In a series of announcements and unveilings on Wednesday afternoon, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduced the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system and a Chromecast TV streaming device.
A highlight for this new software includes multi-user accounts that allow for restricted profiles. This was designed specifically for families so parents can have peace of mind knowing that their kids cannot access certain content. Device owners can now control how the application acts in specific profiles. The parent can privately purchase games or app features on their own profile so the new games/features will be unlocked in the child’s account while other parts of the of app/feature are hidden.
Google Android 4.3 OS features
Other features in Android 4.3 include Bluetooth Low Energy, which allows users to pair up their smartphone or tablet with lower powered devices like fitness sensors and new DRM APIs for full HD content. Netflix will also be the first company to utilize this new feature by offering subscribers 1080p streams for the first time with this Android app. Right now, the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet is the only Android gadget to support this new technology but soon other tablets and smartphones will access the same technology.
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Hugo Barra for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) explained the appeal, “Watching 1080p videos on a tablet is obviously amazing, but actually most of the premium content that you get on tablets today is standard definition. That’s usually related to content protection limitations that exist on HD content.”
Google Chromecast is a handy and affordable dongle
Android 4.3 also features improved graphics and OpenGL ES 3.0. It’s important to point out that this is still Jelly Bean and the upgrade is still considered minor. Some Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) fans are still waiting for Android 5.0 Key Lime operating system to make it’s debut.
Today, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) also introduced Chromecast, a handy little dongle that connects to the HDMI port on almost any television set and users to stream media from their phones, tablets, or computers. This device is available for $35 in the United States. At press time, there is no statement on when or if Chromecast will hit international markets.