Update

Google teases pending Android 5.0 'L' release, Nexus 6 and 9 expected Wednesday

nexus 9
Credit: Android Police

Update: Google has made the L name official (it's "Lollipop") and revealed the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.

Google is set to take the wraps off its newest flagships Wednesday, giving the world its first official look at the Nexus 6 phone, Nexus 9 tablet, and the finished version of Android L.

According to a report in Forbes, it will be a low-key announcement via blog post instead of a flashy press event. This wouldn’t be the first time Google has chosen to launch hardware or software with a webpage and a few YouTube videos.

We also may finally answer the question that true Android geeks want to know: what candy-flavored name the “L” stands for. If we were placing bets, the safe money would be on “lollipop” or “licorice.”

BGR says Google’s preferred statue maker has let the cat out of the bag with a series of tweets about licorice, while a lollipop-shaped icon has others thinking we’ll be getting a different confectionery name.

Whatever it’s called, we’ll see it running on an HTC-built Nexus 9 that should be a more robust iPad competitor than the current Nexus 7. It’s rumored to have an 8.9-inch, 2048 x 1440 display with a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor and 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. Along with a 3MP front shooter, the tablet may also boast stereo front-facing speakers, a popular staple of the HTC One smartphones.

The Nexus 9 also could sport a “brushed aluminum” frame instead of an all-metal exterior to keep the price down. That breaks with a recent leak that showed off a matte-plastic look more in line with the current Nexus 7.

Pricing is slated to be $400 for a 16GB and $500 for a 32GB LTE version. 

No prices were offered for the Nexus 6, though we expect it to stick pretty close to the current-gen Nexus 5, which sells unlocked in two models: $350 for 16GB and $400 for 32GB.

The story behind the story: While we’re pretty confident that new Nexus devices are imminent, the question remains about when Android L will be available for everyone else. 

In the past, Google has released its newest version of Android pretty close to its flagship Nexus devices. So Nexus 5 and 7 owners could get it soon, while most Android owners will have to wait for their handset manufacturers and carriers to deploy, test, and distribute new firmware. That can take from a few weeks to several months.

There’s hope this time around that much of the ecosystem to see it sooner rather than later. Motorola has a good track record of quick OS turnarounds, and Samsung, LG, and HTC pledge to do the same. A video surfaced showing an early version of Android L running on a Galaxy S5, giving us tepid confidence the wait won’t be too long.

Google released a YouTube video, teasing the pending announcement of the "L" name that Android 5.0 will carry.

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