Last night saw the first keynote at Google’s I/O conference, and there were some interesting announcements from a music industry perspective.
Starting with the Nexus 7, a Google-branded 7-inch tablet that will go head to head with Amazon’s Kindle Fire – with the Google Play store for music, apps, films, TV shows and digital magazines a key feature. It’ll cost $199 and goes on sale in July in the US, UK, Canada and Australia
There were big stats on Android – 400m devices sold so far, 1m new ones being activated every day, and 1.5bn Android app downloads a month – as well as a new update to the smartphone and tablet OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
But most intriguing is the Nexus Q – a sphere-shaped “social streaming media player” that will go head to head with Sonos’ connected hi-fis. Controlled by an Android smartphone or tablet, it streams music to speakers and films, TV shows and YouTube videos to televisions. It’s unclear whether it will only support Google’s own entertainment offerings, or third-party services like Spotify, Deezer and Rhapsody too.