Now that the buzz of the new iPhone has simmered down, Google has an event scheduled on October 4 to reveal some new products. All the signs are pointing toward next week’s event being a huge unveiling of Google-branded products, including new smartphones and even a new operating system.
Until then, here are the products we are expecting to see announced by Google:
The Google Pixel / Pixel XL
For the past six years, Google has been working with an assortment of different smartphones manufacturers to produce its annual Nexus phones. Last year, our phone of the year was the Nexus 6P, a fantastic Android phone that was powered by a partnership by Google and Huawei. This year, however, it looks like the Nexus brand could be being phased out completely.
A recent leak showed us the two new smartphones that Google will be announcing: the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL. These phones fall under Google’s Pixel branding, which was first used on the Chromebook Pixel—and then later on the Pixel C tablet. Unlike the Nexus devices, these are products that are completely designed and manufactured under the Google house.
As for the phones, the leaks by Evan Blass show a 5.0-inch Pixel phone and a 5.5-inch Pixel XL, which are both smaller than last year’s Nexus phones. Outside of the size different, the phones are nearly identical in specs (which are still unconfirmed at this point). Both will have 4GB of RAM, the new Snapdragon 821, and a 12-megapixel camera.
None of that will shock anyone, but the brief glimpse at the software is what interests me. They will both be running the newest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, but we’ve never seen this new launcher screen before. Icons have been redesigned to be circular now and the navigation looks like it’s gotten a facelift also. The Google search bar at the top has been replaced by a small Google icon and the current date.
What’s missing? The icon for the App Drawer. Instead it looks like it’s been replaced by a small arrow at the bottom, which may give you access to more of your apps. The interesting thing is that this fresh coat of paint wasn’t shown off earlier this year in the preview of Android Nougat.
Andromeda-Powered Pixel Laptop
Perhaps the most intriguing announcement that we’ll see is a new Pixel Laptop, which doesn’t yet have an official name. In place of what would have been an update to the Chromebook Pixel, we’ll be getting a laptop powered by something called Andromeda.
Andromeda is a clever naming scheme for a new operating system that mixes Android and Chrome OS. We already got Android apps on Chromebooks earlier this year—and now it looks like we’ll be getting further integration between the two operating systems with Andromeda.
Beyond the basic concept behind the new OS, we don’t know quite what to expect. Previous attempts to unite mobile and desktop platforms have all been either half-hearted or thoroughly flawed, so it’ll be interesting to see what Google has up its sleeve. Although we are expecting an announcement on Oct 4, a release date is rumored to be far into 2017.
All we know is that people high up at Google seem to think the announcement of Andromeda will be a historic moment in personal computing:
Google Home, a WiFi Router, Chromecast Ultra, and More
Outside of the two aforementioned heavy-hitters, there are some other interesting products that have been rumored to show up. First is the Chromecast Ultra, which was also leaked by Evan Blass. The big update here is this new product will cost nearly double the price of the standard Chromecast at $69 and will be able to stream 4K resolution content.
Along with the Chromecast Ultra, we’re also expecting to see a new Google-branded WiFi router called, simply, Google WiFi. This wouldn’t be Google’s first router though. Last year we got the OnHub, which was the company’s first attempt at simplifying and updating that archaic device we’ve all got in our homes. It’s not clear how Google’s new router will differentiate from the OnHub, but expect at the very least that it will work in tandem with all of your other Google products.
Lastly, we’re expecting to see the Google Home get a more detailed unveiling and a close release date. The Amazon Echo-like product was first announced at Google I/O earlier this year. It has a speaker and a microphone and functions as a home base for controlling your smart home. It operates entirely through voice commands and can easily talk to every connected device you’ve got in your home. It’s expected to cost $129 and be released later this year.
That might seem like a lot, but there is talk of even more products being unveiled at the October 4 event. We might even see a new Google-branded VR headset to coincide with Daydream, a new VR platform in Android Nougat.
The event starts 9AM PST and will be livestreamed on YouTube.