It's that time of year: a new version of Android is in the wild. Here's everything we could find that's new and notable in Android Jelly Bean 4.3. Most of it is for developers and gives the software a bit of spit and polish, and at least some of the new features require fancy new hardware. But if you want to get a quick overview of all the new stuff coming to a Nexus near you (and hopefully other devices) soon, this is it.
The Nexus 7 has been a solid little workhorse, but now that the next generation is in, it's time to put it out to pasture. The original Nexus tablet is no longer available for purchase in the U.S. This is just a bit surprising - I had expected Google to try and get the last bit of stock out with a closeout sale. The various pages for the 16GB and 32GB models plus the AT&T and T-Mobile 3G versions are still up, but there's no option to buy.
A lot of little things got the axe in Google's latest redesign of the Play Store website. Most don't seem to be coming back (oh how we miss you, 30-day download chart!) but one of the most useful ones for browsing has been resurrected. You can now narrow search for apps based on their free or paid status: just click the drop-down menu next to "Android Apps," which is set to "All prices" by default.
The new Nexus 7, which has already been fully revealed and benchmarked earlier today, just popped up on BestBuy.com for pre-order in both 16 and 32 GB capacities. As expected, the refreshed 2013 N7 runs:
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (you can read about some of the new Android 4.3 features here)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro @ 1.5GHz processor with Adreno 320 GPU
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 7" 1920x1200 IPS display with antifingerprint and scratch-resistant glass
- 16/32GB internal storage
- 5MP rear and 1.2MP front-facing cameras
- BT 4.0
- Notification LED
- No SD card (did you really expect one?)
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Qi wireless charging-compatible
- 3,950 mAh battery (up to 9 hours of active use)
- 7.9" x 4.5" x 0.3"
Wireless charging isn't mentioned, so I'm becoming less and less convinced it's capable of such a feat.
Yesterday, @evleaks scored several press images of the new Nexus 7, which is expected to be revealed by Google on July 24th. Not even a day later, we now have an exclusive gallery of more recent press shots that not only offer several more angles, but also showcase what I believe is the new default Android 4.3 Nexus wallpaper which replaces the Android 4.2 wallpaper seen in the previous pictures.
If you're reading this from Australia or New Zealand, get excited – Google's Play Music All Access service is now live in both countries, granting both (pardon the term) access to the burgeoning music streaming service.
Like in the states, Google is offering a special deal for early adopters – Australians who sign up by August 31 will pay just AU$9.99 per month (after a thirty-day trial period), and early bird New Zealanders will pay NZ$10.99 per month following the free thirty-day trial.
Google just updated the web Play Store with a completely new UI that was teased back at I/O 2013, and it immediately caused a whirlwind of mixed reactions. We have a separate post coming up on all the differences as well as the features that didn't make it into the redesign (there are, unfortunately, a lot - even more than went missing in Maps v7), but right now I want to commend Google and address one aspect that immediately stood out to me within the first few seconds - speed.
There are a lot of cool things about the new Google Maps update, but a few features from the old app didn't make the jump. Google made a big deal about offline maps when it was added a few years ago. So it's a little surprising to see this feature missing in Maps v7... or is it? Mountain View has included a bit of an Easter Egg here.
If you want to cache an area for offline access, just go to that part in the app, then type "Ok Maps" in the search box.
If you eagerly updated your Android device to the shiny new version of Google Maps yesterday, only to despair at the absence of Google's Latitude location tracking/sharing service, there's a good reason for that. Latitude is going the way of Google Reader, and the service will disappear completely on August 9th. Google has made the change official on the "About Latitude" page of the Maps for mobile support hub, explaining that Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, and the various web services will be retired as well.