Google debuted a 10-inch Nexus video-optimized tablet built by Samsung Electronics -- as well as enhancements to the original 7-inch model and a new Android-based smartphone -- bringing new competitive heat to category leader Apple.
The Internet giant’s new Nexus lineup comes after Apple last week announced the 7.9-inch iPad mini, while Microsoft officially began shipping its Surface tablets and is introducing Windows Phone 8 smartphones this week.
Google’s new Nexus devices run the Android 4.2, a new flavor of the operating system code-named “Jelly Bean,” which adds support for wireless display to let users watch movies, YouTube videos and play games on an HDTV compatible with Miracast, a standard maintained by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The feature is similar to Apple’s AirPlay.
Android 4.2 also includes the latest version of Google Now, which provides personalized information updates (via “cards”) such as flight information, weather, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details.
With the larger 2560-by-1600-pixel display, the Nexus 10 is designed for watching movies, TV shows and other video and reading magazines. The device will provide battery life for up to nine hours of video playback and more than 500 hours of standby time, according to Google. In addition, the Nexus 10 supports multiple user accounts and can switch among them from the lockscreen.
The Nexus 10, to be available Nov. 13, is $399 with 16GB or $499 with 32GB of storage.
The Nexus 7, originally introduced this summer, is now available with either 16GB ($199) or 32GB ($249) of storage, as well as 32GB and HSPA+ mobile ($299), which can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide, including AT&T in the U.S.
Finally, the Nexus 4 latest smartphone, developed with LG, includes a quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch (320 ppi) display and with wireless charging support. The phone is $299 with 8GB or $349 with 16GB, also available Nov. 13. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a two-year contract.
Meanwhile, Google recently added movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox to its Google Play store. It also is working with Time Inc. to sell digital editions of magazines including InStyle, People and Time and Warner Music Group, which will be adding its full music catalog to the service, Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital content, wrote in a blog post Monday.
In addition, Google plans to launch Google Play in several European countries on Nov. 13, offering consumers in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to ability to purchase music from the mobile store and add up to 20,000 songs for free from their existing collection to stream to Android devices or Web browsers.