Google will announce both the oversized Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, its new 4:3 tablet powered by a Tegra K1 64-bit processor, at an event later today. The Nexus 9 has a 8.9-inch, 2048x1440 display (2048x1536 minus UI bars), 2GB of RAM and 16GB to 32GB of internal storage.
Android L will be called Android 5.0 and it will launch on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. We remember one industry figure pointing out that Android 4.0 was updated in 0.1 increments because Google was saving 5.0 for something bigger. Android 5.0 sports Android RunTime ART, a 64 bit-runtime and it finally brings 64-bit support to Android devices. Currently Android runs Dalvik on which Android Java code is executed on.
Apple iOS and Windows Mobile run natively compiled software that is optimised for hardware platforms used by their mobile devices. Both Apple and Microsoft have closed hardware environments, as Apple is using its A6, A7, A8 and other in-house processors, while Microsoft uses a range of Qualcomm processors.
Android uses multiple CPUs and architectures, so the majority of Android software is based around a generic code language which is transformed from “byte-code” into native instructions for the hardware on the device itself. Anandtech promises a significant performance uplift with ART in many benchmarks, but I guess we will know soon enough.
We will see if the 64-bit Denver core can excite many vendors and if priced well, the Nexus 9 should have a better of success than the Nexus 7 2013. This one had a Full HD panel that many consumers wanted, but also came with rather weak and obsolete Qualcomm S4 processor and a form factor that is no longer popular.
Nvidia has been cooking its Project Denver CPU for more than five years and Deepu Talla, the General Manager of Nvidia's Tegra business, told us the Denver Tegra K1 64-bit will outperform the Cortex-A57 based 64-bit competition.
Nexus 6, a Snapdragon powered phablet is coming too, but we don’t think many people will want it. While phablets are popular in some markets, in others they are not, although that depends on branding, too. Both devices will be announced later today.