Nexus 7

Intrepid hacker builds a Nexus 7 tablet into their car dashboard, great for web radio

Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:30am

Nexus 7 in-car dash hackThe Nexus 7 is the latest and greatest Android tablet and one brave soul has hacked it into his 2008 Dodge Ram dashboard. Android Community calls it "quite possibly the most amazing in-dash entertainment system" they've seen. The tablet can be removed from the dashboard, but while it's docked it can playback media right to the car's stereo.

Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 doesn't connect to the web on its own, so one would need to tether the device to a smartphone or mobile hotspot to stream web radio. But that's no different than the slick OEM options rolling out from Ford, GM, Toyota and other automakers.

Android Community has more coverage and a video walk-through of the hack right here.

Google debuts Android wireless media receiver, new tablet

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:40pm

Nexus QYesterday Google announced several new gadgets, including the Nexus Q -- a spherical device meant to act as a bridge between the music and video content on Android mobile devices and home entertainment systems. The device "may be the last stereo appliance you buy for your home entertainment system," writes Lifehacker (here). But web radio listeners may "find the Q wanting."

Basically, users can stream music and video wirelessly from Android devices to speakers and TVs via the Nexus Q. Google calls is "the first social streaming player," offering an example use where friends hanging out together can build a collaborative playlist wirelessly from their separate Android devices.

Additionally, a single Android device can control multiple Nexus Qs, "turning it into a multi-room solution," notes the Verge (here). That would put it in direct competition with other home entertainment systems like Sonos, not to mention Apple's own AirPlay service (RAIN coverage here). However, the Nexus Q is currently rather crippled. 

"Unfortunately the device appears to be limited to Google Play media at the moment [meaning only content from Play Music, Play Movies, etc.] so fans of Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify" -- not to mention Pandora, iHeartRadio and other web radio apps -- "may find the Q wanting." That said, it's not unreasonable to expect that limitation will be removed in the future.

(Though notes that the Nexus Q does sport Bluetooth. "This should mean that you’ll be able to beam music from any app on any smartphone," writes Eliot Van Buskirk, here.)

Additionally, the Nexus Q costs $300 (it's notably built in the U.S.). That makes it a pretty pricey device when compared to competing devices like the $99 Apple TV and $180 Boxee Box.

Nexus 7 tablet

Though "a handsome piece of gear," writes the Verge (here), "the Q seems to be nothing more than — if you'll excuse the comparison — a hobby rather than a device that brings innovative functionality."

Google also revealed its own 7" Android tablet yesterday -- the Nexus 7 (pictured right). Google stressed the device's media consumption abilities: Movies, books, apps, games and music. The Nexus 7 will cost $200 and should only help put tablets in more consumers' hands.

The Verge has more coverage of the Nexus 7 here and you can find more out the Nexus Q from Ars Technica here and the New York Times here.

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