Nexus 6, Nexus 9 unveiled along with Lollipop
The big news in Android this week was the official launch of the Nexus 6 phone and Nexus 9 tablet. The new devices in Google’s line of Android will run the next big version of the OS, Lollipop.
The Nexus 6 phone is a true phablet with a 5.9-inch display. The screen has a very high resolution to compete with other phones. It will be available for purchase late this month and in stores in November. The Nexus 6 is made by Motorola and will cost $650 without a contract.
The Nexus 9 tablet is similar in size to Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX with an 8.9-inch display. It has the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor inside and is made for Google by HTC.
What you need to know about Android 5.0, aka Lollipop
Android gets a facelift with Lollipop, and the Material Design Google showed off at Google I/O earlier this year brings the OS to a modern level. Base functions of Android have been improved, most notably notifications and multitasking.
There is a battery saving feature that helps keep Android phones going when needed. Apps should run faster given Lollipop’s new ART runtime.
Android gets a kill switch
Remotely killing a phone is a good option when it is lost or stolen, and Lollipop brings a kill switch to Android. A kill switch wipes a phone and shuts it down from afar, which renders it useless for thieves.
Apple has incorporated similar theft-protection functions in iOS which have been useful in deterring theft according to law enforcement, so this is a welcome addition to Android.
Lollipop also encrypts user data on devices, another effective security function.
Sony: Entire Xperia Z line to get Android Lollipop
Android updates are often a thorny topic for device owners, and an announcement by Sony aims to set Xperia Z owners' minds at ease. The company has proclaimed the entire Xperia Z line, smartphones and tablets, will get upgrades to Lollipop.
Sony doesn't give a timeframe for updates but the quick commitment to do it at all is refreshing.
Google responds to impending Apple Pay activation
With the activation of Apple Pay just a few days away, Google shares what it needs to do with its own mobile payment service. Google first introduced its NFC-based system a few years ago but it’s never made a big splash in mobile payments.
The company statement reported by ZDNet implies its service needs to be more user-friendly, and that more NFC-capable devices need to be in the field.