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Google Is The Latest To Get Into Computer Tablets


Google opened its World Wide Developers conference yesterday with a few announcements -- the most notable is its entry into the highly competitive tablet market.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, with the Nexus 7, Google is headed for a market somewhere between the Amazon Fire and Apple's iPad.

It's called the Nexus 7 because it's a seven-inch tablet. Google also announced more content for its online store. In addition to music, movies and books, they will have TV shows and magazines.

HUGO BARRA: We wanted a device that lets you immerse yourself in all of that media.

SYDELL: Google's Hugo Barra.

BARRA: We wanted you to be delighted when you read books, magazines, watch movies and play games.

SYDELL: Clearly, Google is hoping to compete with the Kindle Fire, which is meant for buying and consuming content from Amazon's store. But, Google threw in some features that make it a little more competitive - better graphics, a camera, and at 200 bucks, it's cheaper than an iPad.

Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.

FRANK GILLETT: So it'll be people who aren't yet tied up with any of those ecosystems who will say oh, you know, that looks like a pretty cool tablet. Let me try that.

SYDELL: And there's probably some room. Gillett expects the tablet market to grow from 191 million devices this year to 760 million in 2016.

Google also showed off computerized glasses. As the presentation was happening, a group of parachuters wearing them jumped out of a blimp over the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The audience was able to see it on a screen live in an auditorium as if they were looking through the glasses.

Laura Sydell, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and NPR.org.