Last week Google announced some great devices and others that just confused me, at a really boring event. Google, keep them products coming, but also keep the event short next time. We still love you. To summarize last week’s event in two words it would be “Artificial Intelligence”. A direction all tech giants have been taking and focusing on. This event, Google expanded the uses of its Google Assistant and just added it to a bunch of new devices.
Google Home Mini
You can tell from the name, this is basically a smaller version of Google Home. The Google Home Mini does the exact same thing, except that it is much smaller, and probably not as good a speaker as the Google Home. The whole point of it is to get Google Home and Google Assistant into more rooms of your house.
Google is also releasing a new feature called “broadcast”. By talking to Google Assistant on your phone or on Google Home, all your Google Home/Mini devices will broadcast the message where ever they are placed. Google announced that with a picture in the background that read; “It’s time for school”. Great, here’s a new way to get your kids to hate you.
Google Home Max
This smart home speaker is much bigger than the Google Home. Google Home Max is clearly Googles “answer” to Apple’s HomePod. In this bigger design, the “Max” has bigger speakers and more hardware. It is mostly a $400 speaker with the main advantage being that it connects to more music services than the Homepod, which only connects to Apple Music.
Google unveiled their new high-end Chromebook that comes with a 7th-generation i7, 16 GB Ram, and 512 GB SSD. Why would they release such a Chromebook you say? Well of course, so users would send emails faster, I think…
Let’s see how it goes once the Chromebook is released, whether or not there will be any use for that processor and all that RAM.
- $999 – 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, seventh-gen Intel CoreTM i5 processor
- $1,199 – 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, seventh-gen Intel CoreTM i5 processor
- $1,649 – 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe, seventh-gen Intel CoreTM i7 processor
Google Pixel Buds
Google Pixel Buds are the companies new Bluetooth earphones, which aren’t fully wireless, as both earpieces are connected. Of course, the Pixel Buds come with gesture controls, Google Assistant, and the most important feature of all, real-time translation. Real-time translation is a feature which will translate supported languages in real-time directly in your ear.
Google’s new camera uses AI technology to photograph moments that it thinks could be important to you. You would simply place the camera down and the camera will detect and take pictures of the family. To avoid any privacy concerns, all pictures are saved onto the camera until you choose to upload them to Google servers or move them onto your computer, videos are also taken without any audio.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
The new hot Google phones are very similar yet different. The tech giant made sure to bash Apple in their event as they mentioned that their two phone share all specs and features. But Google, that is not entirely true, is it? Both phones have POLED (Plastic – OLED) displays, fast charging, IP67 ratings, Fingerprint sensor, front-facing stereo speakers, and come in two variants, 64GB or 128 GB. One difference between them is design, as the Pixel 2 looks exactly like last year’s Pixel, and the Pixel 2 XL has a new near bezel-less design. Here is where Google is wrong, as there is a difference in specs/features, and this difference is in their displays. The Pixel 2 has a Full HD (1080p) display and the Pixel 2 XL has a QHD (2880 x 1440) display. Also, both phones come with HTC U11’s active edge feature, which is at first set to launch Google Assistant but can be changed to execute other features.
Also, both phones come with HTC U11’s active edge feature, which is at first set to launch Google Assistant but can be changed to execute other features.
For their cameras, Google this year is using a dual pixel sensor (which divides every pixel into two), allowing their cameras to capture photos in “portrait mode” by using machine learning, without the need for a second camera. Competitors’ smartphones such as the iPhone 8 Plus, Note 8, and others require their second camera to apply a bokeh effect to their photos.
The cameras also come with a new feature called “Lens”, which allows your phone to detect landmarks, book covers, and other things you point the camera at to give you more information about them.
Everything seems great, doesn’t it? Well, no it isn’t, not really. HEY! Google! Where’d the headphone jack go?! Yes, Google joined the list of companies that have decided to ditch the headphone jack this year. I am a person that always uses Bluetooth headphones/earphones, but I still love to have the option to use my wired earphones while charging. Companies should not take that away! Since we most probably won’t have the Pixels available in Lebanon and if we did, they will definitely be highly overpriced, then this doesn’t really bother me, for now…