Rubin calls Android 4.2 "a new flavor of Jelly Bean," the name by which Android 4.1 is known. The mobile operating system update adds features such as Photo Sphere, which can be used to create panoramic images from a series of stills; Gesture Typing, a predictive typing technology; wireless mirroring of mobile content on TVs; multi-user support on tablets; and a feature called Daydream that displays useful information such as appointments as a sort of screen saver.
Google Now, Google's geo-push information service, has been updated in conjunction with the release of Android 4.2 to include real-time notifications about flights, hotels, restaurant reservations, events, and package tracking.
The Nexus 4 is a smartphone made by LG. It features a 4.7" diagonal screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi). It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The 8 GB version lists for $299 and the 16 GB lists for $349. It will be available unlocked and with no contract on Nov. 13 through the Google Play store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. T-Mobile also will be offering the 16 GB version for $199, with a two-year contract.
The latest Nexus 7 is an updated version of the 7-inch tablet that Google launched earlier this year. Its $199 starting price now buys 16 GB of storage, up from 8 GB. The device is available now in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan, and via Google's retail partners: Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples and Walmart.
There's also a $299 32 GB HSPA+ model that will provide cellular data networking through over 200 GSM mobile carriers around the world. It is scheduled to be available on Nov. 13.
Apple last week entered the 7-inch tablet market with its iPad Mini, which the company insisted offers a better viewing experience than the Nexus 7 because the iPad Mini's screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally, giving it more than a third more screen area. In addition, Microsoft and its partners have just introduced a host of Windows 8 tablets.
The Nexus 10, from Samsung, features a 10-inch diagonal screen with 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution (300 ppi). It's powered by a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual A-15 processor, which includes an ARM Mali-T604 GPU. It comes with a 5 MP rear-facing camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera, 16 GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM, for $399. A 32 GB version costs $499. Both are scheduled to be available in the Google Play Store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan on Nov. 13.
Rubin said that Google has partnered with Time, Inc. and Warner Music Group to make more magazines and songs available through Google Play. Google also is expanding the availability of Google Play content outside the U.S. It is bringing movie purchasing to Canada, the U.K., France, Spain and Australia. And it is enabling customers in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to buy Google Play music and to store up to 20,000 songs, for streaming to any Android device, on Google's servers at no charge.
In addition, Google is launching a music-matching service that scans customers' locally stored music collection and makes identified songs available for streaming without requiring customers to upload them. The service is similar in concept to Apple's iTunes Match, but it differs in price: Apple charges $25 annually while Google's service is free. The matching service will be available in Europe on Nov. 13 and in the U.S. shortly after that.
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Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."