Google's Nexus event: Join us Tuesday (live blog)
Google is getting ready to show off the latest in its plans for smartphones.
The search giant on Tuesday is hosting a press event in San Francisco, where it’s expected to unveil the newest additions to its Nexus line of smartphones. The Mountain View, California-based company has reportedly partnered with LG and Huawei to build the phones. The search giant is also expected to announce new hardware from its line of Chromecast streaming devices.
The keynote begins at 9 a.m. PT on Tuesday, and we’ll be bringing you all the news and commentary from the event. I’ll be live-blogging along with CNET Senior Associate Editor Lynn La. CNET’s James Martin will provide photography from the event.
For Google, the Nexus line is a way for the search giant to showcase the latest features in its Android mobile software, which powers more than 80 percent of the world’s smartphones and tablets. When hardware vendors and wireless carriers use Android, they typically make changes to the software’s design and features. But Nexus phones run an unaltered version of Android and illustrate Google’s true vision for the software. The devices are a critical part of Google’s pitch to get developers to create apps for Android.
The phones will run Android Marshmallow, a new version of the software Google first unveiled in May. One key feature of the updated software is Android Pay, a service that allows people to pay for things using their smartphones. It will rival Apple Pay, a similar service for iPhones that the company announced in September 2014.
Marshmallow will also include a new feature for the search giant’s digital assistant Google Now, called Now On Tap. The feature lets you access Google Now by holding the home button on your phone, similar to what Apple lets you do with its own assistant, Siri. With Now on Tap, Google reaches into its trove of data on users to give them useful information based on what they are doing at the time. That includes understanding what email you’re reading or knowing what dry cleaner you use.
Google is also expected to unveil new Chromecast devices. That includes an updated version of its video streaming stick, a device that looks like a USB drive that lets you beam content from services like Netflix and HBO Go to your TV from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The company is also expected to introduce an audio streaming device, which plugs into a speaker through a headphone jack and lets you stream music to it from your phone.