Google's Tablet to Be Much Cheaper Than iPad
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Google revealed its own tablet Wednesday, and it is priced at a sharp discount compared to Apple's iPad.
The tech giant unveiled its tablet called Nexus 7 at Google I/O, the company's annual developers' conference, in San Francisco.
The new tablet will run on the latest version of Google's operating system Android 4.1, called Jelly Bean, which was also announced at the conference.
The Nexus 7 will sell for $199 and will be available in mid-July.
The new tablet is comparatively cheaper than Apple's iPad, which sells in the $500 to $600 range. But the Nexus 7 is priced to compete with Amazon's newestKindle, Kindle Fire, which also sells for $199.
The Taiwanesemanufacturer Asus is the partner for Google's Nexus 7.
Nexus 7 features a 7-inch screen, front and back cameras, NFC technology, nine hour video play-back and up to 300 hours stand-by time.
The tablet is built to complement Google Play, Google's digital-distribution content service where users can buy different forms of media, including movies, music, books, games, applications and now magazines.
It's a "...Serious gaming device," said Engineering Director Chris Yerga.
The new operating system will be "...Much more smooth," said Dave Burke, Google's engineering director, and will be available to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom in mid-July.
Some of Jelly Bean's new features include an improved touch experience, better search results, offline voice typing, and allows widgets to resize on the homepage.
The Beam feature will now let users send photos, videos and app suggestions by tapping phones together via NFC technology.
Notifications has also been upgraded and will now support more content types, including images.
Google Now is a new search feature the company introduced that allows users to search with results based on location, calendar and search history. It is designed to get the user "...the right information at just the right time," said Hugo Barra, director of product management.
For example, if you search for a type of restaurant, search results will appear based on restaurants based on location, and the feature will also let you make a reservation from the results.
Google Now also uses calendar events to get the user the most helpful information, reminding users of appointments and showing users the best way to get to their appointment based on their current location.
Microsoft revealed its own tablet, the Surface, earlier this month. It was released to complement its latest operating system, Windows 8.
The iPad maker Apple also made headlines earlier this month when it announced its new operating system iOS 6 along with new hardware. The company didn't announce a new iPad, but it did introduce a new MacBook Pro with retina display.