MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — There was no press event, no live stream, just a blog post and Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player were born. Let’s recap what Google quietly announced Wednesday.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O (we covered it here at Paw Print), Lollipop is the company’s “largest, most ambitious release on Android” with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Android 5.0 is designed to “work on all your devices and to customized for you the way you see fit.”
Lollipop is made for a world where “moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens,” from phones and tablets to TVs. With Android 5.0, it’s “easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other one.
Lollipop hasw a consistent design across devices — an approach known as Material Design. Now content can “respond to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.”
Android 5.0 also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly on the lockscreen.
And because our devices are being used more than ever, there’s a new battery saver feature that “extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes — helpful if you’re far from a power outlet.” Google’s enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for “keeping your personal stuff private.” And you can now secure your device with the traditional PIN, password and pattern methods or by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock.
Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes pre-loaded on Google’s new Nexus devices (detailed below), will also be available on the following devices in the coming weeks:
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 5
- Nexus 7 (both models)
- Nexus 10
- Google Play Edition devices
Motorola will be making Lollipop available in the following devices, however, there is no word on availability:
- Moto X (both models)
- Moto G (both models)
- Moto G with 4G LTE
- Moto E
- Droid Ultra
- Droid Maxx
- Droid Mini
Sony will be making Android 5.0 available to the following devices in 2015, starting with the core Xperia Z3, Xperia Z2 series.
- 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
- Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
HTC announced via Twitter that both models of the HTC One will be receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop “within 90 days of receiving the final software from Google.”
First, the internet heavyweight partnered with now-divorced partner Motorola to develop the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a six-inch Quad HD display and a 13-megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that “deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes on the charger.
Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9 features brushed metal sides and an 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to “easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on.” Also, since more and more people “want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work,” Google designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests on your lap like a laptop.
Lastly, Android TV has its first trophy wife all its own: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, which is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos, as well as a “first-of-its-kind” android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on the big screen with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you’re out and about. Nexus Player is also Google Cast ready so you can cast content from your Chromebook, Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.
The Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order this Friday, October 17th and in stores starting on November 3rd. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November — either unlocked through the Google Play store, or on a contract or installment plan on carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.