Google Unveils Nexus 7 And Chromecast

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Google ( GOOG) announced an updated Nexus 7 tablet and an inexpensive new device to stream Web videos, music and photos to a high-definition television and control the process from a laptop, Android, Microsoft ( MSFT) Windows or Apple ( AAPL) Mac and iOS device.

The company held an informal breakfast gathering in San Francisco to introduce the new 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet, which is manufactured by Asus. The updated tablet, which starts at $229, is thinner, lighter in weight and has front and back cameras.

The next-generation Nexus 7 sports a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm ( QCOM) S4 processor and 2 GB of RAM inside plus stereo speakers with virtual surround sound. The screen is now capable of displaying 1920 by 1200 HD video and more than doubles the number of pixels per square inch (from 216 to 323).

The new Nexus 7, which goes on sale July 30th, is the first device to ship with the next version of Android, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Other Nexus devices will get upgraded with the new Android operating system starting today.

The Nexus 7 tablet comes in both a 16 GB Wi-Fi model, and a 32 GB Wi-FI and LTE versions. The 32 GB Wi-Fi version sells for $269, while the LTE versin, which runs on AT&T ( T), T-Mobile ( TMUS) and Verizon ( VZ) networks, will retail for $349.

Google's Chromecast, which is another attempt to crack the TV market, is different from its previous Google TV streaming device.

The small dongle is plugged directly into a television's HDMI port, and is powered by a USB connection. Chromecast utilizes a modified version of Google's Chrome browser which displays a 1080p signal to a television.

Chromecast, which costs $35, can be controlled with smartphones, tablets, or PCs and Mac computers. Once a command is sent, files streamed directly from the cloud to the Chromecast. Google is giving away three months of Netflix ( NFLX) with Chromecast to entice users to purchase the device.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.