Google Nexus 7 Tablet, Android Jelly Bean, Nexus Q Unveiled

Google Reveals the Nexus Q

A surprise to many developers was the announcement of Google's Nexus Q, which engineering developer Joe Britt called the "first ever social streaming device."

The new Nexus Q. Credit: Google

Designed to live in your home, the small, spherical Android-powered computer can communicate with your phone using NFC or Android Beam to stream music to your speakers, or video to your television, from your Google Play library, simply by tapping on the screen of your phone or tablet.

Nexus Q will be sold for $299, with pre-orders taken today, and units shipping in July.

"It plugs into the speakers in your house and is always connected to the cloud to stream music," said Matt Hershenson, Google's senior vice president of Hardware. "You use your phone or tablet to control the cloud."

Nexus Q makes listening to music or watching a video interactive. Friends with the Nexus 7 device can add videos or music to your queue, and can move songs around in real time. In short, the tablet becomes your remote control.

"It's a cloud-connected jukebox," Britt said. "Everybody that has the device can see the music that is about to be played ... [and] your friends can add their own music to the Nexus Q's music queue."

"It's pretty cool that my friends can play their music in my living room," he continued. "No more passing around a keyboard or laptop, everyone is in control."

In the past, Google tablets have been hampered by a lack of applications. While there are a number of Android tablets currently on the market, there are fewer than 10,000 tablet-specific apps for Android tablets. That's compared to the more than 225,000 apps written only for the iPad.

Just last week, popular social news magazine Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll told ABC News that he was still not convinced there was a market for Android tablets.

"We are still in a wait-and-see mode with Android tablets," Doll said. "The iPad is the flagship tablet and we are going to stay focused on it."

The Nexus 7 faces steep competition not only from the iPad, which remains the most successful tablet on the market, but also from its own Android kin. Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is priced at $199, is built on Android, but isn't an official Google Android device since it doesn't have access to Google's own Play Store or other Google apps.

But the Nexus 7 could be a contender because of new features from the Google Play online Store. Users can now browse through interactive magazine covers and jump to different articles and back without leaving the main page.

"Nexus 7 is made for Google Play," Barra said. "Movies, music, books, magazines. All the great content from Google Play right at your fingertips."

Through the cloud, the store will also offer recommendations for apps, books and more. Google said the recommendations will "get smarter and more accurate the more you use them."

Microsoft announced its own Windows 8 Surface tablets last week, which are expected to hit the market later this year.

Stay tuned for ABC News' impressions of the tablet.

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