7

Netflix was mentioned at several points throughout todays Google event in San Francisco, one of which was during the Android 4.3 presentation. A seemingly small update to the app pushed out into the Google Play Store that now it seems has more weight behind it.

The new DRM APIs in Android 4.3 will allow Netflix to finally start pushing 1080p content to our Android devices. OK, so it's reliant on Android 4.3, but you have to start somewhere. And it means when you fire it up on that new Nexus 7 you're going to treat yourself to, you're going to get some pretty awesome looking video. 

More: Google officially unveils Android 4.3

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 specs

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Full HD display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 4G LTE option

Google has just taken the wraps of its new Nexus 7 tablet, and the spec sheet show it to be a significant upgrade upon last year's Tegra 3-powered version. Check past the break to see how things stack up.

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 source hitting AOSP today

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Gentlemen, start your compilers!

For the folks itching to play with a little Android 4.3 source code, AOSP gatekeeper Jean-Baptiste Queru has announced on the Android Building Google group that we'll be seeing it today.

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 factory images for Nexus 4, 7, 10, Galaxy Nexus now live

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Go get 'em!

Android 4.3 has only just been announced, but Google has already published the Android 4.3 factory images (build JWR66V)  for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (Wifi and 3G), Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus (yakju and takju variants).

These are images that allow you to directly update (and wipe) your device, installing the new OS from scratch. So if you don't want to wait for the OTA on your Nexus, you can now go the manual route. Download link's below — enjoy!

Download: Nexus factory images for Android 4.3

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3 years ago

Google announces Chromecast: Bringing YouTube and Google Play Music to your TV

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Google at its breakfast this morning announced Chromecast, bringing the Chrome OS to your TV. Plugs into your TV, powered by USB, and brings you all your favorite Google content.

Born from the ashes of the Nexus Q, Chromecast is an HDMI dongle just a couple inches long. It connects, as you'd expect, to your Android phone. It's able to automatlically turn on your TV and switch inputs, and start playing media automatically — if your TV is CEC-enabled.

YouTube, Google Play Music — all available through Chromecast and accessed through your phone. You can set up a queue of videos to play while still use your phone for other tasks. Browse, take phonecalls, check e-mail — whatever you need to do. Streaming is handled from the Chromecast — not from your phone.

And Netflix? No problem.

And what's more — it's cross-platform. Chromecast will work with Google's iOS YouTube app as well. You'll need to be running Android 2.3 and up, iOS 6 and up, or have Windows 7, Mac OSX 10.7 or a Chromebook Pixel.

Chromecast costs $35 — you can order directly from Google Play now! It'll also be available from Best Buy (as early as July 27) and Amazon.

Update: Chromecast is now available from Amazon.com too.

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 availability and pricing

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Coming July 30, prices starting at $229

Google has just announced the pricing and availability details for its new Nexus 7, at an event in San Francisco. The 16GB Wifi version will sell for $229, 32GB Wifi for $269 and 32GB Wifi and LTE for $349 in the U.S.

The Wifi-only versions will become available in the U.S from July 30, while the LTE version, which supports T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, will land "in the coming weeks." In the U.S. market, the new Nexus 7 will be available on launch day at Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Amazon.com, HSN, RadioShack J&R and B&H.

Also in the coming weeks, the new Nexus 7 will be launching in the UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Spain, Canada, France and Australia.

For continuing coverage of Google's SF event, head on over to our event liveblog.

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3 years ago

Google announces Textbooks for Google Play Books

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We're live in San Francisco with Google, where they have just announced a new category for Google Play Books; Textbooks. Google is promising a wide range of textbooks across differing publishers with different pricing structures available to students. 

Textbooks can be purchased as any other book, but also rented on a six-month term. They will be available across Google Play Books on Android, iOS and the web beginning in early August. 

More coverage: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 APIs now available in the Android SDK

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The Android SDK is getting ready for the coming 4.3 update as well.

Attention developers -- grab your Android SDK and check for updates! We've got some new tools and platform-tools in the pipe, as well as the API 18 -- that'd be Android 4.3 -- update.

We're all excited about getting updated to Jelly Bean 4.3, but it won't mean much without a bunch of new apps that use the features. Don't forget us when you write them!

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3 years ago

Google Play Games now available - Google's games hub for Android

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Update: Now available on the Google Play Store

We're live from Google's event in San Francisco, where the search giant has just announced its new games center app for Android, Google Play Games.

Google Play Games allows users to view leaderboards and achievements for games, compare scores and discover games based on what friends are playing.

The new Google Play Games app launches today on Google Play, and it'll ship on the new Nexus 7.

More: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 updates pushing today for current Nexus devices [Updated]

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Update: Factory images for Nexus devices now available

Just announced at Google's live event in San Francisco, is the update schedule for the newly official Android 4.3. The good news for current Nexus device owners; it's heading your way starting today. 

Hugo Barra confirmed on stage that the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, current Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus will start rolling out today. Google Edition device owners aren't included in the initial push, but their respective updates were confirmed to be landing soon. 

More coverage: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

Google officially unveils Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

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After weeks of speculation and leaks, the next version of Jelly Bean is finally official

Google has announced a new version of Android — 4.3 Jelly Bean — at its breakfast event in San Francisco today.

As expected, version 4.3 brings new features and tools for developers, including Bluetooth Low Energy support and new for devs to interact  with Android's notification center. OpenGL ES 3.0 is on-board, making Android the first platform to support the new standards. New DRM APIs allow content providers to deliver more options, for example Netflix has released a version of their app that streams in 1080p. 

On the tablet side, "restricted" user profiles are pretty big news. They have built-in parental controls, and limited access for things like kiosk systems. This opens up a new way to use an Android tablet.

Primarily, though, this is another maintenance release for Jelly Bean, and the 4.3 release builds on what was already there in 4.1 and 4.2. Most of the new additions to the Android code base are focused on getting the OS prepared for connecting to wearable devices (with Bluetooth LE) and helping developers make even better applications.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will be hitting Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10 devices from today, so now's the time to start hammering that "Check for updates" button, if you're into that sort of thing. Google Play edition phones are promised updates "very soon."

We'll bring you more on the new release as it comes. In the meantime, share your thoughts down in the comments.

More: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

The new Nexus 7 is official

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Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1920x1200 display, 4G LTE option

We're live from Google's San Francisco event, where the company has just unveiled the successor to last year's Nexus 7 tablet — the new Nexus 7! This year's 7-inch tablet is once again made by Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS, and boasts a higher-resolution screen, faster CPU.

The 2013 Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and the display resolution has been bumped up to 1920x1200, while still fitting in a 7-inch diagonal frame. Unlike last year's model it also boasts a 5-megapixel rear camera and dual rear speakers.

In the U.S. there'll be a 4G LTE model offered, too.

Keep watching our liveblog for continuing coverage of Google's announcements today.

More coverage: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

More than 70 million Android tablets activated, Android chief says

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We're live from Google's "Breakfast with Sundar," where the Android (and Chrome) chief is touting the next generation of Android tablet. 

Putting things in perspective, he said, is that there have been more than 70 million Android tablets activated. That's more than 1 in 2 tablets running Android, he said. Of that, some 10 percent — that's 7 million — of Android tablets are the Nexus 7.

In Japan, the Nexus 7 was the highest-selling tablet over the holiday period.

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3 years ago

Take the Talk Mobile Platforms survey for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card!

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If there's one thing that really gets our engines revving, it's numbers and quantifiable data. We might be nerds. As with the previous weeks of Talk Mobile, we're rounding out the week with a survey to compile that data we so love. Week four was all about platforms - not what makes Android better than iOS or BlackBerry 10 better than Windows Phone - no, it's about how we can make them all better and what the platform of the future is going to look like.

So here's the survey. It should only take a minute or two of your time, and because we like to give things away, completing the survey enters you for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card. Is it an incentive? Sure. Could you use $100 to spend on some gadgets? Of course. Hit the link below to take the survey!

Click here to take the Talk Mobile State of Mobile Platforms Survey!

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