The Nexus Q just showed in Google Play, just before the start of Google I/O. The $299 (£200) cloud-service streaming box promises to be the first social streaming media player. The Nexus Q is supposed to be for Google Play at Home. It has trippy flashing lights and lovely design, but is it any good?
At its core, this is an Android accessory. It's designed to be controlled by your phone or tablet which talks to the Nexus Q via Bluetooth. The Nexus Q pulls all its content from the internet via your home Wi-Fi network and then you control it from your device. It only works with Google-owned services: Google Play, Music, and TV as well as YouTube.
The product is based on a couple of interesting observations. It has a weird spherical design because Google thinks music can also be a visual experience. It can even beam a visualizer to your TV.
Another interesting observation is that listening to music is an isolating experience. That's where the "social" part comes in. Google wants your to sit around in your living room making playlists of songs and videos with your friends.
The Nexus strongly resembles the Project Tungsten streamer we saw last year Google I/O. The conceptual hardware was an Android-based media device that's plugged into every room of your house. The promise: Sonos-like control your music plus media streamer-like access to streaming services. Now we finally know more about Google's plans for your entertainment.
The Nexus Q has a built-in 25-watt amp, which is enough power to drive a couple of small speakers. This little globe of sound is tiny: It's just 11.6cm in diameter and weighs just 900g. It carries 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory.
Google is also selling it's own accessories for the Nexus Q. The Triad bookshelf speakers are supposedly specifically optimised for the Nexus Q. They've got one-inch tweeter and 6 1/2-inch subwoofer. Only $400 (£260-odd)! Oh, and there are even special Nexus Q speaker cables.