Made by Google Event 2017

Google has done it again.  They got on stage, as only Google does, and have shown us an array and beautiful new products that will be available in a few weeks, Fall 2017.


Google opened the event with Sundar Pichai expressing sorrow for all of the recent events taking place in the world, from the hurricanes that have swept through coastal cities and islands to the act of terrorism in Las Vegas.  From there it was back to back product announcements that showed the prowess of Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence skills, in addition to their growing maturity at “Made by Google” hardware.

Google Home

Users of the Google Home love it, from the ability to start playing songs from Google Play Music or Spotify, to playing a YouTube video directly on your ChromeCast enabled TV, Home does an amazing job at connecting you to your “things”.  Updates to Google Home and Google Assistant including the following:

  • Voice Match — Google Home will now identify all users of the device, simply by their voice.  This means that you and your partner’s contacts do not get mixed up when trying to place a call or calendars don’t get intermingled when asking about your day.
  • Integration into an array of new Nest products, while connected will allow the user to view the stream of an entrance to a home and more all from the power of their Voice.

Updates to the Assistant that’s built into Google Home surely mean a new device right?

Absolutely.

Enter Google Home Mini.  The Google Home, in a smaller package, all for $49 and housing the power of Google Assistant.  This could turn out to be a huge game-changer for Google in their quest to capture the living room.  (Especially since this device is included with purchase of another that was released later, read more below.)

Source: The Verge


Google Home Max

Ever wanted a speaker that really “thumped” with the power of Google Assistant baked in?  Meet Max, the newest member of the Google Home family.  Starting at $399, this is a powerful (20x more powerful than the standard Google Home) speaker that’s meant to take on Apple HomePod, Sonos and others.  The device features dual 4.5″ subwoofers for deep bass pulses, a sturdy housing, which means no creaks from the speakers, custom tweeters and acoustically transparent fabric.

Google Home Max listens to where it is in the room and adjusts the audio to just the right levels so that it’s output is perfect for any room.  Additionally, the microphone is extremely sensitive, so it allows for the user to interact with the device without the need for yelling and shouting.

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Google Home Max.

Starting at $399.


Google Pixelbook

Chromebooks, we’ve all heard of them.  How about the fact that now, every child in a classroom can have their own personal laptop — thank Google.  How about the fact that you now have a device that can be essentially virus free with a keyboard — thank Google.  Also, how about the fact that you are  one sign-in away from all of your content, bookmarks, movies and email — thank Google.

Source: The Verge

These are just a few things that make the Chromebook an excellent device, but Google had to make one too.  Say hello to the Pixelbook, the all aluminum, 10 hour battery, core i5 and i7 packing, glass trackpad wielding laptop from Google.  This device is nothing short of beautiful and of course, this is the first Chromebook experience where Google Assistant is baked in.  Additionally, many Android apps are coming out of beta and should run smoothly with powerful Intel chips behind them.  Google is really pushing Chrome OS hard here, especially with the latest feature of this device, which allows you to tether automatically if you have a Pixel phone nearby and wifi signal isn’t strong — Instant Tethering.  Throw in the Pixelbook Pen, which allows you to annotate, pull out content and more all with the lowest latency currently on the market.

Source: Made by Google

Starting at $999 for Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM.


Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL

Building off of the success of the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL, which featured arguably the best camera on an Android device and maybe on a smartphone (Don’t believe me? Look at some pictures for yourself!) Google gives us Pixel 2.  Below is a breakdown of specs:

Pixel2_Screenshot from 2017-10-04 19-48-31
Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL key specs.

This device looks to have packaged all of the good things of “Pure Android” into a device that just works for the end user adding no gimmicks, just a device that works well without the extra bloat of apps that are trying to replicate a standard Google experience.  Additionally, adding water resistance to this years’ model is huge, which is something I have vocally criticized numerous times due to the fact that Google charges a premium for a device; yet, can’t protect us from a splash….Really?

Similarly, Google has added Portrait Mode into the camera software, which will allow the user to capture photos with realistic (one shot they showed on stage was brutally awful) shallow depth of field.  Pixel 2 is able to achieve this without the need for a second lens due to how the camera captures pixels of the shot and of course some excellent AI.

Overall, the product looks to be a top-tier device that is in contention for Android device of the year.  As said in the below video, “We make it look easy!“.

Source: Made by Google

Starting at $649 for Pixel 2 and $849 for Pixel 2 XL.


Google Pixel Buds

Wireless ear buds with the intelligence of Google Assistant built right in, giving you the capability to translate on the fly.  Yep.  That’s pretty fancy and they are here, built by Google.

Source: Android Authority

While the earbuds are not single ear buds like Apple Airpods, they are tied together; however, the buds follow a similar design scheme that we’ve seen from other Made by Google products.  Since Google Assistant is on board, a quick swipe of the right bud will get you access and you’ll be able to jam out or chat with Google for an estimated 5 hours per day while the case can further charge the headphones.

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Google Pixel Buds (shown in case)

Starting at $159.


Google Clips

A small camera, designed for parents and pet owners alike — that’s built to capture those special moments, with privacy built in that only saves “clips” once you’ve confirmed and stored on the camera fully encrypted before it’s transferred.  Clips is a “smart” camera and recognizes expressions, the appropriate lighting and framing of it’s objects — all automatically when the camera recognizes something that you’d like to capture all while being in the background and non-invasive (no microphone and an indicator light that shows when it’s on).

As you see, this camera is focused on freeing the user from the device and has an emphasis on privacy, something of which people think Google takes for granted — read their privacy policy if you believe that.

Starting at $249.

Source: The Verge


TLDR

Google announced an impressive array of devices, which time will only tell if the company will continue taking hardware seriously — for now and the past couple of years it has by creating solid incremental updates to existing devices and pushing out thoughtful new ones.

Good job, Google.  Good job.

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