Android 5.0 Lollipop, New Nexus Smartphone And Tablet Announced By Google

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google has officially unveiled what it is calling the “most ambitious” version of its mobile platform to date, Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as new Nexus smartphone and tablet models that feature the new operating system.
“Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers,” Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps, explained in a blog post on Wednesday. “Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared.”
“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,” he added. “With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, 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 ones.”
According to Dan Seifert of The Verge, the most obvious feature in Android 5.0 is the new user interface and improved visuals, which Google refers to as Material Design. Lollipop features more fluid animations, a more striking palette of colors, tidier design, a reworked multitasking menu and new voice-controlled functions, he added.
Seifert noted that many of the new Material Design features included in Android 5.0 have already been featured in the latest updates for many of Google’s own Android apps, including Google Plus. The company said that the intent of Material Design is to unify the look and feel of Android software across various different devices.

Image Credit: Google
The first devices to feature Android 5.0 will be the new Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet, said PC Magazine’s Stephanie Mlot. The Quad HD Motorola-developed Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order later this month and will be released in November, while the HTC-developed Nexus 9 tablet can be pre-ordered starting on October 17 and is set to hit store shelves on November 3.
Pichai said the Nexus 6 will feature a contoured aluminum frame, a six-inch display, a 13 megapixel camera and a turbo charger that will allow for six hours of use with just a 15 minute charge. The Nexus 9, meanwhile, will have an 8.9-inch screen and a keyboard folio that will magnetically attach to the tablet and easily converts into a mini-laptop.
Associated Press Technology Writer Michael Liedtke reports that prices for the Nexus 6 will start at $649 – a full $300 more than the previous generation Nexus 5, which featured a five-inch screen. The Nexus 9 will cost a reported $399 – 74 percent more than its predecessor, but still $100 cheaper than the current model of the iPad Air, which has a slightly larger screen.
While Liedtke pointed out that the price of the Nexus 6 can be “dramatically” reduced by locking into an Internet data plan with wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile in the US, he noted that the “dramatic price increases represents a strategic shift for Google. The Mountain View, California, company traditionally has hailed the Nexus line as state-of-the-art products available at more affordable prices than Apple’s devices.”
“Because Google gives away its Android software, other devices running on the software typically sell for less than the iPhone and iPad. That has enabled more people around the world to buy smartphones and tablets,” he added. “But makers of mobile apps have poured more resources into tailoring their products for the iPhone and iPad because the owners of those devices typically have more disposable income to spend.”
Also on Wednesday, Google unveiled its Nexus Player, a streaming media player created with the assistance of Asus. Nexus Player will release alongside the Nexus 9. As for existing Android devices, Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices will receive Android 5.0 Lollipop sometime within the next few weeks, according to Mlot.

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