What to expect from Google’s Nexus and Android event

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google’s new Nexus smartphones may be priced way lower than last year.

It’s been a busy few months in the smartphone world, given that new devices from Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and Motorola have all had unveilings of late to varying tides of critical acclaim.Google is holding a special event on Sept. 29, where it’s expected the company will reveal two new Nexus-branded smartphones, a second-generation Chromecast, and details about its new Android operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.GOOGLE IS JUST ONE DAY AWAY from unveiling its next-generation Android 6.0 smartphones, but a leak has prematurely revealed everything we need to know about the Nexus 6P.

Nearly three weeks after Apple announced its latest smartphones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the search giant is preparing to do the same, with a keynote of its own tomorrow in San Francisco. Slides obtained by Android Police reveal what we can expect from the so-called Nexus 6P, a Huawei-built device that will arrive as the higher-spec sibling to the LG-made Nexus 5X. But while the event will likely focus on a refreshed set of Nexus handsets and the upcoming public release of Android Marshmallow, there are signs that Google is also planning to deliver a couple new Chromecast products — including one that’s all about audio.

The nature of the rumours suggest that we are likely to see two new Nexus phones from Google – their own brand of device that is manufactured alongside a partner firm (HTC and LG have done it in the past). Backing up previous rumours, the leak reveals that the Google Nexus 6P (below) will feature a 5.7in WQHD AMOLED Gorilla Glass 4 screen, metal unibody design, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor and 3GB of RAM.

We also wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about Android Wear, especially since we’ve seen a number of new devices introduced over the past month, like Motorola’s second-generation 360 and the Huawei Watch. For example, users will now have the ability to control app permissions on a granular level (e.g., approving access to location data, while declining access to contacts), instead of the all-or-nothing approach earlier Android releases used.

Following in the footsteps of the OnePlus 2, it will come with a USB Type-C connection, and will be almost 3mm thinner than its Nexus 6 predecessor at 7.3mm. Huawei’s larger Nexus 6P will also reportedly see a lower starting price than Google’s last Nexus; Android Police says it’ll begin at $499.99 and go up depending on storage options.

A new feature called Now on Tap, the latest version of Google’s digital assistant, will start providing better context for whatever data appears on a user’s screen. For instance, when viewing an email containing proposed dinner plans with a friend, a simple tap and hold on the home button will prompt Google Now to display Yelp reviews, a shortcut to OpenTable for reservations, and Google Maps for directions — simply by analyzing what’s currently on your screen and returning results. The new device is said to offer improved performance, and a new “Fast Play” that will allow users to launch content from WiFi-connect devices much faster.

First announced at Google I/O earlier this year, Marshmallow focuses on improving the overall quality of the platform, bringing a revamped apps permission processor and an iOS 9-style battery-saving feature called Doze. But Android Police is noting that Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint do not plan to carry Nexus phones in stores this time around. (All four gave shelf space to Motorola’s Nexus 6.) Instead, the Google Store will be your go-to destination for all things Nexus — though other retail options like Amazon and Best Buy might also be in the cards. In some leaked images that appeared online, a silver ring can be seen on the rear of the device, below the camera lens, that could be a fingerprint scanner.

But now, the company seems to want to get back to the days of the successful, LG-made Nexus 5, one of its best smartphones to date — both in terms of software and hardware. To do so, it appears the company is teaming up with LG yet again, this time on a device called the Nexus 5X, which actually looks a lot like the Nexus 5, if these leaked images are to be believed. The camera ‘bulge’ at the top of the 6P is drawing plenty of debate – with many suggesting that hopefully it means hefty camera power will be housed within the phone. It was announced way back in May, and is still due to be released sometime this autumn, so it would make a lot of sense to finally roll out Marshmallow.

Netflix and co have started taking over the world when it comes to how we consume media, so reports suggest Google is looking to refresh its own take on this market. It reportedly features a 5.7-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 display, Snapdragon 810 processor, a fingerprint sensor on the back, dual front speakers, USB Type-C and a beefy 3,450mAh battery. Reports around this possible new product are still vague, but according to 9to5 Google, this will essentially be just like a traditional Chromecast, except you plug it into a speaker system and not a TV, before then streaming your music through that system. 9to5 Google also claims that Spotify could be ready to finally add support for Chromecast Audio. Let’s not forget the fingerprint-reading scanners either: These will be the first Nexus devices to offer this feature, which you’ll need to take advantage of the soon-to-be released Android Pay.

Still, we do know that one main feature Marshmallow brings to the table is support for fingerprint readers, so it’s nice (and unsurprising) to see that both Nexus 5X and 6P apparently support this kind of authentication. Of course, Google’s own Nexus smartphones will be first in line to receive the update, but here’s hoping carriers and OEMs don’t take their sweet time to bring it to as many handsets as possible.

According to 9to5Google, a device code-named “Hendrix” will be making its debut tomorrow, which is rumored to add wireless connectivity to any old speakers you may have lying around — so long as they have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If Chromecast Audio ends up being real, it would allow people to network their existing speakers with a simple dongle; think of it as a cheap way to upgrade to a Sonos-esque setup.

You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

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