Google has unveiled new software and devices ahead of Apple's iPad event tomorrow
Google has announced two new Nexus devices – a 6-inch 'phablet' and a 8.9-inch tablet – as well as the lastest version of its mobile operating system, Android Lollipop.
The Nexus 6, developed with Motorola, features an aluminium frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. It comes with dual front-facing stereo speakers for movies and gaming and a 'Turbo Charger', offering up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.
Google said the Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order and sale in the UK in November.
The Nexus 9, built in partnership with HTC, features a soft-grip back and brushed aluminum frame. It has a 8.9-inch screen and comes with a keyboard folio that attaches magnetically and folds into two different angles, allowing users to rest the tablet on their lap like a laptop.
The Nexus 9 also features a 4:3 aspect ratio, 64-bit processor and front-facing stereo speakers. It will be available in the UK for pre-order from October 17 and on sale on November 3.
Both of the new devices will come pre-loaded with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was previewed at Google I/O earlier this year. Android Lollipop will also be available on Nexus 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
Lollipop introduces a new visual style, improved performance, and features like 'at-a-glance' notifications on your lock screen, battery saving mode, interruption controls and personal unlocking.
"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," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps.
"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."
Finally, Google has unveiled the first device running Android TV, called Nexus Player. Developed in collaboration with Asus, Nexus Player is set-top box that allows users to stream movies, music and videos.
Nexus Player is also a gaming device, allowing users to begin playing Android games on their HDTV with a gamepad, then switch seamlessly to their phone when they're on the move.
The streaming media player will be available for pre-order in the US on October 17 and in stores starting November 3. Google said it hopes to make the device available in more countries, but has nothing to announce at the moment.
Commenting on the news, Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said that Google seems to be running out of new partners for its Nexus devices: "Revisiting old flames now seems the way to go." he said.
“Wandering back to HTC – which made the very first Nexus phone – for its new tablet could go either way for Google. Yes, it makes great phones, but the mobile maker hasn't exactly got a solid track record in the tablet market. Its own HTC Flyer simply didn’t fly," said Kerr.
He added that the 6-inch Nexus 6 "might prove too big a phone for those with dainty hands", but given Apple's recent move into the 'phablet' market with its iPhone 6 Plus, Google's launch of a larger device is a "smart move".
"Google’s Lollipop OS looks like a vote winner. Offering a consistent experience, no matter what size screen a device has, is a common sense move," Kerr concluded.