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Phones, VR headsets, and streaming devices, oh my! Today Google held their press conference in San Francisco today where they talked about a variety devices, and at the top of that list is the previously-leaked Pixel phones. Read on to learn about Pixel, Google Assistant, and more. Live from San Francisco, it’s Google! Well, I mean, it was live.

Pixel

Pixel, Google Home, and More from Google's San Francisco Event

Yesterday I told you all about the specs and the unlimited online storage for pictures and videos. Google’s Pixel is also the first phone with Google Assistant built right in. It’s got the highest-rated smartphone camera ever (it’s like really, really good, just the best smartphone camera) – 12.3-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture for bright photos – which is great when combined with the unlimited storage. The phone has Google Duo, which lets you video call contacts on both Android and iOS.

On top of all that it’s got a glass-aluminum body, a fingerprint sensor, a bright AMOLD screen, and a fast-charging battery, and a Quick Switch Adapter that lets you transfer all your info from your old device, even if it was an Apple product. It’s built for VR, comes in two sizes and three colors, and Google offers a variety of cases.

Google Home

Pixel, Google Home, and More from Google's San Francisco Event

One step closer to Jarvis, people! Google Home is a voice-activated speaker (think Amazon Echo) that’s powered by Google Assistant, so now you can have the power of Google just sitting on a table in your house. Now when you want to Google something, you can literally just shout it into the air and get an answer.

You can also play music, podcasts, and radio, make appointments, set alarms and timers, and control your smart devices. Google Home will learn about you (with your permission) so that it can “get personal,” which sounds ominous and terrifying. It’s got touch controls, far-field microphones so it doesn’t have trouble picking up your voice, customizable bases, and a hi-fi speaker, and it’s available for pre-order right now.

Daydream View

Pixel, Google Home, and More from Google's San Francisco Event

Daydream View is Google stepping into the burgeoning virtual reality market. It’s a headset that supports your Daydream-ready phone (like the Pixel) that allows you to experience VR anywhere, whether you’re watching videos or playing games with Google’s simple, remote-like controller. To be honest, it looks like a sleeker, more comfortable version of Google cardboard, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can join a waitlist now to check it out.

Google Wi-Fi

Pixel, Google Home, and More from Google's San Francisco Event

While the cord-cutting revolution is all about getting rid of cable television in favor of streaming, more and more people are cutting their ethernet cords (not literally, I hope) as wi-fi becomes faster and more effective. Google Wi-Fi is poised to replace your router as your home’s source of wireless Internet, and its built-in Network Assist helps avoid wi-fi congestion and give you the best possible speeds. It can even tell you where to move the device for optimal performance. The accompanying app can give you all sorts of data, let you easily share your password, and even pause wi-fi to specific devices, like when you don’t want your significant other to watch episodes of your favorite show without you.

Chromecast

Pixel, Google Home, and More from Google's San Francisco Event

Roku recently announced a trio of new streaming devices. Not to be outdone, Google talked up three Chromecast devices, one of which is dedicated to audio. The traditional Chromecast is still thirty-five bucks, gives you access to hundreds of thousands of programs, and can mirror your Android screen. The Chromecast Ultra is $69 and can stream in 4K Ultra HD and HDR. The Chromecast Audio shares the same price point as the traditional Chromecast and can plug right into your speakers for instant access to streaming music, all controlled from your phone.

No More Nexus?


One curious thing to take away from today’s event is that none of the announced hardware carries the Nexus brand. According to Google, the company has “no plans” for any future Nexus products. That’s a safe statement to make, because they’re not necessarily closing the door on the brand, so if the new Pixel line doesn’t work out then they can always resurrect Nexus and it won’t be as if they’re going back on anything they said. They can keep Nexus in their back pocket for when the time is right, but if Pixel does well for them, Nexus might just stay in that pocket for good.

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