Google officially unveils Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, rolling out OTA mid-July

Google execs are live on-stage at Google I/O to kick things off with the official unveiling of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The first aspect of the latest version of Android discussed at the event is “Project Butter,” which is a number of enhancements that improves touch responsiveness and overall smoothness of animations and the UI. It also brings the system frame rate up to a consistent 60 frames per second.

Google moved to demos of the redesigned widgets, which scale intelligently around other UI elements, and a new Predictive Keyboard that supports voice input. There was also a demo of redesigned notifications that Google explained are now fully customizable, expandable, and collapsible.

Execs gave a demo of new notifications that expand to offer more information as they reach the top of the list (such as sharing options or artwork related to notification), and they can be expanded and collapsed at any time via gestures. Google next showed improved voice search in Jelly Bean that appears to be its much-rumored Siri-like assistant feature.

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Google’s Nexus 7 tablet introduction video leaks out [Video]

A leaked image of the widely rumored Nexus 7 appeared on Google’s Play Store servers this morning, but an official video of the tablet just surfaced on YouTube moments ahead of Google I/O.

The video’s description even details a few specs:

With a stunning 7″ display, powerful quad-core processor and all day battery life, Nexus 7 was built to bring you the best of Google in a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand.

The 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference starts today at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Calif., with events continuing until June 29 at 4:30 p.m. PST.

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Video and images of Nexus Q home media device also leak ahead of Google I/O

Update: The Verge dug up pricing for the $299 Q and companion $399 triad speaker option, and the video above from Google has surfaced on YouTube accompanied by the following description:

Nexus Q streams your favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. Just use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf an ocean of music, TV, movies and music, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. Just the stuff you love — at home and out loud.

Following the leaked images of the Nexus 7 tablet from Google, new leaked images, posted by The Verge, point to an announcement of a new Nexus Q device. The feature-set or the purpose of this new device is not clear from the images, but DroidLife reports on some possible information about the product:

Nexus Q Addendum

The following paragraphs only apply if you purchase a Nexus Q.

You understand that the Nexus Q currently supports only Google Play Music; Google Play Movies and TV; and YouTube, and that your use of those services is subject to the Google Play Terms of Service.

The Nexus Q has built-in Wi-Fi and a built-in ethernet controller. You are solely responsible for obtaining internet connectivity through an internet service provider as the Nexus Q does not support mobile connectivity.

In order to use the Nexus Q, you understand that you will need your own: (i) phone or tablet running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher with access to Google Play; (ii) compatible speakers, AV system or HD TV; and (iii) 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router.

Google provides a limited warranty for the Nexus Q. Please visit this link for more information.

It appears that the Nexus Q might be some sort of AirPlay connection device from Android smartphones and tablets to their televisions. This would be sort of like the Apple TV + iPad/iPhone/iPod touch integrated approach.

Here is Google’s Nexus 7 tablet [Photo]

The above leaked image is of the widely rumored Nexus 7.

Reports about the Google tablet have circulated for months, but now we have solid evidence of its existence through a first look on Google’s Play Store servers. The live image surfaced just ahead of Google I/O this morning, and it only begs more questions to be answered.

The 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference starts today at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Calif., with events continuing until June 29 at 4:30 p.m. PST. We should have some more information about the Nexus 7 within the next hour during the event’s opening keynote.

The Asus-branded Nexus 7 tablet might run Jelly Bean, which is the latest version of Android expected to unveil at some point today. The user-interface in the leak resembles a tweaked Ice Cream Sandwich layout. The dock looks familiar, but notice it houses six apps now instead of four.

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Google I/O 2012 Liveblog

We are on-hand today at Google’s I/O event to get a glimpse of the next year of Google products and services…

Watch the Keynote live here.

The 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference starts today at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Calif., with events continuing until June 29 at 4:30 p.m. PST.
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‘Do Androids Dream of Jelly Beans?’ — Google gets ready for today’s I/O keynote

We told you yesterday that Google was carrying on the tradition of placing a large monument on the lawn in front of Building 44 at the Googleplex. This time, the statue represented the upcoming new version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The image yesterday showed a transparent jar tipped over with jellybeans spilt out, but today we get a look at the finished sculpture in the video above. The jar is actually the Android mascot’s torso. TechCrunch went behind the scenes to find out how the Android jelly bean jar was made.

The Google’s I/O event is kicking off today, where we are all expecting to see much more of Jelly Bean. We will bring you live updates as they happen when the keynote address kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. PST). We are also expecting to see some major Google TV announcements.

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Google puts up Android Jelly Bean statue at Googleplex

As it has done in the past, while nearing the unveiling of new versions of Android, Google placed a giant statue in front of Building 44 at the Googleplex this morning to represent the next version’s codename: Jelly Bean. Google is expected to unveil Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at tomorrow’s Google I/O keynote, which we will bring you live coverage of as it happens, starting at 12:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. PST). Google will make things even easier this year thanks to a new live blogging tool it introduced specifically for the event.
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Report: Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 aims for July 31 launch

The next Kindle Fire is eyeing a July 31 launch date.

CNET just reported that Amazon’s next version of the widely popular Kindle Fire, otherwise dubbed the “Kindle Fire 2″ or the second-generation Kindle Fire, would unveil next month. The publication cited “a credible source” but could not confirm the summer date, and it pointed to DigiTimes for specs, which claimed the rumored 7-inch eReader will release with a $199 price tag and 1,2800-by-800 pixel display at the beginning of the third quarter.

According to CNET:

The DigiTimes article cited the usual sources in the “upstream supply chain” and talked about how Amazon would reduce the price of the current Kindle Fire to $149. It also speculated that Amazon’s long-rumored larger tablet is still on hold but that new e-ink Kindles with integrated lighting were expected to be released alongside the Kindle Fire 2 (or whatever Amazon chooses to call it).

Our source didn’t mention the higher resolution display but did say that the new tablet would have a camera and physical volume-control buttons (many users complained that the Kindle Fire only has on-screen volume controls).

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Mozilla launches a faster Firefox for Android with ‘Awesome Screen’

Mozilla refreshed its Firefox for Android app today and promised an “a snappy and dynamic upgrade” that will improve everything from page load times to performance of web apps. On top of the performance upgrades that Mozilla claimed make Firefox “two times faster” than the stock Android browser, the newly updated app also received a few new features.

First, you will notice the UI has been streamlined, and it now includes a “personalized start page” called the “Awesome Screen.” The new start page, as highlighted in the video above, allows you quick access to bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and data from your device that are stored in Firefox Sync. Mozilla also gave us an update on changes to the web platform:

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Vizio officially announces $99 Google TV ‘Co-Star’ for July

While we already got a look at its Google TV plans during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Vizio made things official today for its “Co-Star” Google TV streaming box by giving it a $99 price tag and pre-order date set for July. The Co-Star goes a little bit beyond the typical Google TV experience, providing a skinned UI with HTML5 Chrome browser, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and iHeartRadio apps built-in. It also has OnLive for the first time ever on a Google TV set-top box. The box will come with a double-sided Bluetooth remote with a full QWERTY keyboard on one side and a number and touchpad on the other. We do not have specifics on a release date, but Vizio plans to start taking preorders next month.

“Our focus to deliver the best consumer experience continues with today’s announcement of the Co-Star, which delivers a superior smart TV interface that anyone can add to their existing HDTV,” said Matt McRae, VIZIO’s Chief Technology Officer. “We combined the powerful features of Google TV™ with an intuitive and easy to use interface, giving users the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment.”

Reports claimed yesterday that Google is getting ready to unveil some new updates to the Google TV platform tomorrow at its Google I/O keynote, including: combined content browsing for Netflix, DVR, and TV content, and AirPlay-like features for sharing content between devices.
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