530 views

Pixel phone and Google Home: What to expect from Google's big event

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
Google Hosts Its Annual I/O Developers Conference
Google Home and the Pixel phone are just some of the announcements expected this week (Source: Getty)

Google is preparing for an event almost as anticipated as any Apple has put on for its iPhones over the years.

The tech giant is expected to launch a range of new hardware and software that even its own executives are billing as something as big as when it first launched the Android operating system.

Slated products include phones, a virtual reality device and its very own rival to Amazon Echo, Google Home.

Here's the lowdown of what to look out for at the event which kicks off on Tuesday (4 October) at 5pm UK time.

Pixel phones

The newest incarnation of Google's own phone after the Nexus is the Pixel and Pixel XL. As with all phones these days, there will be two sizes, and the phones are likely to be made by Google itself this time, as its been noted there is no other branding like with the Nexus, which is made with other hardware makers (Huawei, HTC, LG and Samsung among them).

Read more: Say 'allo to Allo - Google's WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger rival

Leaked pictures reveal that it looks like most smartphones. Let's face it, there's not a lot of difference between handsets these days, but a Google-made phone might hide some specially created Google-only surprises not found on other Android phones. It will probably be running the newest version of the Android operating system Nougat, which will likely bring a handful of new features.

OK, it's a fully Google branded phone, but these days, a new smartphone is probably the least exciting thing a tech company can launch.

Google Home

We're much more excited about Google Home - and you should be too. It's the first foray into the personal assistant territory currently capitalised by Amazon with Echo, and which just launched in the UK.

A voice interface is being pegged as the next big interface beyond screens, so of course Google wants a slice of that.

Google Home is a small connected speaker, first revealed at Google's I/O event earlier this year, and powered by Google Assistant, a Siri-style voice assistant that can control your home.

The latest reports suggest not only is Google making its own speaker, but it's had talks with other manufacturers to incorporate the voice assistant in non-Google devices. It will also be compatible with Chromecast, Google's streaming dongle which means it can be used to control TVs.

Google Daydream VR

It's the year virtual reality is finally hitting consumers hands, with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear this year hitting the shelves. Although still with relatively high price tags to make them mainstream, Google sure doesn't want to miss a trick.

Read more: Google, Facebook and Twitter blasted over failure to tackle extremism

Daydream is the next step up from Cardboard, the literally made of cardboard VR-lit viewer that you can slot an Android device into. But the latest iteration is a full-blown VR development platform.

And the rest...

Also on the cards are a new version of Chromecast which supports 4k viewing and Google Wi-Fi, its own router, and a hybrid operating system called Andromeda which would bring together the desktop chrome and its mobile operating system (the latest is Nougat). Many are speculating that this is what Lockheimer's tweet refers to.

Related articles