On 4 October, Google held an event that helped it announce its new Pixel smartphones, amongst other new products and initiatives. Here we have the full live blog that we ran on the day, so you can go back and see the event as it happened. Also see: Google Wifi
There were phones, a home assistant, new Chromecast, Wi-Fi routers and VR headsets. A lot for Google fans - and others - to chew over.
Below the live blog yu'll also find all of our predictions and the rumours ahead of the event. Take a look and see how right we got it - unfortunately, we didn't see the Andromeda OS or a new Nexus tablet. In fact, the Nexus brand itself may well be dead.
Google event: Live blog
What to expect from Google event: New Google phones - Pixel X and Pixel XL
Traditionally Google has held an annual launch of new Nexus phones on which it reveals the latest version of its Android operating system. However, in 2016 Android Nougat saw an early release in August, with no new hardware. Rather than new Nexus phones, Google intends to unveil two new Pixel phones on Tuesday: the Pixel X and Pixel XL.
Nexus phones have always been known for their excellent value for money and vanilla Android experience. With the new Pixel phones, tagged ‘made by Google’ but actually made by HTC, the company wants to move away from concentrating on the software experience and also look at the hardware. Rather than showing you how Android is intended to look and behave, it wants to show you what a Google phone should be.
Unsurprisingly, then, the two new Google phones are tipped to be Google’s most expensive yet. The company has gone back to the drawing board and, rather than upgrading its Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, these phones take a whole new format with 5- (Google Pixel X) and 5.5in (Google Pixel XL) screens.
The key differences between the two is thought to be the screen size and resolution, with the Pixel X featuring a full-HD display and the Pixel XL Quad-HD, the price and the battery capacity.
Both new Google phones are tipped to house a 2.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (potentially the 820 or newer 821 seen in the Xiaomi Mi 5S), 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and 8/13Mp cameras. There will also be a USB-C port with Quick Charge 3.0 support, a standard headphone jack (phew), a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and, of course, Android Nougat.
Click here for more about the New Google phones - Pixel X and Pixel XL
What to expect from Google event: Andromeda
Andromeda is a Google operating system that is in essence a mash-up of Chrome OS and Android and has been rumoured for about as long as we can remember. And ever since Hiroshi Lockheimer tweeted in late September that this launch event was going to be as memorable as the one in which Google announced Android (not his exact words - see below), the internet has gone crazy trying to guess what it is that could possibly warrant such hype. The only logical suggestion is Andromeda.
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
Android Police assures us that Andromeda is an actual thing and not the figment of many Google fan’s creative imaginations, pointing to a Wall Street Journal report that Google was intending to fold the two operating systems into one to better suit a range of hardware platforms. This would open the doors to a new market sector in which Google has previously tried and failed: the lucrative world of laptops.
According to WSJ Andromeda won’t see the light until 2017, but we are expected to get a glimpse at what’s in store in 2016 - and if Google is going to do this, it will do so on Tuesday.
We discussed the Google event right after it happened on our podcast. Listen here:
What to expect from Google event: Google Pixel 3 laptop
Given the above, it’s not surprising that we’ve also heard rumours of a new Pixel laptop running Andromeda - we’re unlikely to get one without the other. However, if WSJ is correct and Andromeda won’t be ready until 2017 then this speculated Pixel laptop either won’t go on sale until next year or it will be another Chrome OS laptop.
Indeed, Android Police says a Pixel 3 laptop is in the works for reveal in Q3 2017. It says the project is known internally as ‘Bison’, and offers the following specifications but notes that a lot can change in a year.
The Pixel 3 is currently thought to be an ultraportable (under 10mm) 12.3in-screen laptop that also has a tablet mode. It will likely run an Intel m3 or Core i5 processor with 8/16GB of RAM and 32/128GB of storage. There will likely be a fingerprint scanner, a glass trackpad with haptic feedback and force touch, two USB-C ports, stylus support, stereo speakers, quad mics, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a backlit keyboard and a battery capable of 10 hours life. The starting price is expected to be around $799.
What to expect from Google event: New Google tablet - Nexus 7 2016
One rumour we’re really hoping will come true is that Google will (finally) unveil an upgrade to its much-loved Nexus 7 tablet. In preparing the two new Pixel phones at no point has the company confirmed that it is killing off its Nexus brand, and there are plenty of leaks from respected sources suggesting a new Google tablet is in the works. Plus, while HTC is know pretty much known to be creating the new Pixel phones, we can’t help wondering what Huawei is also doing on the scene.
Huawei has already trademarked the name Huawei 7P, and was alleged to have confirmed it would be working with Google to make a Nexus device in 2016. The company has declined to comment on the idea that it is creating a tablet, however.
Since the Hiroshi Lockheimer tweet we’ve reported on rumours that this new Google tablet would run Andromeda, but given what we know about Andromeda’s 2017 release date we think that incredibly unlikely. Most probable is that the Nexus 7 will run Android Nougat, offering a value-for-money entry point into Android as it is intended. In other words, it will do for Google that still important job that right now is being taken care of by the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
Rumoured specifications for the Nexus 7 tablet include a 7in Quad-HD pressure-sensitive display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, microSD support up to 2TB and a 13Mp rear camera.
Click here for more on the New Google tablet - Nexus 7 2016
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