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Google announces Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 with Android 5.0 (Lollipop)

By Vijay Anand & Ng Chong Seng - on 16 Oct 2014, 8:00am

Google announces Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 with Android 5.0 (Lollipop)

Following Google's I/O 2014 event in June, the Android L developer preview left us wondering what "L" might stand for, but that's finally put to rest as it now officially refers to Lollipop, or otherwise also known as Android 5.0. The key features of the new Android 5.0 haven't really changed from when Android L was previewed, but here are the highlights:

  • 5000 new APIs
  • Google's new Material Design represents a new unified look and feel for all of Google's platforms across all versions of Android
  • More helpful customized notifications with more interactive access on the lock screen
  • Better multitasking
  • Battery saver feature (though most vendor tweaked OS variants offer their own editions)
  • Better security: encryption automatically turned on to help protect data; Android Smart Lock secures your device by pairing it with a trusted device
  • Device sharing: multiple users login; guest mode; and screen pinning options
  • Support for 64-bit processors
  • First version of Android to run exclusively on ART - an entirely new Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness
  • USB Audio support
  • Updated mobile graphics API support with OpenGL ES 3.1 - brings new features and more performane
  • Support for HEVC main profile to allow for 4K / UHD 10-bit video playback

Updated developer previews are slated to drop first on October 17, and as far as we know (via Android Central), these are the devices that will support Android 5.0 Lollipop:

 

Nexus 6

Also announced is the new (Motorola-made) Nexus 6 phablet. Here are its key specs:

  • 5.96-inch, 2,560 x 1,440-pixel AMOLED screen
  • 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor with Adreno 420 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB internal storage
  • 13MP F2.0 rear camera with OIS (2MP for the front)
  • 3,220mAh battery (able to charge up to 6 hours worth of battery in 15 minutes)
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, micro-USB, NFC support
  • Dual front-facing stereo speakers
  • 159.2 x 82.3 x 10mm

The Nexus 6 goes for US$649 without contract for the 32GB version, and US$699 for the 64GB version. Pre-orders will start in late October through Google Play, with U.S. retail availability in November. According to Motorola, the phablet will "come to 28 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America starting later this year and as we head into Q1".

 

Nexus 9

If that isn't enough, we also have a new (HTC-made) Nexus 9 tablet. Like the Nexus 6, it'll run Android 5.0. Here are its key specs:

  • 64-bit, 2.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra K1 dual-core processor
  • 8.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536-pixel IPS display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 or 32GB internal storage for Wi-Fi-only versions, 32GB for LTE version
  • BoomSound speaker technology

The Nexus 9 goes for US$399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, US$479 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version, and US$599 for the 32GB LTE version. Pre-orders will begin on October 17, with U.S. retail availability starting November 3. Google is planning to launch the tablet in 29 countries over the coming weeks.

Source: Google, Nexus product page, Motorola.

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