Google’s making a phone! Well, the jury’s out on how much of the device they designed from scratch, but the device is whitelabeled as Google within and without. It also shows fingerprints of the company’s engineering philosophy everywhere.
Google announced their Pixel line of phones during a major press event and presentation on October 4. The Google Pixel will run its own proprietary version of the Android OS with a unique “Pixel Launcher” UI feature.
In addition to the Pixel, Google announced several other important products of note, so let’s go ahead and touch on all of the most important details worth knowing.
The Google Pixel Phone
Google’s biggest announcement was their own line of smartphone devices. This move brings the company closer in line with Apple’s approach to branding: their own device designs running (mostly) their own OS designs. Beating the iPhone 7 at its own game, though, the Pixel boasts a 12.3 megapixel camera without an “unsightly camera bump” as Google’s Rick Osterloh put it in a not-so-subtle jab at the iPhone 7.
It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack!
Options include a 5” or 5.5” screen and 32GB or 128GB. MSRP starts at $649.
Pixel Launcher and Google Assistant
The chief difference in the software “guts” of the Pixel line compared to other Android devices is Google’s Pixel Launcher UI. This OS component provides a quick-access Google bar and a redesigned dock for apps on standby. Aside from the Pixel Launcher, the Pixel phones will run a fairly standard version of Android Nougat, the latest version.
Another chief feature of the Pixel Launcher puts Google’s new Assistant AI at instant access. This AI helper aims to out-Siri Siri with more capability and also interoperability between devices like connected TVs or speakers.
No word yet on if it will help re-create classic Jeeves and Wooster scenes.
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Recognizing the demand for affordable, realistic VR setups, Google opted to create a dock-type headset that fits with a large range of compatible devices. Users slide their device into the Daydream View, which takes care of calibrating movement, syncing screens, picking the right orientation and other fidgety things no one wants to deal with on their own.
Daydream View comes with a VR controller that offers motion sensing and a clickable trackpad. Perhaps most importantly, the device is made of a comfortable microfiber material that looks more like something Ralph Lauren would make than Bill Gates.
Google WiFi, Updated Chromecast and Google Home
Google created their own brand of puck-shaped router devices, a la Eero and other similar products. Buying several means you can deploy them around your house and have the signal actively shift as devices move about, eliminating blind spots or the need to buy a hi-powered mesh router that still still doesn’t quite get the job done.
New Chromecast devices will support 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, if that’s a thing you are into. They also now have an Ethernet port for no-lag streaming via a direct connection.
Finally, Google fed us new details on their upcoming Home device. You may remember we first mentioned the device back during the May 2016 Google I/O event. Like Amazon Echo, it serves as a “home base” for AI assistants while also connecting to “smart home” or “internet of things” devices, depending on your preferred marketing jargon.
Google Home can fetch information for you from its Knowledge Graph as well as recipes and specific songs or band albums. The device already promises connectivity with Nest, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings products, and IFTTT services. Oh, and there’s a mute button to keep the pesky NSA off your back.
Staying Abreast of Digital Marketing and Tech Trends
As their new devices, OSes and AI assistants roll out, Google will no doubt alter the way their search engine algorithm works within their larger product ecosystem. Here at EverSpark, we keep our nose to the books on the best SEO practices as they change or emerge, helping you keep pace even as new disruptions like these make waves.
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