Google’s biggest event of the year has recently concluded and from it we saw various devices and services announced by the search giant for their various platforms. While there were a lot of announcements, here were some of the major highlights.
First up is the announcement that Google had released their cheaper alternative to their flagship Pixel phones dubbed “Pixel 3A” and “Pixel 3A XL”. The phones, costing $399 and $479 respectively, have received countless good reviews from various sites like The Verge & LinusTechTips. On the positive side these reviews list the stellar price & operating system as well as having the camera that the Pixel devices are known for. On the negative side these reviews list the lack of wireless charging, dust & water resistance, and that the processor leaves a lot to be desired. The Pixel 3A & 3A XL are available now from carriers like T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and Google’s own Project Fi.
Next, there’s the announcement of the new Nest Hub Max. It’s essentially a larger Google Home Hub, but with a camera. The Nest Hub Max is one of a new line of smart displays under the Nest banner, the other being the Nest Hub (formerly Google Home Hub). The Nest Hub Max will come out in July and retail for $229.
Another announcement was Android Q getting a system wide dark theme, native 5G support, the ability to apply patches without needing a reboot, system wide smart replies for apps such as Messenger or Signal, smart suggestions on which app to open based off of messages, live captions for audio and video clips on Android (this can also be done offline), amongst many other features coming to the latest iteration of the Android OS.
One big announcement was for the privacy conscious in the audience, as Google Maps will be getting the iconic “Incognito Mode” option, similar to how Chrome has an incognito mode. This mode, when active, will not record your search history or location history within Google Maps. This feature will be both in-app and on the web and should be coming out within the coming weeks.
Finally there was the overarching announcement that the Google Assistant was getting smarter, such as it’s new Duplex service now being able to make reservations for you on the web by filling in the information on various reservation sites on your behalf. Also it’s getting its own driving mode within Android (that shouldn’t be confused with Android Auto) that’ll recommend things to listen to or places to go when active. There’s also the announcement that the Assistant will be integrated into Google Maps and how it’ll allow you to interact with the assistant without having to take your eyes off the road. All these announcements are said to be coming to “new Pixel phones later this year”.
Sources: Android Authority, The Verge, events.Google.com/io, YouTube