Google held a press conference today in San Francisco, where the company announced everything from new phones to crazy machine learning-powered wearable cameras.
It was a flurry of news. Don’t have time to catch up with all of it? We get it — that’s why we condensed it all down into one quick slideshow just focusing on the highlights.
Google Home Mini
If you like the idea of the Google Home but don’t like its oh-so-air-freshener-esque design: meet the Google Home Mini.
It’s about the size of a donut, but seems to do pretty much everything its bigger brother does. It’s almost entirely wrapped in fabric, with Home’s indicator LEDs hidden just beneath the surface. It’ll come in coral (orange), chalk (gray) or charcoal (black), and ship for $49 on October 19th.
Google Home Max
If Home Mini is the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” version of the original Home, Home Max is the “Honey, I Blew up the Kid” sequel.
It’s Google’s answer to Apple’s HomePod. It can stand horizontally or vertically, with its rubber base snapping onto whatever side it’s needed by way of magnets. You can connect to it via Cast, Bluetooth or a good ol’ aux-in cable.
It’ll ship for $399 starting sometime in December, and will come in chalk (gray) or charcoal (black)
If you’ve got a bunch of Google Homes around your place, the new “Broadcast” feature lets you make house-wide announcements — things like “OK Google, Broadcast ‘It’s time to leave for school!’ ”
A bunch of other bits for Google Home:
– Hands-free phone calls through Google Home (currently available in the U.S. and Canada) is coming to the U.K.
– Google Home phone calls can now come from your personal number (once you’ve confirmed your number through the Home app).
– Google Home will launch in Japan with Japanese support later this week.
Nest is getting voice-triggered Chromecast support
Need to see what’s going on in another room? If you’re all-in on Google and have Chromecasts, Nest cams and Google Homes spread around your house, you can say things like “OK Google, show me the living room,” or “OK Google, who’s at the door?” to bring those views up on the nearest TV.
Surprise! It’s been a while since Google has really given the Chromebook much love, but this one’s a doozy. It’s a “four in one” convertible; you can use it as a laptop, fold it into a tablet or flip it over and use the keyboard as a kickstand or base.
It weighs about 1kg and comes in at 10mm thick, with a 12.3” touchscreen. It can be customized with i5/i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of solid-state storage. A fancy new “Instant tethering” feature lets it recognize when Wi-Fi is spotty and automatically switch to tethering on your phone.
The base model will cost $999, and will start shipping on October 31st.
Stylus! Google worked with Wacom to build this one, and they say it’s got sub-10 ms latency with 2,000 levels of pressure sensitivity for all your doodlin’ and note writin’.It’ll ship for $99 on October 31st.
Google might’ve had a hard time keeping up with demand for the original Pixel, but they’re ready to move on. This is the Pixel 2.
It’ll come in two sizes: 5” or a 6” XL model. It’s got an all-aluminum body with a curved OLED display, a fingerprint sensor (still on the back), front-facing stereo speakers and is IP67 water/dust resistant. Sadly, there’s no headphone jack. It’s all USB-C.
It’s borrowing the “squeeze” functionality first found in the HTC U11; give the Pixel 2 a little squeeze like you’re checking an avocado for ripeness and it’ll trigger Google Assistant.
The 5” Pixel 2 will start at $649, while the 6” Pixel 2 XL will start at $849. Pre-orders start today, and the phone should start shipping by October 17th. Given the shortages we saw with the original Pixel, though, I’d expect that date to slip a bit with demand.
People love stickers. People love augmented reality. Why not mash ’em together?
Google’s AR “stickers” (are they really stickers if they don’t stick to anything in particular? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) let you drop interactive 3D models into your camera view. If you put multiples in the same scene, they can interact with each other; they demoed this by putting Eleven from Stranger Things in the same room as a Demogorgon and having them duke it out.
A new Daydream VR headset
Following up on the 2016 Daydream headset, Daydream View brings a wider field of view and a few new colors to the mix.
Google Pixel Buds
Google is getting into the wireless headphone game, and… well… it’s a Babel fish.
A live translation feature lets it pick up and translate over 40 languages on the fly. The $159 Pixel Buds are tethered to each other but otherwise wireless, and they’ll come with a charging case that add around 24 hours of play time. Pixel Buds will ship in November.