Tonight is all about new products and updates. Samsung’s Gear VR is about to launch, Google Search 4.0 is introduced and Nexus devices start getting Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The Samsung Gear VR is the manufacturer’s entrance to the the virtual reality market, but so far we had no idea when the general consumer would be able to get a hold of one. Samsung is ready to dust off the details and finally announce price and availability, though, right after announcing Project Beyond (their VR camera).
The device alone will cost $200, while one with a bundled gaming pad will cost $250. It will become available starting early December, which is no long from now.
Opinion: Do keep in mind you will also need a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which will pretty much be doing all the work. This makes the Gear VR pretty expensive, actually. It’s pretty much just a shell.
Google Search 4.0 has started rolling out and it turns out this is a much larger update than expected. The whole UI has been revamped with Material Design, adding better animations, vibrant colors and sleek layouts all over the spectrum.
Other improvements include the ability to trigger the “OK, Google” command when the screen is off, given that you are using a Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Google Now is also smarter now, keeping closer tabs on your email to see if you are forgetting any meetings and prompting you to make a calendar entry.
The most interesting improvement in this update is probably that now other apps can also take advantage of Google Search. You can literally do a voice search with a command related to another app and have Google Search trigger the app and the action.
With a simple prompt like ‘Ok Google, search Tumblr for ‘Things Organized Neatly’ Google will take you right into the app. This now works with a number of apps, so you can also research the best Maui hotels on TripAdvisor, listen to your jam on TuneIn, find a dream home on Trulia, or get tips on how to carve a turkey on YouTube — right from the Google app.
Opinion: Linking Google Search to other apps is an awesome move. This will bring so many more opportunities. Limiting a smartphone to only Google features is actually very limiting. Most of what makes our smartphone experience is third-party apps.
It seems the days when Nexus devices got Android 5.0 Lollipop before anyone else are now gone, with Motorola taking the software update crown. Even if Nexus devices weren’t first, though, they are still right in time.
Google has just announced most Nexus devices should be getting Android 5.0 Lollipop soon. The rollout has already started, so yours may be getting it anytime now.
Opinion: Dessert has been served, and I am all ready to eat it all!
— Android (@Android) November 12, 2014