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Google Unveils Chromecast, New Video Device for TVs

Search Giant Also Upgrades Screen On Nexus 7 Tablet 7/24/2013 12:12 PM Eastern

Google is introducing a new $35 device called Chromecast that is designed to solve the problem of getting digital and online content to easily flow between various devices -- TVs, smartphones, tablets and computers -- in the home.

Chromecast which plugs into the back of a TV, will allow Android devices to work like a remote control. The system also greatly simplifies the process of bringing online and personal content to TVs and sharing that content between devices. It goes on sale today (July 24).

As part of the launch of Chromecast, buyers will get one free month of Netflix.

Google also announced a new program to encourage developers to develop more apps for the Chromecast system. The two products heat up the competition in both the tablet and OTT space with Apple and other players.

At a press event in San Francisco, Google also unveiled a new version of its Nexus 7 that features a much higher resolution screen that supports true HD viewing.

To take advantage of the higher resolution Netflix has released a new app that will allow Android tablet users to view content in HD.

Google says the new Nexus 7 will be the first tablet to be able to support the HD Netflix tablet viewing.

That is notable because most tablet viewing currently occurs in SD.

In announcing the new tablet, Google reported that it had seen 70 million Android tablet activations worldwide and that nearly one in two activations in the first half of the year 2013 were Android.

The new tablet comes in three models: the 16GB for $229, 32GB for $269 and 32 GB model with LTE for $349.

The 16GB and 32 GB models go on sale on July. The LTE models will be supported by T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon and will go on sale in "coming weeks," Google reported.

The tablet also features a faster processor, is lighter and slimmer and will be the first Android tablet to adopt the new Android 4.3 operating system, which Google announced along with the new tablet at a breakfast for journalists in San Francisco.

The tablet will use the 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 pro CPU that is 80% faster than the previous processor and a faster GPU that is 4 times faster.

It also has wireless charging, improved battery performance, virtual surround sound, double the RAM to 2 and other features.

September