Google delivered on the promises made by rumors leading up to today’s big event, and it delivered an action packed press conference that was overflowing with major announcements. We all knew Google had plans to step up its hardware efforts, and we all knew that the next-generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones would spearhead those efforts. We also knew that plenty more new hardware would be introduced during the show today — but we’re not sure anyone truly grasped the full scope of what Google had planned.
Google Assistant (New Siri in the town?)
It’s beyond clear that Google thinks AI is the future of computing. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company began by building “a Google for everyone,” and now the company’s goal is to build each user his or her own Google. Like Siri and Google Now, Google Assistant pulls personal data in from a wide range of sources in order to offer personalized experiences that help people in every aspect of their lives. Google said that all of its new apps and hardware are in part about putting Google Assistant in the hands of users. Also of note, Google Assistant will be available to third-party developers so they can integrate their apps and services.
After weeks of leaks, Google unveiled what we were all expecting: the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Both have a similar design and are differentiated mainly by the size of their screens. Google’s Pixel includes a 5-inch 1080p display, and the XL features a larger 5.5-inch Quad HD panel. Both devices are built by HTC and are powered by the latest Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB or 128GB of storage.
Google has included fingerprint sensors on the rear, and both Pixel smartphones run a specialized version of Google’s Android software, which includes support for the Daydream virtual reality headsets and Google’s new Assistant software. Google’s new Assistant is a key part of the Pixel and of Google’s keynote in general, and the search giant took a lot of time demonstrating what the Assistant can do, from answering traditional search queries to reaching into apps to make restaurant reservations or play music.
Google also focused on photography with the Pixel, boasting that DXOMark scored the Pixel camera 89, the highest ever for a smartphone. Google is providing free unlimited storage for Pixel owners so you can store full-resolution pictures and videos on Google Photos. Both Pixel devices will ship with the latest Android Nougat release, and updates will be available immediately. Pricing starts at Rs 57,000 for the smaller 5-inch Pixel, available for preorder today
Meet Google’s first virtual reality headset, which offers a wide range of features and a design that appears to be an improvement over some rival offerings. It’s powered by your Daydream-enabled Android phone, of course, like a Pixel or Pixel XL. There’s also a wireless remote accessory that helps you control the VR experience without having to touch the headset. Daydream View will cost $79 when it launches in November, and it includes the wireless controller. Check out more details right here.
This is a brand new expandable Wi-Fi router system similar to the new crop of routers we’ve seen pop up all over the place lately. It will launch in November priced at $129 for one unit or $299 for a three-pack. Learn more here.
Meet the new and improved Chromecast streaming media dongle, which features more powerful hardware and now supports 4K content. It’ll launch next month for $69, It will be available in India soon.