(Recent rumors for August are of a Kindle Fire 2, with camera version and 4G version, possibly in a deal with Google, along with price reductions of the original Kindle to $169.)
The leading players in computer development have different targets:
Apple: sells computers
Microsoft: sells systems and software
Amazon: sells books, and everything else
Google: sells advertising
To sell advertising, Google also considers itself in the business of producing innovation – getting your attention
To date it has offered free systems to help others provide computers. Now they are in the hardware market to do it right.
Google’s new hardware lacks only a few functionalities to lead the market:
The Nexus 7 lacks only:
. front facing camera
. HDMI connector
I cannot imagine that the innards for these are not already in the device, just not activated
The device can already do a few things not claimed:
. run the discontinued Flash videos with two apps
. run external memory with the StickMount app (requires a root hack)
Plus the Nexus has new technology not even implemented yet: near field (senses nearby objects) and SSP (fast Bluetooth to peripherals), the latter working but for newer peripherals to come
Google also includes NOW, which interacts with you proactively, once it knows your lifestyle (it also needs that for advertising)
The Nexus has wonderful speech recognition, too, from Google.
Meanwhile, Google’s other device, introduced a year ago, and almost forgotten, the ChromeBook is being transformed to a similar larger device with keyboard better capable of document creation, and supplementing Nexus functionality.
The two go hand in hand to cover the needs of most of us: elegantly and cheap.
The ChromeBook has a whole new face based on apps. It has 3G, camera, and VGA.
There is a rumor that it will be modified to support a second “OS” which will run apps when not connected to the cloud. That makes it perfect for document creation to supplement the Nexus 7.
Already the ChromeBook hardware resembles the MacBook Air, the best design yet.
What the others need to do to compete is to bring out a slightly smaller, thinner, and lighter iPad with thin “slate” keyboard. If it does not do this, Microsoft will.
And please, a protective case and handle.
The iPad is a great computer, but the existence of hundreds of cases, stands, and holders betrays its shortcomings.