Google revealed its Galaxy Nexus 7-inch tablet that will run on Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' yesterday.

Built with Asus, the tablet can now be ordered on Google Play, and will ship in the US for $199 and three other countries in mid-July, Google said.

Google described the tablet as principally a conduit for Google Play, its cloud-based repository for Google apps and movies, books and other content. Nexus 7 is "built for Google Play," said Hugo Barra, product management director for Android at Google.

At Google I/O, its annual developer conference, Google also introduced a spherical Android-based device called Nexus Q that will work in homes to distribute music and other content over stereos and displays with controls from Android smartphones and tablets.

Google Nexus Q

Google Play will launch on the home screen of the new tablet and buyers will get a $25 credit toward Google Play content, such a music, e-books and movies. The Nexus 7 screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution, useful in watching movies, games and other content, Barra said.

Google also listed a series of improvements in Android 4.1, including paid app encryption to help developers protect their intellectual property and an on-device speech recognition engine that eliminates the need for speech input to work over a wireless connection.

Jelly Bean will also ship in the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom smartphones and as open source in mid-July, Google said. A developer blog on the improvements was posted at the same time that Android 4.1 was announced on stage at the Google I/O opening keynote.

One feature of Android 4.1 that Google demonstrated during the keynote was a smoother and more responsive user interface, with a side-by-side demonstration with a device running Android 4.0, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, which launched last October.

Google didn't offer many details about how it developed the tablet or whether it relies on Nvidia's Kai reference design, a means for keeping down costs while keeping up performance.

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