Google unveils updated tiny screen ‘Nexus 7’ tablet, iOS-compatible ‘Chromecast’ Web TV device

“Google Inc. on Wednesday rolled out two key products based on its Android and Chrome operating systems, including a new tablet and device that lets users play Web content on a television,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch.

“Google unveiled a new version of its Nexus 7 tablet featuring more memory and features higher resolution images,” Pimentel reports. “The tablet will be priced at $229 for a 16-gigabyte version; $269 for 32 GB and $349 for an LTE version.”

Pimentel reports, “Google also introduced Chromecast, a USB device based on the company’s Chrome operating system that allows a user to pull content from the Web and have it play on a TV. Chromecast, which is priced at $35, is plugged into a TV and enables a user with a smartphone or a PC to play content on the television. Chromecast works with mobile devices using Google’s Android operating system as well as those using Apple Inc.’s iOS platform.”

“Needham analyst Kerry Rice said the new tablet was ‘expected,'” Pimentel reports. “Chromecast was ‘interesting,’ he told MarketWatch, but added that there are ‘already lots of products on the market with this functionality. Seems a little me-too.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Forget about its vastly inferior apps, in both quality and quantity, Google’s Nexus 7 ought to be even cheaper just for one fact only: It’s tiny 7-inch (16:10 aspect ratio) screen is a whopping 35% smaller than Apple’s iPad mini’s 7.9-inch (4:3 aspect ratio) display.

48 Comments

  1. Google, purveyor of crap brings out another crappy tablet.

    Wake me up when Google brings out the toilet roll dispenser. It’ll be the only thing that works as advertised because advertisers will be trolling you while you’re in the crapper.

          1. You’re using up an HDMI port whether you’re using a Chromecast or an AppleTV, so I’m not sure what your point is.

            The promo materials are deceptive though: the small print says it must be connected to a USB power cable, meaning it’s *not* an independent dongle, any more than the AppleTV is.

            1. It depends on the version of HDMi your tv has whether or not it will supply enough power. 1.4 and better supply enough power IIRC.

              The more glaring omission is the fact that it does not do full screen mirroring like airplay can. It is limited as to what it will push to the tv.

            2. From my desktop/laptop I don’t actually care about screen mirroring, and I’m sure many others don’t either.

              I actually do want the TV as a second screen so I can still do stuff on my main screen separate from video or other content that can’t be Airplayed through iTunes. This is actually why Airplay Display a big selling point of OSX Mavericks for me.

              Chromecast might not act as a second display, so yes it’s still more limited e.g. you can’t view an arbitrary program’s content (e.g. working on a Photoshop or Pages document)… but Chrome can read most videos and documents thrown at it, and on top its other features, the Chromecast probably addresses 90% of what normal users want for a wireless second screen.

              And it’s available without a Mac, an iOS device or AppleTV, and at 1/3 the cost of the latter. That’s why regardless of any supposed limitations, this is a threat Apple needs to take seriously.

            3. While I agree the cross-platform capabilities are nice, I still do not see it as a threat. There is windows software to enable airplay out there already, there may well be an android app coming. I think the Airplay/tablet combo is where this solution shines, and as we all know the only tablet people are really using is the iPad.

              I think you need to look outside your use and do not assume it is the only way. Outside of the living room there are many vertical markets adopting or interested in adopting Apple TV/Airplay functionality. It is taking off in schools and the ability to mirror the screen is a very popular feature there. School are buying them in bulk. It is starting to gain traction in the medical imaging space. It is a great collaborative tool for creatives. It is SOOO MUCH more than just an entertainment solution. The ease of use and lack of wires makes it easy and a joy to use.

              With full screen mirroring, you do not have to wait for an app to support airplay, you can project it/display it on your TV now. Google solution, not so much. They are trying, I will give them that. Half Baked is still half baked.

              If Google wants to race to the bottom, I hope they have fun. Their pricing seems self-defeating, their solution half baked. The silver lining is that when Google does what it does and unceremoniously pulls the plug on this device, $35 shouldn’t leave people too upset about their poor purchase choice.

    1. At $35, the Chromecast is more portable and a definitely a serious screencasting competitor for AppleTV. Now Windows users also have a way to screencast to their TV while multitasking, nixing one of the big selling points of OSX Mavericks.

      1. Zero.

        I already have an AppleTV and will be getting Mavericks for multitasked screencasting so I won’t be getting this.

        If you can’t acknowledge the fact this *is* a serious competitor for screencasting, due to its cheaper and more portable nature, then your head is buried in the sand.

        Thankfully, Apple isn’t stupid enough to casually dismiss the Chromecast, and will be taking this threat seriously.

      2. Your point is well taken. If I am making presentations where a large screen TV is available, this could be useful. Not easy carrying TV and cables along, and you certainly can’t depend on business board rooms having an TV. I will have to consider this option for Keynote use.

        1. It’s not really that much more portable as you have to plug it in to a power supply. That little tid bit was glossed over in the announcements and ad photos.

      3. Better look again, it will not do full screen sharing like airplay. Only select apps can chrome cast (or whatever they call it) to the device and your TV.

        Apple tv’s implementation is better and offers much more than Google’s limited cheap knockoff BS..

        1. So at 1/3 the price the Chromecast has about 1/3 the features of an AppleTV. This is math and logic even the typical consumer can understand.

          And in platform support notice the green tick next to “Windows” and “Android”. We may not like it, but both still have a lot of users behind them, and now they won’t need to salivate over an AppleTV or Airplay hacks anymore.

          1. I forgot all about gaming too. With Apple TV/AirPlay, you can use your TV for multiplayer online games (single player too) but not with ChromeCast.

            There is another important segment left in the cold. EA announced that it sells more iOS games than all others combined. I would say that is a fairly significant market.

  2. One thing not mentioned, but that I’ve read elsewhere is that the Nexus tablet will have multi-user accounts. iOS, and more specifically the iPad, needs this.

  3. My exp. with a android tablet was this –

    I bought the Sony xperia Z tablet to try out. The good points were it was thin and light and screen was descent resolution and the one thing I did like about the Android OS was being able to put your app icons anywhere on the desktop and the app switching.

    The bad points were – poor battery life, battery took 8hrs or more to bring a full charge, even when plugged into a power source and playing solitaire only battery was going down quick. Lack of apps which I use on my ipod touch, and suprisingly no Amazon instant video player app at all for Android. Free apps loaded with ads with no paid version available, apps I wanted weren’t available for the tablet vers. only the android smartphone. Even some banking apps I have on my ipod were not available in the google store. The amazon app store was awful and I was concerned with picking up malware in there. Ok there were quite a few other complaints but I think I’ve already gone on way too long. Fortunately I returned within the 30 days and got my money back. My wife said I told you so, get a ipad.

    1. Why am I a google shill? I wanted to try out a android tablet and ended up sorely disappointed, so I thought I share my exp. with the thing that it pointed me right back to wanting to stay with Apple, so this makes me a google shill? Every computer I own is a mac, excuse me for naming two positive points I liked about Android.

    2. Thanks, man. I don’t know what John is talking about. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I wouldn’t buy a non-Apple tablet, but I’m interested in knowing the good and bad about the competition. Your post helps. Thanks!

  4. Another tablet that suddenly has no use for side bezels since Jony Ive instructed GOOG of their lack of necessity on hand-held devices. It’s (un?)fortunate, however, that they didn’t also follow his lead on the larger, more roomy 4:3 screen where Apple remains without competition.

    I hope Apple takes it another step further and makes the next iPad mini completely bezeless on the sides. I want nothing but screen there, edge to edge.

  5. I thought the Chromecast “dongle” looked great. Until I realised that in their marketing they put “Power cord required (not shown)”. I think their marketing is totally misleading; as soon as you consider that it needs to be plugged in all the time then it doesn’t seem like a dongle any more, but a flimsy piece of plastic sticking out of your expensive TV with the potential to get pulled and damage the HDMI port. I haven’t seen any UK advertising yet but if I do and they’re not showing the power cord when it’s connected to a TV then I’ll complain to the Advertising Standards Authority.

    1. I noticed that too. According to one site though, the Chromecast package includes an HDMI extender cable.

      When all is said and done, this is not a standalone dongle. In order to use it, it must also be attached to 1) a USB cable, 2) a separate power brick, and optionally 3) HDMI extender.

      1. Well Google might get away with a tiny reference to the power cable at the bottom of their marketing in the US, but we have much stricter advertising rules this side of the Atlantic. Apple have fallen foul of our ASA several times, first back in 2004 for claiming that the Power Mac G5 was “the world’s fastest personal computer”, again in 2008 for saying the iPhone could access “all of the Internet” when it didn’t support plug ins like Flash, and more recently over the iPad which they advertised as being “4G” before there was a 4G network in the UK. I’m thinking it’s Google’s turn to face the wrath of the UK regulators. So many sites seem to be calling it a dongle and Google’s decision to deliberately hide the power cable in its advertising is intentionally misleading.

        1. Absolutely, nail Google to the wall if they use misleading ads. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise, wish the US had similar controls over truth in advertising, but when a news channel is allowed by the court to not tell the truth because of “free speech” (where’s the *responsibility* that comes with that freedom??), it’s a lost cause.

  6. From the CNET review-
    “As sleek as the Chromecast device looks, Google’s initial presentation skimmed over some of the rougher edges. The specs in the Google Play store list both a USB power cable and a power adapter, which indicate that the Chromecast will have some wires hanging off it — it’s not truly “just a stick.” It’s the same method PLAiR used to power its similar HDMI-based streaming stick.”

  7. No MDN! You cannot knock down on the new Nexus 7. That device seems to be the most amazing mini-tablet yet. The price blew my mind, Google must be selling it at a loss or atleast barely scratching the surface. This is what tech. should be all about. Amazing devices like this should be affordable to as many people as possible.

  8. Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm
    I find using the $99 AppleTV to connect directly to the Internet for content and to my iMac for LAN streaming of my movies and music works very well. That, along with AirPlay for direct streaming from an iPhone or iPad for odds and ends pretty much closes the deal. Then, add in a CPU with the power to run Apps and Bluetooth for remotes, along with regular software updates directly from the Internet. Comparing this to Google’s Chromecast dongle is laughable.

    1. After watching a Google video about this new Chromecast device, it now appears it works like this:
      (1) You open a custom Chromecast app on your device
      (2) You select the Google related/partnered service you want to watch on your TV
      (3) Your device connects wirelessly to the dongle plugged into your TV and sends the appropriate URL to the device to connect to the Internet and stream directly to the TV. The Chromecast app on your phone/tablet acts as a remote to send commands to the dongle, which it passes to the appropriate Internet service to adjust the stream (pause, next image, whatever). The streamed service IS NOT passing through your phone/tablet/PC; it’s being pulled directly from the Internet. So, the Chromecast app (on your phone, tablet, PC) is just a remote controlling the dongle. If you have photos on Google’s servers, you can have the dongle connect to them and display them on your TV. This is nothing like Apple’s AirPlay, which is actually streaming FROM your device to the AppleTV. This means to use Chromecast to display stuff on your TV, it must reside somewhere on the web, and have an agreement with Google to be accessed via the dongle. This could be cool if everything you want to view on your TV is online and Google has access to it. Personally, I keep all my stuff local, so this would be pretty useless to me.

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