October 4 Event in San Fransisco
Google is all set to launch its all new hardware on its ‘Made by Google’ on October 4 event in San Fransisco. While all rumors and reports are indicating towards the launch of Google’s new Android-Chrome Hybrid OS ‘Andromeda’, there are few more surprises you might get. Here’s your roundup of what to expect from the event and how you can tune in:
Pixel and Pixel XL Smartphones
Google will reportedly ditch the Nexus brand when it unveils its 2016 flagship smartphone under the Pixel brand. Manufactured by HTC, the device will come in two variants: Pixel and Pixel XL (code-named Sailfish and Marlin). As the names suggest, Pixel is likely to be the smaller one portraying a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 ×1080 and Pixel XL (abbreviation for extra-large) is rumored to come with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display.
Google, however, has reportedly maintained tight control over the design and manufacturing process, the leaks so far suggest that the Pixel handset is to have a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera, dual stereo speakers, a fingerprint reader on the back and minimal (if any) camera bump. There’s a good chance that both the Pixel and the Pixel XL will have an aluminum-and-glass construction, unlike the Nexus 5X phone, which had a mostly plastic body.
According to Android Police, Google’s upcoming Pixel phones will start at $649, which is a price range usually reserved for devices like the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7. Going for a more Apple-like price for the Pixel phones might cost Google to chip away at its reputation for making low-cost devices as it moves increasingly into the hardware space.
Google’s Daydream VR headset, which was first introduced at Google I/O last spring, can be expected to make the debut on October 4. Google’s website for Daydream VR shows an Oculus-like headset that pairs with a smartphone and small controller. “Daydream is a platform for high quality, mobile virtual reality,” the site says.
As the tech giant launches Daydream, it doesn’t look like to be killing off its Google Cardboard, at least at first. Instead, both the devices seem to stay to serve a similar purpose but on different scales. While Google Cardboard is designed for you to easily pick up and put down for short bits of time, Daydream VR will be for more extended use.
The company has reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ensuring there will be plenty of VR content for the platform when it officially launches. Android Police said the headset should launch alongside the Pixel phones. It will cost around $80.
Google is expected to launch the upgrade of its Chromecast 2 which was released a year back: a 4K Chromecast device called Chromecast Ultra. Tipster Evan Blass leaked the following image of the device on Twitter:
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 26, 2016
The device is expected to cost $69, or more than twice the cost of the original Chromecast.
The Google Home, first announced at Google I/O conference in May last year is an Amazon Echo like device that can perform basic functions like playing music, setting your Nest thermostat or telling you the weather forecast. The device comes with a Bluetooth speaker and a built-in microphone and features interchangeable bases available in various colors and finishing (such as metal and fabric, allowing you to match it to your decor).
Google Wi-Fi Router
According to Android Police, Google is preparing to launch a new Wi-Fi router carrying the name Google Wi-Fi on October 4th. Sources say that the Wi-Fi router will cost $129 and will have “smart” features to differentiate it from the competition, such as enhanced range and the ability to link multiple access points to create a single massive network.
The details so far about this device are slim. Stay tuned to know more about Google Wi-Fi on October 4.
As per the reports by The Wall Street Journal last year, Google has been attempting to fold its Chrome OS (the OS it developed to power Chromebooks) into Android to develop a truly unified system bringing together Google laptops, tablets, and phones.
The Company has succeeded in developing a new hybrid OS (made by unifying Chrome and Android) ‘Andromeda’ will most certainly be launched on the event featured in both of the Pixel phones and a modular Pixel 3 laptop which, according to Android Police, will hit the market in late 2017. Hiroshi Lockheimer, a senior vice president at Google focusing on Android and Chrome OS, also hinted on Twitter to expect something big in the OS space from Google soon:
We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we'll be talking about Oct 4, 2016.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 24, 2016
How to Watch
The event takes place on Tuesday, October 4 starting at 9 am Pacific (9:30 pm IST). Google has launched a new website specifically for the 4 October event. You’ll presumably be able to view the event’s live stream from there or on Google’s YouTube page. And of course keep checking back our website for the latest news and analysis.