Arriving slightly earlier than the traditional annual November event, Google held an event to launch its latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, alongside not one, but two Nexus phones, and an updated “Chromecast”.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
This android update was first shown off at Google I/O in the summer; the final version shows Google has added Polish and refinement to its Material Design philosophy which was introduced in 5.0 Lollypop. Animations appear more consistent across transitions to notifications. The app drawer is now searchable, and voice actions can be accessed from the lock screen.
The biggest feature however is “Now on Tap”, boasting the ability to add the power of Google Search to whatever you are doing; a simple long press on the home button will launch a small window at the bottom of the screen providing relevant information. Examples include being able to turn a text message (or WhatsApp) asking to meet at a location into a reminder, table booking, or to be able to access Google Maps Navigation to that place with just a few taps.
Finally “Dose” puts the phone into a low power state when inactive, limiting background syncing so as to extend battery life by up to 30% on all phones with 6.0 Marshmallow installed.
Android 6.0 will be preinstalled on the 5X and 6P, and rolling out to the
Nexus 5, 6, 7, 9, in the coming weeks.
Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X
The latest additions to the Nexus family, hoping to compete in both the flagship and mid-range markets while offering the stock Android experience.
Google’s Nexus phones always provide an insight into Google’s vision for upcoming Android phones and this year is no exception; with both phones featuring 64bit processors, USB-C with fast charging, and a rear fingerprint sensor for mobile payments. Further to this Google spent time to show off its new camera tech that comes with both phones, Nexus phones somewhat notoriously have incredibly average cameras, offering passable images, but nothing that could hope to replace a dedicated camera. However the 6P and 5X aim to change that, offering auto HDR+, slow-motion video, 4K video resolution, large pixels designed to receive more light in low light conditions, and a laser detect auto focus.
The 5x features a 5.2” 1080p display, 2GB of Ram, a 1.8GHz snapdragon 808, and a 16GB or 32GB storage options. Launching at £339.
The 6p features a 5.7” 2K display, 3GB of Ram, a 2.1GHz Snapdragon 810, and 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB storage options. Launching at £449.
Brand new update, showing off a new form factor that makes for a less cluttered setup behind your TV, while providing a slightly updated functionality. Chromecast Audio boasted the ability to turn any old pair of speakers with a 3.5mm headphone jack into wireless speakers for just £15.
Google surprised us with the launch of a brand new tablet; the Pixel C. Branching away from the already saturated Nexus brand, Google has decided to brand this convertible tablet alongside its Chromebook line. Acting as a slightly less capable competitor to the Microsoft Surface, the Pixel C runs Android 6.0 and features a magnetically attachable keyboard. The Pixel C is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra X1, 3GB or RAM and sports an extra-bright high resolution display. The price is yet to be confirmed.