Google releases Android 5.0 Lollipop on new Nexus 6 phablet

Internet giant Google has released the latest major version of its ubiquitous mobile platform Android. Version 5.0 has been nicknamed Lollipop, in keeping with the sweet-themed alphabetical naming convention, and features a new user interface called Material Design.

Google has chosen to combine the release of Android 5.0 with the launch of three new Nexus devices. The Nexus 6 is a 6-inch phablet made by Google-owned Motorola, which features a Quad HD (2560×1440 pixels) display. The Nexus 9 is an 8.9-inch tablet made by HTC, which the Taiwanese handset-maker will be hoping resurrects its faltering tablet efforts. Lastly it has launched the Nexus Player, which is apparently the first device to run Android TV – Google’s VOD platform – and is made by Asus.

Android 5.0 is being heralded by Google as “…our largest, most ambitious release on Android,” and is designed to be more flexible across a range of devices, from smartwatches to TVs. Its headline feature is Material Design, a new UI that is designed to be both cleaner and more flexible.

Other key Android 5.0 features include:

  • Greater control over notifications
  • New better saver feature
  • Improved security features
  • Multi-device Android account access
  • Revamped quick settings
  • Improved network hand-off
  • Better support for Bluetooth Low Energy
  • New Android runtime promising up to 4x performance improvements
  • 64-bit support
  • Improved audio
  • Improved image capture
  • “OK Google” even when screen is off
  • Android TV

Android 5.0 will be preinstalled on the three new Nexus devices and will be an OTA option to other nexus devices in the coming weeks. The Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order later this month for $649, the other two will be available for pre-order from tomorrow, with the Nexus 9 coming in at $399 and the Nexus Player at $99, with an extra $39 for a gaming controller.

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