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10 Things To Know From The Google I/O Conference

This week Google held its I/O developers’ conference in San Francisco unveiling a host of new products, services and software updates including its new low-priced tablet, the Nexus 7.

To keep you in the loop, here are 10 of the most important announcements and key moments so you understand everything the US giant is saying.

Google Nexus 7 has landed

Made by Asus, the Nexus 7 tablet will go on sale from the middle of July and comes in two models, an 8GB and 16GB for around £150 or £199.

It has a seven inch screen and runs Android’s latest operating system and should be blisteringly fast thanks to the quad-core processor.

With all the benefits of Android apps and other Google services, it’s sure to be a hit with those yet to dip their toes into the tablet waters thanks to the low entry price.

The Nexus 7 won’t challenge Apple’s iPad but Google will hit Amazon’s Kindle

With a price-tag of under £200, the Nexus 7 is sure to take a chunk out of sales of the Amazon Kindle as it offers a far wider range of applications than the specific e-reading device.

Whether it’s enough to tempt people away from the iPad remains unclear. The camera isn’t as good, the screen not as high quality and the overall experience may not be as seamless or fruitful.

The smaller display too may not be to everyone’s taste, although it is far more portable and therefore much more useful for entertainment and gaming on the move.

Join the Nexus Q

If you love listening to music but can’t afford a Sonos system to stream songs around your home, then the Nexus Q may be the answer.

It plugs into the speakers and TV, much like Apple TV, and can act as an internet jukebox controlled by your Android devices. Friends with Android smartphones can even add songs to your playlists when they come over.

There’s no release date in the UK as yet, it will go on sale first in America for $299.

Google Play now plays TV shows

In the ever-evolving world of streaming and downloadable content in your living room, Google Play, it’s online store, now features movies to buy rather than just rent and TV shows too.

With Sony on the verge of releasing a set-top box incorporating Google Play for Google TV, it’s an obvious but welcome move.

The new entertainment additions work across all Google devices and the store is also rolling out more magazines too.

Jelly Bean looks a tasty OS improvement

In just a year, there are now 300m more Android devices in existences having announced 100m back in June 2011. So that calls for a new operating system and hot on the heels of foodie-inspired names such as Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich comes Jelly Bean.

In response to a challenge from app SwiftKey, Google is improving the keyboard in this update as well as taking on Apple’s Siri with better voice search and voice controls.

And in a rather scare-inducing move, Google Now is said to know what you want to know before you even know it. So for example it’ll let you know the weather without asking when you wake up or tell you the state of the traffic as you leave for work.

Google+ Events arrives on the calendar

If you’re yet to experience Google+ then why not give it a try. It’s Google’s version of Facebook and works well for Gmail users to share and collaborate and stay in touch.

It’s now adding an Events option allowing you to easily invite people along to parties and celebrations and it will automatically add them to their Google Calendar and put updates and confirmations into your stream.

You can even attach a video as your invite to make it even more personal and then collate and share photos of the event afterwards.

Google+ is now on tablets

After a successful launch on smartphones, Google+ now has a tablet version rolling out – immediately for Android and soon for iOS.

You can use your Android tablet or iPad with Google Hangouts to do video chatting and adopt personalised streams of information that know the content you want to view.

Google Glasses have specs appeal

Everyone is still talking about Google’s Project Glass after a skydiving demo of it at the conference. While they may never ever see the light of day in consumer hands, they’re an amazing advance in technology that will be available next year for developers to mess around with.

Wearable technology has never taken off but if these video-capturing internet-connected specs ever do come to fruition, it’ll be like the future finally gave birth.

Google Drive motors on

No, this isn’t a car from Google although they are working on that too – ones that drive themselves.

This instead is a cloud-based storage system launched 10 weeks ago but now getting new updates including the chance to edit Google Docs offline and also download a Drive a pop to your iPhone and iPad.

With the success of Dropbox for online storage, it’s no wonder Google want a piece of that action and Drive has now signed up more than 10 million users and is built right into the Chrome browser.

Chrome comes to iOS

Talking of what many believe is the best browser around, Chrome has just been released for the iPhone and iPad.

Once downloaded you’ll be able to import all your bookmarks from a desktop in seconds and enjoy the same speedy surfing experience as on a Mac or PC.

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