Google is no longer just a software maker. The search giant came full force launching a slew of new products, aiming to bring hardware and software together. With artificial intelligence at the core of its new efforts, here is everything that Google announced in a fast-paced, 100-minute event on Tuesday.
Google announced its new Pixel and Pixel XL phones
Replacing Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL are Google's first devices built inside and out by the company. Premium aluminum frames, glass backs, and mind it, no camera bumps, Google’s first Pixel phones look pretty premium. Powered by a powerful Snapdragon 821 processor, 12.3MP camera that is rated as the best smartphone camera ever, the duo is also Daydream VR-ready. At the heart of the new devices, however, is Google Assistant. An unprecedented amount of artificial intelligence makes Assistant the first conversational and contextual assistant that brings AI in your everyday lives.
2.15GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 2,770mAh battery (3,450 for XL), and storage options starting at 32GB or 128GB complete the specs sheet of the newly launched Pixel phones. The smartphones are available in Quite Black, Really Blue and Very Silver color choices, and ship with Android 7.1 out of the box.
Google's Pixel devices are offered in two size choices: 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL. The pricing starts from $649, and you can pick these up from Google or a Verizon store.
Daydream View - the most comfortable VR
Google unveiled its Daydream virtual reality platform at Google's I/O developer conference, back in May. Today, the company launched its Daydream View VR headset, Google's soft and cozy, fabric-lined virtual reality viewer that is designed to be comfortable.
The new VR headset is 30 percent lighter than other headsets and also fits nicely over your glasses. It also comes along with a Wii-like controller that makes it easier to control your virtual reality. Daydream View is available in Snow, Slate and Crimson color choices.
While Pixels are first Daydream-ready devices, Google's OEM partners like Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Alcatel, LG, and ASUS will all offer mobile VR experience using Daydream capabilities. Google has also partnered with app and game developers to bring new VR content, ready for user consumption. The company is also launching an exclusive Harry Potter adventure in November.
4K-capable Chromecast Ultra
Google's new Chromecast Ultra is 4K-capable, doing away with the Chrome branding. Google has added an ethernet port into the adapter for more connectivity options, and the device is also 1.8 times faster than previous versions.
Chromecast Ultra delivers high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Vision output. The latest Chromecast will be available for $79, in November.
Google Home - with the power of Assistant
Along with Google Assistant, Google also talked about its Amazon Echo-competitor back in May. Google Home is essentially a smart speaker that is powered by Google's AI capabilities to assist you in your home.
Similar to Pixel, Google Home is also powered by Google Assistant, that responds to your queries or commands. Partnering with Nest, Samsung, Phillips, and IFTTT, the hub will allow you to control your using smart devices. Thanks to the contextually intelligent Assistant, Google Home will offer you personalized results. It will also learn about your preferences to offer you better assistance. From booking reservations to turning off lights, Home is your true assistant.
Google Home comes in Mango Marine, Violet, Carbon, Snow, and Copper. It will retail for $129.
Google Wifi is an upgrade to Google's OnHub router. It is a new home networking product, similar to Eero. Google has packed smart functionality in Google Wifi that allows you to extend coverage over an entire house.
Google’s Network Assist manages and optimizes network automatically, while you can also manually manage usage. At its event, the company demonstrated how you can pause Wifi during dinner to have family time. The new Google Wifi will cost $129 for a single pack, and $229 for a pack of three. The pre-orders will start in November.
Google Assistant - AI everywhere
From the start of the announcement to the end, everything was around Google Assistant. The voice-activated assistant is the next-generation of helpers that learns about you and tries to help you in colloquial, conversational style. From Pixel to Home, Google demonstrated how the company is moving from "mobile first" to "AI first," applying its advanced machine learning knowledge to make Google Assistant more useful.
"Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user,” Sundar Pichai said. With today's event, Google said goodbye to Google Now, as advanced Google Assistant that we have already seen in the Allo messaging app, takes over the reins.
Google also released customizable Live cases for Pixel phones and an exclusive Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them VR adventure from the Harry Potter universe. After the event, the company confirmed that Google Assistant will remain exclusive to Pixel phones for quite some time. Android 7.1 Nougat developer previews will go live at the end of this year, but they won't necessarily bring the new Assistant to non-Pixel devices.