Google I/O 2012 highlights: Nexus 7, Jelly Bean, Project Glass and more
2012/06/29 4 Comments
Google I/O, is in its fifth year. Last year, the company announced 100 million Android devices were activated. This year, it’s 400 million! During the conference, Google revealed three major highlights: Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.1(Jelly Bean), and Google Glass.
Nexus 7 Tablet
The Google Nexus 7 Tablet is a 7-inch tablet with 1280×800 display and weighs 340 grams. It is powered by an nVidia Tegra 3 quad core processor and a latest Android OS Jelly Bean. Besides,Nexus 7 is followed by a “social streaming” device called “Nexus Q”. Aside from these specifications, the most exciting part for Nexus 7 is its attractive price US$199 on Google Play in selected countries including Australia, Canada, Britain, and the US.
Apparently, it will be a real threat to Amazon Kindle Fire, even Kindle Fire 2 will come very soon. They are both priced at US$199 but Nexus 7 is going to win the campaign because Nexus 7 has a better OS and a full-function support while Kindle Fire is only good at content service. On the other side, I think Nexus is still far away from Apple iPad. But who knows when it will come up with iPad?
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
At the I/O conference, Google unveiled the next update to Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean. It will be available in mid-July over the air for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom.
This is the highlight of Jelly Bean. Outsiders will refer to it as Google’s version of Siri, but in some ways, it’s more than Siri. Google Now can be activated by holding down the “Home” key and swiping up. But unlike Siri, which simply requires you to start speaking, this action in Jelly Bean brings up an entirely new portal. And Google also introduces a scrollable list of “Cards” that are just beautiful.
Google promised us earlier this month that its offline mapping solution would be coming soon — just in time for Apple to debut its own mapping solution for iOS 6. With Jelly Bean’s launch, offline Maps is now a reality for Android smartphones.
There is 600K apps in Google Play, even more than App Store with 1.5 billion installs per month, 20 billion installs in total. For the new improvements, Google announced Smart App Updates today. Instead of re-downloading an entire app, Smart App Updates let you just pull the changes to the Android application package file, so the downloads are roughly 1/3 the size.
Besides, Jelly Bean also brings some excellent improvements including a better camera app, a better notification UI, better widgets, NFC, a predictive keyboard and Project Butter.
Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD). The Google Glass Explorer Edition will be available to United States Google I/O developers for $1,500, shipping early in 2013. If all goes well, a less expensive version of the glasses is expected to go on sale for consumers in early 2014.
Beside three highlights from Day One, Google also brings Chrome browser improvements, Google Drive for iOS and a Google Compute Engine which is similar to Amazon AWS.
Personally, for me, I am excited about Project Glass. Because it will power the apps like ScanCard-Business Card Scanner and ScanDic-Camera Translator. For now, we have seen it’s very convenient for us to get instant results for all kinds of business information any time any where by Google Glass. For us, it’s no way to not see Project Glass as a future business device. Now, we are waiting for this day to come!