Google outs Nexus 7 tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google Nexus 7

Google has confirmed the latest additions to the Android family will be the Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus Q computer.

The Nexus 7 will be manufactured by Asus, as was widely reported, and run the latest version of Android - 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The 7in device will have a 1280x800 HD display and will be powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Google also claims the device will provide up to nine hours of video playback.

"We're introducing the Nexus 7, a beautiful 7in tablet. It's built for Google Play, it's running Andorid 4.1 Jelly Bean [and] it's super thin, light and portable," said Hugo Barra, director of Android product management, at the internet giant's annual I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Google is offering an 8GB version of the tablet for 159 and 16GB edition for 199.

The 340g tablet will be the first Android device to ship with the firm's Chrome browser as standard and boast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.

Google is offering an 8GB version of the tablet for 159 and a 16GB edition for 199. UK users will also receive 15 worth of credit to spend in the Play Store, and a free copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and the Bourne Dominion book.

The device is available to buy now and will ship in Australia, Canada, UK, and US in mid July.

To make the Nexus 7 stand out against devices from Amazon and Apple, Google has also beefed up its Play Store. The firm will now offer users the chance to purchase episodes or seasons of TV shows, having signed a number of deals with firms such as Disney, NBC, Paramount and Sony. Premium magazines will also be coming to Android devices.

Barra ran through the operating system improvements and declared Jelly Bean "the fastest and smoothest Android to date".

Voice typing functionality will now be available offline and it will be possible to interact with and expand notifications.

Google Search has been redesigned for Jelly Bean. Voice searching is faster and the device will speak back to users. Demonstrations on stage included asking Search; "what's the definition of a robot" to which the device read out the answer, almost instantly.

Google has improved the accuracy of its dictionary and predictive keyboard will aim to guess the next word a user wants to type.

Business users will be pleased to hear that Jelly Bean will sync calendar invites and remind then when to leave for a specific appointment so they are not late.

Meanwhile, the Google Nexus Q is a small Android powered computer, which takes the form factor of a small ball. The $299 device is designed to keep content synced with the cloud and allow sharing between devices.

It remains to be seen whether the latest Nexus devices will help Google make a serious dent in Apple's share of the tablet market.

Interestingly, Barra noted that 400 million Android devices have been activated to date, but the majority of these are smartphones.

"Today one million Android devices are activated everyday about 12 Android devices every second," he told attendees.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.