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Today's Google event was playful and personal, with just a hint of Apple picking

Tech events usually come in two flavors. You get the sterile, bland demonstration of the capabilities of whatever is being announced, or you get an absolute trainwreck with demo fails and horrible attempts at being relatable. Fortunately for those of us who attend these events on a regular basis, there's a lot more of the former than the latter. Our job is to relay that information to you through whichever personal lens we rely on as writers, and really what we all really want is to get hands on whatever is being announced so we can share our thoughts.

Today, we got a look at a third kind of tech event. A Google event, by which I means the kind of event only Google could put on and make work.

It was an exciting, well executed demonstration of what people can expect from this new wave of products.

In the span of an hour, Google managed to unveil two phones, two Chromecasts, one hell of a tablet, family plans for Play Music, new accidental damage plans, future plans for Google Photos, and a whole lot of little things about Android 6.0 as it interacts with just about everything. The demonstrations of what these phones will look like and how they will behave in the demo situations explained just about everything you needed to know, including when you can actually throw money at the screen to buy whichever product struck your fancy. It was an exciting, well executed demonstration of what people can expect from this new wave of products.

For any other company, this event would have been a lot of terse, quick demonstrations with just enough in between for applause. It would have been quick, clean, and largely devoid of character — not to mention chock full of old white dudes. We didn't get that from Google today. We got subtle jabs at Apple, meme drops live on stage, some awkward music, and a diverse stage full of talented people with crazy things like accents and colorful outfits and Melanin, as well as a healthy display of colorful Android Wear options.

Apple compare

It may not seem like it at first, but this sort of thing matters to a lot of people. Google didn't stand on stage and call their competitors names or spout misleading stats or insult the way they do business, but more than a couple of moments left the viewer with that "I see what you did there" smile as the presentation continued. At the same time, Google took time to make sure Apple products were included in the presentation and made it clear their services were just as important as their products. Apple is a big part of the mobile ecosystem, and Google both respects and supports people who choose something that isn't Android.

They talked about the purpose of things like the expanded Pixel team, and the explanation didn't feel boilerplate, it felt personal. We got cat memes instead of stock photos, because that's the audience Google is reaching with this kind of presentation and they know it. There was no need to hide behind the dry corporate blandness, this was Google being Google on stage for everyone to see. Demonstrations that make sure to include the global audience so there's no concern that an accent will ruin the voice experience, and a focus on interacting with family and friends through technology.

Google Photos

If nothing else, this event is a nice change of pace from the weirdness that has been Nexus launch events over the last couple of years. Google's got new leadership all over the place this year, and this is the first real event we're seeing with Sundar Pichai at the head of the table. There's a lot to be excited about with today's announcements, but there's also a lot to be excited about when it comes to Google as a company. We've got questions needing to be answered about the Pixel C and where that fits into the Google landscape, but also there needs to be a deeper look at how all of these services are coming together in a way that deserves a name other than deeply integrated.

We'll have lots of time to push those buttons and swipe those screens, but for now it's nice to know Google's refresh goes a whole lot deeper than a colorful new logo.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

37 Comments
  • Great article. Congrats!
  • I get it. Being white male requires a constant excuse for your gender and color. Choosing and rejecting people because of skin color is just bad. Other than that, great writeup and I am excited for what is coming. Great event today. Patiently awaiting a podcast
  • Fuck off with your victim mentality.
  • You could win any discussion with your amazing arguments. Thank you for a respectful comment.
  • Thanks. I'm tired of white people, too. /s
  • You should be
  • No, spock, it doesn't. But even if it did, it sure beats being scared to get pulled over for a traffic stop, or getting denied a job because of your sex, or sexual orientation, or religion. Or having to explain to your grandson how to keep his hands out of his pockets at all times....let me just stop there How about that its nice to see people that represent inclusiveness--and you, if you happen not to be a white, male. I thought it was a great presentation and man was it good to see the not cool people being not cool and okay with it. I hate the total awkwardness of some of those 'relatable' moments as well. I think the whole thing showed just how cool Google really is...
  • I agree about the Google event. However, I believe that those people on stage were chosen because of what they do, and because of what they are good at. Implying that they were there because of skin color is just horrible. Imagine having worked all your life to get to a position, and people just comment on "how nice it is to see skin colors on stage". That just devaluates your abilities. Why is it that you guys are so obsessed with skin color that in every article you have to do a status of how many percent of each skin color was on stage? It just blows my mind that people just cannot accept that people get chosen because of abilities. Where were the red heads?
    Where were the gays?
    Left handed? /s
  • +1 Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • i would say it's more of a remark on the slowly changing state of the industry. it's not that these people were heralded that they were POC, but the fact that google is showing they have a diverse set of employees is a good thing because the lack of diversity in the tech sector is still an issue.
  • This sentiment is hilariously represented in the "Silicon Valley" episode "The Lady..." Unfortunately no way to stream the scene online, but you can read the dialog at this review http://mashable.com/2015/05/03/silicon-valley-season-2-episode-4/#0RNYrZ...
  • Shouldn't all jobs be based on Merit?
  • The begining of your article doesn't make any metion of Andorid Wear, in the middle you write "as well as a healthy display of colorful Android Wear options.", and then nothing further is mentioned about it. What type of Android Wear was presented, and where can we find more details. For that matter you may want to provide links for quite a few of the topics talked about.
  • I believe the "healthy display of colorful Android Wear options" was referring to the watches that each presenter was wearing.
  • Also They showed on the google store where you could buy the generation of watches somewhere in the middle, I forget
  • He meant that all of the presenters seemed to have on some type of Android Wear device. They didn't really talk about any watches today specifically, just that they were available in the Google Store. Posted via Android Central App
  • I thought it was boring and looked like it was held in the conference room of a Comfort Inn and Suites. To each their own though. I guess it's hard not to compare it to an Apple event. Thanks for pointing out how they didn't call their competitors names. That's something commenters here on AC could benefit from.
  • Apple events are stuffy and pretentious, just like their products. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Finally !! Something we can agree on
  • Haha... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Honestly, I thought this year's event was lackluster...new products aside. The presenters all looked bored, lacked real enthusiasm/excitement, and seemed somewhat unprepared. Dave didn't seem excited at all introducing the new devices. Maybe all the leaks took the wind out of their sails as if they had nothing new to provide? IDK, but it just wasn't a terribly well done event IMO. Even Sundar's opener was just devoid of much emotion...he seemed just bored and irritated frankly. And it was irritating with them demonstrating new features with a freaking iphone when 2 new Nexus devices were just announced and on stage. You think maybe you could use those?
  • I didn't mind it too much but they should have done that Chromecast gaming demo with the 6P.
  • Dave Burke always looks like that :)
  • Not one person clapped or cheered during the entire event! I was watching it and I was cheering, thinking my god are these guys so focused on what they're writing down that I can't even give a single clap or a cheer when something awesome happens. I don't know if they are told not to clap or cheer or if the room was just designed to where you just could not do that. But it was very awkward. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or maybe they're actual adults and behave as such, and not like they're at a HS pep rally.
  • I agree and noticed that also. Made everything seem so sterile and lack emotion or excitement. If Google can't bother to show excitement for what they offer, how can they expect anyone else too!?! Maybe they should go back to just a website press release with no fanfare or event at all, like they have done in the past.
  • Google probably told them to hold their applause. I think it's better that way.
  • Some Larry Page quotes: "If you read the media coverage of our company, or of the technology industry in general, it’s always about the competition. The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event. But it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition. How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing?" "For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better."
  • where was the fanboy whooping though? come on guys! #amazing Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can someone extract those 'I see what you did there' moments into a highlights video? :D Posted via the Android Central App
  • I also got the feeling that presentation was more of an annoyance to presenters, than something they enjoyed. 3/4 of them seemed like they didn't know single line of their (obviously written in advance due to constant looking in monitors on the floor) speech. Especially Dave.
  • It was definitely over-scripted. I was not convinced that that lady was a Wu Tang & Biggie fan.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm glad it wasn't a spectacle but I actually started to doze off towards the end when I watched the replay (to their defense I was already sleepy anyway). It didn't annoy me like the Apple event did though.. Those ppl woulda clapped at Tim Cook picking his nose. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I enjoy the Google event. Google show you what they have to offer and what they are doing to reach the massive. No need to brag or use cheesy word to mislead you. I also like the diversity of the speaker's presentations, goes along with their slogan. Be together not the same.lol
  • "Google both respects and supports people who choose something that isn't Android." Unless that something is Windows Phone. :-( Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hahah i was going to say this!
  • I am an "Old White Dude". I must admit, I was slightly offended when I read that. It took me all of about 30 seconds to get over it. Mostly because I realized the reference was to boring corporate cardboard types who give mono tone presentations. All of which I am not. I give presentations to playfully dressed young possibly soon to be experienced family supported highly socialized and culturally diverse dreamy entrepreneur's all the time, and they love me! Great Article!