In the interest of remaining objective and not being seen as purely an apple only support site we bring you the news from the Google Nexus event held earlier this morning in San Francisco.
First of all there were not many surprises as most of the announcements had already hit the rumour mill in the last few weeks. But it still means we did find what was real and what was purely just rumours.
ANDROID MARSHMALLOW COMES NEXT WEEK
The newest version of Android, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, will begin rolling out to users next week. It aims to make notifications more consistent and search functions more intuitive, while improving battery life and giving users more fine-grained privacy controls. The most prominent feature is probably Now on Tap, which integrates Google searches and voice interaction into individual apps. As usual, Nexus users will get the Marshmallow updates right away, while carriers and other smartphone brands will make their own tweaks and roll it out further down the line. You can find out more about Android 6.0 Marshmallow [Here]
New Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P
THE NEXUS 6P
Google is calling it its “most premium phone yet.” The metal-bodied 6P is 7.3mm thick, backed by a new fingerprint sensor called the Nexus Imprint. It now uses a USB Type-C port; while getting new cables might be an inconvenience, Google claims it can charge the device twice as quickly as an iPhone 6 Plus.
The 6P is equipped with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 12.3-megapixel Sony sensor on the back, which can take 4K video and slow-motion shots. It will be available in frost white, aluminium, and graphite. The phones are available for pre-order in the US, UK, Japan and Ireland. An Australian release date hasn’t been set, but Google says the phone is “coming soon’ for local buyers. Based on the US prices of $US499, we’d estimate the Nexus 6P will sell in Australia for around $799. You can find out more about the Nexus 6P [Here]
THE NEXUS 5X
The Nexus 5X is the successor to Google and LG’s Nexus 5, which quietly ended its life earlier this year. It’s a slightly larger device, with a 5.2-inch screen and a fractionally bigger battery, and the design language has been updated for a new generation of phones. Like its companion, the Nexus 6P, the 5X has a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, and it uses the new USB-C connection instead of the standard Micro USB. As Motorola did with the new Moto X line earlier this year, Google is heavily promoting the phone’s camera, but the handset itself is a relatively modest affair — it’s positioned as the Nexus line’s “affordable” option. An Australian release date hasn’t been set, but Google says the phone is “coming soon’ for local buyers. Based on the US prices of $US375, we’d estimate the Nexus 5X will sell in Australia for around $599. ou can find out more about the Nexus 5X [Here]
Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio
The new Chromecast 2
The Chromecast, a little stick that lets users stream just about anything to a TV, has gotten an update. The new Chromecast 2 supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, making it significantly faster. Three different antennas, as opposed to the original Chromecast’s one, are optimized for Wi-Fi streaming. Stylistically, the Chromecast looks different too: it’s now a small disc with a bendable HDMI arm that allows it to hang further away from your TV than the previous Chromecast. It comes in three colors: red, yellow, and black.
Chromecast Audio is, unsurprisingly, a music-focused counterpart to the Chromecast. Instead of connecting to a TV, it plugs into your speakers using a 3.5mm audio port. Users can connect and send music to it using Google Play Music, Pandora, and the newly announced Spotify — controlling it from a phone lock screen and Android smartwatch — or they can directly mirror audio from Android or a Chrome tab. (It also looks like a cute little vinyl record.)
Google announced that the new Chromecast and the Chromecast Audio would be going on-sale in 17 countries today priced at US$35 each ($49AUD). They have now updated the hardware availability page and unfortunately Australia is not one of those 17 countries.