The Best Of Google I/O: Project Glass, Nexus 7 Tablet, Nexus Q Home Entertainment System, And More

Google announced a slew of new products today at its annual developer conference, including the long-awaited Nexus 7 tablet and Nexus Q, a home media streamer for Android devices. Here’s what you need to know.

The Best Of Google I/O: Project Glass, Nexus 7 Tablet, Nexus Q Home Entertainment System, And More

Jelly Bean, Android 4.1
The Best: Search Android’s updated search function features a Siri-like Voice Search feature whose answers are powered by Knowledge Graph, the massive data graph that Google introduced in May that make search easier and more intuitive. More importantly, the updated search also includes a feature called Google Now, which pulls from things like your search and location history and your calendar to predict what information you might need, and when. (For example, when you’re at a certain bus stop, Google Now will automatically deliver you an up-to-date schedule.) Google Now delivers that information on different cards (such as a calendar card, a restaurant card), and it gets smarter and more accurate as you feed it more information. [More details: Google Now’s Personalized Search With Automated Results: Creepy Or The Future Of Search?]
The Rest: Jelly Bean gets a boost from Project Butter, an effort to boost speed and performance on Android devices. Other handy features in Jelly Bean include an offline voice input feature, which lets your device transcribe your voice recordings without a data connection; a tightened notification system that lets you access lightweight features on apps (such as a “Like” on Foursquare) without having to open the apps themselves. [More details: Engadget]
When: Google will begin rolling out Jelly Bean to Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom devices in mid-July.


Nexus 7 Tablet
The Best: Google Play optimization The long-awaited 7″ tablet is optimized to take advantage of the cloud-based Google Play, which features 600,000 apps and games and, as of today, magazines and TV shows.
The Rest: The Nexus 7 features a 1280×800 HD display and is fairly light for a tablet, weighing in at 0.7 pounds. Designed to bring “the best of Google to the palm of your hand,” Nexus 7’s front-facing camera lets you hang out on Google+, surf the web on Chrome, and check email on Gmail. [More details: Technology Review]
Price: $199
When: Starts shipping in mid-July.

Nexus Q Home Media Streamer
The Best: Social streaming through the cloud The orb-like Nexus Q is Google’s answer to the confusing consumer electronics mashup of hardware, software, and the cloud. Friends and family can use their Android devices to control and consume content together via Nexus Q, whether that’s music or a movie. [More details: WiredThe Verge]
The Rest: Nexus Q plugs into your own speakers or TV at home. The catch: you have to own an Android device to tap into Q.
Price: $299
When: Starts shipping in mid-July.


The Best: Google+ Events A new feature lets Google+ users send beautiful rich-media invitations called “Cinemagraphs” as they plan events. Google+ events features Google Calendar integration, lets you invite people who aren’t on Google+, and offers a Party Mode feature you can turn on that lets guests at an event post photos in real-time to the event’s Google+ page. [More details: The Next Web]
The Rest: A slick new design for Google+ on mobile devices includes a native tablet app that makes photos the main attraction in your Google+ stream. The new design will soon be available for the iPad as well, Google says.

Google Glass
The Best: Otherworldly perspectives. Google cofounder Sergey Brin jumped onstage to demo a hangout with skydivers bedecked in Glass, Google’s wearable-computer specs two-and-a-half years in the making. Glass acts as a wearable camera that you can use to capture images and video from your unique vantage point, letting others see your point of view. [Project lead Steve Lee on Glass: Inside Google X’s Project Glass, Part I]
The Rest: Google also announced the Glass Explorer Edition, available for pre-order for U.S.-based I/O attendees only.
When: Starts shipping in early 2013.
Price: $1,500 a pair.

Check back here throughout the day for more updates from Google I/O.


About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.