Google unveiled its first tablet yesterday, the Nexus 7, manufactured by Asus. Similar to the the Nexus phones, the Nexus tablet is supposed to deliver the ideal Android experience, and give hardware makers a watermark for their own devices.
It runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the latest version, which includes features like Google Now, a form of search that tries to anticipate what you’re looking for based on information it knows about you, like your location and time of day.
While tablet shipments have exploded in the past few years, Android tablets haven’t fared so well. The iPad accounted for ~65 per cent of shipments in the first quarter, while Android represented only ~15 per cent. While Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet both run highly customised (“forked”) versions of Android, they don’t include any links to Google services — they don’t make any money for Google.
Google needed to jump into the market to give Android tablets a jump start. At the least, it hopes to give other Android manufacturers’ efforts a boost, but if the Nexus 7 becomes a hit on its own then all the better.
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