Holy tornadoes, Batman! I missed the info for once because I was finishing up my other post and having some crisis related stuff to handle here in the office. I come back and the Android fans are going insane and not because new devices dropped or Android L is now officially known as Lollipop. You'll have to read on to find out what's going on.
First off, let's start with the fun stuff and move on to the "are you fucking kidding me" stuff later.
What's it bringing to the table? So damn much. Those of us who are die hard tech geeks are all but barely containing ourselves right now. Everything we saw during I/O this year appears to be here and then some.
Material Design? It's there and it is lovely! The animations, bro. Those animations.
Notifications? Also there, including some stuff those of us in the custom ROM scene have been used to for ages now it seems. Quick responses, active display like lockscreens, etc etc etc. The heads up notifications are really the treat here. No more getting kicked out of this or that to deal with something, you can choose to interact or not and all without leaving your game or movie or what have you.
Battery life? Yeah, that's been improved. Along with it you'll get an estimated time left on the device and estimated time left to charge when plugged in. Plus additional power saving features. Not too shabby.
Security? Encryption from the word go. A seriously awesome movie in my book and not just cause "fuck the NSA and the retards who say "but terrorism!" or "if you have nothing to hide...". If you can get your hands on my device but not have access to anything on it then that's awesome! Plus basically trusted devices! Which is a feature native to newer Motorola devices, unlocked when connected to your smartwatch or in your car or what have you.
Device sharing? Think multiple users on your phone, if you have kids for example. Give them access to this or that without having access to everything. Forgot your phone somewhere? Borrow a friend's, log in with your username/password and it's as if you've got your own phone in hand. Messages, calls, etc. Plus Guest Mode. That is basically the same thing
Connectivity? Yep, that's improved. No more bad hand-offs when you run out of the house while still connected to WiFi and then get down the street in your car and it switches to your cellular connection.
I could go on and on and on about all the stuff they added, but a lot of it is stuff you might not notice. I mean at the end of the day, all most people care about is will it do my usual phone stuff? Yes, yes it will.
The fun stuff lies ahead though!
At I/O we saw the unveiling of Android TV, but it wasn't ready for prime time. Pun intended. It's here now though!
The Nexus Player is an Android TV box that'll retail for $99, the controller for it (gaming style) will retail for $39. Pre-orders go live Thursday and it'll be available in stores on November 3rd. Yes, yes, yes!
What does it do that Chromecast doesn't? Well, it'll pull double duty and can be used in lieu of a Chromecast device, plus there's the whole gaming thing on your TV. Can you do that from your smartphone/tablet now? Yes. Can you do so without running wires? No. Boom!
Or maybe you just don't want to need your phone or tablet to control what's happening on your TV and you just want to jam to something on Google Music or watch something good on Netflix (House of Cards being my natural nomination for "you need to see this"). Well, using the included Bluetooth remote you can do that. It's also got voice search abilities, so there's that.
Put another way, think Android for your TV. Apps and all that other stuff you do. Minus the phone calls and text messages.
I have significantly younger cousins who something like this would be beyond perfect for when they come and visit and I'm pulling babysitting duty. Log them in to Netflix and let them have a blast watching cartoons that I'll find way more entertaining than they do. Give them the game control and they can go off gaming, which they took to as naturally as I did at their age.
The interesting thing about all this is the price and what it does. It puts Android potentially in every single living room and at a price that is just barely out of impulse buy territory. Hell, it'll be in stores by the time most of us get our next checks and it's certainly entertaining enough on multiple levels to justify the expenditure to ourselves. Well, for those who don't already have something like this.
But that's not why you're here. You're here for the good stuff and that was a bone Google unexpectedly threw our way.
This one we've known was coming for awhile now, it was just a leaked secret to everyone at this point. It is official, it is here and it is gorgeous.
What is it? It's the newest and long overdue Nexus tablet update, the HTC made Nexus 9!
As for specs, I'll let Google do the official talking on this one.
For those unaware this will be the first 64-bit chip on an Android device and running software that can support it. The rest is just the latest and greatest, including that turbo charging ability I've mentioned multiple times in the past few related post.
It'll come in a handful of colors and also have available a few accessories, the only one known of so far is the cover that pulls double duty as a keyboard. Pricing on that cover/keyboard is currently unknown.
As far as cost goes, well the 16 GB version will set you back $399, the 32 GB version will go for $479 and the 32 GB LTE model will cost you a whopping $599. You can pre-order on October 17th and if pre-orders aren't your cup of tea then it'll be available in-store at a number of places (think the usual suspects) on November 3rd.
If you don't already own a tablet and are thinking of buying one then just know you can't beat this one, although there is one serious change from previous Nexus models. The aspect ration is now 4:3 instead of the usual 16:9, what's that mean? Well, it's no longer perfect for media consumption (think watching movies and TV shows). Now though it's more of a general productivity and media consumption device and that ain't too shabby as the kids say these days. They say that, right? I'm not just out of touch?
And now ladies and germs, the moment you've all been waiting for.
This one should need no introduction, but I'm going to give you one anyway courtesy of White Zombie.
I may have just lost a number of you. My bad!
Ladies and gentlemen, the Nexus 6!
Look at that! Specs that'll knock your socks off and power through anything you can throw at it and availability through the usual places and coming to all carriers in the U.S., some of you non-Americans might be thinking "that's not fair!" and all I can say is "move to America!" I kid, I kid. You won't be left out either. There will be two versions of the device. One covering the Americas and all possible bands on it (ALL POSSIBLE BANDS ON IT, which is insane) and one for everyone else (and as far as I can tell all possible bands on it too!). In keeping with the previous mention of turbo charging, it's got that too and it'll also have wireless charging of the QI standard variety. (T-Mobile users will get WiFi calling with an OTA update sometime after release.)
Insanity, right? No. The insanity you might feel comes with it's price point. The 32 GB option will start at $649.99. Pessimippopotamus and I had a minor discussion in another thread going over this and what you're getting here is truly a premium device that can hold its own and then some with the flagships from the other OEMs. If you read my Moto X (2nd Gen.) review then you know you're getting a device based on that device and that device is no slouch.
It absolutely is worth that price and while it might not be in line with what we've come to expect from the Nexus line as far as pricing goes, it is worth it and then some. Plus the Nexus 5 will still be available for purchase and with our Lord Duarte confirming that even the Nexus 7 (2012) getting Lollipop and a Googler confirming that the Nexus 4 will also get it, we can rest assured that those of us with older devices will still get in on some of that sweet Android L "Lollipop" goodness. (I for one am covered because all the devices I have will get it. Thank you Motorola for also confirming that!)
And that is literally all I have time to share and post right now cause I'm punching out and already running late to meet a friend! So discuss! I will chime in as I can. I can do that now. I have DSL at home again! Plus a nifty new kickass phone. I mentioned that, right? : P
But if need be I'll do a follow-up post tomorrow and it's a given I have to. So much info came out today and I had so many "we're doomed!" emergencies here at work that I just didn't have time to cover it all today. (Although if any of my fellow Android aficionados wants to do a post themselves then they're more than welcome to. Otherwise I'll take care of it manana.)