Google IO 2012 – Nexus 7, Nexus Q and Jelly Bean from a South African perspective.

As most of you might know, I am a fan of Open Source, Linux and what Google is doing so Google IO is something that I follow.  Although I am not a developer anymore, I would love to attend Google IO someday and yesterday I did the second best thing by watching the full 2 hours of the day 1 keynote address live thanks to a 4MB uncapped account.

There was a lot in the 2 hour keynote but I only want to touch on 3 things and how I think it might play out here in SA.  this is not a review, there is enough around, just Google for it.

Nexus 7:

From what I have seen, I think the Nexus 7 is an ideal media device.  I would have preffered a slightly bigger screen size but the 7 inch will do.  This is a real Kindle Fire killer and I think Amazon might get a bit worried.

At the pricepoint of $199/$249 depending on the storage, either 8GB or 16GB, I think this tablet will do great in South Africa if the rand price is kept in the region of R2500.00.  The question remain whether we will actually see this in South Africa since for the time being it is only sold out of the Google Play store and hardware sales are not available to South Africa.  Here is hoping that somebody will bring the Nexus 7 to SA like is being done with the Nexus Galaxy. If and when it becomes available in SA, I will be first in line.  Otherwise I will have to find a way to get one from overseas.

Nexus Q:

Nexus Q is that round ball in the image to the right. This was totally new to me, one of the things that was not leaked to the world before the conference.  Nexus Q is like Apple’s Airplay and steam media content to your speaker/sound system and HD TV.  It either stream the content from your mobile device or from the cloud (ie Google Play).  One thing that I like is that it is totally social so when your friends come to visit, they can easily add their content to the playlist, that is if they have an Android device.

It seems a bit pricey at $299 and it is also only available in the Google Play Store which means it is not available in SA.  Since we in South Africa cannot store our music or video collection in the Google Play cloud, I do not think this device will get much traction in South Africa.  Defnitely not on my wishlist at the moment.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean):

The next version of Android called Jelly Bean aka Android 4.1 was also officially anounced. It has a lot of things under the hood like major performance enhancements but what stood out for me is the new Notification system.  It shows a lot more information and lot of the actions can happen right in the Notifcation area without opening the particular app. 

Search also received a major update with a feature called Google Now which learn what you doing and where you are and in real time update you about information that are applicable at that point in time.  It was good to see the demo about this but I would like to see this working in real life and applicable to me.

Jelly Bean whill be available on the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 during July and I would assume that at the same time that manufacturers like HTC will also start working on it for their devices.  I have a HTC One X which will probably be one of the first in line from HTC to get Jelly Bean but the major question remains, how soon will it be available in South Africa.  Looking at the system upgrades that I have received over the last month (3 in total), I am hopefull that we will see the 4.1 upgrade for HTC One X soon after the international release in South Africa.

Overall I believe that Google is making the likes of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft sit up and take notice. Yes the demo of Google Glass was amazing but I do not think that we as the man in the street will see this for maybe another 3-4 years.  Google+ is slowly getting better and the new Andoid app is awesome.  Lets see how many weddings gets planned via Google+ Events.

I would like to hear your comments on my views and Google IO 2012 in general and if you are attending the event as a South African then let us know in the comments and what your experience are.

Leave a Response