Google officially announces Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10

October 29, 2012

Google, after canceling a Manhattan launch event, announced in a blog post that it will release three more gadgets before the holidays — two tablets and a new smartphone — in its Nexus line.

“Today, we’re excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large,” wrote Andy Rubin, Google’s head of mobile and digital content. All three devices will run an updated version of Android, Android 4.2.

Android 4.2 brings plenty of new features, though, including a “photo sphere” that lets you take 360 degree images and Gesture Typing, which lets you compose messages by running your hand from key to key, as with the Swype system of typing. The system retains the Jelly Bean nickname of Android 4.1, meaning Google didn’t think it made enough changes to move on to its next dessert.

The devices are much as rumored. The Nexus 4, Google's smartphone, has a 4.7-inch display and an 8 MP camera to take advantage of Photo Sphere. It will cost $299 for 8GB of storage or $349 for 16 GB of storage, unlocked. Consumers can also pick up the smartphone for $199 with a two-year contract on T-Mobile.

It will go on sale at T-Mobile on Nov. 14, the carrier said in a release.

As for tablets, Google has revamped its Asus-made Nexus 7 to double the memory on the device while keeping the same pricing structure. For $199, users will get 16GB of storage; for $249, they have access to 32GB. Google also added a cellular data version of the 32 GB tablets, which costs $299, unlocked. It will run on any HSPA+ network, including AT&T, the company said in its post. T-Mobile also runs an HSPA+ network.

The Nexus 10, built by Samsung, has a high-definition screen with a better resolution than the iPad and is designed to make it easy to switch between user profiles on the same device.

“[You] can add multiple users and switch between them instantly right from the lockscreen,” Rubin wrote, calling it the “first truly shareable tablet.

The Nexus 10, available Nov. 13, will cost 16GB for $399; 32GB for $499. This is the first time Google has stepped up directly to compete with larger tablets such as Apple’s iPad or the Microsoft Surface.

The company also announced that it will bring a “scan-and-match” feature to Google Music, which will keep users from having to manually upload their libraries into Google's cloud. The feature will hit Europe first, the company said, and will follow in the U.S. within a couple of weeks. The service, unlike Apple’s iTunes Match service, will be free.

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iPad sales slow as tablet wars heat up

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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