As you know, the Google I/O conference is typically geared towards developers, but there was plenty revealed at the conference for everyone else.
Google Pixel Smartphone
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a few leaked images of the new Pixels, and now Google has officially unveiled these phones and are marketing them as a more affordable phone. On the surface, they almost look identical to the Pixel 3 and 3XL counterparts, except for the fact that they are made of plastic where as the 3 and the 3XL were made of glass and metal. But it’s not just its looks that make the phones more affordable. They also include a slower processor, are missing the wireless charging option, and they don’t have anything to save you, should you drop it in the toilet. But the 3a does include the 3.5 mm headphone jack that everyone is missing. I mean, everyone has at least three pairs of headphones that will work with that kind of phone, so let’s just embrace it while we can.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are available now in black, white, and purple from various carriers throughout the United States. Although, AT&T isn’t on the list, but we will speculate on that in another post. The phones start at $399. While the price point is certainly enticing, would you consider purchasing one of these phones? Or are you a purist who needs top of the line materials, regardless of the cost?
Google has decided that they are going to start consolidating some of their hardware products by sticking their Google Home devices under the Nest brand. That means, you will start to see Google Assistant in devices like Nest Hello Doorbell and Nest Secure Alarm. But what will this mean? The first new product revealed under the Nest brand is the Nest Hub Max, which is a 10-inch camera. It is the same as the smaller 7-inch Home Hub, but larger and now called the Nest Hub.
The larger Nest Hub Max adds a more powerful audio system, as well as a camera for placing video calls using Google Duo. In addition, it also supports facial recognition for displaying personalized information on the screen, but only when appropriate.
What is great about the upgrades is that it includes a really neat feature. You can take advantage of the camera, and raise your hand, which will instantly pause whatever is playing, instead of you having to scream over top of it. The drawback might be the fact that the Nest was very much a bedroom-friendly device. Stay tuned if people will actually like the change, or if there will be a small revolt as a result.
What might have been the biggest announcement made by Google was the fact that the new Google Assistant will allow you to stop alarms and timers simply by saying “Stop”. Rather than having to use the wake phrase, in order to get the device’s attention, followed by the command in question.