Yesterday was just one of those rare incredibly hectic days both for Android/Google and at work and as such I owe you all an apology. I did the best I could with yesterday's post but it was still a bit rushed and I had to leave a lot of information out due to time constraints.
Today you get those things I left out and some stuff that was put out after my post was shared with you all.
So let's do it in a somewhat decent order.
Who is getting the update and when?
First off, two "old" devices will be getting updated to Android L. The Nexus 7 (2012) and the Nexus 4. Both were previously unlisted in "the following devices will get the update" posts and info released by Google, that has been clarified and both are getting the update. When? Your guess is as good as mine, but Google is usually really good about getting updates rolled out (slowly but surely) in as little as a month after officially releasing a device with the new Android version.
NVIDIA has also promised an update to the Shield Tablet to Android L.
As far as what else is going to get Android L, no word yet from any of the OEMs with the exception of Motorola, who had the following to say about the subject.
Once Android 5.0 L is officially released, we intend to bring this latest upgrade to many of our other Motorola devices, as well. This includes Moto X (1st and 2nd Gen), Moto G (1st and 2nd Gen), Moto G with 4G LTE, Moto E, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini. We're still working out the details on timing and the upgrade depends on our partners' support so stay tuned to our software upgrades page for the latest and greatest.
Motorola, you rock!
UPDATE! Sony has stated the following.
We'll be making Sony Mobile's Android "L" upgrade available for the entire premium Z series*: including Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition devices will be first up – we'll be back with more details on that soon.
We'll start the upgrade at beginning of 2015 for the core Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series – continuing thereafter for all remaining devices above.
You go, Glenn Co- I mean, Sony!
The moment I start hearing about exact time frames then you all will know because I'll post what info I can find.
Any info from yesterday that wasn't Nexus specific but is worth knowing?
Yes! So as some people noted in the renders that were leaked during the week, there was a new messaging app apparent on the homescreen of the Nexus 6. Was it a new app? Was Hangouts being replaced?
The answer has officially come from Google.
Messenger and Hangouts offer users choice, each have their own benefits. Hangouts work great for cross platform (web, iOS, Android) and cross medium communications (video, voice,messaging, SMS). Messenger will be specially designed to be a quick and easy way to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android; more to come (Nexus 6 will come with both apps).
What does any of that mean? Simple, Hangouts is sticking around and rather than keep the Messaging app of old, it is going to be replaced by Messenger which will pull duty as the stock SMS/MMS (texting, kids, texting) app.
Why is this happening when Hangouts can handle SMS/MMS messages? I honestly don't know and the theories out there are all over the place. (They range from some people were unaware Hangouts could handle regular texting to the carriers didn't like that Hangouts could circumvent their stranglehold on ringing very nickel and dime they could from your wallet thanks to texting fees to this is the first step on the road to that new messaging app for third world countries to be able to get in on the fun and on the cheap. All rumors until any are confirmed as otherwise.)
Coolness. Any Nexus related info you couldn't share yesterday?
Quite a bit actually.
In no particular order here's what else we know about the Nexus 6 specifically.
It will support wireless charging, which is on top of it's ability to utilize the Motorola Turbo Charger , which according to the Nexus 6's spec sheet, "gives up to 6 hours of power in 1 minutes". There has to be a typo there and a digit missing. The Moto X spec sheet and product page claim 8 hours in 15 minutes, so I figure it should be about the same for the Nexus 6.
The device will also, like the Moto X (and which I forgot to mention in my review), be water resistant. WATER RESISTANT! Not waterproof! The two are not one and the same and a lot of people tend to interchange the two or misunderstand their meaning. Waterproof means you can jump into the pool with your phone in your pocket and come out with it working perfectly fine. Water resistant means you can get caught out in the rain with your phone out or knock over a glass of water onto it on your desk and you should be good. No damage will be done. Just don't go jumping into a pool with your water resistant phone cause you'll come out with a nice $649+ paperweight.
I also mentioned yesterday that the Nexus 6 will support T-Mobile's WiFi calling with a future OTA update from T-Mobile in early 2015.
Beyond that, I want to add a little bit of information regarding the two versions of the Nexus 6. It won't be one device for the world but two. One for the Americas and one for everyone else. Bands, people. Carriers don't utilize the same bands across the planet and as such radios within various devices tend to be made to work on the respective bands in each market for each carrier. It's just how things are.
That said, here's the info for the two different versions.
The Americas version of the phone will have support for the following bands.
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
LTE: Bands: 2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/41
CA DL: Bands: B2-B13, B2-B17, B2-29, B4-B5, B4-B13, B4-B17, B4-B29
The international version of the phone will have support for the following bands.
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: not supported
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19
LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/9/19/20/28/41
CA DL: B3-B5, B3-B8
Any other tidbits worth doling out to us?
As a matter of fact I have a few, two specifically related to Android L and one that is an app worth checking out.
First up is how that L Casting Call from the other day ended.
And now, the one that almost made me bash my head against my desk. A GIF. A GIF that I can't unsee.
Ruxin always knows how to best express things.
Also, you really should be watching The League. Especially if you aren't already. Rafi-bomb! GATTACA! If you watch it you'll get all of that and your life will be better off for it, everyone needs Rafi in their life, as long as he isn't taking care of their cat that is.
Moving on though.
This is the editorial/opinion part of things and it contains the evolution of Nexus phones and the prices associated with them.
So the Nexus 6 is priced at $649.99. "This has made a lot of people very angry and widely been regarded as a bad move."
Except as Pessimipopotamus and I discussed yesterday, it's a flagship level device. That's also ignoring some pretty big facts about the Nexus line of devices.
The Nexus line has only recently had pricing that was considered reasonable/kick ass. It did not originally start that way and people seem to forget that, which is surprising given just how short a time ago the original Nexus One was released.
The Nexus One for those unaware was truly the first Nexus phone and it was a collaboration between HTC and Google (and the story behind that can be hysterical and oh so geeky and entertaining). It was a phone that blew minds and brought Android to the public for the first time ever, although it wasn't as big a hit as HTC's followup phone the HTC Dream.
The Nexus One originally retailed for $529.99 off contract at the time of its release on January 5, 2010.
Then there was the follow up Nexus device, the Nexus S, which brought Gingerbread to the world and was available for purchase in mid-December of 2010. It too went for roughly the same price off contract, although on contract it could be had for around $200 (I bought one on contract through Sprint, the Nexus S 4G when it came out and it was my first personal Android device, it sits just below my TV to this day ever since the day it died which was shortly after being replaced by the Nexus 4 when I jumped ship to T-Mobile) and eventually as little as $50 (near the end of its life and just before Ice Cream Sandwich came out).
After the Nexus S, the last of the truly "ancient" Nexus devices came the Galaxy Nexus in October 2011 and was again made by Samsung.
At launch it retailed originally for $399, which was then dropped to $349 shortly after Google I/O 2012.
It can still be purchased to this day from some retailers for its full off contract price of $399.
I literally just typed Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a listing for the Verizon version came up on Best Buy's website and I was pretty much blown away that they still have it for sale and still at its original and downright insane at this point price.
It was after the Galaxy Nexus that we truly got to modern times and the pricing we became far too used to for Nexus devices.
Thanks in no small part to Hurricane Sandy hitting New York City on October 29th, 2012 we did not get the unveiling that Google had originally planned for the LG made Nexus 4. Instead it quietly showed up in the Play Store and was available in both 8 GB and 16 GB versions, the former going for $299 and the latter for $349.
It wasn't until the end of August in 2013 that the price finally dropped on that oh so sleek and sexy phone, the Nexus 4.
I picked one up from T-Mobile the moment I could, even if doing so was a hassle in and of itself and a story I've shared before and won't bother sharing again. I paid the full off contract price for the device and to this day it is the phone I still remember fondly, mostly because of its amazing looking glass back.
Like I was saying though, it wasn't until August 2013 that the Nexus 4 finally dropped in pricing. At that time, the original pricing of $299 and $349 for the 8 GB and 16 Gb models fell to $199 and $299 respectively. A rather significant price drop for each and still far under what other flagship devices were going for at the time.
On Halloween exactly a year ago (so October 31st, 2013 for those incapable of keeping track of time) the successor to the Nexus 4 made its appearance in the Play Store for immediate purchase then and there.
That device was the Nexus 5, made by LG again, and what a device it was and still remains to this day. It'd been hinted at for some time to that point and some folks with fine eyes spotted it in at least one Google video where it was accidentally shown in use by a Googler. The speculation had begun in earnest and we were not disappointed in the least upon its release, from the specs to the price we knew what we were seeing was truly a phenomenal device.
The 16 GB version retailed for $349, while the 32 GB version retailed for $399. Actually, false. Retails* As the pricing on it remains the same to this date. I just checked and you can see the screenshots I took below.
This brings us, children, to the unveiling of the Nexus 6 yesterday.
At $649.99 for the entry level 32 GB model (since that's the only one we know the pricing on at the moment) it truly seems unreasonable. In comparison though to its ancestor the Nexus One it's not in the least bit unreasonably priced, especially when you look at the device you're getting.
It is a flagship device in every possible sense of the term. It is larger than previous Nexus phones up til this point. The specs it has make it a beast in comparison to its cousin the Moto X (2nd Gen.). Combine those two things, significantly larger size and truly up to date specs and internals (which combined, the display and specs that is, require a sizable battery to power the device because of all that) and you've got something that commands the price point it was released at and still manages to come in as the better and cheaper option when compared to flagship devices from the other OEMs with the exception of Motorola.
Unless of course you get the two year Moto Care coverage.
In which case the Nexus 6 still manages to be the cheaper option. (Although naturally I'd argue that it isn't necessarily the better one. I do love me those Moto X features!)
So there you have it. The history (and pricing) of Nexus phones from the Nexus One to the Nexus 6.
Is it pricey? Yes. Is it as pricey as other devices off contract? Almost, but it's still cheaper in regards to some flagships like the HTC M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 depending on where and how you buy them. The latter of which goes for at minimum $730 and as high as $825.99 from certain "we give you the shaft cause we can" retailers who shall remain nameless.
In comparison to things like that the Nexus 6 manages to be a goddamn steal.
And that's all I have to say on the subject! Now, for your regular dose of White Zombie!
Or you can just see for yourself by viewing the comparison below!
One thing to note is that they only list the on-contract price on all the flagships. As soon as I finish my lunch I'll do the homework and share the off contract pricing on every single phone on there so you can truly see just how reasonable the pricing on the Nexus 6 is.
UPDATE 2! Off contract price time.
iPhone 6 (16GB): $649
iPhone 6 (64GB): $749
iPhone 6 (128GB): $849
iPhone 6 Plus (16GB): $749
iPhone 6 Plus (64GB): $849
iPhone 6 Plus (128GB): $949
Moto X: $499 - $549
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: $699 - $830
LG G3: $579 - $599
Samsung Galaxy S5: $599 - $649
HTC M8: $599 - $649
Keep in mind one thing, this is for off contract pricing for U.S. carriers only. Those of you elsewhere can chime in with pricing in your neck of the world.
And NOW that is all I have to say about that. Clearly though you can see how the Nexus 6 stacks up when compared to the rest of the competition and it isn't exorbitantly priced, especially not when you start looking at the specs it has and what the others have.
In other news I am really disappointed with Google Play Music All Access right now. I had some issues where my monthly charge was not going through, despite the bank saying it cleared, and my subscription was cancelled. I signed up again as soon as I found out, but alas all the tunes I'd added (that weren't from my computer) had disappeared and I'm currently in the process of rebuilding my library and playlists all over again! First world problems, amirite?