Windows Phone 8 launches on October 29th, but if a smartphone platform launches in a vacuum, does it make a sound? Microsoft announced its launch date ages ago, however in almost record time, Google has put together a media event on the very same day. Coincidence? Perhaps, but then again these two tech rivals seem to revel in sticking it to each other any chance they get. The Google event carries the vague tag line “The playground is open”, however sources of the NextWeb have been much more specific. Phones, tablets, and Android 4.2 are all on the docket, and with a lineup like that, I wouldn’t want to be launching a competing smartphone OS with single digit market share on the same day. Poor Microsoft just can’t seem to catch a break.
Here is what we know so far.
Apparently Google spilled the beans on what they plan to announce during Friday’s all hands TGIF meeting, and unless they have a few surprises up their sleeves, here is what to expect. First up is the refreshed Nexus 7. The capacity bump to 32GB had already leaked, however the addition of an HSPA+ 3G version was a carefully guarded secret, and will be a welcome addition to the lineup. Additionally, a 10-inch tablet “Codenamed Manta” will join the Nexus tablet family. It is rumored to be running Jelly Bean 4.2 (formally called Key Lime Pie), and will feature a retina smashing 2560x1600 (10:16) display. That’s 300 PPI compared to the new iPad’s 264 for those who like to keep score. Samsung is also likely to be the manufacturer on the new 10-inch version given the display, but it’s not yet known if it will be called the Nexus 10, or something else entirely.
On the phone front the LG Nexus 4 is also rumored to be announced, and it’s got a pretty impressive spec sheet. The device features a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1280x768 display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, 8-megapixel rear facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, all powered by a 2100mAh battery. The Nexus 4 will also run Android 4.2 right out of the box.
Android 4.2 will likely have a few surprises, but based on what has leaked, it looks like more than a match for poor old iOS. Using a feature they call “content in the center”, users will be able to access Play Store content in a widget, thus allowing you to more easily manage multiple users. It’s basically Windows user switching Android style.
The Google event will take place in New York on October 29th, putting lots of space between them and the Microsoft event taking place in San Francisco on the same day. It’s going to be a busy news day.