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At its annual hardware event in New York yesterday, Google lifted the lid on a host of new devices, as well as some new software smarts.
Here’s a quick recap of everything announced at the Made by Google 2019 event.
Pretty much as expected, Google unveiled a duo of new smartphones, the successors to last year’s devices. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL feature notable upgrades, such as gesture recognition and dual rear cameras.
As with most flagship smartphones, the cameras play a pivotal role in the new Pixel 4 lineup, with Google even taking a not-so-subtle dig at Apple on the subject of computational photography. “It’s not mad science,” said Google researcher and Stanford professor emeritus Marc Levoy, refering to a comment made by an Apple executive last month.
It’s also worth highlighting one particularly cool new feature that will initially be exclusive to these Pixel phones. A built-in voice recording app will be capable of transcribing audio (such as interviews) in real time — completely offline.
The new Recorder app uses speech recognition and AI to transcribe lectures, meetings, interviews and more—and makes them easy for you to find later. (English only right now, with more languages to come.) #madebygoogle pic.twitter.com/fdKRItuS4b
— Google (@Google) October 15, 2019
As an aside, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL do not support Android’s built-in virtual reality platform Daydream, which effectively means that Daydream is dead.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are available in three colors: black, white, and orange. Preorders are already open. Prices start at $799 and go all the way up to $999, depending on your configuration, with both devices shipping on October 24.
Read more: Google unveils Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
Google introduced the next generation of its Pixelbook, a hybrid laptop-tablet first launched in 2017.
With the Pixelbook Go, Google has ditched the hybrid element of its predecessor, electing to go with a purely laptop-focused design. The device now has an all-metal body, 8th-generation Intel processors, and a screen resolution of up to 4K, depending on the model. Google said it focused more on fixing bugs than adding new software features this time around.
Shipping on November 15, the Pixelbook Go will cost between $649 and $1399.
Google introduced a new miniature smart speaker that goes by the name of Nest Mini and includes a wall mount, improved bass, and a dedicated machine learning chip for local processing.
Priced at $49, the Nest Mini goes on sale globally from October 22.
Read more: Google debuts Nest Mini
Nest Wifi Router & Wifi Point
Google also launched the next version of its own-brand router, which it first introduced back in 2016.
The Nest Wifi Router is designed to bring smart Wi-Fi to homes. Not only does it come with Google Assistant support, it has a companion Wifi Point device (which includes a built-in smart speaker) for extending network coverage throughout larger abodes. However, the devices don’t support Wi-Fi 6.
In related news, Nest Aware — the company’s app for controlling Nest cameras — will soon have a simpler two-tiered pricing plan, while a new Home Feed for the Google Home app will display events and alerts from all connected devices.
Shipping on November 4, the Nest Wifi Router and Point will cost $269 when purchased together, or $349 for a three-pack that includes two Point devices.
Google announced the second generation of its Pixel Buds, two years after the original set of earbuds were unveiled.
The new-and-improved Pixel Buds feature a dedicated chip for on-device machine learning, and they are no longer attached to each other by a wire. They also now support hands-free Google Assistant access.
Additionally, the earbuds now use adaptive sound to adjust volume based on your environment, meaning the volume may increase on a noisy train or decrease when you’re walking along a quiet street.
However, the new Pixel Buds won’t go on sale until spring 2020, at which point they will be available for $179.
Read more: Pixel Buds with hands-free Google Assistant
Google teased a new faster Google Assistant, one that operates in near real time. It can be used to open apps and execute transcriptions from voice recordings automatically, and it also supports multi-turn dialog to respond to multiple commands or queries.
We knew it was coming sometime in November, but at its largely hardware-focused Made by Google 2019 event, Google announced that its cloud-based gaming service — Google Stadia — will be launching on November 19.
Read more: Google Stadia is launching November 19
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