Last Friday evening, Google sent out invites to an event it will host in San Francisco on September 29. It’s going to be an exciting one, especially for Android enthusiasts looking to see the new Nexus hardware and everything that the new devices will be capable of doing with Google’s new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.
We’re expecting at least two new Nexus products, at least according to recent rumors, and even some other updates, like refreshes to the Chromecast family. Let’s take a look at what we think might be in store for Tuesday.
And, just as a reminder, we’ll be in San Francisco covering the event live, just in case there are any additional surprises.
It seems abundantly clear that Android enthusiasts still have a special place in their hearts for the Nexus 5, a device that’s now two years old but that seemed to be incredibly popular. Google may try to build on that device’s success in the community with the rumored Nexus 5X, another Nexus developed by LG.
Rumor has it the phone will offer relatively midrange specs, which should mean a lower upfront cost. Those include a 5.2-inch display with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, 64GB of storage, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. The processor may be the only real midrange spec there, though, and the phone will also allegedly pack up to 4GB of RAM, which should keep everything nice and snappy, in addition to USB-C, a fingerprint reader, wireless charging and Quick Charge 2.0.
The Nexus 6P, reportedly developed by Huawei, is supposed to be the smartphone that’s going to really represent all of the flagship features capable of running on Marshmallow.
Rumor has it we’ll see some high-end materials here, possibly a bit of metal even, and even the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, depending on which rumors you believe (some say Snapdragon 810). Other features reportedly include USB-C, a fingerprint reader, a 5.7-inch Quad HD display and 32GB, 64GB and 128GB flavors. There may be a pretty solid camera in tow, too, considering early leaks show a large protruding camera strip.
We’re pretty confident this device will cost a bit more than the Nexus 5X, but Google probably also has some new features that will show off why consumers may want this Nexus over the more affordable option.
The Chromecast was a bit of a surprise when it made its debut just over two years ago, and the gadget quickly became popular due to its low price and ability to easily stream content from either iOS or Android devices to the big screen. It’s time for an update, though, and reports suggest Google is preparing the Chromecast 2 for debut next week.
The device reportedly has a new more circular design and will offer improved Wi-Fi connectivity to cut down on dropped connections and buffering. It may also have “content feeds” that provide a live stream of information, perhaps the news or a Twitter feed, but we’re really not sure. Google may add a bit of flavor to the mix by offering yellow, black and red colors, too.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about this rumored device, and that gives Google an opportunity to really wow us next week.
This sort of goes along with the Chromecast 2 in that we’re not quite sure what’s planned here. Google is apparently going to introduce a gadget that, like the Chromecast, allows you to stream media to otherwise unconnected devices.
The Chromecast Audio, however, will apparently plug into speakers instead of a TV, allowing you to stream whatever audio you choose to any set of speakers you have sitting around. Even that old set you have collecting dust in the basement.
Google will need to show us how this differs from a more traditional Bluetooth adapter, however, which have been available for years and add similar functionality to speakers. Rumors of multiroom support could do the trick, as could a very low entry cost.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is going to be part of the show, certainly as Google shows off the new capabilities of its smartphones, like native support for fingerprint readers. But what else are we going to see?
Likely, we’ll learn a bit more about Google Now on Tap, which can provide more information about content you have up on screen, and more information about Doze, Google’s initiative to improve battery life as much as possible.
We also hope to learn when Android Marshmallow will be released to OEMs so that we can start to get an idea as to when existing devices will begin to receive the update. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of U.S. devices are going to need carrier approval first, which means some phones might not get updated until many, many months from now.
That’ll certainly help draw some attraction to the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow Nexus devices.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor as being produced by Samsung.