In case you missed it, Google held their annual Android Nexus event today, so here’s a recap of Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Nexus event.
You can watch the Google September Event on YouTube.
Android 6.0 – Marshmallow
Today, Google announced the release of Android 6.0, Marshmallow. Features like its Now on Tap personal assistant, aka Google’s Siri competitor, and the rollout of Android Pay at the beginning of September are joined by essential improvements like supposedly longer battery life with a Doze mode, more finely-grained application permissions, fingerprint-scanner support and an in-phone app search. Google will be making Android 6 available next week, but unless you’ve got a stock Android phone, you’ll have to wait until your carrier puts it through the grinder and delivers it to you.
Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P
The LG-manufactured Nexus 5X incorporates a 2,700mAh battery. It has dual front-facing speakers, a USB Type-C port for connecting and fast charging, and a fingerprint scanner (dubbed “Nexus Imprint”) on the back. It’s has 5.2-inch display, . uses a 64-bit processor and comes in Carbon Black, Quartz White and Ice Blue.
Huawei will be manufacturing the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P with a quad-HD (2,560×1,440) resolution AMOLED screen. It’s 7.3mm thick, made of anodized aluminum with a sculpted back, and comes in Frost White, Aluminum and Graphite. It incorporates a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a 1.55-micron-pixel-pitch Sony sensor and an 8MP selfie camera. The camera uses laser-detection autofocus and has improved processing with an automatic HDR mode in low light. The camera also gets 240fps slow motion and 4K video; in contrast, the 5X does 120fps. It shoots 30fps bursts with a best-image selection capability, and in Marshmallow, double-tapping the power button launches the camera.
You’ll be able to buy the phones in the online Google Store. Both are available for pre-order now in the US, UK, Ireland and Japan. The 5x starts at $380; the 6P, $500. They’ll both ship in late October ship, unlocked.
They come with 90-day free subscription to Google Play Music. In the US, there’s also a $50 Google Play credit. Nexus Protect adds a year to one-year manufacturer warranty, which covers mechanical breakdown and accidental damage, plus one-business-day device replacement. It costs $69.
Both will be available on the Fi network. Project Fi is Google’s wireless service, whose secret sauce is the ability to hop between cell carriers and Wi-Fi to deliver the optimal (and cheapest) signal, all for a lower price than the typical carrier’s.
Chromecast 2.0 and Chromecast Audio
Chromecast 2.0 gets a physical redesign with an HDMI cable (for more flexibility) and colorful, small puck-shaped chassis. It levels up to casting games and photos from your phone. Google updated its wireless to dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi and three antennae for a longer reach and stronger signal.
There’s a new Chromecast app with a “What’s On” discovery feature, turning your phone or tablet into couch-potato central. It will also tell you which apps on your device support Chromecast. A device tab in the app allows multiple devices to control casting. And there’s improved, voice-capable, cross-app search. It will be available over the next few weeks.
The second-generation Chromecast will cost the same as the first-gen model, $35, and will be available starting today in 17 countries.
Google revealed Chromecast Audio. It looks similar to the other device, but comes with a 3.5mm, RCA or optical colored audio cable instead of HDMI. It works with existing Chromecast-capable apps and operates similarly to its video sibling. It streams “the highest-quality audio”, mutes notification tones and works with Android Wear. A guest mode allows friends to cast without connecting to your Wi-Fi and it can mirror any audio — including podcasts and audible books.
It will also cost $35.
Android Pixel C Tablet
Google previewed the Pixel C, a 10.2-inch Android tablet which is slighly larger than the iPad Air series. Specs include a 308 pixel-per-inch display with an Nvidia X1 quad-core processor and Nvidia Maxwell graphics processor, 3GB of working memory, and it has an optional magnetically attached keyboard (with an 18mm key pitch) that connects via Bluetooth and which charges inductively when it’s closed and attached to the tablet.
It has stereo speakers on either side as well as four microphones for far-field voice input. The Pixel C will be available by the end of the year starting at $500, plus $150 for the keyboard.