Wednesday, June 24…  Wow…  I’m still in shock at how much more awesome that was than I expected. We got a new Nexus 7 and Android 4.3, both of which we expected. But then Google pulled another trick out of their pocket (literally) called the Chromecast.

The reason this article is going up so late is because I wanted to get my hands on the devices before I put out an article about them. But now that I have both the 2013 Nexus 7 and the Chromecast, I can finally put out an article.



2013 Nexus 7

    What can I say. Just wow. This tablet is amazing. The screen is beautiful, the software is fluid, and the power is astounding. Now the tablet is smaller, while maintaining the same screen size while at the same time increasing the pixel density from 216 ppi to 323 ppi. Think about this, the iPad Mini has a pixel density of less than 200. The original Nexus 7 already had it beat out. Google now has the iPad Mini beat out by almost 200. Apple, I hope you realize this, you have some work to do, because Google now has the 2 highest resolution tablets currently on the market. The performance on the tablet is amazing too. Swapping the Tegra 3 out for a Snapdragon S4 Pro was a genius move on Google. The addition of a rear camera was also a welcome addition. To top all this off, Google added wireless charging, thinner bezels, and a 4G LTE model that works with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Even with all these improvements, Google kept the price low at just $229 for the base model.

 

Android 4.3

    Android 4.3 came as another expected announcement. but some of the new improvements in this latest flavor of Jelly Bean make a huge difference. One of the new improvements is better compatibility with Bluetooth Low Energy devices. This is good news for users of wearable bluetooth tech such as smartwatches, fitness bands, and even Google Glass. 4.3 also improved on 4.2’s user profiles. Now you can setup profiles on the device to be restricted to limit the apps they can access and even restrict in-app purchases in certain cases. The behind-the-scenes improvements were absolutely massive. Graphics were improved with the new introduction of Open GL ES 3.0 support. The last improvement was the addition of a technology which is being called TRIM. Without TRIM, the Android OS quickly becomes laggy. TRIM helps “take out the garbage” and seriously helps make Android better and better.

 

 

Chromecast

The market for TV media streaming devices includes hits such as Roku and Apple TV, and flops such as the Nexus Q. The problem with these devices is that they can be hard to setup and can cost upwards of $100. What makes the Chromecast different? For one thing it’s $35… You read that right… $35…  After I received my Chromecast I took it out of the box and proceeded to set it up. It literally took me longer to plug the device in than it took to set up the software. Needless to say I was impressed. Sending content was a breeze. But I’m going to save the rest of this for our video review. Coming soon!

So, did you buy a new Nexus 7 or a Chromecast? Have you been enjoying 4.3 on your device?

 

Let me know in the comments!