We’re already in October now. Google has invited the media to an event scheduled for 4 October in San Francisco. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you must have heard that the company is going to reveal something “made by Google” on October 4th. Perhaps you’ve read it on the Internet, or have seen it somewhere on the streets or TV. Until now Google has been shy of it’s hardware business, but if the reports are even half true, October 4th will mark the official change in stance for Google as a hardware maker.
Of course there are the Pixel smartphones, HTC made but with Google branding. But that’s not all that is going to be revealed. Let’s take a look t what we know so far.
Pixel and Pixel XL
Google will reportedly ditch the Nexus brand when it unveils its 2016 flagship smartphones under the Pixel brand but if you’re here, I’ll assume you already know quite a lot about that. If not, here is everything we expect from the Pixel duo, from a 3D touch like launcher feature to dual partitions and what not. Google is also expected to launch the first Android nougat update with the Pixel smartphones bringing Android’s version number to 7.1.
Google is placing big bets on virtual reality in 2016. It plans to expand its existing Cardboard initiative and directly challenge the mobile VR market. The company announced its new Daydream VR platform at Google I/O in May, but it hasn’t said much since, despite the rollout of Android 7.0 Nougat, which brought support for Daydream, and that manufacturers are currently building Daydream-ready handsets.
Google’s event will likely showcase Daydream VR running on its latest mobile devices. 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. According to Bloomberg, Google has been recruiting and funding YouTube stars over the past few months, ahead of an imminent launch of the platform. Also, Google has confirmed it is working on a headset and controller of its own. It will cost around $80.
It’s been a year since Google updated Chromecast by releasing Chromecast 2 with a new design, improved internals, and a refreshed app. The Mountain View, CA-based company has likely been developing a third-generation model since then, and according to a recent report, that new device should debut this autumn, and it’ll bring support for 4K streams. The latest Chromecast preview firmware has switched the chrome branding with Google, and nobody is quite sure yet what that indicates because Chromecast will still be called Chromecast.
Google was reportedly going to launch a 4K version of the Chromecast in autumn 2015, but it instead released Chromecast 2. Android Police has claimed that Google will finally announce a 4K-capable Chromecast for $69. If you’re wondering why this image shows the ubiquitous ‘G’ instead of the chrome logo, Google is apparently ditching the chrome branding and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if they even change the name however no such information is yet available. Chromecast branding was removed from the first Chromecast Preview Update as well.
The latest entrant in the voice-activated-assistant race, will cost $130 and include the colorful base options shown off at the company’s I/O conference in May, according to Android Police. That’s $50 less than the Echo. We have yet to see how well the Home works, but we do know that while it was built to be used across rooms and to answer questions using Search, Google hasn’t yet opened up its API, so it might not be compatible with as many devices as the Echo.
It’s a Wi-Fi speaker that also works as a smarthome control center and an assistant for the whole family. You can use it to playback entertainment throughout your entire house, effortlessly manage every-day tasks, and ask Google what you want to know. The device itself has interchangeable bases available in various colours and finishes (such as metal and fabric, allowing you to match it to your decor).
Underneath that swappable shell there is a speaker that can playback songs and allow Google Assistant to talk to you. It appears to be pretty small, as a Google executive was able to easily hold it in one hand while unveiling Google Home on stage at Google I/O. Also, at the top of the device, there is a display with four small LEDs. You’ll use these apparently to interact with the device.
As for buttons, there are none at the top (just dual microphones that listen for your voice). There is a single mute button on the shell. While it was showing off Google Home, Google said we could expect the speaker to be released “later this year”. Since it’s already September and we don’t know of any other Google event this year, we expect to hear more about Google Home on 4 October.
Android Police claimed Google has developed something called Google Wi-Fi. Consumers can reportedly expect this Wi-Fi device to be unveiled on 4 October during Google’s event. Google Wi-Fi will apparently be able to link up with multiple units, allowing it to form a mesh network of sorts, kind of like Eero. Google WiFi should cost around $129.
If you’re keeping track at home, yes, Google already does have its own line of branded routers. The OnHub line launched late last summer as a router that’s simple to control with your smartphone and good looks that’ll make you want to place it prominently in your home. However, both of the two OnHub-branded routers were built by third party manufacturers (TP-Link and Asus).
So which among these are you most exited for? Let us know. Will you be watching it online? You can watch the LIVE stream right here.