Google had an announcement spree today with new products and updates to the old ones. Where to even start?!
Google’s new phone comes with a lot of features that are fairly standard these days. They include a 12 MP camera front and rear, fingerprint scanner, high screen resolution and decent battery. The real highlight though is the fact that Google is taking more of the manufacturing into their own hands, which will be a good thing. They also include the Google Assistant, which they hope will become your straight up personal assistant. That’s a tall order and brings up a lot of privacy issues, but I like their software for that better than anything else so far. It will be pervasive across all devices, which is handy and scary. The phones start at $649.
This is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and every other competitor getting into this home assistant space. Google has the one up on most because they already handle so much of your life through the internet and your phone if you’re an Android user. Google Home basically extends that into the living room and anywhere else in your home. It’s primarily voice controlled and can do everything from answer questions, control smart home devices, play music, play media and more. Google Home will be $129.
This is an additional model in the Chromecast lineup that is almost 2x faster than the regular Chromecast, and it can stream up to 4k video. I’m not sure this is a true competitor for Amazon Fire, Apple TV or even Roku, but it’s a very handy thing to have plugged into a tv so you can quickly and easily watch youtube (without typing on crap tv keyboards) or throw something up on the big screen for everyone in the room to see. It’s a bit more than the regular version at $69.
More, more, more
Also announced today were Google wifi, which is designed to work as multiple smaller routers throughout your home for a network effect rather than one device tucked away by the desk, and a VR headset that they worked with fashion designers to create. Their VR headset will obviously work perfectly with their phones, but is also made to be comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. Considering the explosive growth in AR and VR, that will be a factor. A single unit will be $129 but a three pack will be available for $299. At this point it, Google is an undeniable force in the tech hardware world. It’s strange to see the big companies grow their monopolies while smaller startups are still able to be successful.