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Entries in Tablet Computer (7)

Wednesday
Jun272012

Google Unveils Nexus 7 Tablet, Android Jelly Bean and Nexus Q 

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Google executives took the stage today at the company's annual Google I/O developers conference to announce their newest Android products, including the Nexus 7 Tablet, a new $199 Android tablet built in partnership with Asus to run the latest version of Google's operating system, Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean.

The tablet has a 7-inch, IPS (In-Plane Switching) 1280x800 HD resolution display, Tegra 3 clip set with a quad-core processor and a 12 core GPU, which makes everything, including games, run quickly and seamlessly.

"Everything works smoother," said Hugo Barra, director of product management for Android.

The other specs include a micro USB port, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1 GB of memory, WiFi, and Bluetooth. It also uses NFC, or Android Beam, a system to allow users to transmit data from one device to another simply by tapping them against each other.

The super-thin handheld tablet is about the size of a large greeting card, 10.45 mm thick, and weighs just under 0.8 pounds, about as much as a small paperback book.

Nexus 7 is now available on the Google Play store for pre-order, starting at $199 for a version with 8GB of storage and $249 for 16GB, and the devices will ship in mid-July.

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But hardware isn't the big story with the Nexus tablet. Google is putting the focus on the tablet's software and price.

Like the Nexus phones Google has released in the past, Google isn't making the hardware, but instead worked very closely with Asus, a large Taiwanese computer manufacturer, to craft the hardware to work with the new software.

In keeping with the theme of alphabetically naming its Android operating systems after sweets -- Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich -- Google's latest version, Jelly Bean, features a new technology dubbed Project Butter, which it says allows for a smoother experience overall.

The Nexus 7 tablet will be the first device to run Jelly Bean. It will have Google's Chrome as its default web browser. Google also said the device would have up to nine hours of battery life.

Google engineers showed Jelly Bean could recognize the touch of a finger more easily than previous devices. They said it displays app pages in a neat, clean "card" layout with seamless swipe-through capabilities.

But perhaps its most exciting feature is the new search experience with Google Now, the company's answer to Apple's Siri. Google Now uses your search history, location history and calendar to help you get around.

Smartphones are only as smart as you tell them to be," Barra said. "But with Google Now that starts to change."

Google Now will tell you when to leave for appointments based on traffic times and transit routes. For example, when you commute to home and back, Google Now will track your route and offer a faster one, or if you take public transit, it will tell you when the next bus or train will come. It will work with flights too, keeping you up-to-date on status, updating you if there's a delay. Sports fans will go gaga for Google Now's automatic score updates for their favorite teams, the company said.

"You don't need to set up your favorite teams. You've already done that by searching for them [on Google]," Barra said.

Jelly Bean also includes improved voice-recognition software called Google Speech, which Barra said was "shrunk" to fit on the mobile device. If users have a poor wireless connection or are offline, they can still dictate by voice to their device, which will recognize and transcribe their words.

Smartphones had been able to take dictation for years, but usually the voice-recognition software was too complex to be included in a phone's operating system. Jelly Bean also introduced the "gesture mode" so that visually impaired users can use gestures on the phone, as well as voice recognition.

A surprise to many developers was the announcement of Google's Nexus Q, which engineering developer Joe Britt called the "first ever social streaming device."

Designed to live in your home, the small, spherical Android-powered computer can communicate with your phone using NFC or Android Beam to stream music to your speakers, or video to your television, from your Google Play library, simply by tapping on the screen of your phone or tablet.

Nexus Q will be sold for $299, with pre-orders taken today, and units shipping in July.

"It plugs into the speakers in your house and is always connected to the cloud to stream music," said Matt Hershenson, Google's Senior Vice President of Hardware. "You use your phone or tablet to control the cloud."

Nexus Q makes listening to music or watching a video interactive. Friends with the Nexus 7 device can add videos or music to your queue, and can move songs around in real time.

"It's a cloud-connected jukebox," Britt said. "Everybody that has the device can see the music that is about to be played ... [and] your friends can add their own music to the Nexus Q's music queue."

"It's pretty cool that my friends can play their music in my living room," Britt said. "No more passing around a keyboard or laptop, everyone is in control."

Google tablets have been hampered by a lack of applications. While there are a number of Android tablets currently on the market, there are fewer than 10,000 tablet-specific apps for Android tablets. That's compared to the more than 225,000 apps written only for the iPad.

Just last week, popular social news magazine Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll told ABC News that he was still not convinced there was a market for Android tablets.

"We are still in a wait-and-see mode with Android tablets," Doll said. "The iPad is the flagship tablet and we are going to stay focused on it."

The Nexus 7 faces steep competition not only from the iPad, which remains the most successful tablet on the market, but also from its own Android kin. Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is priced at $199, is built on Android, but isn't an official Google Android device since it doesn't have access to Google's own Play Store or other Google apps.

But the Nexus 7 could be a contender because of new features from the Google Play online Store. Users can now browse through interactive magazine covers and jump to different articles and back without leaving the main page. Through the cloud, the store will also offer recommendations for apps, books and more. Google said the recommendations will "get smarter and more accurate the more you use them."

Microsoft announced its own Windows 8 Surface tablets last week, which are expected to hit the market later this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Amazon's Kindle Fire Goes on Sale: Will It Match the iPad?

Amazon.com, Inc(NEW YORK) -- The next chapter of the tablet wars has begun.

Amazon is now shipping its new Kindle Fire, and at $199, this tablet computer could be the first successful challenge to Apple’s dominant iPad.

The Kindle Fire costs less than half as much as the iPad -- which starts at $499 -- and includes software that Amazon hopes will ignite fresh consumer interest.

More than an e-reader, the new tablet comes packed with a movie database and its own Amazon shopping store.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Following Court Order, Samsung Pulls New Tablet from Trade Show

PARK JI-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images(BERLIN) -- Samsung suffered a big setback over the weekend in its battle with Apple over tablet computers.

The company was forced on Sunday to pull its brand new Galaxy 7.7 Tab from one of the world's largest electronics shows in Berlin.  The move came after a German court banned all sales and marketing of the device following an injuction requested by Apple.

Apple claims that Samsung's new tablet computer is a copy of the iPad.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul012011

Hewlett-Packard's New Tablet Computer Hits Stores

Hewlett-Packard/ Palm(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Hewlett-Packard's competitor to Apple's iPad -- HP's TouchPad -- hits stores Friday.

The new tablet computer will run on software developed for Palm phones, and will feature a 9.7-inch screen along with a front-facing camera for video chats.  The TouchPad will also have have the capability of running Adobe Flash, setting it apart from its Apple counterpart.

The 16 GB version of the tablet is selling in the U.S. for $499.99, while the 32 GB version is available for $599.99.  The HP TouchPad will become available in other countries later in the year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar102011

Apple's iPad 2 Goes on Sale Friday

Courtesy of Apple(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple's latest tablet computer, the iPad 2, hits store shelves Friday.

The new device is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than its predecessor, the iPad 1, but offers the same 9.7-inch screen.  It has two cameras -- one on the front and another on the back -- and will be available in black and white.  Despite running faster than the previous model, the new iPad features the same 10-hour battery life.

iPad 2 pricing begins at $499 and rises to $829, depending on memory and connectivity configurations.  It will be supported by both AT&T and Verizon.

The iPad 1 is now being sold for $100 less in deference to the new model.  The price tag on the first generation tablet ranges between $399 and $729.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb112011

Hewlett-Packard Unveils New Tablet TouchPad

Photo Courtesy - Hewlett-Packard/ Palm(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Hewlett-Packard unveiled its answer to the iPad Wednesday -- the TouchPad.

The new tablet computer will run on software developed for Palm phones, and has similar dimensions to the iPad, but it also includes a front-facing camera for video chats.  The New York Times' Nick Bilton says it has one other advantage over Apple's tablet.

"One of the major reasons that I think people will actually opt for this device over the iPad is the fact that it runs Flash," Bilton said.  "For people that teach in schools, for example, there's a lot of applications that are Flash-based that they can't use on an iPad which they'll be able to use on the HP device."

Hewlett-Packard says the TouchPad will be available this summer, but the company did not reveal a price.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

Vizio to Introduce Mobile Devices

Photo Courtesy - WireImage/Getty Images(IRVINE, Calif.) -- Vizio is preparing to enter the mobile device market with a tablet and a cell phone.

The company, which manufactures flatscreen televisions, says both devices will have front-facing cameras, for video conferencing.

Vizio says its goal is to introduce affordable products with innovative features.

The devices are expected out later this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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