Google on Wednesday (July 24) showcased a new-generation, slimmer Nexus 7, which the Internet search company hopes will expand its presence in consumer hardware and ensure that its online services remain front-and-centre on mobile devices.

The new Nexus 7, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a higher display resolution, will be priced at $229 (USD) for a basic version with 16 gigabytes of storage. The original year-old tablet started at $199 for an 8 gigabyte version. It will be available on July 30.

Google also announced Chromecast, a USB-drive-sized gadget that lets users watch content from their smartphones, tablets or laptops on their TV. Users will be able to plug the Chromecast into their TV using an HDMI input. To make it work, they'll also have to connect to their home WiFi network. Once the device is set up, users can control their TV and the content they watch by simply using their smartphone or tablet like a TV remote.

The new Chromecast device works similarly to the Apple TV's AirPlay feature, which lets users control the content they watch using their iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices.

However, unlike AirPlay and Apple TV, Google said Chromecast will work with many types of mobile devices, not just Google products. Google said Chromecast will work with both Android and Apple iOS devices.

Chromecast will be available for $35 (USD) starting Wednesday (July 24).

Presented by Adam Justice

Read more: