Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Google reveals new Pixel phone, speaker to chase Apple, Amazon

Google sprints in the 'smart home' race with Home Hub, unveils Pixel 3 phone Google Pixel 3 initial review: Pocket powerhouse
Cecil Davis | 10 October, 2018, 19:10

The company's Android software has gone from being an also-ran to the brains of most of the world's smartphones and Google topped Amazon.com Inc in smart speaker sales in recent quarters.

In that respect, the Google Home Hub is nearly an exact replica of Amazon's Echo Show, which is also a screen with a built-in digital assistant that connects to various music and video services, most owned by Amazon, and anything that includes the Alexa system. Its wide-angled camera allows selfies with 184 percent more scene content than the iPhone XS, according to Google. While the company at large just escaped punishment for allegedly snooping on 4.4 million iPhones, its latest gadget doesn't want to pry too heavily. Alphabet generated US$4.4 billion in the second quarter from this category, up 37 per cent from a year earlier. One of those, like last year's Duplex, sees Google handling phone calls on your behalf. If you use a Nest video doorbell, for example, the Google Home Hub can hook up to it and display a live video feed from your front porch whenever anyone hits the bell.

For now, though, let's assume the Google Pixel 3 XL will be free of the sorts of annoying defects that afflicted the original and consider the key specifications for a moment or two. Users will be able to ask the device to pull up and display videos, visual weather information, and traffic data.

As usual, the Pixel phones focus heavily on Google's search engine, maps, digital assistant and YouTube video service. Loup Ventures estimates that while Amazon will have 52 per cent of the market this year and Google will reach 28 per cent, Google will surpass Amazon by 2021 with 48 per cent versus 37 per cent. Google has loaded its Chrome OS on this cross between a tablet and a laptop.

Second, Pixel users in the USA will be the first to get access to an experimental new Google Assistant feature, powered by Duplex technology, which helps you complete real-world tasks over the phone, like calling a restaurant to book a table. And while that means the Pixel 3 works with the most any of the third-party wireless chargers already out there, the phone will actually go into a special mode while it's charging from the Pixel Stand.

The Pixel 3 has an FHD+ flexible OLED display at 443ppi, whereas the larger one sports a QHD+ OLED display (with a notch) at 523ppi. With Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, on the Pixel 3 that division between matte and glossy finishes is rather remarkable. They'll come in three colors: black, white and pink.

Twins' Sano detained after officer injured
According to the police report, Sano had "no documents on him and the truck had no plates" and "ran over a cop's foot and leg". Hopefully for Twins fans, nothing comes of this incident and Sano is back and ready to play for the 2019 season.

Google said it would augment distribution by opening two temporary stores in popular neighborhoods of Chicago and NY on October 18 and putting up displays at US tech retailer B8ta and Goop.

We know how hard it can be to choose the flawless smart speaker for your home, so we've put together this handy comparison guide to help you decide whether you should purchase the brand new Google Home Hub, or the Amazon Echo Show. And, when you take new photos of them, they'll be automatically added to the album.

Google's all-new Chrome OS operating system is created to deliver a handheld Chrome experience presented in more of a desktop package.

The Pixel Slate comes in several iterations, with no headphone jack included on any single one of them. The keyboard also has a full-size trackpad that offers traditional functionality. A pen for use on the touchscreen costs US$99.

Google also announced several glossy partnerships with publisher Conde Nast to photograph seven magazine covers with the Pixel 3, including one by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who is touring the USA shooting with the Pixel 3, and Donald Glover, aka the rapper Childish Gambino.