Nexus 7 and Chromecast

Chromecast, that is. I really can't decide whether Chromecast is the bigger story out of last week's "Breakfast with Sundar" in San Francisco, or if it's the new Nexus 7. We'll have our full reviews of both this week — Jerry and Andrew are leading those — and I'll have some thoughts on them as well, in addition to a little gushing here.

On the new Nexus 7: In a word, yes. The resolution. The improved hardware. A slightly higher price, sure, but still well within limits for what I'd consider a must-purchase.

On Chromecast: I couldn't help but blather this on Google+, but this is why I was crowing about the Nexus Q for the last year and change. Yeah, Chromecast's not nearly as sexy a piece of hardware, but the end result is the same, and then some — especially when you take the Chromecast SDK into account.

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It's OK that not everybody gets it. Chromecast doesn't have to be all things for all people. No piece of tech does, for that matter. And the ridiculousness of "But the pictures didn't all show it needs USB power" will die off.

A $35 appliance that lets me stream my music and videos — plus YouTube and a full Chrome tab — into my entertainment center and bedroom TV? No-brainer. I bought two myself. And we're giving away one a day for the rest of this week. And we'll have plenty more on Chromecast as it matures.

Let's have a few other thoughts on the past week. It's been a busy one.

  • Google needs some kudos, I think, for the relatively few hiccups during the crush of Chromecast and Nexus 7 orders. We'll have to see if it holds up for the next phone release.
  • Same goes for the AOSP folks in how quickly and smoothly code was released, along with factory images for existing devices.
  • I'm really curious to see how all this CyanogenMod "Nemesis" stuff turns out. Never mind the hype over an un-released camera app. (And Focal looks pretty promising.) As Steve Kondik himself said, it's just the beginning. 
  • Talk Mobile returns this week with five days of security and business content.
  • I'm back on the road this week for Thursday's Moto X festivities. Can this phone possibly live up to the hype? I dunno. Probably not. I really don't care about the leaks at this point. I just want to use this thing and see for myself.
  • And I have a feeling that the LG G2 should be interesting as well. I'll be back in New York on Aug. 7 for that one. 
  • iMore's Rene Ritchie shared this great post from Stratechery with us last week, and it's spot-on in a number of ways in regards to how we should think about Apple versus Google. (I do think its brief concern over the lack of a new phone last week or at Google I/O is a bit misplaced, though. It's still out of cycle for that.) 

Last week's top stories

We've decided to give a weekly look back at our top-ranking stories, based on page views. No great surprise, but last week's news kind of dominated things, with our last "best phones" installment solidly in the top 10. (We're expecting to update that list once we get better looks at all the new Motorola phones.) So, here's what led for June 21-27: 

  1. Android 4.3 for the Nexus 4 is rolling out everywhere, here's the download link
  2. Chromecast setup and first impressions
  3. Hands-on with Chromecast
  4. The Google event liveblog!
  5. Google officially unveils Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  6. The best Android phone you can buy as of June 2013
  7. The new Nexus 7: First impressions and detailed video
  8. Android 4.3 pushing today for current Nexus devices
  9. Hands-on with the new Nexus 7
  10. Exclusive first look: Pics and video of the new Nexus 7