Google’s latest hardware event brought with it some exciting new products; ones that will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the future of both the app and smartphone markets. The most important announcement came in the form of the new Pixel smartphones; Google’s answer to Apple’s iPhone. Alongside this came more information about Home and VR, amongst others products. Here’s a lowdown of the biggest announcements:
Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Undisputedly the main event, the release of the Google’s new smartphones, is a game changer. Built by HTC, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL come equipped with a 5 and 5.5 inch screen respectively, along with the Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. These impressive hardware statistics are used to power Google’s latest operating system, Android 7.1 Nougat. With Google now holding the reigns to both operating system and smartphone, they will be able to optimise their OS exactly to the Pixel’s specifications, utilising it to its full potential.
With a long battery life being a coveted feature of all smartphones, the Pixel truly delivers. Google claim that the battery will last all day. It is also capable of fast charging, giving up to seven hours of battery life for a mere fifteen minutes of charge time.
The Pixel smartphones additionally feature the Google Assistant, along with VR capabilities. Another stunning attribute is the inclusion of what Google claim to be the best smartphone camera ever. Given its impressive specifications, the Pixel smartphones are looking like a firm competitor to the iPhone.
The Pixel is available from the 20th October, with either 32GB or 128GB of storage, from £599.
While some of Google Home’s details were revealed earlier this year at I/O, Google have waited until now for a full reveal. While the Pixel competes with the iPhone, Google Home is very much an answer to the Amazon Echo. The device utilises Google Assistant in order to allow users to access Google using only their voice, though manual controls are available through a touch receptive top.
Google Home can play music, YouTube videos (via Chromecast) and even interact with smart-home products. Through Google Home, a user can literally change the room temperature using nothing but the power of speech and the right device.
The product is relatively small and subtle, coming in a variety of different colours to fit in with a variety of décor. It responds to the phrase ‘OK, Google,’ allegedly being able to pick up the command in noisy rooms, or even while the device is playing music.
Google Home have yet to announce the price and release date in the UK.
The AI that powers Google Home, Google Assistant, is a vast improvement on Google Now. Google Assistant is advanced enough to analyse conversational pattern, offering prompts based uniquely upon the user. Not only is it utilised as a part of Google Home, Google Assistant will find its home with the Pixel, much like Siri does with the iPhone, but Google imply that it will be much more personal.
Google is updating its streaming device, Chromecast, naming the new edition Chromecast Ultra. The device is 1.8 times faster than its predecessor, and this speed allows for seamless 4K streaming. It also supports HDR. As an added bonus, Chromecast Ultra features an Ethernet port to ensure the most stable internet connection.
Chromecast Ultra is priced at £69, and will be available in the near future.
Daydream VR and View
Daydream VR is Google’s mobile virtual reality platform, and was first announced alongside Google Home at I/O. While further apps have been developed to take advantage of what Daydream can offer, the most notable announcement came in the form of Google’s VR headset, named Daydream View.
The headset relies upon an inserted mobile device, namely the Pixel for the moment, to provide the necessary hardware. A notable feature lies in its comfort, with Google taking advantage of this gap in the VR headset market. It includes a motion sensing controller that allows users to interact with the virtual environment produced by the application they are using.
Daydream View will be available for £69 in early November, along with Daydream VR.
The final, notable announcement to report comes in the form of Google WiFi, Google’s own router. It’s smart, meaning that it includes software capable of reducing network congestion. The produces a more stable connection throughout the household, no matter which device is being used. A Google WiFi app allows a user to control which devices are connected to the network, while providing useful monitoring statistics.
Google has yet to announce the release date or price for WiFi.
All in all, Google have some exciting products in the pipeline, all of which will be on the market within a month or so. One cannot argue that the Pixel stole the show, and the potential that the smartphone offers is sure to be an enticing thought for consumers and app developers alike.