Google takes on Apple with Android ‘Lollipop’ OS, Nexus 6 smartphone

SAN FRANCISCO: Google is coming out with bigger, more expensive versions of its Nexus phone and tablet to attract more of the affluent consumers who faithfully buy each new generation of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. It’s also releasing a new streaming video and music device, Nexus Player, to compete with Apple TV and Roku, among others.

The new lineup announced Wednesday is Google’s latest volley in its duel with Apple in the increasingly important mobile device market. Google’s Android software and Apple’s iOS software power most of the world’s smartphones and tablets.

Both of the Nexus devices will run on a new version of Google’s Android operating system. The latest software is called ‘Lollipop’ in keeping with Google’s tradition of naming its Android upgrades after treats.

” Lollipop” or Android 5.0, the upgraded operating system for mobile, “is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit,” said Google vice president Sundar Pichai, who heads the Android operations.

With the new operating system, according to the Android Website, “The songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all of your Android 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.

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.

Google is now aiming for more of Apple’s affluent market with the Nexus line while trying to ensure people with lower incomes can still buy smartphones through a recently launched program called Android One.

The new smartphone, called the Nexus 6, boasts a nearly 6-inch Quad HD display, eclipsing the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus that Apple began selling last month.

The Nexus 6 smartphone becomes the newest and largest of the Google-branded handsets, and is produced by Motorola, which Google bought in 2012 and is in the process of selling to China’s Lenovo.

This aluminium frame device has a 13-megapixel camera. The camera comes equipped with optical image stabilization. It also has a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone boasts of dual front-facing speakers which according to Google are meant to provide immersive stereo sound.

Nexus 6 also comes with a Turbo Charger, so that users can get up to six hours of use with 15 minutes of charge, says Google. The phone runs on a Snapdragon 805 quad-core 2.7GHz processor. It has a 3220 mAh battery. The device comes in 32 GB and 64 GB memory options.

On the other hand, the latest Nexus 9 tablet, made by HTC, features a nearly 9-inch screen – two inches larger than the previous version. The brushed-metal tablet “is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on,” Google said.

The new Google Nexus 9 tablet is powered by 6700 mAh battery. It has 8MP rear camera and 1.6MP front camera. Google Nexus 9 tablet is available in 16 GB & 32 GB storage space.

“Since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop,” Google said.

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