Samsung Galaxy Nexus on sale in UK; Google Music Store is here

by Kristen Nicole

With the release of Android 4.0 source code earlier this week, it’s no surprise that the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus wasn’t far behind. Now available in UK stores, the Galaxy Nexus is the first to show off Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s the third phone to be anointed under the Nexus name, though it’s the first from Samsung, a top Android OEM. The Galaxy Nexus is designed to show off Android 4.0’s latest capabilities, and other manufacturers are eager to release their ICS devices into the crowded market. For now, Samsung enjoys the perks of being the only ICS standout, but expectations have been raised now that the upgraded version of Android is here.

If you’re anxious to get the newest features Android has to offer, here’s a refresher of the Galaxy Nexus’ specs: a 4.65” Super AMOLED 720p screen, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of memory, along with LTE or Pentaband HSPA+ support. There’s also a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel snapper on the front. No word on its availability in the US, but Samsung seems anxious to clear out some old inventory to make way for the Galaxy Nexus, and it should be here before the holiday season’s over.

Google Music Store arrives

The other big news from Google yesterday afternoon was the official launch of Google Music and its accompanying store, accessible through the Android Market. Google Music itself is akin to iTunes, offering songs for purchase and support to play songs saved to your device. You can share songs with friends on Google+ and keep up to 20,000 tracks in free cloud storage. Google Music is off to a somewhat slow start, lacking a licensing deal from Warner and offering limited features compared to rivals like Spotify. But Google’s built the infrastructure ahead of its Music service, so we’re certain to see some developing integration across Android, Chrome, Google TV and other channels.

The real news here is Google’s Store, as the latest contribution to its growing ecosystem. Google’s centering your personal media cloud around the Android Market, from apps to books, movies to music. This is (potentially) the true future of mobile, and it’s an area Apple’s been finessing for years now, and Facebook’s hot on the trail, too. Amazon is also well aware of the potential behind managing people’s media hubs, as the true value behind its Android-powered tablets is access to its ecosystem, spanning music, movies, books, apps and retail stores.