Google Announces Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and More!

This morning during the keynote event at Google’s I/O confrence in San Francisco, the company announced what many were expecting and many were looking forward to: a new Nexus 7 tablet, updated version of the Android OS and much more. Of course, the center of attention at the event was the new Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet.

Here’s what we know about the Nexus 7: The 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will have a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor as well as 1280×800 IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle. It will also have a 1.2-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 4,235mAh battery that will get it 8 hours of battery life “during active use” or 9 hours of video playback.

The tablet weighs 340 grams, just shy of 12 ounces, and is 10.45mm thick. Both 8GB and 16GB configurations will be available. Bluetooth, WiFi, and NFC all come standard but there’s currently no version that works with 3G or 4G networks. Bummer that.

The Nexus 7 will cost $199 and will be available for pre-order in the Google Play Store today. It is expected to ship in mid-July.

Google also showed off some new features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean during the keynote. The first feature is “Project Butter,” which is aimed at improving Android’s performance. Android 4.1 also integrates Google’s Speech Recognizer onto Android devices to deliver voice-based (aka Siri-like) typing regardless of whether a user has a data connection or not.

Android 4.1 also updates the camera app and lets users more quickly swipe through pictures they’ve taken and delete them more easily by simply making a swipe gesture upward. The new OS also provides actionable notifications that lets users call or email others directly from the notification screen rather than going into their voice or email apps separately.

Google will be rollong out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the Google Nexus S, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Xoom by mid-July.

More from Google as the event continues this week. Until then, let’s hope the Play Store updates soon so I can give Google my $199.

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