Hey, Apple and Amazon… Google This!

Category: Hardware , Mobile

Google joined the fall hardware fashion show last week, hot on the heels of new product announcements by Apple and Amazon. The search giant is signaling it’s serious about flexing its muscles in the realm of tangible goods. Read on to learn about Google's new gadgets, and how they intend to compete...

Google's Fall 2015 Hardware Releases

Following Apple’s hyper-hyped launch of new iPhones and Apple TV, and Amazon’s refresh of its Fire tablets and streaming devices, Google rolled out two new smartphones, an updated Chromecast streaming video device, a totally new audio-only streaming device, and a convertible Chromebook/tablet.

The Nexus 6P is Google’s latest flagship “pure Android” smartphone. Its star feature is a 12.3 Mpixel camera with low-light optimization. The all-aluminum chassis houses a 5.7-inch WQHD AMOLED display, USB-C port, and front-facing stereo speakers.

A fingerprint scanner has been added – on the back, unlike most other phones. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, the Nexus 6P starts at $499 with 32 GB of storage.

Google New Hardware - Fall 2015

Smaller in size and price, the Nexus 5X is an update of the Nexus 5. It includes the same camera, USB-C port, fingerprint scanner, and aluminum chassis as its big brother, but starts at $379 with 16 GB of storage and a compact 5.2-inch screen.

The Nexus 5X and 5P are serious competition for the latest iPhone 6 models from Apple, as well as the Samsung Galaxy 6 lineup. Amazon seems to have bowed out of the smartphone arena after the miserable failure of the Fire Phone.

Orders for either Nexus phone placed by October 25 qualify for a $50 Google Play credit, which must be used by December 21. Oh, and both of these new Nexus phones will work with Project Fi, the hybrid WiFi-cellular mobile phone service that Google has begun to roll out.

“Marshmallow,” the latest version of Android, will ship with the new Nexus phones. Marshmallow will also be rolled out to existing Nexus phones over coming weeks.

Bring It to The Big Screen

Google has sold over 20 million of its Chromecast streaming video devices which look much like USB thumb drives. The deal with Chromecast is that you can "cast" what's on your laptop, tablet or Android mobile device to a big-screen HD TV. That includes Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, Pandora, and pretty much anything else that can be displayed in your Chrome browser.

The updated Chromecast is now a disc with a short HDMI cable coming out of its edge. It dangles from an HDMI port instead of sticking out awkwardly. Google says the new Chromecast provides better streaming of high-resolution videos. Available in black, yellow Lemonade, or orange Coral, Chromecast is still only $35. New Chromecast apps include Showtime, NFL Sunday Ticket and CW Seed.

The Chromecast Audio looks nearly identical to the Chromecast. Use the included 3.5 mm audio cable to plug it into the AUX port of any speaker, and you have a WiFi-enabled streaming music device. A new Spotify app is included in the $35 price.

Some Competition for Surface and iPad

Wired is calling the new Chromebook Pixel C (for “convertible”) Google's answer to the iPad Pro. But the Pixel C is also a wholly Google-made competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Pixel C is a $499 tablet with a 10.2 inch screen, smaller than the 12 inches of the Surface Pro and iPad Pro. But the Pixel C’s resolution is 2560-by-1800 compared to the Surface 3's 1920-by-1080. Inside the Pixel C is an Nvidia Tegra X1 mobile processor with a Maxwell-based GPU, 3 GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of storage. A USB-C port is used for power charging as well as USB functions.

Another $149 buys a keyboard that turns the Pixel C into a Chromebook that costs a total of $648. The Pixel C will be available “in the coming months,” says Google. By comparison, a Surface Pro with keyboard runs $630, but it can also run Windows business apps that Android can’t. Apple's iPad Pro with optional keyboard starts at $969. Of course it can't run Windows either, but that's becoming less important as apps move to the cloud.

What's your opinion of the new Google gadgets? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Hey, Apple and Amazon… Google This!"

Posted by:

Michael Holstine
01 Oct 2015

This is all well and good for those that live in an area with good internet connectivity. But so many companies assume that we all have 10's of Mbps download and upload. My Frontier connection is 0.3Mbps download. Feeding me applications through the cloud or requiring me to upload my files is like trying to use an eye dropper to put out a fire. We don't all have high-speed internet!

Posted by:

01 Oct 2015

CCLEANER will not clear Chrome browser. Why? What are the alternatives?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Chrome is listed as one of the supported browsers on the CCleaner website. What are you experiencing?

Posted by:

The 146%
01 Oct 2015

None of these are right for me. Google wants to track everything I do, Amazon wants to use their hardware to sell me content, which means ads are everywhere. And Apple is too restictive. I am currently waiting for my new crowdsourced Jolla tablet that runs Sailfish OS. Jolla is a company based in Finland and the operating system is another Linux derivative that will not have the back doors that the FBI, CIA and NSA want other manufacturers to include in their products since it uses the EU security standards. The tablet will run their own apps as well as Android apps. There is a 32G and 64G version with expandable storage via micro SD. They have USB OTG, WiFi and Bluetooth as well. This is where it's at everybody. See them here:

Posted by:

01 Oct 2015

JIM RE: C:/CLEANER MAY need to have the browser OPEN in order for it to work. I know some other programs were like that when I ran a kind of computer lab (like for bio-geo hard-sci majors); without the browser open, a program would not load for that particular program. C:/ is such a small program it should only take you less than five minutes to see if it needs to be open to load (and thus clean) properly. Just a guess without ANY other information. Good luck!

Posted by:

01 Oct 2015

Can someone say if the Google dongle will work with a 'HD ready' TV?

Posted by:

01 Oct 2015

Although I wish it were true, I cannot confirm that NFL Sunday ticket is available as a Chromecast app. Am I wrong?

Posted by:

01 Oct 2015

I use cc cleaner every day and as long as you have closed Google down it should work.
Failing that I suggest you delete then re-install cc cleaner.

Posted by:

02 Oct 2015

Not diminish the base article that is good news and I can appreciate the research and heads up in new products, but I could like anything right now that allows freedom from spying and constant advertising. It is a disgrace to have to go outside the USA for that.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2015

Don't want to get to far off topic but Linux and all of its variations (tried lots of them) are good for experimenting and amusement, however, to do serious, everyday real world computing, NOTHING replaces Windows! Microsoft could learn from some of the good elements of Linux.

Posted by:

Glenda Oakley
04 Oct 2015

Hey Jim, my ccleaner starts it's scan, and if I have not closed chrome, it asks "do want to close chrome", or it will not clear chrome. So I say "yes" and it closes chrome for me. But usually I remember to do it before the scan.
Hi ya Bob, how you going? Love your newsletters.

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