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Google Announces Android 4.3, Netflix, New Nexus 7, and Q Successor Chromecast

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the side-of-bacon dept.

Google 244

At a press conference dubbed "Breakfast With Sundar," Google announced two new pieces of hardware and a minor revision to Android. Complete stories and commentary are still coming in, but in the mean time you can skim a liveblog or two First is the new Nexus 7. The hardware is slightly improved (full HD screen, better graphics, etc.). The specs managed to "leak" hours before the event through Best Buy opening preordering too early. On the software side, they've announced a minor revision to Android, 4.3. It features improved Bluetooth support (including Bluetooth 4.0), OpenGL ES 3.0, enhanced internationalization, enhanced DRM, and multi-user support. The multi-user support looks most exciting: now you can share a tablet with more than one person. One of the features Google focused on was restricted profiles: a device owner can create accounts that e.g. cannot make in-app purchases (Junior won't rack up a $3000 bill again). Bad news: Google is implementing stricter DRM for books and video, locking down the entire video stack. The consolation prize is that Netflix will work on more devices and at 1080p. Also demoed were a new version of Chrome that brings the tablet experience closer to the desktop, improved hangouts, and improved maps. Google also appears to be making a push into gaming, emphasizing tablet-only games that integrate into Google+. In addition to gaming, they have secured deals with five major textbook publishers to sell students presumably DRMed electronic textbooks that can be purchased or rented, enhanced with better search and highlighting (because PDF readers don't support those features already). As usual lately, all of the really nice additions to Android are proprietary and tied to Google services, further eroding the open nature of Android. Finally, they announced a tiny $35 dongle named Chromecast that appears to be the successor of the Nexus Q. Running Chrome OS, it connects to any HDMI port, finds your Wi-Fi network, and Just Works (tm) for online video. The online and mobile Youtube and Netflix interfaces will allow you to hit a single button and forward the video to your television as well. Google Music streaming to the television is also supported. The Chromecast looks like a handy little device, hopefully it is turns out it can be reflashed. Of course, when using your browser as a remote, all of the commands go through The Cloud. An SDK and more details on the software side of things are slated for release later today, although conspiciously absent on their supported platforms list is GNU/Linux, listing only Chrome OS and Android. Update: 07/24 18:01 GMT by U L : The Chromecast SDK is out, but with an awfully restrictive license that requires written permission from Google to distribute any cast enabled applications, which appears to make it completely incompatible with Free/Open Source software.

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Not all new (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44371839)

Multiple user accounts have been available in Android for ages, this is just some enhancements. Same with sending YouTube and Netflix video from your phone/tablet to your TV - I can do that with my Panasonic Viera and Galaxy S3.

Features being tied to Google services is hardly new either.

Re:Not all new (0)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about a year ago | (#44371931)

nor "exciting".

Re:Not all new (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about a year ago | (#44371971)

Indeed what's interesting to me is the lack of a few anticipated things here. I havent followed closely but I thought the next update was going to be Key Lime Pie and was looking forward to a Nexus 5.

The new support library seems interesting though

Re:Not all new (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44372001)

Indeed what's interesting to me is the lack of a few anticipated things here. I havent followed closely but I thought the next update was going to be Key Lime Pie and was looking forward to a Nexus 5.

The new support library seems interesting though

I'm just hoping none of this is forced on my GS4 via my service provider. I'm one of those Pre-Paid cheakskates, but have noticed when I switch the phone to 4G (for a day or a week) all sorts of updates suddenly show up.

Re:Not all new (3, Insightful)

alostpacket (1972110) | about a year ago | (#44372097)

If you like tinkering you might consider rooting and giving CM10 a try. Back when I used to do root & tinker there were ways, (once rooted, depending on the ROM), to block updates. Rooting is not everyone's cup-o-joe though, some prefer stock-like CM, etc., others like TouchWiz.

Also, nothing cheap about being prepaid. :) Once T-Mo get's their LTE house in order I plan to go back to them with whatever their prepaid / month to month BYOD plan is now.

Re:Not all new (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372061)

Multiple user accounts have been available in Android for ages, this is just some enhancements.

And yet, there will still be Slashdotters (MS shills?) who will claim that Android doesn't have multiuser capabilities.

Need 4.2 and either 7" or root (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44372159)

Prior to Jelly Bean 2 (Android 4.2), Android didn't really have multiuser capabilities. How many Android devices in the field are running Jelly Bean 2? Many are still shipping with Gingerbread (2.3). And as I understand it, phones still don't ship with multiuser; only 7" and bigger tablets do. You have to root [redmondpie.com] to get multiuser on a phone.

Re:Not all new (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44372101)

Can the Viera and Galaxy S3 also just send the normal display to HDMI? I like the idea of having a smartphone and bluetooth keyboard that can plug into the nearest HDMI display as a laptop/desktop replacement for showing powerpoints, websurfing, etc. Or to run Netbeans and do code development on for that matter. (It would be much better still if it were a high-speed wireless display link, but I suppose that's asking too much...)

Re:Not all new (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44372129)

You can use HDMI to put the phone's display on TV screen. The TV has a browser and other apps and can use the phone as a remote control/keyboard. You can send media saved on the phone directly to the TV, or watch TV on the phone.

Re:Not all new (1)

RapidEye (322253) | about a year ago | (#44372111)

Yep - I think multiuser started in 4.2.X It came with my Nexus 7 that I bought last fall in any case.
From what I was seeing, it now appears that we can put account restrictions on some accounts. That would be nice, that way I don't have to worry about my daughter putting the latest fairy garden game on my Nexus when I loan it to her.

Re:Not all new (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44372181)

I was going to say the same. My Nexus 7 has the option. Never turned it on, but nevertheless it is there.

Re:Not all new (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year ago | (#44372557)

I've been waiting for proper bluetooth low-energy support. Does anyone know if this means that a Nexus 4 will be able to use apps like Strava and link up to a bluetooth 4 heart rate monitor? I've been using an iPhone 4s and my wife wants to get a new phone that can use a heart rate monitor (cycling and running), but I much prefer Android to iOS (she's got my old HTC HD2 with Android running on it).

No thanks (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44371845)

You can keep all your privacy invading products to yourself Sundar. My next phone is going to be either a Jolla or a FirefoxOS device. I got tired of the whole Google+-ification of every Google product.

Re:No thanks (2, Interesting)

RandomFactor (22447) | about a year ago | (#44372117)

> "I got tired of the whole Google+-ification of every Google product."

Yeah, that got irksome (for me) starting with Picasa.

Re:No thanks (1, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#44372555)

If someone wants me to migrate away from Android to their pet OS, then not having Google+ will be the kilelr feature. (Having some God-awful Ubuntoid+ instead is not it though).

And No, I will not buy into the Apple world, either)

Re:No thanks (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#44372587)

As a matter of principle I understand where you're coming from, but from a practical standpoint I just don't see it. I find it much easier to share stuff and interact with family members, especially the less tech savy, then I could if the services were separate.

Re:No thanks (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44372595)

"You can keep all your privacy invading products to yourself Sundar. My next phone is going to be either a Jolla or a FirefoxOS device. I got tired of the whole Google+-ification of every Google product."

It has gotten rather depressing. I was leaning toward Android because it was more open than the Apple ecosystem (and demonstrably, Apple's "walled garden" has driven many people away from iPhone).

Android's attempts at "lock-in" come at a time when it is increasingly STUPID for Google to be doing it. People are really, really, tired of the corporate control, tracking, and surveillance both corporate and government.

If Firefox OS were further along, I would be very tempted. But only if there is decent hardware to run it on. I am pretty sad that Motorola was picked up by Google. I don't want to see that Googlified either.

More importantly (4, Interesting)

Niris (1443675) | about a year ago | (#44371853)

That's all fine and dandy, but what I'm the absolute most stoked about is that action bar is now supported back to API 7 http://developer.android.com/reference/android/support/v7/app/ActionBar.html [android.com]

Re:More importantly (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | about a year ago | (#44372167)

Mod parent up! Lots of super-cheap devices being sold with old versions of Android limited how modern an app can look if you wanted to target that audience because of their old API level. Now that google is backporting some of those features, apps can look modern while still running on ancient hardware. This was the primary fragmentation argument from developers and is now fixed.

Re:More importantly (0)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year ago | (#44372243)

Considering most people are still running Gingerbread and not likely to upgrade right away, its the logical thing to do.

Re:More importantly (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about a year ago | (#44372285)

ActionBarSherlock fills this role pretty well already, even with some added features. But this is good stuff nonetheless. The support library has always been a great addition to the SDK. It really helps avoid writing ugly wrapper classes, or the really ugly old technique of using reflection for API levels. I would like to see them add more widgets though. Such as TimePicker, CalenderPicker, etc. Some support for ORM, and better handling of Fragments, instance states, data persistence and Loaders (less black box-y).

Still it is nice to see the support library progress march on.

These sound helpful too:

Media
- Added TransportMediator helper class to manage media transport control, such as play, pause, skip and other media actions.
-Added DisplayManagerCompat for managing display output to one or more device displays.

Other changes
-Added WakefulBroadcastReceiver helper class for implementing a common pattern of detecting a device wakeup event and passing work off to a Service while ensuring that the device does not go back to sleep before the handoff is complete.
-Added two new APIs, commitContentChanged() and rollbackContentChanged(), to AsyncTaskLoader to help deal with background updates for data changes that are subsequently canceled.

http://developer.android.com/tools/support-library/index.html [android.com]

"The entire video stack" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44371861)

What, so unless you root the thing you can't even play videos/read books that don't have license information attached?

Re:"The entire video stack" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372343)

I'm guessing it means you can't intercept video from the video stack or alter the video stack, but you can still play from any source.

Bluetooth LE (2)

ard (115977) | about a year ago | (#44371883)

With Bluetooth 4.0, hopefully the Wahoo Blue HR can now be supported by runkeeper et al.

TL; DR summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44371901)

TL; DR summary

Google sticks it in nice and slow (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44371907)

This way people will take their DRM up the ass. At least Google uses some lube.

AirPlay, iBooks, Game Center, and more DRM (4, Funny)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44371921)

Glad I skipped this one.

Re:AirPlay, iBooks, Game Center, and more DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372309)

Skipped? Pretty sure you didnt skip your chance to iTroll

Re:AirPlay, iBooks, Game Center, and more DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372519)

So says the fanboy who thinks the iPhone 4 and 5 [gizmag.com] look drastically different.

How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44371927)

How in the world do they lockdown a video stack if I have access to the kernel?

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44371941)

I'm assuming that kernels that aren't signed will fail Netflix's DRM checks or something.

Which is sort of expected, so whatever.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44371969)

How would that even work?
If you control the kernel you can have it lie and return whatever signature you want. If it tries to hash something, let it hash a copy of the signed kernel you backed up.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#44372007)

How would that even work?
If you control the kernel you can have it lie and return whatever signature you want. If it tries to hash something, let it hash a copy of the signed kernel you backed up.

It doesn't matter if the encryption is solid or not. It could be a simple XOR if they wanted to. What matters is that the DMCA makes anyone who fiddles with it a criminal.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372103)

Which is already how I play DVDs, so by now I must be a hardened criminal. Making normal people criminals is not good for society.

At this point I should probably just priate media since they don't even want to let me legally play it.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44372023)

Maybe through the integration of SELinux and MAC, which was buried in the announcement.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372069)

Again, I own the kernel so I can have SELinux doing whatever I want.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44372157)

My guess would be a shim program that performs cryptographic checksums of the running kernel, or a key component. The shim is downloaded as part of whatever application wants to implement restricted DRM, such as Netflix.

What the kernel replies is of no consequence, since it is never queried.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372207)

So how in the world does this code run?
How would it even know if it is checking the running kernel vs all those reads being redirected?

Re: How do they plan to do that if I own the kerne (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44372369)

You're describing an extreme corner case. Detailed modifications to a kernel that intercepts specific reads is not exactly what they are worried about.

If they are then the next iteration of devices will be like the Chromebooks, with TPM chips and signed boot loaders and kernels.

Re: How do they plan to do that if I own the kerne (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372419)

Sure, but it is possible.

That next iteration will then have me looking for alternatives. I simply will not buy a smartphone that I do not own. If I can't flash my own kernels it is useless to me. I am willing to lose netflix for that.

TPM (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44372191)

Even if you own the kernel, the device manufacturer owns the design of the module that monitors the boot process. In the x86 world I think they call this a TPM.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372025)

I have no idea how they would do it. I would do it with a challenge-response setup -- the app requests that the kernel sign an app-generated challenge nonce with some private key, then the app validates this signature against a known public key. The AOSP release would then have a different key, or no key at all, or "allow the AOSP builder to specify their own key" or however they want to phrase it.

Of course, that seems like a lot of work, so maybe they're just buzzwording so that the movie execs think that their movies are now unhackable, without actually doing any significant software changes.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372055)

In which case I would have my kernel start up the signed kernel and pass this task off to it. Virtualization is great.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372149)

It would have to be very great indeed for your guest kernel to have no way of noticing anything was amiss. In theory that should work perfectly all the time, in practice it's an arms race.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about a year ago | (#44372179)

How can you start up a signed kernel if you can't provide said signed kernel with the encryption key that it looks for at boot time, which was to be provided by the secure bootloader that you replaced with your own (becasue the secure bootloader will obviously fail to boot your custom kernel)?

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372123)

Easy. Just like it works with all signed things. They checksum against what should be a cryptographically secure hash to make sure you haven't tampered with the kernel. So unless you've broken the hash scheme, no you can't do that.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372255)

How does it know what is is hashing is what it thinks it is hashing?

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#44372579)

Cos it gets the right answer ;-}

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year ago | (#44372631)

You're missing the point. Google doesn't care if DRM is bullet proof, or if it actually works at all. It only has to be good enough to make the content providers happy.

Freedom Chips (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372371)

How would that even work?

It's really pretty trivial when you think about it. Now that SIMs are hacked, they can propose a new standard that has a similar processor-on-a-circuit DRM like satellite tv's smart cards. The legislation is already in place to enforce everything regarding those so it won't be too much of a hassle.
They can even throw in a digital wallet feature to make it a serious counter-fitting crime to dupe the cards. Add in and a black door for the government and that will really get the US military to detain offenders under some future interpretation of the patriot act.

Maybe call the Freedom Chips...

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372177)

How in the world do they lockdown a video stack if I have access to the kernel?

I don't know (!) - but i suspect that the purpose of DRM is to stop "normal" people... not those who can ask such questions.

* "normal" people (thiefs are... thiefs - they will just think only about themselves) must start thinking that intellectual property, while not physical, it's still property of those who happened to be intellect enough to produce it, and that those producers depend in that property to support them financially - DRM is good since gives the ability to both parties (producers-consumers) to trade.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372269)

DRM is never good, nor is imaginary property anything more than that.

I do not pirate software nor media, but I cannot accept such views. Only one person has to crack this before everyone can have a copy.

The overlap between what you call Thieves, which are in fact not stealing anything only copying it, and normal people is likely far more than you expect.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372561)

DRM is good because... gives the ability to both parties (producers-consumers) to trade.
In the techical part you are probably right (it's both easy to crack DRM and may only need one thief to do it for the rest of thiefs to steal the means of the intelectual property producers to support themselves).
* i used the term "normal people" for those that don't know about technical stuff and for those that may forget that piracy is thieft (in my opinion) and that may confuse you to believe that i was trying to accuse you as a thief (pirate) so sorry about that (my English are not so good either!)

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372591)

Both parties have that ability already. You can send me a file and I can send you money. I will not send you money for a file I cannot play. Try to also remember many consumers are producers too.

Piracy is not theft, which is why they are never charged with theft. Normal people actually often commit piracy. Far more than technically inclined folks.

DRM and laws around already make me a criminal when I play a DVD I bought. That does not encourage me to continue to buy media.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44372363)

Or theyare smart and know that nobody cares to rip the HDMI stream but instead just download the movie in full HD from the pirate bay. or if you dont want to be tracked, rip the Bluray.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44372271)

Details are a bit thin, and will presumably depend on the hardware; but Google has this to say [android.com] :

"Android also now supports hardware-backed storage for your KeyChain credentials, providing more security by making the keys unavailable for extraction. That is, once keys are in a hardware-backed key store (Secure Element, TPM, or TrustZone), they can be used for cryptographic operations but the private key material cannot be exported. Even the OS kernel cannot access this key material. While not all Android-powered devices support storage on hardware, you can check at runtime if hardware-backed storage is available by calling KeyChain.IsBoundKeyAlgorithm()."

They don't explicitly say how the media DRM features are handled; but it would certainly appear that they've been busy supporting higher-than-kernel hardware mechanisms that would certainly have the capability to verify the system state and freak out if filthy 'owners' have the temerity to mess with the device.

(Google has also owned Widevine [widevine.com] for some time now, a company that is studiously unhelpful about the details; but which, according to its patent portfolio and past press releases, has been doing set-top-box DRM for a while now, with a long list of chipset vendors on the client list. They have a lot of chatter about a 'Virtual Smartcard', which sounds software-like; but 'software' could include firmware baked into a system well below the level of being manipulated by the kernel, short of a successful attack against the firmware.)

That sounds,

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44372323)

Well, I guess I can leave android now. Any word on when firefox OS devices start shipping?
It was nice while it lasted.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about a year ago | (#44372411)

Easy: you don't have access to the kernel.

Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44372629)

How in the world do they lockdown a video stack if I have access to the kernel?

Short of rooting it, do you have access to the kernel?

I didn't think you did.

ChromeCast (4, Interesting)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#44371937)

The thing is $35, and (at least for now) includes 3 free months of Netflix (even for existing subscribers).

That means that if you want a 1080p Netflix box for your TV, this thing costs you $11... that's one heck of a lot cheaper than an AppleTV or Roku.

My parents have been complaining about how ridiculously slow Netflix is on their Samsung bluray player (the streaming works fine, the interface takes forever to load pages), so this might just be their solution...

Re:ChromeCast (1)

bigdanmoody (599431) | about a year ago | (#44372073)

I was even thinking about getting one for my living room TV, which is an older "dumb" TV. If it will play content from my Plex server too, it would be a heck of a good deal.

Re:ChromeCast (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44372201)

That means that if you want a 1080p Netflix box for your TV, this thing costs you $11... that's one heck of a lot cheaper than an AppleTV or Roku.

Except it's not standalone. It doesn't even have a remote. That may not be an issue for everyone, but it is ONLY controllable by computer or smartphone. That could be a significant barrier for a more lay user.

Re:ChromeCast (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44372491)

My 5 year old controls the Roku with her Android tablet. I think you are seriously underestimating people here.

Re:ChromeCast (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44372435)

so instead of buying an apple tv, roku, smart tv or blu ray player i'm going to buy this chromey thingy and stream netflix from my tablet? what else does it do? nothing? awesome. i can build a whole streaming network at the house with this because its so cool

geek thinking right there

Multiuser vs kindle free time (1)

bored (40072) | about a year ago | (#44371973)

Sounds like they are making steps in the right direction, I personally purchased a kindle because of kindle freetime. That decision was more than just restricting the kids, a big part was access to the free time unlimited content library and the age based content controls.

The article doesn't say if google is planning a similar service, which is what seems to be driving my associates with kids to buy the kindles.

Wireless charging? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44372019)

The rumored specs for Nexus 7.2 all included wireless charging. Does anyone know for certain that it got dropped from the final spec?

Re:Wireless charging? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year ago | (#44372653)

Who said it was dropped? It wasn't.

Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets? (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44372027)

Looking at the 7" tablets, it seems like these devices are all quite similar:

  • Google Nexus 7
  • Lenovo IdeaTab A3000
  • Samsung Galaxy 3 7"

All roughly $200. Front and back cameras, vaguely comparable processors. The Nexus has a higher screen resolution than the other two, but lacks the microSD slot that the other two have. The Samsung uses its own Samsung app store, while the Google and Lenovo use the Google Play store. Anything else different?

Re:Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year ago | (#44372289)

Looking at the 7" tablets, it seems like these devices are all quite similar:

  • Google Nexus 7
  • Lenovo IdeaTab A3000
  • Samsung Galaxy 3 7"

All roughly $200. Front and back cameras, vaguely comparable processors. The Nexus has a higher screen resolution than the other two, but lacks the microSD slot that the other two have. The Samsung uses its own Samsung app store, while the Google and Lenovo use the Google Play store. Anything else different?

Of course they are quite similar. They are all made in China by the same suppliers. The only difference is how locked down the company wants to make them, and how they want to monetize them after-sale.

You can buy a chinese tablet straight from China for about 25%-30% less with the exact same specs. Some of the extra cost in the Google/Samsung models is due to better and more consistent software, but a good portion of it is going right into the pocket of those middlemen.

I have yet to see a Chinese tablet that did not have a micro-SD slot. Even their $40 devices have them. The only reason Apple and Google would do without them is so they can gouge the customer for extra storage and built-in obsolescence.

Re:Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44372543)

Nexus devices don't have sd slots because Google doesn't want Microsoft making any more money off them. SD requires an exFAT licence.

Re:Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372663)

Also, it results in the device's storage getting partitioned, as you can only install apps to the onboard flash. ("Install to SD Card" is a bad joke). And when you plug it into a computer over USB, the SD card can only be accessed by either the computer or the Android device, but not both at the same time, so all your stuff disappears until you unmount it.

Seriously, I remember having to screw around with this on my Nexus One and I don't want to go back to that. Just give me lots of onboard flash and I'll be fine.

Re:Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44372345)

Yes, the Nexus 7 actually get's updates instantly, Samsung might roll them out in a year or two.

Re:Does anything differentiate this gen of tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372461)

Compared to the new AND the old Nexus 7, the Lenovo IdeaTab A3000 has pitiful screen resolution. Also, the Lenovo IdeaTab A3000 has half the RAM of the new Nexus 7: 1 GB vs 2 GB. Also, the front-facing camera of the Nexus 7 is quite a bit better than the one on the IdeaTab A3000.

Happy Nexus 7 user.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372047)

I am very happy with my 1st gen Nexus 7, but the lack of a rear camera has bothered me quite often.

The new Nexus 7 is by far the best 7" tablet on the market, now. Hopefully it'll still have the excellent GPS reception of the old one.

shutupandtakemymoney.jpg

Re:Happy Nexus 7 user.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372143)

The Nexus 7 is by far the best tablet on the market, IMHO

There fixed it for you.

Re:Happy Nexus 7 user.... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44372217)

I have absolutely no complaints with mine. Love the thing. Yeah, it would be nice if you could plunk an SD card into it or properly access USB drives, but I've got other ways to move data on and off it, so it's a very very small inconvenience. I love the thing myself.

Re:Happy Nexus 7 user.... (1)

Luthair (847766) | about a year ago | (#44372583)

Widely known fact. Taking pictures using a tablet announces to the world that the user is a colossal dork.

Trolling (1, Troll)

gnomff (2740801) | about a year ago | (#44372057)

As usual lately, all of the really nice additions to Android are proprietary and tied to Google services, further eroding the open nature of Android

I wish I could mod summaries as troll. Honestly, many of us here make our livings creating proprietary software. Whining that Google makes proprietary apps just makes us all look bad. Stop it.

Re:Trolling (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44372165)

Google is sick of 1 company on earth making any significant money off Android, and it isn't them. Expect Android to become less and less open.

Re:Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372317)

M$

Re:Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372431)

Sure, if Google didn't make claims about Android being open while slowly whittling away at what the "open" part can do.

Re:Trolling (2)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44372563)

"I wish I could mod summaries as troll. Honestly, many of us here make our livings creating proprietary software. Whining that Google makes proprietary apps just makes us all look bad. Stop it."

No one is whining that Google makes proprietary apps. We are taking note of the disconnect between the credit they want us to give them, and what they actually put out.

If you feel like that makes you look bad, perhaps you have something on your conscience?

Countdown... (2)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#44372137)

So it streams video over WiFi and is controlled via the cloud. Do we want to start a betting pool on how long till the first hack to override the device and display Goatse.cx on everyone's TVs?

Et Tu Brute? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#44372197)

It's all fun and games till someone figures out how to monetize it.

The NEW Google Nexus 7 (2)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#44372213)

...now with tint control!!

.

Chromecast (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44372229)

The Verge indicates Chromecast will only work with computers running a Windows or Mac OS. Yet again Linux is treated like a red-headed stepchild.

Re:Chromecast (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44372333)

The protocol is fully open, linux OSS drivers will be available before the things are in wide spread use.

Re:Chromecast (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#44372383)

The API used by desktop applications is for Chrome Apps, so Linux will work just fine, most likely.

Stratification much?! (1)

tehlinux (896034) | about a year ago | (#44372301)

...

HDMI woes (1)

jbohumil (517473) | about a year ago | (#44372303)

The new Chromecast device looks awesome! Unfortunately my old generation HDTV only has Component Inputs. I wonder if I can plug a Chromecast into some kind of HDMI->Componet converter? Will Chromecast require a secure HDMI connection?

And no fixes for problems. (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44372321)

Like Wifi refusing to connect some times until you turn it off and on again on the Nexus 4 and the older Nexus HSPA+ OR the camera getting stuck on in the background and turning the phone into a pocket heater while it drains the phone battery in less than 30 minutes.

"open"? (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#44372349)

Since when did Google promised anyone that it would be "open"? The only thing they offer is source code.

That allows you to do a lot, but as we saw with Tivo, open source does not mean open access, etc.

Google isn't the new Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372443)

It's far worse, especially more anticompetitive than MS ever was.

Another lemming. (1)

GT66 (2574287) | about a year ago | (#44372449)

So Google is now happily following the path of embrace and extend that Microsoft blazed to near irrelevance. Good job Google. Nothing says success like brilliant minds stifled by greed and control issues.

Did Google just kill Roku? (1)

kcitren (72383) | about a year ago | (#44372459)

I'm wondering if Google just killed Roku with Chromecast.

Re:Did Google just kill Roku? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44372529)

Roku gets you to Hulu and Amazon Prime as well. Roku also has a simple remote.

No Search or Highlighting? Says Who? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44372525)

Uh... pardon me, but I have no idea what the Unknown Lamer is talking about. My copy of Adobe Reader does search and highlighting JUST FINE.

Missing update (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44372547)

When will be Cyanogenmod and/or Ubuntu Touch be available for that device so we can really be the owners of it instead of google?

Re:Missing update (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44372605)

Probably not that long [androidpolice.com]

Summary (1)

Idetuxs (2456206) | about a year ago | (#44372641)

That summary has SO many words. I can't even make early assumptions from it, just.. too long.

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