Google took the wraps off its latest Android “Lollipop” operating system and updated Nexus lineup, revealing a new phone, tablet, and streaming TV player.
The timing of Wednesday’s news is surely not accidental: It’s the day before Apple is expected to unveil new iPads in a hyped-up media event on its Cupertino, California, campus. “Good things happen when everybody’s invited,” Google opened in its blog post making the announcements–likely a jab at Apple’s closed ecosystem as well as its highly coordinated, highly restricted media events.
The search giant first showed off its mobile operating system in June at its Google I/O conference for developers. Back then, it was just called “Android L.” Lollipop is packed with more than 5,000 new APIs, and designed to unify Android across phones, tablets, and TV. The operating system, which follows what Google calls its “Material Design” standard, will ease transitions between tasks and devices.
To show off this new operating system and aesthetic, Google refreshed its Nexus lineup with new flagship devices. The Nexus 6 from Motorola is a 6-inch phablet with two front-facing speakers and a 13-megapixel camera. The device charges up with Motorola’s Turbo Charger, which can power the phone with six hours of battery life on 15 minutes of charging. Preorders will open in late October, and the devices will be on store shelves sometime in November.
The 8.9-inch Nexus 9, built by HTC, features a 2.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.6-megapixel front camera, and front-facing speakers. Google also designed a keyboard folio case that can position the tablet at two viewing angles.
The Nexus Player, the first device to run on Android TV, is a set-top box that users can control with a remote and voice commands. An optional gamepad controller can also be used to play Android games on the device. Customers can place preorders for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player on October 17, and they are expected to hit stores November 3.
Of course, we’ll have to see how these new products stack up to what Apple has in store for tomorrow. Fast Company will be on the ground and live blogging the news beginning at 1 p.m. ET.