Google Likely To Launch Second Generation Nexus 7 This Month

Pictures and specifications of a yet-unnamed Nexus device have already surfaced online

Rumours suggest that the next version of the popular Nexus 7 tablet will be unveiled this month at a Google event in San Francisco, possibly alongside a long-expected update to Android OS.

Google has sent out invitations for a 24 July event, headlined by Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Android, Chrome and Google Apps.

Meanwhile, pictures of what is presumed to be the device in question have been leaked by AndroidCentral. Just like the original Nexus 7, it appears the new tablet is manufactured by Asus, and some sources have claimed it is the same K009 device that has been previously spotted in FCC filings.

According to Endgadget, prices for the new Nexus tablet are likely to start at $229.99 (£151) for a 16GB model.

The mysterious Nexus

Nexus 7 was launched at Google I/O almost a year ago, and met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Since then, Google has chosen to focus on Chromebooks and smartphones, with no news about the second generation device.

However, in the past two weeks, leaks have been coming in thick and fast, convincing several tech publications that the launch was imminent.

nexus-7-2-6Next week’s event could also see the launch of Android 4.3, recently leaked online by SamMobile and subsequently taken down, although reviewers note that the update is far from breaking new ground. But the lack of innovation might make sense, considering the rumours that Android 5.0, codenamed Key Lime Pie, will be officially launched before the end of Autumn.

Pichai’s involvement could also point to announcements related to the Chrome OS, Google’s lightweight ultrabook operating system.

The device alleged to be the new Nexus tablet looks like a simple black slate with rounded corners, somewhat reminiscent of Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z. On the outside, it features a microUSB port, power and volume buttons, but no slot for an SD card, and thus no way to upgrade the memory.

Possible specifications of the device have been spotted in retail listings, with prices set at $229.99 (£151) for a 16GB model, and $269.99 (£177) for a 32GB model. The 7-inch display is expected to improve resolution from 1280 x 800 to full 1080p. There’s also a new 5MP rear-facing camera, and two speakers instead of one.

The quad-core processor inside is likely to be manufactured by Qualcomm, supported by 2GB of RAM, or possibly even 4GB, if we believe the most optimistic predictions.

Next week’s event will be live-streamed on Google’s YouTube channel, for those unwilling to fly to San Francisco to see whatever it is Google wants them to see.

Earlier this month, security company BitDefender claimed that contrary to expectations, apps on Google’s Android OS are not as “intrusive” and collect less data about the user than iOS apps.

Are you an Android master? Take our quiz!