Google roundup: Android Lollipop, Nexus 6 phone, Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus Play streamer

By , Oct 15, 2014

Android Lollipop (Forest teaser 001)

With less than 24 hours left until Apple’s “It’s been way too long” iPad and Mac media event, the Internet giant Google in a pre-emptive strike Wednesday officially unveiled the next major version of its mobile operating system, Android 5.0, along with the newest Nexus-branded hardware devices: a Motorola-made smartphone, a HTC-made tablet and an Asus-built game console and media streamer.

“A sweet new take on Android,” Android Lollipop is actually the Android L software the search giant teased at its Google I/O conference back in the summer. Containing over 5,000 new APIs for developers, Lollipop has been designed to be flexible to support all screen sizes and devices while taking Android’s customization to the next level.

Android Lollipop

Featuring consistent look and feel across devices (Material Design) and the ability to support low-end devices (Android One), Lollipop enables fluid transitions between tasks while making it easier to pick up on one device where you left off on the other, similar to Apple’s Continuity in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Android Lollipop (devices teaser 001)

Specifically, your songs, photos, apps and recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones, explains a post over at the Official Google blog.

Android Lollipop (Continuity 001)

Lollipop also introduces more finely-graded controls to manage notifications across devices to help reduce cognitive burden stemming from alerts hitting all your devices at once. For instance, you can now adjust notifications so that only certain people and notifications can get through, with important alerts showing on the Lockscreen.

Android Lollipop (TV teaser 001)

And to optimize the battery (Project Volta), Lollipop lets you identify battery hogs running on your device. A new Battery Saver automatically kills apps, shuts off Wi-Fi or dims the display to give you up to 90 minutes of additional battery life.

Android Lollipop (Material Design teaser 001)

Other new features include guest mode and multiple user accounts for keeping your personal data private, the ability to secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern or by pairing it to another trusted device, such as an Android Wear-powered watch or car with Smart Lock.

Here are the basic principles behind Material Design.

And to go along with the ‘Android+You’ mantra, Google now provides the tools to create and share your own Android character over at the Androidify website or by downloading the free Androidify app.

Nexus 6 phone

Hailed as a “bigger phone with more everything,” Google designed and built the Nexus 6 in collaboration with Motorola. It’s got a massive 5,96-inch QuadHD screen with a 1,440-by-2,560 pixel resolution (the iPhone 6 Plus has a full HD 1,920-by-1,080 pixel screen), dual front-facing speakers, a thirteen-megapixel camera out the back with optical image stabilization and a two-megapixel one out the front.

Nexus 6 (image 001)

Powered by a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor with the Adreno 420 graphics and rocking a 3,220mAh battery for over 24 hours of use from a full charge, this phone is meant to go places and be used extensively.

It also files as Google’s most pricey handset to date with a $649 price tag for a contract-free variant. The Nexus 6 will come in 32 and 64GB tiers, with carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular set to begin accepting pre-orders later this month.

Nexus 6 (image 002)

Last but not least, it’s going to ship with Motorola’s Turbo charger that can charge the internal battery for up to six hours of run time in an incredible fifteen minutes.

Nexus 9 tablet

To build its next Nexus tablet, folks at Google have teamed up with their friends over at the Taiwanese handset maker HTC. The result is the Nexus 9, an Android Lollipop-driven tablet which Google says is “for movers and makers”.

It’s got a thin bezel and brushed metal sides, sports an 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen at 2,048-by-1,536 pixels (same as full size Retina iPads) and runs a speedy 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocked at 2.3GHz with Kepler DX1 graphics.

Nexus 9 (image 001)

Other features include an eight-megapixel camera on the back, a 1.6-megapixel shooter out the front, a 6,700mAh battery, HTC BoomSound speaker, 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage and three colorways (Gold, Black and White) with a “soft grip back”.

Nexus 9 (image 002)

And in a nod at mobile warriors, they’re offering a keyboard folio that attaches magnetically to allow users to type at different angles. The Nexus 9 will be available to pre-order this Friday, October 17, starting at $399. The tablet is set to ship on November 3.

Nexus Player

Running Google’s Android TV software, this sleek and streamlined games console and streamer was born out of collaboration with Asus and is Google’s latest take on the living room.

Featuring voice search, Cast support (Google’s version of Apple’s AirPlay), a revamped interface for less browsing and more watching with personalized recommendations on the Home screen, the Nexus Player is like the Apple TV on steroids.

Google Player (image 001)

Of course, it has a built-in app store to download Android-based games and apps optimized for the big screen, something Apple’s $99 set-top box has yet to achieve. And like Amazon’s Fire TV, Google’s device comes with an elegant remote featuring minimalist design with a built-in mic for voice search.

Google Player (image 002)

The Nexus Player is available for pre-order starting on October 17 and in stores starting November 3.

Google Player (game controller 001)

Signing off, here’s the obligatory shot of an Android Lollipop statue at Google’s Mountain View headquarters.

Android Lollipop statue at Google HQ

By the way, Android Lollipop will also be available on the older Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks, Google said. As for Motorola, they published a list of devices that will receive a free Android Lollipop firmware upgrade, with more devices to be added at a latter stage.

So, how do you like today’s advancements in the Google world?

And which Nexus are you?

Don’t be shy, chime in with your thoughts down in the comments. Our Android friends are more than welcome to join the conversation, too, but please let’s keep the discussion civil.

[Official Google Blog, Android Blog]

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  • Fanboy 

    Wonder what percentage of Androids can even update to Android 5.0 lol, lets just say we’ll probably never hear numbers from Google in regards to the adoption rate.

    • Maxim∑

      Google does refresh adoption monthly on the dev page

      • Jason Baroni

        It sounds so forgotten like their marketing strategies regarding their old Nexus products: no one cares.

      • TechLove

        lol.

      • Kurt

        Definitely familiar…Now Apple needs to copy those front facing speakers. Can’t stand hearing movies/music mostly from one ear.

      • Dan

        I agree, maybe in 2017

    • Bart.

      Well Google gives Samsung, HTC, etc the latest android versions. But those companies decide which phone should get an update to the latest android. Google usually gives an update to their phones.

      So in short: you should blame Samsung, htc, etc for not updating to the latest software. All those companies need to paste their skin on it etc.

      I’m not an Android fanboy, its the truth. I own a Mbpr, ipad mini 2 and a iphone 5, so don’t get all bitchy apple fanboys that hail apple like it’s god.

      • Dan

        well said

    • Tsunade Trill-0 San

      how many iDevices can update to iOS 8 matter of fact 7?

      • Fanboy 

        iOS 7 adoption was at 90% of all total iDevices before iOS 8 was released. 90% of anybody who had ever purchased an iDevice was able to upgrade to Apple’s newest OS and experience new features and security enhancements.

      • Tsunade Trill-0 San

        Re-Read my comment, because you obviously didn’t understand it.

      • Guest

        My iPad 1 is stuck at iOS 5.

      • Tsunade Trill-0 San

        There you go. 🙂

    • Tronjheim79

      48% in three years time.

    • AnArcticMonkey

      Cyanogenmod will give enough of the Android L experience to old devices, how many iPhones pre-2011 can have features included in iOS 8? Your username suits you, I’m an Apple fan as well (iPhone 6, Macbook, iPad) but you people always have to knock Android down for no reason.

  • Jason Baroni

    This 6 in the ending of the ad reminds me I want to buy the new iPhone, seriously.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Android lollipop is TOO perfect. lol The jokes write themselves. Cause they suckers! 🙂

  • patrick

    6 inch for a phone is way too big, but that’s just my 2 cents

    • Ara Rezaee

      You’re asian aren’t ya?

      • patrick

        Nope i’m not, if you’re referring to small hands, I actually got quite big hands but I need a phone That fits in my pocket, (with ease) but like I Said, just an opinion

      • RarestName

        People in my country love giant phones.

      • Andy

        Funny you ask that, because Asians actually do prefer larger sized phones more. It’s the westerners that are complaining they’re too big. Not like anyone’s forcing you to get a large phone in the first place…

      • @dongiuj

        What makes you say that?

  • iBanks

    That’s one good looking iPad mini 3 shown above. 😉

  • Stephaughn Alston

    How much will the Nexus Player cost?

    • stoopisdoop

      $99

  • stoopisdoop

    Pricy..

    • onesimpleclik

      And an underspec’d iPhone isn’t? lol

      • Jonathan Talbot

        “Underspeced” thats works better and more smoothly than the “speced”

      • “Works more smoothly” by doing almost nothing compared to the competition. Jailbreak and attempt making it do half of what the “speced” phones do, and watch it slow down like a slot.

      • TechLove

        Those “almost nothing” things are useless and worthless. All people need on their phones are Games/Apps, not Themes/Tweaks. To be productive, you’d use an app. To Pass your time, you’ll play a game. Everything is done by an app. If you think putting themes and tweaking the kernels is real work and you can be productive with it, good for you, you should stay in your mumma’s lap then. But for other 95% of the worlds population, Apps mean everything. And iOS has the best suite of apps, period.
        Heck, this iPad mini clone (nexus 9) don’t even run half of apps the app store has!

      • Yeah, “useless” to every iHypocrite until Apple implements the same thing 3 or 5 years later on their device. Just like live wallpapers, widgets, custom keyboards, NFC, WiFi-Direct sharing, etc were useless to these same iHypocrites…then they’re all of a sudden useful now that Apple has implemented them.

      • s0me

        Those specs are more than enough for loading apps and the home/lock screens + a wallpaper. Keep in mind that hardware is controlled trough software. They want to make you buy another iphone so they “bump” the needs of the next OS so that your phone gets slower. Check RAM after every “major” IOS update and see what I’m talking about.
        Why do you think tabs in Safari / Chrome reload every time you swich them? Its because the device doesnt have enough ram to keep them loaded. Clearly you never used an android device, I have both IOS and ANDROID (flagship) devices and they run perfectly smooth.

      • Jonathan Talbot

        *cough* go check speed test videos which also includes ram tests 😉 iPhone just hapoens to win! Even though it is “underspeced”

  • nyangejr

    So they also got continuity!!! Wow so who’s switching?

    • nyangejr

      Meh

    • Kurt

      WebOS was first to have “continuity” Apple was by no means first lol

  • Zac Bishop

    I’ll be getting the nexus 6 when WiFi calling is available on the T-Mobile version

    • James G

      Wifi calling is available on all T-mobile phones they sell now. So when T-Mobile sells it, it will have it.

    • Sunny

      N6 confirmed it does T-Mobile WiFi calling.

      • Zac Bishop

        T-Mobile said there would be a ota update in early 2015

  • jack

    that homo marriage is really nasty

  • Vighnesh Manick

    The phone and OS actually look appealing. I’m actually considering it

  • jack

    look at that Nexus 6 webpage… they copied Apple’s so much

    • Kash Gummaraju

      Wow really? Scrolling down is new isn’t it? Please, it’s different by tons other than having to scroll down to read the features.

      • jack

        stop being blind

  • iPodDroid

    6 inches is a little too big for my tastes. 5.5 like the iPhone 6+ is the perfect size for me…

    • Ahmed Karoui

      That’s what she said xD

    • Zac Bishop

      if you look at the phones side by side the Nexus is only a tiny bit larger

    • s0me

      BODY Dimensions: Nexus 6159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm (6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 in) vs Iphone 6 Plus 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 in)
      Took the info from gsm arena.

    • s0me

      BODY Dimensions: Nexus 6 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm (6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 in) vs Iphone 6 Plus 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 in)

  • Guest

    Well Google gives Samsung, HTC, etc the latest android versions. But those companies decide which phone should get an update to the latest android. Google usually gives an update to their phones.

    So in short: you should blame Samsung, htc, etc for not updating to the latest software. All those companies need to paste their skin on it etc.

    I’m not an Android fanboy, its the truth. I own a Mbpr, ipad mini 2 and a iphone 5, so don’t get all bitchy apple fanboys that hail apple like its god.

  • James G

    Cue Nexus/iPhone spec wars in 3…2…1

  • s0me

    Hmm… the Nexus 9 + TegraZone + that Asus gamepad should be fun.

  • onesimpleclik

    Apple fans bashing on Android products.
    Android fans bashing on Apple products.
    The never-ending war, with no winners.

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    All that Android “Sweetness” (Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwhich, Jelly Bean etc) will make you ill. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

    • onesimpleclik

      Apples shrivel & rot

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        This apple will never rot.

      • Kash Gummaraju

        The Apple caused Adam and Eve to be punished. I’m not Christian, but Apples are bad if that story is anything to by 😛

      • AnArcticMonkey

        It’s starting too….where is the innovation? What happened with iOS 8.0.1? What happened with this whole bendgate fiasco? What happened with the iCloud leaks? And these are just examples from the past few months, Apple is starting to look similar to Microsoft.

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        I’m sorry? look at the escalating numbers that Apple has driven. Its popularity out numbers any type of technology by a landslide, the proof is in the keynotes. So they made some mistakes, nothings perfect but.. as Steve Jobs implied “We make mistakes but we do fix them”.

      • AnArcticMonkey

        Are you having a laugh mate? Apple products are popular because of their ease of use, innovation (at the beginning), and marketing. Who thought of mobile fingerprint ID? Motorola did years ago. Who thought of cloud transferring? Literally countless companies, Box and Dropbox were huge well before iCloud.

        You want to see Apple’s latest “innovation”? They added a bloody touch ID sensor to their “new” iPad and changed nothing. I am using my Macbook right now, my iPad is sitting on a chair, and my iPhone is right beside me. I am an Apple fan, but this company is starting to slow down compared to the resurgence they had at the start. They are running out of features to take and polish from competitors, I am glad Android is becoming a viable option, it will hopefully wake Apple up.

  • Richard Gomez

    Ok there are a few things that i noticed and thats the nexus six has a verysimilar design of the iphone with those antenna bands and the colors of the nexus 9 is the same as the iphone

    • Andy

      If you haven’t noticed yet, the Nexus 6 is based off Motorola’s Moto X (2014). But Google has boosted the specs, screen size and included the latest Android version.

      In fact, if you check Motorola’s other phone designs such as the Moto G and Moto E, you’ll notice how similar they are. And practically all phones these days come in standard combinations of gray/silver/white/black. Gold does seem to be getting popular though.

  • Ariel

    So Nexus 4 was 4.5”, nexus 5 was 5”, and 6 is 6”. As a reminder, Nexus 7 already exists…

  • Jae. Just J.

    I’ve had an iPhone since the original. Had every variation. But have to say until there is a jailbreak, my 6 Plus really really sucks. Post jailbreak, it is awesome. Hopefully, Apple will take from Android and continue its trend toward more customization in stock iOS like they have in iOS 8.

  • CoryChinloy

    As an owner of both the iPhone 6 and Nexus 5… I can honestly say both have their advanthes and disadvantages. I’m not an apple or android fanboy. I simply go with what I desire more. I like to switch from my iPhone to my Nexus everyone once in a while because I honesty love both OS’s.

    I can say that I kind of lean more towards my Nexus because of the fact that I can literally control every aspect of the device down to the kernel. iPhone… It just looks pretty and I absolutely love iMessage. Again, I like both of them though. I’m very pleaed to see how the Nexus 6 is coming out and, yes, I think the price is worth it.

    As for you fanboys… That’s pure ignorance lol. You have zero logic in your arguments because you usually have no experience with an android decice and/or are simply close minded… Which makes you right for an Apple device because that’s how Apple is, although Apple seems to be opening up a bit more.

    Just my 2¢.

  • Chetan

    Nexus 5 was 5inch, nexus 6 is 6 inch.. What next?? Nexus 7 will be the old 7inch tablet with a call speaker and upgraded specs??

  • AnArcticMonkey

    Glad to see Android make a giant leap forward, hopefully this wakes Apple up and pushes for some innovation. As much as I love my iPhone, the company needs to improve.

    • Kurt

      Front facing speakers is needed on the iPads.

  • Rares

    Is Android Lollipop named so because it’s for suckers?

  • Alexander Gold

    Nexus 6 fast charger is great, just 15 min to charge for 6 hours, apple could also do it with iPhone 6 🙁

    • Guest

      wait a few years

  • Dan

    Good offerings by Google. Especially the tablet imo, front facing speakers are a big plus.

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    myimei.unlock is so high priced, people don’t use it. I used attt-iphoneunlocking, I believe is better, they are the best unlocking site I’ve ever use.

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