Google announced the latest version of its Android platform, Android 4.3, as well as the first device to be powered by the updated OS – a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet.
The new Android release introduces restricted profiles, which enables owners to limit access to apps and content. For example, this can be used to prevent children from accessing “mature content”, and can also be used in retail applications – for example to enable tablets to be used as point of sale systems.
It also adds support for Bluetooth Smart, which provides connectivity to accessories such as fitness sensors, which can then be used in conjunction with apps running on the smart device.
The platform is being rolled out to Nexus-branded devices imminently. Its availability for smartphones and tablets from other vendors is likely to vary considerably.
Google is again working with ASUS for the Nexus 7, stating that a new screen with 323 pixels per inch makes it “the world’s highest resolution 7-inch tablet”. It is also said to be “lighter than ever”, and includes stereo speakers and virtual surround sound from Fraunhofer (“the inventors of the MP3 format”).
It will be available with optional LTE support alongside Wi-Fi, and come in 16GB and 32GB versions. Prices start at $229, with US availability next week. Google said that more countries are “coming soon”.