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Google unveils Nexus Q streaming media player

Google today unveiled the Nexus Q, a "social" streaming media player that provides access to your Google entertainment content in the cloud.

The $299 (£192) device is available for pre-order now via Google Play and it will start shipping in mid-July.

The 4.6-inch sphere weighs in at 2 pounds and lets users stream content from Google Play and YouTube to speakers and screens in the house. Nexus Q can be paired with bookshelf speakers via the built-in 25W amp, or connect to an AV receiver or HDTV.

"Anyone in the room can use their Android phone or tablet to control what's playing and add their own entertainment to the mix," Google said.

At the Google I/O developer conference, Google execs called Nexus Q an Android computer for your home. The company talked up the social component of of the device, which will essentially let you bring all your movies and music to a friend's house, provided they are saved via Google Play.

Movies will sync up, so if you were watching a movie at one person's house last night and want to pick up elsewhere the next day, it'll just start playing via Nexus Q.

The Nexus Q runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and includes 16GB of NAND flash memory and 1GB of RAM. It will run an OMAP4460 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and SGX540 graphics core. There's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity, as well as various connections, like Micro HDMI, Micro AB USB, Ethernet, and more.