Google talks Nexus 5X and 6P naming, lack of wireless charging, and more

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS unveiled: Quick peek at top 10 key features.

Yesterday at Google’s annual Android event, the company unveiled two new Nexus smartphones, the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS has been unveiled by Google packed inside 2 smartphones launched alongside – the Google Nexus 6P, which is priced at Rs 39,999 and Nexus 5X, which is priced at Rs 31,900 (both available in India from mid-Oct).Nexus devices, which typically do not sell as much as iPhones or iPads, are a way for the tech giant to showcase its latest advancements in mobile hardware and software.”We’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?),” Google said in a blog post Tuesday. The Android mobile platform is a key element in Google’s strategy to maintain revenue from online advertising as people switch from Web browser searches to smartphone apps.

But more than that—these are great phones that push the larger Android ecosystem forward.” If that sounds like an admission that sales have fallen flat, that’s not a coincidence. Of course, you could also purchase Google’s first tablet based on this Android operating system – the Pixel C tablet priced at $499 for the 32 GB model. It was built in collaboration with Huawei and is a 5.7-inch phone made from aeronautical-grade aluminum, with a USB Type-C port for fast charging, a 64-bit processor and a 12.3-megapixel camera sensor. Google GOOG 2.26% has even said as much, with a company exec sharing that Nexus sales were down during the Q1 2015 financial earnings call back in April.

Both phones — manufactured by LG and Huawei, respectively — will be sold as unlocked devices, meaning they can be purchased directly through Google’s digital store or at partner bricks-and-mortar retailers and used with a wide variety of carriers. They will also be compatible with Project Fi, Google’s new WiFi program, part of a trend among Google, Apple and others to take over parts of the wireless business previously reserved for carriers. The fingerprint sensors will help quickly authorize purchases made through Android Pay, the one-touch payment app on Android devices that competes with Apple Pay.

Ian Fogg, senior director and head of the mobile and telecoms team, agrees. “Sales are not the reason Google does Nexus phones,” he says. “This is a product designed to be a standard bearer for Google’s innovation for Android.” That’s not to say the Nexus brand doesn’t serve any practical purposes. The Pixel tablet puts Google in the sights of its biggest competitors, Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft Corp’s Surface tablets, which also have optional keyboards. For mobile developers, the phones are valuable tools, as they showcase the latest Android capabilities without any software tweaks from carriers or phone manufacturers. Both devices will come equipped with fingerprint technology similar to Apple’s TouchID, though the sensor is on the back of its phones, and will operate on Android’s upcoming Marshmallow operating system. Google also unveiled a redesigned version of its Chromecast device for streaming Web content to TVs and introduced Chromecast Audio, which plugs into speakers to stream audio over Wi-Fi.

Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus, unveiled at Apple’s product event earlier this month, can also be purchased as unlocked phones directly through Apple for $549 and $649, respectively. For example, if a user says “play some music on TuneIn,” TuneIn will respond by asking “What genre?” * On an Android Marshmallow device, apps designed for Android Marshmallow only ask for permission right when it’s needed. Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives users quick and secure access to their phones, as well as use of Android Pay in the U.S.

You can deny any permission and still continue to use the app; * Use fingerprint sensors to unlock your device, make purchases in Google Play, authenticate transactions in apps, and pay in stores. * App links: enables installed apps to automatically handle their web URLs so you can jump right into the app, rather than the mobile web site, as appropriate * Flex Storage: makes using SD cards or external storage devices as encrypted expanded storage for your apps and games on Android Marshmallow a whole lot easier. The devices are available for preorder on the Google Store from the U.S. and several other countries, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. Huawei is just starting to break away from the pack, and the fact that Google has chosen it [to make a Nexus phone] means it could really take off.” Finally, without huge sales expectations, Google can treat Nexus devices as an experiment, seeing what resonates most with users. Apple last week launched its new iPhone 6s line, and Google on Tuesday revealed its new Nexus lineup, the 5X and 6P, which will launch in late October.

For the last several years, the latest version of Android has only made it to a select handful of phones, leaving most users running outdated software. “Google will need to have some way to get the latest version of Android into more people’s hands,” Fogg says. But that is nothing compared to the competition the platform gets from Apple, a company whose hardware and software development is completely in sync. Surprisingly, the phone runs Qualcomm’s controversial Snapdragon 810 processor, which has had overheating issues and doesn’t quite measure up on power to the latest products from Samsung and Apple. Like all of Google’s flagship devices this year, the phone uses a USB-C port that supports fast charging, something sorely missing from Apple’s phones. Apple’s stock declined throughout the day, with the fall accelerating after the Google event, and shares ultimately closed down 3 percent at $109.06.

But iPad sales have been in decline this year as compared with last year, and I think at least some of that is because the iPhone 6 Plus is fulfilling the productivity role that, last year, was restricted to the iPad lineup. The unlocked 6 Plus will let you switch freely between all four U.S. carriers and pretty much any virtual carrier; the only ones which are forbidden are carriers that require special firmware, like Republic Wireless and Net10.

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