Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Pixel Slate, new Chromecast, Google Home Hub expected

Pixel Slate, new Chromecast, Google Home Hub expected

Google Pixel 3, Pixel Slate tablet, and Google Home Hub have been unveiled by Google at the #MadeByGoogle launch event in NY.

Google began to send out invitations earlier last month for the launch event of its Pixel 3 smartphone range scheduled today.

AI, embodied in Google's talking Assistant, also promises to be more of a sidekick in the Pixel 3.

The entry-level Pixel 3 is $150 more expensive than last year's model, starting at $799, while the Pixel 3 XS starts at $899.

It runs Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box.

Shares of Alphabet barely moved on the release. Financial analysts said it is hard to evaluate Google's hardware business as it is overshadowed by profits from search ads. The interface offers up an app drawer, app dock, and a Google search bar like a phone or tablet, but apps like Google Chrome will you give the full desktop version when you need a better workstation. Google says it wanted to make this a device people were comfortable putting in all areas of the home.

Expanding geographic distribution is likely to boost Pixel's fortunes.

Interestingly, Google is bringing its controversial Duplex technology to the Pixel 3 first - although it will roll out to older Pixel devices in time. New additions include France, Ireland, Japan and Taiwan.

A new artificial intelligence tool sure to generate buzz among consumers also could be helpful.

Whatever the caller says in response will appear as a voice-to-text translation on the phone screen.

New Chromebooks: An outside bet given the expected launch of the Pixel Slate, but it's possible we might see updates to the Google Pixelbook.

It isn't a secret that the Pixel 2 XL's display didn't quite make everyone happy that got to look at it. The new Pixel is expected to have a similar "notch" design to the iPhone XS and a new sand colour.

Going from a small experiment to a polished product that works in various languages and is backed by large sales, support and technical teams has been part of Google's challenge.

Instead of having to deal with duplicate apps as is the case on Samsung devices, a Pixel comes with Google services and apps, and nothing more. The company just had its annual hardware unveiling, and all three of its new devices leaked repeatedly in the lead-up to the event.

The Pixel 3 packs in a host of new ideas about how AI can change the phone experience - from the practical to the pretty out-there.

The new Pixel-branded phones will anchor the event in NY.

Updated Chromecasts: There's nothing hugely exciting to report here, but Google is reportedly updating the Chromecast with better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In the U.S., Verizon Wireless will continue to be the exclusive carrier for Pixel phones. It will be possible to display not just photos from Google Photos but also the video feed from a Nest Doorbell along with many other uses. Google's imaging software will filter out blurry or dark photos, ditto for ones of you in your bathing costume that you might not want flashing up in the living room.

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