Google Unveils Android Jelly Bean 4.3, New Nexus 7, and Chromecast
Google announced the release of Jelly Bean 4.3, the latest upgrade to its Android mobile operating system on Wednesday. It is available now for download on Nexus phones and tablets.
A new feature of the operating system, Restricted Profiles, allows for the creation of multiple users on an Android tablet or phone. Parents, managers, or administrators can place specific restrictions on each user to ensure productivity and appropriate usage. In addition, each user can have his own background, settings, apps, and music in his profile.
With the software upgrade, certain devices, such as the Nexus 4, now come with built-in native Bluetooth Smart support. Bluetooth Smart is likely to spur a new wave of apps to communicate with accessories like, to name a few, fitness sensors, heart rate or glucose monitors, pedometers, and thermometers.
Google also announced Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle that provides a way to beam media content from an Android device to an HDTV. Chromecast will support iOS devices as well.
In addition, Google unveiled its latest Nexus 7 tablet. The new Nexus 7 is millimeters thinner and narrower than its predecessor, and packs more pixels (from 1,280 x 800 to 1,920 x 1200) into its screen, which has retained the same 7-inch screen size. The RAM was also doubled from 1 GB to 2 GB and the tablet now has a rear-facing 5 MP camera.
The Nexus 7 will be available for purchase on July 30 and will cost $229 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, $269 for the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model and $349 for the 32GB LTE-capable model. It will ship with Android Jelly Bean 4.3.