Here's everything Google announced at its Pixel event in San Francisco.
Google unveiled two brand new Pixel phones, its new differentiated Android interface, and Android 7.1 Nougat today in San Francisco — along with a bunch of other stuff. Read on to discover Google Assistant, the Pixel and Pixel XL, Daydream View, Google Wifi, Chromecast Ultra, Google Home and more!
Google CEO Sundar Pichai hailed the move from a mobile-first computing world to an AI-first computing world, envisioning the new Google Assistant as a seamless, conversational way for users to interact with Google wherever they are. Google's Knowledge Graph, and advances in AI, including image recognition, and machine translation, have helped make Google smarter than ever.
Google announced that it's opening up Assistant using "Actions on Google," which is how partners like Spotify and Opentable are able to interact with the service. It's an expansion of how partners have access to voice actions on Android right now. An example shown on stage showed how ordering an Uber could "bring" an Uber presence directly into the conversation, allowing the user to tell Uber what sort of vehicle to order, before receiving an ETA. Google will reveal more about Actions on Google in December.
Assistant has already debuted on Allo, and they'll be a big part of Google's new phones ...
Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Rick Osterloh, head of Google's new hardware division, unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. "We're building hardware with the Google Assistant at its core," says Osterloh. "This is a natural step, and we're in it for the long run," he says, adding that we'll hear more from his team over the months and years ahead. "What brings Pixel to life his how the hardware and software comes together."
The first phone with Google Assistant built in, with what Google says is the best smartphone camera ever.
Pixel is the first phone with the Google Assistant built in — Assistant now lives behind a long press of the home button. Its new storage capabilities, using the cloud, will ensure you "never run out of space" for photos and videos, according to Osterloh. Pixel's camera has a DxOMark rating of 89, the "highest ever," according to the group. HDR+ is enabled by default, "because there's zero shutter lag." And there's also gyroscope-based video stabilization for even smoother captures, polling the gyro 200 times a second.
Google says Pixel is designed to get through a full day on charge, with new battery optimizations. However the phone also ships comes with Quick Charging capabilities, with up to 7 hours of power from a 15-minute charge. Like Google's Nexus phones, Pixel will get new Android OS versions automatically when they're available, along with software updates. And Google's also built live 24/7 customer support into the phone, along with a screen share option to help support agents diagnose problems.
And yes, there are two versions — a 5.5-inch Pixel XL and 5-inch Pixel. Specs include a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32 or 128GB of storage. In the U.S. Verizon is the exclusive carrier partner, and it'll also be available unlocked from the Google Store and on Project Fi. Pre-sales start today in the U.S., Germany, UK and Canada, and on October 13 in India. Prices start at $649 — add $120 if you want to bump up to the 5.5-inch XL, and add $100 to either choice to go up to 128GB of storage. Color-wise, you're looking at "Quite Black," "Very Silver," and "Really Blue."
Google announced Daydream View, the first VR headset designed for Daydream-ready phones. Working with clothing designers, Google says it's created something "soft, cosy and comfortable to wear." The headset and any Daydream-compatible phone pair wirelessly, and there's an auto-alignment system to make sure everything fits just right. The Daydream controller is "so accurate you can write your name with it," and fits inside the headset for easy storage. Slate, Snow and Crimson are your color options.
Google's partnered with Warner Bros, the New York Times and others to tell VR stories inside Daydream. And of course Google Play Movies and YouTube are supported, too. Daydream View will be available for $79 in November, and early pre-orders of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL come with coupons for a free Daydream View headset.
Google's rumored 4K Chromecast is official. It grows from the circular design of the last generation, adding more speed, an integrated ethernet port and enhanced video capabilities. That means it can handle 4K video, HDR video and Dolby Vision. As part of the deal, Google Play Movies will start rolling out 4K content in November, and you can of course get that high-res content from the likes of YouTube and Netflix as well.
The price is $69, double that of the previous generation but still easily in the "impulse buy" sort of area. It'll be available starting in November.
Google's smart home assistant, announced back at I/O is official. Inspired by items you commonly find in the home, Google home's design feature a capacitive touch surface on top, based around a large speaker. There are a number of styles available.
Assistant, Music, Google Cast and smart home control, all in one box.
Google Assistant is built in, allowing Home to answer questions in natural language using Google's Knowledge Graph — including translations, querying Wikipedia and summarizing information you'd get from a web search. All the same intelligence you'd get from Google Assistant in Allo or on Pixel phones is available through voice in Google Home.
Google Home can play music from YouTube Music and other top music services, including Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and others, with voice controls, including volume controls — all without using your phone. You can also cast from Android and iOS devices through Google Cast. The device also works as a remote control for your TV via Chromecast, easily letting you view TV shows or cast your Google Photos, using your voice.
As the name suggests, Google Home also allows you to control smart devices inside your home, with support for Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue and IFTTT.
Google Home will be available for $129, with a free 6-month YouTube Red included. Pre-orders start today in the U.S., with availability on November 4.
Google's expanding — and kind of supplanting — its OnHub program with Google Wifi, a new router system designed to let you to cover all the various corners of your home with full Wi-Fi connectivity. The base stations are small, and can be simply networked together to expand your coverage to hard-to-reach or far-away places without additional configuration. "Simply add Wi-Fi points to expand coverage," and "without compromising aesthetics." There's also a companion app to allow you to control the Wi-Fi access of your kids.
A single Google Wifi is just $129, or you can get a 3-pack for $299. Pre-orders start in November, shipping in December.
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
- Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
- Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
- Pixel + Pixel XL specs
- Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
- Join the discussion in the forums!