Yesterday was a big day for Google. As far as software, it announced an update to Android 4.3 and a new, very exciting app called Play Games. But it was in the hardware arena where it brought the biggest punch. In addition to announcing a new, thinner Nexus 7 model that is more powerful and has greater resolution, it also finally revealed its plan to get into the world’s TV sets: Chromecast, a small device that streams video from any mobile device.

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Reconquering the tablet market

The new Nexus 7, manufactured by ASUS, is aesthetically almost exactly the same as the previous model except that the screen’s margins are narrower, and the name of the device is written horizontally, not vertically. It is the first to carry some fearsome features, not just to the competition, but also because it seems too good to be true that a 7-inch device can house 4 nuclei, a screen resolution of 1920×1080 (FullHD) at 323 ppp, stereo speakers, and improved camera (the rear-facing is 5 MP). Its price varies depending on the storage or connectivity capacity. The basic 16 GB model will cost $229.

Without a doubt, this announcement about the new Nexus has really gotten Apple to knuckle down on renovating its iPad Mini, which is its closest direct competitor in screen size (Amazon is also there with its Kindle Fire). Google once again confided in Asus to offer an affordable and powerful tablet that offers the full Android experience. And this is hard to overcome, but not impossible. There could be more surprises this year in regards to updates for Android tablets thanks to this step from Google.

The new version of the Nexus 7 will be available in the United States on July 30.

Google also wants to be on TV

The smart TV market and smart video player market are very complex, and each company has a different offering. There is Apple TV, TiVo, Netflix, and even Microsoft with its consoles, but none of them has the upper hand. Now, as if the rivalry weren’t strong enough, Google is going to dive into the mix with Chromecast.

Chromecast is a very small dongle with HDMI connectivity that receives a video streaming signal when connected to any TV in said port, and is compatible with a ton of different devices, not just those running Android. This more open approach is one of the most favorable points about the device, but the most impressive of all is obviously that it will cost $35 – that is, practically nothing compared to the competition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKG5HDyTW8o

The idea behind Chromecast is to allow you to share YouTube videos, movies, or even NetFlix with one simple motion. Once the device is connected to the TV and the Internet, other devices can send it whatever video they’re playing and work as a remote at a distance. If other services partner up, it could be a bombshell. But, even just with NetFlix, it could be a tremendous success in the U.S.

Google is trying to distance itself more every day from the services for which it has become famous and powerful – its search engine and advertising – to create a presence in the more cutting-edge markets. And it is doing it well enough to be a rival to Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.

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