New Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 features are more consumer than business-focused with one notable exception

July 24, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Google execs giddily extolled new features in the Nexus 7 and, more broadly, the latest version of its mobile operating system, Android 4.3, at a splashy media event here earlier today. 

For business users there aren't a lot of new features specifically geared to them, but there’s a lot to like about the Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 (to be available in the coming weeks on other tablets). 

For one thing, the Nexus 7’s 1920 x 1200 HD display is sharper than any other 7-inch tablet and compares favorably to Apple’s Retina Display. And the benefits of that high res display for business users go beyond watching color rich videos. 

“The text is a lot crisper and that means less eyestrain,” Android product manager Gabe Cohen, told TabTimes during a demo which indeed showed screens of very easy to read, clear text. 

The Nexus 7 (available starting July 30 starting at $229) now also includes stereo speakers with virtual surround sound designed by Fraunhofer, the inventors of MP3. While music and video will sound better, the sound quality of webcasts and conference calls figures to be better on the Nexus 7 as well. 

Business and enterprise will like this

But the big new feature in Android 4.3 that caught my eye is called Restricted Profiles.

The obvious use for this is with families. Android 4.2 already lets you create different profiles so Mom, Dad and the kids can all have their own log ins, but Restricted Profiles builds on this idea significantly. 

With Restricted Profiles you (the tablet owner, administrator or “master user”) can limit what apps different users can access including, should you choose, a complete restriction on accessing Google Play to add new apps. 

“You could also restrict access to social networks if you wanted to,” said Cohen. 

A company that wants to use an Android 4.3 tablet as a kiosk, for example, might want to be pretty restrictive on what anyone else can use it for beyond displaying product information and related content. A bank of Android tablets for  sales people might be loaded with brochures, product demonstrations and other useful apps, limited in what else can be added. 

Cohen said Google is also offering developers tools that will let them offer users a way to limit in-app purchases using their app to limit inappropriate and unauthorized purchases. 

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