Mike Isaac

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Google Unveils New Android Nexus Hardware

Google pulled back the curtain on a suite of new Android products on Monday morning, showing off a new smartphone and tablets.

Included in the suite of products are the Nexus 4, a new flagship handset developed in conjunction with hardware manufacturer LG. Biggest key features on the phone: Wireless charging and a new piece of 360-degree photo-taking software called “photo sphere.”

The smartphone will also run Android version 4.2, an updated version of Jelly Bean. Among the new features are gesture-based typing (like that you’ve seen in the “Swype” feature running on some Samsung Android tablets), streaming-media sharing between mobile devices and HDTVs, and a mode called “daydream,” which shows off content while the phone is in idle mode.

There’s also the Nexus 10, a Samsung-manufactured larger tablet aimed at the media-hungry market. Google is pushing “shareable logins” as the key feature on the Nexus 10. That means if you want to share the tablet with, say, your spouse, each of you can use separate Google IDs to log in to the tablet.

And, finally, new versions of Google’s Nexus 7, the seven-inch tablet on par with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The tablets are now available with HSPA+ mobile data plans, including AT&T in the U.S. Also, the original Wi-Fi-only versions of the Nexus 7 now come in larger storage options: 16 gigabytes for $200 for the original version, and 32GB for $250. The 32GB HSPA+ version of the tablet will cost $300.

The new products come one day after Google was slated to hold an event in New York City announcing the devices, but the launch was postponed by the impending approach of Hurricane Sandy.

It’s also no mistake that Google is showing off its new hardware the day of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch, where the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is expected to show off its new Windows Phone 8 software to go with the recently revamped Windows 8.

Not to mention Apple’s latest device launch of the iPad mini the week before.

It’s all ramping up for the holiday season, with each manufacturer hoping to push its products out to consumers in the hope of gaining a larger slice of the mobile market share.

The new Nexus devices will be available via Google’s Web store, Google Play.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work