October 15, 2014

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Google’s new Nexus lineup

Big day for Google lovers. The company officially launched Android 5.0 Lollipop, with something they call Material Design, really a visual overhaul, and a slew of other things. In the words of Dan Seifert of The Verge:

In addition to a visual overhaul, Lollipop brings over 5,000 new APIs for developers to tap into and lets multiple different Android devices with various form factors work better together. Google says that things such as songs, photos, apps, and recent searches can be seamlessly synced across various Android devices. Lollipop also includes new notification controls to limit alerts during meetings and other times, a new battery saver mode that can eke out 90 more minutes of life between charges, multiple user accounts, guest user modes, and new ways to secure your device via trusted Bluetooth connections. Many of these features have been implemented by various Android device makers on their own smartphones and tablets for some time, but Google is now making sure they are part of the core Android experience.

Sounds good, right? It probably is, but I’ll have to get back to you with a proper verdict.

Google also announced three new Nexus devices. Traditionally, the Nexus phones and tablets have been great Android alternatives, but Samsung’s Galaxy series have utterly smashed them. Perhaps that’ll change with these devices, although I doubt it. After all, Google haven’t pulled off a proper hardware success in the likes of Samsung or Apple, and that’s what we expect, and they’re aiming at as well.

Nexus 5 is a smartphone. Nexus 6 is a big, fat, smartphone, or phablet if you will. Nexus 9 is a tablet. And finally, Nexus Player is an Android device for your TV, hopefully not immediately dead in the water like Google’s previous attempts at that. And yes, the Nexus Player has a controller for gaming, sold seperately of course.

Nexus 7 is absent, most likely canned completely due to the Nexus 6.

It’s a solid product lineup, question is if Google will reach the masses, and be able to compete with the likes of Samsung for the Android users. Apple fans will get theirs tomorrow.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.