Friday, 29 June 2012

Google I/0 2012: Google announces the Nexus Q, a streaming media player for $299

Along with the launch of their new phone and tablet, Google has launched a new streaming player called the Nexus Q. Dubbed the world’s first social streaming media player, the Nexus Q streams your favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. You can simply use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf an ocean of music, TV, movies and videos, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. Just the stuff you love - at home and out loud.

Users can choose a song from the Google Play Music app on your phone or tablet and play it instantly on Nexus Q. However, it’s important to know that the Google Play Music hasn’t officially come to India. Users can upload up to 20,000 of your songs own for free. Music Manager uploads your iTunes or Windows Media Player library to Google Play so that your collection is available anywhere, anytime. Streaming is not related to music and you can watch your movies on your HDTV with Nexus Q. That feature as well, sadly, has still not been announced for India and we have doubts that it will be coming any time soon.

Naturally, YouTube is included in the fray as well and users can use their Android phone or tablet to search for a specific video or explore a category to find something new. Q brings a lot of features if you are having a party or gathering at home as well. All your guests need is an Android phone or tablet and a connection to your Wi-Fi network. If you prefer your own taste in music you can simply turn off guest mode in your Nexus Q settings and it’s all you. Nexus Q has an audiophile grade amplifier built in so you can hook your speakers right up, or use an optical or HDMI cable to connect Nexus Q to your AV receiver or HDTV. Once you’re playing, you can control the volume from your phone or tablet, or simply by turning the top half of Nexus Q. You can touch the top LED to mute the sound completely. Your device can connect to multiple Nexus Qs and you can choose what music you want to play. The Nexus Q comes with 32 LEDs that shift and change colour in time to the music.

As far as specs are concerned the Nexus Q is powered by an OMAP4460 (dual ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs and SGX540 GPU) has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of NAND flash memory. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 24W class D amplifier with 12.5 watts per channel. Connectors and ports include micro HDMI (type D), TOSLink Optical audio (S/PDIF), 10/100BASE-T Ethernet (RJ45), Micro AB USB (for service and support), Banana jack speaker outputs. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. The device comes with a die-cast finish and the Nexus Q has been made entirely in the USA.

Well, it looks like a pretty nifty device but with no support for Google Play Music, movies and TV shows, the functionality for India is pretty limited. The pricing itself is pretty high at $299 (Rs. 17,045) so it’ll be interesting to see how this device fares when it is actually launched.

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