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Google Unfolds New Offerings


Nexus Smartphones

On Tuesday, Google, Inc. finally launched the Nexus 5X (Nexus 5 2015) and the Nexus 6P (Nexus 6 2015), which are to carry the new operating system (OS), Android Marshmallow, at a Google event held at San Francisco spearheaded by newly-appointed CEO Sundar Pichai.

According to Andrei Popescu, an engineering director within Google’s Android group, the new flagship smartphones are the team’s “idea of embodiment of the perfect Android device— a platform for application developers to show off the new features of Marshmallow and show what Android can do.”

The LG-manufactured Nexus 5X involves a 5.20-inch display with a density of 423 pixels per inch (PPI), protected by last year’s Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. The newest addition to the Nexus 5 series features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor as the LG G4 and a 2GB RAM. It is available in 16GB and 32GB storage capacities.

Meanwhile, the Nexus 6P is devised with a 5.70-inch 2K AMOLED display and a density of 518 PPI, protected by the latest Gorilla Glass 4. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octo-core processor and a 3GB RAM. It will be available in three storage capacity choices: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.

It is the first Google Nexus device designed by Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Both smartphones support the new USB type-C connector which promotes faster charging. Accordingly, the USB 3.0 port can yield a four-hour battery life in just a 10-minute charging duration for the 5X, and up to as much as seven hours for the 6P.

Moreover, both devices include the Nexus Imprint on the back, showing off Marshmallow’s built-in support for fingerprint sensors, complementing the way phones are naturally held.

“With baked in fingerprint support in Marshmallow it will allow application developers to use the fingerprint sensor and not have to try and support each individual manufacturer’s implementation,” said Popescu.

The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are both designed with Google’s new Sensor Hub motion co-processor and an improved 12.3-megapixel camera with a Sony camera sensor, allowing devices to take photos faster with laser autofocus. The redesigned camera for the Nexus 6P supports 4K video and a slow motion video mode. The Nexus 5X comes with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera while the Nexus 6P comes with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Nexus 5 2015 will be available in black, white, and blue while the Nexus 6 2015 will be available in aluminum, graphite, and frost. The former starts at $379 while the latter starts at $499.

Android Marshmallow

The new Android version offers stronger battery life, more intelligent assistance features, and better hardware features such as motion and voice-recognition co-processors. It will also continue Google’s Material Design aesthetic, codenamed Quantum Paper. Material Design is a design language which allows a more liberal use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows.


Popescu noted, “Marshmallow is our most polished version of Android to date. We’ve really worked hard on making things like the animations super smooth.”

The improved version of Android is to come to other Android devices on 2016.

Google Chromecast

Google also introduced Chromecast, a streaming device now available for both TV and audio.

The new Chromecast has entirely different external features.

“The one major hardware change we made, which will affect how the Chromecast works, is its wifi system,” said Product Management Vice President Rishi Chandra. He pointed out, “We now have four antennas inside that can constantly monitor your home’s wifi network and dynamically adjust to the best channel and frequency to give you the most stable performance possible.”

The streaming device is available in three color varieties: black, yellow, and coral.

Senior Product Manager Micah Collins said, “The Chromecast is behind your TV and you almost never really see it, but we just wanted to have some fun with color and take a little bit of a risk too.”

Consequently, the tech company also redesigned its Chromecast app, which is available for both Android and iOS. New features include a “what to watch” suggestion.

Before, the app was merely used to set up the device and modify its settings. Now, the app may be used as a remote control for the Chromecast streaming dongles.

The new version of the Chromecast app may now be availed for both Android and iOS devices.

Furthermore, Chromecast may now also be used for streaming tunes. The new audio device can power up any speaker into a wifi streaming speaker.

With Chromecast for Audio, users may now stream music from apps such as Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and Deezer.

Apple Music, on the other hand, will be available for Android by the end of the year. However, the compatibility of Chromecast devices with Apple Music is still not guaranteed.

Both the Chromecast and Chromecast for Audio will be available at $35 each.

Pixel C

At the event, Google revealed its newest 10.20-inch Android tablet, Pixel C, which highlights a new key feature: a removable keyboard.

Pixel C does not run exclusively on Chrome OS, unlike past models in the Pixel series.

The removable keyboard attached at the back is supported by magnets. It can transform into a laptop-like tablet with the hinged magnetic plate on the keyboard.


The new tablet involves an aspect ratio of 1:1.414 which supports Marshmallow’s experimental multi-window mode.

The Pixel C will start at $499, while the accessory keyboard can be availed at $149.

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