Hunches, predictions and intestine emotions about what’s subsequent from Google.
Pixel season is upon us, as Google prepares to indicate off next-gen throughout a number of classes this coming Wednesday, October four. It will even be the sixth Google fall launch I’ve coated (both in individual or remotely), the primary being the venerable Samsung Galaxy Nexus again in 2011.
Normally that’d provide you with a good bit of perspective — background information that can assist you see what’s coming subsequent from the corporate. However Google can be notoriously unpredictable on the subject of , as evidenced by the sudden pivot in direction of Pixel and the “made by Google” model in 2016.
However, as we strategy launch day, there’s simply sufficient time for me to dedicate a Sunday column to what I am anticipating.
So right here goes…
New Pixel telephones and a brand new Android model
Due to course.
We’ll get an HTC-made miniature Pixel and an LG-built biggie Pixel, and you may learn all about what’s rumoured for each over right here. The quick model: This 12 months the Pixel 2 XL would be the extra fascinating of the 2, as Google strikes away from the design and inner symmetry of the earlier technology. The newborn Pixel can be a second-class citizen, with a 16:9 display and chunky bezels.
Google must also push out a brand new model of Android for the Pixels, and who this will likely even be unique to the brand new telephones till someday later within the 12 months, a la Android 7.1 final 12 months. A great predictor of future Android variations is visitors to Android Central and our boards, and proper now in our analytics we’re seeing small spikes from Android eight.1.zero, and nothing from eight.zero.1.
Within the Android world, a .1 model bump normally means a brand new API degree, which suggests new stuff for builders to become familiar with. (Although final 12 months the additions in 7.1 weren’t precisely groundbreaking in comparison with 7.zero.)
The brand new telephones can be kinda boring
Final 12 months, there was ample novelty worth related to the brand new Google telephones, the brand new Pixel UI, Google Assistant, and their surprisingly wonderful cameras.
To place additional wind in Google’s gross sales, the competitors was comparatively weak. The iPhone 7 and seven Plus had been fairly boring, Samsung had simply shipped the smartphone equal of Dr. Zoidberg’s slinky, and the LG V20 — which did not even get a correct European launch — would fall flat.
This 12 months, the competitors is much stronger. Google’s going up in opposition to the iPhone X, Galaxy Be aware eight and LG V30, all of that are formidable. That is to say nothing of the few unannounced surprises from different producers coming within the months forward.
Google wants one thing superb and distinctive, and from the leaks we have seen thus far (and let’s be clear, an terrible lot has leaked) the one actually totally different function seems set to be Google Lens. Lens has the potential to be superb, and there is an above common probability it’s going to be Pixel-exclusive for some time, as Assistant as in 2016. However is it a motive to purchase a single-camera, headphone-jack-less, wireless-charging-less Pixel? I am not so certain.
Google can all the time make up for this lack of pizazz with an enormous advertising marketing campaign, because it did in 2016. However it’ll must comply with up with stable retail availability of the type that was sorely missing for the first-gen Pixels.
There will be a brand new Pixel pill
Nope, I am not speaking in regards to the already-leaked Pixelbook laptop computer, which seems to be operating Chrome OS (seemingly with Android app assist understanding of the field.) Google wants a reference pill for Android, and the Pixel C is about to achieve the tip of its life cycle.
Google both stops creating Android for tablets, or releases an up-to-date Pixel slate.
If we do not get a brand new Pixel pill on October four (and it would not arrive throughout the following six months), then possibly which means Google sees this class as being higher served by Chrome OS or (finally) no matter spawns out of the Fuchsia venture.
If we do, it’s important to surprise who’ll be the ODM this time round, given the comparatively few producers at the moment promoting high-end Android tablets.
Assistant is the brand new Chromecast
We have already seen the beginnings of this with the second-gen Bose QC35 cans, however anticipate one of many underlying themes of Google’s presentation on to be the expansion of Assistant throughout a mess of product classes. Simply as Chromecast grew from a single TV dongle to a variety of linked merchandise, Google will need Assistant to be in something with a speaker and microphone.
One other main theme can be AI, and I will be watching with curiosity to see how Google’s division can implement among the issues Sundar Pichai launched again on the Google I/O keynote in Might.
Google Lens will certainly exist as its personal app. However think about having among the AI-based photograph options, like the power to take away an undesirable chain hyperlink fence grid from a sports activities photograph, construct proper into the digicam app.
The Google Search bar can be again
This one’s largely only a intestine feeling. RIP Pixel tablet.
(Hiya, new rounded Google search bar.)
That is it for this weekend. As all the time, you possibly can catch all our Pixel protection proper right here this Wednesday morning PDT.