Google I/O 2012 Day 1 recap: Google Glasses, Nexus 7 tablet, and more

The first day of Google I/O (Input and Output) 2012 has come and gone. We’ve been rattling off news stories all day, but if you haven’t been glued to our feed, you may need a refresher. The big announcements on day one have been the new Nexus 7 tablet, Sergey Brin’s skydiving demonstration of Google Glasses, the Nexus Q music player, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and the introduction of Google+ Events. Below, we’ve compiled links to more information about each of these.

Google I/O Day 1 coverage

  • Nexus 7 tablet: Google unveiled its first tablet today. The Nexus 7 aims straight at the market that Amazon baited with the Kindle Fire, but kicks everything up a notch. The tablet runs on Android 4.1 and comes with a new interface and emphasis on Google Play. The interface appears to look more like the Galaxy Nexus, but with extra large icons and new media-rich widgets to better resemble the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. It has top-notch specs for a 7-inch including a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and a nice 1280×800 pixel screen. Best of all, it clocks in at just $200 for the 8GB version and $250 for 16GB. You can order it now and it ships in mid July. (Also check out our Spec comparison: Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire. Check out our full review of the Google Nexus 7.)
  • Google Play gets new content: To help boost the stable of content sold on the Nexus 7 tablet (Google is competing with the Kindle Fire, remember), the Google Play store now sells magazines, TV shows, and movies as well as its current stable of music, books, and apps. Android users can now download a Google Magazines app, which sells subscriptions to magazines and individual issues. The YouTube video app now sells episodes of TV shows, entire seasons, and movies. Previously, it was a rental only shop.
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean): Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) came out last December, but it’s already old news. Jelly Bean has a lot of small enhancements and thanks to “Project Butter,” it should run smoother on devices as well. Home screens are now easier to customize, notifications are much more robust, offline voice typing is enabled, and a new Siri competitor has emerged called “Google Now.” We look forward to trying it out but it appears to be a step up from Apple’s voice assistant in that it more accurately analyzes your history of behavior to better guess what you’re saying and what you want.
  • Nexus Q social streaming media player: The Nexus Q is an odd beast. It’s technically a completely new type of gadget. It’s black and ball shaped with a processor (ARM) inside and a multicolored light up strip around it. In other words, it looks like a tiny Death Star with a light-up weakness trench. Or maybe a Thermal Detonator? Star Wars references aside, this device works by connecting to all of your other devices. You can hook up Android phones and tablets (with Android 4.1) to the Nexus Q and it will play their content on a television, through a computer, or through a speaker system. It will cost $300. You can order it now, and it should arrive in the next two to three weeks.
  • Google+ Events: Google is attempting to hit Facebook where it hurts, again. With Google+ Events, you can now set up times and dates and events in Google+ (and Google Calendar) and manage parties and special occasions. One cool new feature is “Party mode,” which lets everyone at a party automatically upload their pictures to the Google+ event page.
  • Google+ messaging and history: Google also stated that it’s going to unify its Hangouts, Google Talk, and G+ Messenger services into one and will open up API’s to help you integrate historical data from services like Twitter (no Facebook) into Google+. Hangouts will also get some new apps.
  • Google Glasses skydives in: Halfway through Google+ chief Vic Gundotra’s speech, Google co-founder Sergey Brin rushed out on stage and interrupted. Vic later said he had been Taylor Swifted. Luckily, Brin had something special to show. Brin started a Live Google+ Hangout with a group of skydivers all wearing Google Glasses and we saw them jump out of a plane and land on top of the Moscone Center where the Google event was being held. After some biking, repelling, and other acrobats were also shown via Google Glasses Point-of-view, a pair of Glasses were delivered to Brin, who shared a few details about them and announced that I/O attendees could pre-order a prototype Project Glass testing unit for $1,500 if they wanted to live “on the bleeding edge.” Testing units will be delivered “early next year.” No details on a consumer launch were announced.

That does it for today. We’ll have more Google I/O coverage Thursday and Friday and update this article accordingly. Tomorrow’s Chrome keynote starts at 9:30am PT. For more sessions worth checking out, read our Google I/O session recommendations.

UPDATE 6/28/2012: Fixed the Google Glasses link.

UPDATE 6/28/2012: Added link to Google+ updates.

Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Computing

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 
Smart Home

Language barrier? Psh. Here's how to make your Google Home an ace translator

You can now use interpreter mode on your Google Home devices. This means, you can use your Google Home device to translate conversations in real-time. Here's how to use interpreter mode.
Mobile

Folding smartphones hinge on the success of the Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 this year

The Samsung Galaxy S10 boasts a number of hardware improvements over previous Samsung phones, but it also offers a few software improvements too. Adobe Premiere Rush CC, for example, is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 later this year.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. S10 Plus vs. S10e vs. S10 5G: Which should you buy?

With four stunning Galaxy S10 phones to choose from, Samsung is bombarding us with choice, but which one should you buy? We compare the S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G in various categories to find out exactly how they differ.
Wearables

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch Active can track your blood pressure

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down the gym.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Mobile

Google’s radical Gmail redesign is finally rolling out on Android

Google is slowly but surely giving its apps a refresh, modernizing them and ensuring that they're easy to use. The latest app to get a redesign is the Gmail app for Android, which has been redesigned with a few tweaks.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus cases to protect your $1,000 phone

Can't get enough of big phones? The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is absolutely up your alley. But it's still fragile, and damage is easily gathered through normal life. Protect it with the best Galaxy S10 Plus cases.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S9: How much better is Samsung’s new flagship?

You'd naturally expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be better than last year's S9, but just how do the two phones differ? We break down the specs and compare Samsung's flagships in various categories to pick a winner.
Product Review

The Galaxy Watch Active is the right size for you, no matter how big or small your wrist is

Launched among a massive array of other new products, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active could easily have been missed at Galaxy Unpacked 2019 -- which would be unfortunate. This is a sensibly designed, correctly sized smartwatch suitable for…